National Mental Health Information Center

Recovering Your Mental Health
A Self-Help Guide

Taking a Look at Yourself

Have you been told that you have a psychiatric or mental illness like depression, bipolar disorder or manic depression, schizophrenia, borderline personality disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, dissociative disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, an eating disorder or an anxiety disorder?

Do any of the following feelings or experiences make you feel miserable or get in the way of doing the things you want to do most or all of the time?

bulletfeeling like your life is hopeless and you are worthless
bulletwanting to end your life
bulletthinking you are so great that you are world famous, or that you can do supernatural things
bulletfeeling anxious
bulletbeing afraid of common things like going outdoors or indoors, or of being seen in certain places
bulletfeeling like something bad is going to happen and being afraid of everything
bulletbeing very “shaky,” nervous, continually upset and irritable
bullethaving a hard time controlling your behavior
bulletbeing unable to sit still
bulletdoing things over and over again—finding it very hard to stop doing things like washing your hands, counting everything or collecting things you don’t need
bulletdoing strange or risky things – like wearing winter clothes in the summer and summer clothes in the winter, or driving too fast
bulletbelieving unusual things – like that the television or radio are talking to you, or that the smoke alarms or digital clocks in public buildings are taking pictures of you
bulletsaying things over and over that don’t make any sense
bullethearing voices in your head
bulletseeing things you know aren’t really there
bulletfeeling as if everyone is against you or out to get you
bulletfeeling out of touch with the world
bullethaving periods of time go by when you don’t know what has happened or how the time has passed — you don’t remember being there but others say you were
bulletfeeling unconnected to your body
bullethaving an unusually hard time keeping your mind on what you are doing
bulleta sudden or gradual decrease or increase in your ability to think, focus, make decisions and understand things
bulletfeeling like you want to cut yourself or hurt yourself in another physical way

If you answered “yes” to the first question or answered "yes" to any of these experiences, this booklet is for you. It is designed to offer helpful information and suggest things you can do to feel better.

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