With physical illnesses, recovery is very easy to observe. With mental illnesses, it is not so cut and dry. Everyone with a mental health diagnosis presents differently. Some illnesses are less serious than others.
For someone with a psychotic condition, recovery may mean stopping the hallucinations. For someone with mild depression, they may be able to just take a pill and be fine.
Some of us can be stabilized, but we may never be 100-percent symptom free. In my case, I still have anxiety and some depression. My medicine takes away the paranoia and the more severe emotional effects.
Some people with extreme cases on schizophrenia may never recover. Some people may have to have assisted care for the rest of their lives.
This is a pretty rare occurrence, but it happens.
According to mentalhealth.gov, there are four dimensions of recovery: