Successful recovery from a chronic disease requires a lot of effort on the part of the patient. A person with a chronic illness should learn as much as possible about the condition and what they can do to help in their own recovery. Work with your providers to develop a recovery plan, and then stick to it. If medication is part of the treatment, take it as directed and don't stop it before talking with your doctor. Be diligent about attending therapy or support group sessions. If you have friends or family members who are willing and able to help, let them know what they can do to help. Ultimately, your recovery is going to depend on the work you do with treatment professionals and your personal relationships.
12-step programs/spirituality - their role and value as a complement to treatment:
There is no question that people who regularly attend support group meetings and "work the program" are more likely to recover and less likely to relapse. Many people are able to recover through participation in 12-step and other mutual help groups alone. Others will require professional treatment, including medications, in addition to community support groups. Participating in support groups is not necessary for recovery to occur, but it helps. One advantage of support groups is that they are free, widely available and focused on recovery. When starting out, it helps to attend a variety of meetings before choosing the group or groups with which you are most comfortable, since each one is somewhat unique. If you do participate in a 12-step program, it works best if you have a sponsor, someone in successful recovery who is now helping others.