The Thirteen Paths of Recovery of Dr. Ragin

Dr. Mark Ragins has years of on-hands experience helping people go into recovery. He is part of The Village inLos Angeles, which serves the homeless and others seeking help. The best way to go into recovery from mental illness is not to simply take your medicine and do what you’re told. People recovery with medication, but they need to do something more. He recommends that people start down at least one of the 13 paths he has found have worked for others. These paths can lead into each other, until the person is using many of them and many more which they find on their own.


The 13 Paths to Recovery


  1. Talk to other people instead of isolating.
  2. Actually feel feelings and emotions instead of deadening them, medicating them, avoiding them, or getting high.
  3. Learn some emotional coping skills.
  4. Learn to “use” medications instead of just “taking” medications.
  5. Engage (or re-engage) in activities that make you more fun and interesting
  6. Take responsibility for your own life and make some changes in yourself.
  7. Go to work even when you’re not feeling well.
  8. Do things outside of being a mental patient and outside the mental health system.
  9. Improve physical health and wellness.
  10. Love other people—family, partners, kids.
  11. Work on acceptance and forgiveness instead of blaming and vengeance
  12. Give back by helping others
  13. Find meaning and blessings in suffering and reconnect with God and spirituality.


Mark Ragins, MD, Medical Director for the MHA Village Integrated Service Agency, Mental Health Americaof Greater Los Angeles


You can view Dr. Ragins writings online or order it at


About mentalrecovery

I work in a large mental health clinic and am active in NAMI
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