For most of us, the term 'recovery' in mental health implies hope and normality for those suffering from emotional distress. It is understandable why recovery has therefore become a significant goal for mental health services. But what does recovery mean for those who are struggling to see it through? Is the emphasis on recovery always a positive thing? This book takes a critical sociological look at personal and public assumptions and understandings. In particular: * It explores what the recovery movement signifies today, offering readers a critical, reflexive view of its scientific, policy and political consequences. * It considers what recovery means from social, medical and patient perspectives, and the implications of these conflicting views, * It reveals some of the risks and benefits for people with mental health problems encountering a system that expects them to recover. Offering a comprehensive and thought-provoking overview of the concept of recovery from mental illness, this book is a must-have for students studying mental health across a range of subjects, including Sociology, Social Work, Psychology and Nursing.