National Mental Health Information Center
Article location: http://www.mentalhealth.samhsa.gov/publications/allpubs/SMA-3504/what.asp


 


Recovering Your Mental Health
A Self-Help Guide

What To Do If Your Symptoms Are Very Serious

If your symptoms are so severe that you feel hopeless and worthless all the time, or your feelings and experiences feel overwhelming, or if any of the following apply to you, take steps right away to help yourself.

bulletYou feel like life is not worth living anymore.
bulletYou think a lot about dying, have thoughts of suicide, or have planned how to kill yourself.
bulletYou are taking lots of risks that are endangering your life and/or the lives of others.
bulletYou feel like hurting yourself, hurting others, destroying property or committing a crime.

Things you need to do
RIGHT AWAY:

bulletArrange an appointment with your doctor, or other health care provider, or with a mental health agency. If your symptoms make you a danger to yourself or someone else, insist on immediate care and treatment. A family member or friend may need to do this for you if your symptoms are too severe. If you are taking medicines and you think it would be helpful, ask for a medication check.

 
bulletAsk friends or family members to take turns staying with you until you feel better. Then talk, play cards, watch a funny video together, listen to music— do things that keep you from feeling any worse and may give you some relief.

 
bulletDo some simple things that you usually enjoy like “getting lost” in a good book, viewing a beautiful picture, playing with your pet or writing in your journal.

You will find more things you might choose to do to help yourself feel better in the section of this booklet entitled: “Additional Things You Can Do Right Away to Help Yourself Feel Better.” As you learn what helps you to feel better, and as you take action to help yourself more and more quickly, you will find that you spend more and more time feeling well and less time feeling badly.

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