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A relapse (etymologically, "who falls again") occurs when a person is affected again by a disorder that affected them in the past. This could be a physical disorder or mental disorder such as depression, bipolar disorder, multiple sclerosis, cancer or an addiction to a drug.

For example, if someone who had problems with alcohol were to give up alcohol and then later start drinking again, this drinking might be considered a relapse. It is different from a slip or lapse in that it implies a return to previous behaviour patterns, as opposed to a one-time occurrence.

It may also, in medicine, mean the end of a remission.

See also

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