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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 enjoyable.

As you begin to work on helping yourself feel better, there are some important things to keep in mind.

  1. 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 staying well.

  2. The best time to address these feelings and experiences is now, before they get any worse.

  3. These feelings and experiences are not your fault. Remember, you are just as valuable and important as anyone else.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. These feelings and experiences do not take away your basic personal rights. You have the right to-

    bulletask for what you want, say yes or no, and change your mind.
    bulletmake mistakes.
    bulletfollow your own values, standards and spiritual beliefs.
    bulletexpress all of your feelings, both positive or negative, in a responsible manner.
    bulletbe afraid and uncertain.
    bulletdetermine what is important to you and to make your own decisions based on what you want and need.
    bullethave the friends and interests of your choice.
    bulletbe uniquely yourself and allow yourself to change and grow.
    bullethave your own personal space and time.
    bulletbe safe.
    bulletbe playful and frivolous.
    bulletbe treated with dignity, compassion and respect at all times.
    bulletknow the side effects of recommended medications and treatments.
    bulletrefuse medications and treatments that are unacceptable to you.


  8. 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.

    bulletGetting angry when you are provoked
    bulletSafely expressing emotions when you are happy, sad or excited
    bulletForgetting things
    bulletFeeling tired and discouraged sometimes
    bulletWanting to make your own decisions about your treatment and life


  9. 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.

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