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Mental Illness Guide: Care, Support, and Education
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How can I keep from getting sick again

Mental illness that can interfere with the way a person thinks, sees things, feels and behaves.  The symptoms are more noticeable sometimes than they are at other times.  Symptoms are usually controlled by medication.  Always take your medications as the doctor has prescribed.

The more you get to know about your illness and its symptoms, the easier it will be for you to to cope with each day and to become more independent.

Things you can do to control your illness and symptoms 

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Study your own illness and figure out things that upset you and seem to make your symptoms worse. You should take your medications, avoid adjusting your own medications, avoid too much stress, avoid drinking alcohol or using street drugs and try to get enough sleep.

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Do not talk about your illness to others who might get uncomfortable and not understand about your illness.  Talk to the friends and family members who know about your illness and who can help you when you need it.

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Do not talk with your voices when other people can see or hear you.  Most people do not understand that voices are a common symptom of your illness.  There are things you can do to learn more about voices.

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Learn to follow the main subject people are talking about when you are in a .  If too many people are talking at once, walk away and find a quiet place to get your thoughts in order.

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Do not expect to remember the names of new people you meet.  You can learn to greet people without using their names.  If you look directly at the people you are talking to, you do not have to call them by name.

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Find your own way to deal with stress.  If riding a crowded bus, or going to public events is too upsetting for you, it is better to stay away and avoid the stress.  For example, take the bus at a time when it is typically less crowded.  Avoid people, places and things that upset you.

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Figure out a way to handle people who cause you stress.  Avoid these people if you can.   If someone you have to deal with is yelling and this is upsetting you, say to them, “Your voice is too loud.  Please speak a little more quietly.”

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Symptoms of your illness sometimes get worse and sometimes get better.  Pay attention to the signals that tell you your symptoms are getting worse and take time out before they get worse.  If you realize that your stress goes up every time “Aunt Mary” visits, take a walk or find a quiet place to go until her visit is over.

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Making choices might be very hard for you.  In public, watch what other people are doing.  In a restaurant, for example, order what the other people are ordering.

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Understand that one of the symptoms of your illness is to sometimes have thoughts that are unusual and may be untrue.   Share your thoughts with people you really trust, such as your doctor, nurse or family members.

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You need to have things to do, like work or a hobby.  Find something that does not upset you and that you feel needs to be done every day.  If you take a walk the whole way around the block and realize that you always come back more relaxed, take a walk every day.