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Why Am I Scared of Getting Better?

You’re not alone if you fear getting better. Many people go into treatment afraid. It’s important that you understand the root of your fear and ways to combat it.

Understanding Your Normal

When you live for a prolonged period with a mental health disorder, you develop normalcy in your dysfunction. It feels familiar to go weeks on end without being happy or stable. You get used to your system flooding with cortisol. Additionally, your mental equilibrium adjusts to your unhealthy symptoms. You may even start defining yourself by your mental health.

Considering this, it makes sense that you’d fear getting better. Healing poses a threat to your status quo. You’ll have to develop a new sense of normal in recovery, and that can stop even the most resilient people from seeking help. Luckily, fear is an emotion just like any other. As such, you can use coping skills to manage your fear.

3 Ways to Cope With Fear

If you want to move past your fear of getting better, you can employ many coping mechanisms. We’ll highlight three of the most effective options. These options all engage mindfulness and emotional regulation.

#1 Radical Acceptance

For people with severe emotions caused by fear, radical acceptance may offer the most relief. Your goal with radical acceptance is to acknowledge situations and emotions without resisting or judging them. Look at your fear of getting better as something that exists in your reality. Sometimes, it can help to personify your fear by giving it a name. It can be something as simple as “Bob.” Don’t strive to change or get rid of Bob. Just recognize that Bob is there. Ultimately, trying to fight emotions will only increase your distress.

#2 Micro-Goals

Change can feel overwhelming when looking at the big picture. Obviously, you need to know what your long-term goal is, but sometimes, it can prove more effective to create micro-goals. You start by identifying the long-term goal, then break it down into the smallest step possible. For instance, you could look at the goal “Eat three meals a day” and break it down into the following steps:

  • Decide what to eat for this meal
  • Pull out ingredients
  • Make the food
  • Eat the food
  • Clean up the dishes

Then, you can repeat these steps three times a day. As you break it down, you make something overwhelming into something more doable. The smaller goals could produce less anxiety and fear. You just need to go one micro-goal at a time.

#3 Educate Yourself on the Recovery Process

While it can feel easy to stay uninformed, this can be counterintuitive. Staying in the dark can layer a fear of the unknown on top of the fear of change. Use resources like or The Library of Medicine’s website MedlinePlus to educate yourself. This will offer you scientifically accurate, reliable information on disorders, medications, and treatment options.

After looking into it yourself, you could reach out to support groups. This will give you an opportunity to talk to others who’ve gone through the process. Generally, this will give you more confidence and comfort.

Change can scare even the bravest of souls. As humans, we are creatures of habit and routine. You don’t need to be afraid, though. Getting better is an exciting opportunity. You’re opening yourself up to the possibility of a better life. At The Guest House, we can support you from inpatient treatment all the way through to aftercare. Our collaborative process allows you to feel empowered in your healing. When you are ready to overcome your fear, call us at (855) 483-7800.