In recent years, researchers have begun talking aboutmental health care in the same way addiction specialists speak of recovery — the lifelong journey of self-treatment and discipline that guides substance abuse programs. The idea remains controversial: managing a severe mental illness is more complicated than simply avoiding certain behaviors. The journey has more mazes, fewer road signs.
Yet people like Joe Holt are traveling it and succeeding. Most rely on some medical help, but each has had to build core skills from the ground up, through trial and repeated error.