What is Relapse definition/concept/elaboration

The concept of relapse is commonly used in the medical context to refer to the setback in the health of a patient affected by a specific disease . For example, a cancer patient may relapse after visibly improving. And this relapse involves putting back the treatment from another perspective. In terms of addiction , most smokers who stop addiction at some point suffer a relapse. In other words, they cannot give up the temptation to light a new cigarette. And these temptations are a relapse into that goal of wanting to quit smoking.

relapse into an addiction

This type of relapse can also be experienced in other addictions, for example, drugs. In fact, when setting a health goal such as giving up a substance, it’s important to be prepared for possible relapses along the way. Relapses can occur during the recovery process , but also once the patient is fully recovered.

From a mental health perspective, a patient may relapse into a depression that took a long time to overcome.

In this context, medicine has a clear preventive role. Thus, once the patient recognizes the onset of symptoms of depression, he or she must act to prevent the discomfort from going any further. For example, staying with friends to break this tendency towards isolation.

Relapse is practically related to longstanding processes that are accompanied by the difficult recovery phase. It is noteworthy that relapse is not inevitable in all cases, however, it is a likely possibility. The best way to prevent this possibility is not to avoid it, but to accept that it can happen.


Sometimes, the relapse in overcoming an addiction is accompanied by an attitude of carelessness in relation to the plan to follow in the process. In some cases, these relapses occur when the patient reconnects with former unpleasant companions. The relapse process can come to an end when the patient becomes aware of himself that he wants to change his life.

This decision can also be influenced by positive advice from family and friends.

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