Health Information Center
Article location: http://www.mentalhealth.samhsa.gov/publications/allpubs/SMA-3504/thingsremember.asp
Recovering Your Mental Health
A Self-Help Guide
Things To Remember
Above all, remember, you are not alone. Many people have feelings or
experiences like these at some time in their lives. When such experiences become
severe, some people reach out for help and treatment from health care providers.
Others try to get through it on their own. Some people donít tell anyone what
they are experiencing because they are afraid people will not understand and
will blame them or treat them badly. Other people share what they are
experiencing with friends, family members, or co-workers.
Sometimes these feelings and experiences are so severe that friends and
people around you know you are having them even though you have not told them.
No matter what your situation is, these feelings and experiences are very hard
to live with. They may keep you from doing what you want to do with your life,
what you have to do for yourself and others, and what you find rewarding and
As you begin to work on helping yourself feel better, there are some
important things to keep in mind.
- You will feel better. You will feel happy again. The
disturbing experiences and feelings youíve had or are having are temporary.
This may be hard to believe, but itís true. No one knows how long these
symptoms will last.
However, there are lots of things you can do to relieve them and make them go
away. You will want help from others, including health care providers, family
members, and friends in relieving your symptoms and for ongoing help in
- The best time to address these feelings and experiences is
now, before they get any worse.
- These feelings and experiences are not your fault.
Remember, you are just as valuable and important as anyone else.
- When you have these kinds of feelings and experiences, it
is hard to think clearly and make good decisions. If possible, donít make any
major decisionsólike whether to get a job or change jobs, move, or leave a
partner or friendóuntil you feel better. If you have to make some major
decisions, especially about getting treatment, ask your friends, family
members, and health care providers for help.
- Spend time with people you know, and work on developing
friendships with people who are positive, caring and who like you just the way
you are. Sometimes people who have these kinds of feelings and experiences are
treated badly by people who donít understand. Try to stay away from people who
treat you badly.
- Listen to the concerns of and feedback from your health
care providers, friends, and family members who are trying to be helpful, and
work with them to find solutions that feel right to everyone involved.
- These feelings and experiences do not take away your basic
personal rights. You have the right to-
|ask for what you want, say yes or no, and change your
|follow your own values, standards and spiritual beliefs.|
|express all of your feelings, both positive or negative,
in a responsible manner. |
|be afraid and uncertain. |
|determine what is important to you and to make your own
decisions based on what you want and need.|
|have the friends and interests of your choice.|
|be uniquely yourself and allow yourself to change and
|have your own personal space and time.|
|be playful and frivolous.|
|be treated with dignity, compassion and respect at all
|know the side effects of recommended medications and
|refuse medications and treatments that are unacceptable
to you. |
If you are told that the following things are not normal,
donít believe it. They are normal. These kinds of things happen to everyone
and are part of being human.
|Getting angry when you are provoked|
|Safely expressing emotions when you are happy, sad or
|Feeling tired and discouraged sometimes|
|Wanting to make your own decisions about your treatment
and life |
Itís up to you to take responsibility for your behavior and
for getting better. You have the right to as much help as you need, but it is
crucial that you take charge.