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Mental Illness Guide: Care, Support, and Education
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What can I do if I feel sad?

Feeling sad or depressed may happen when something bad happens to you.  Feeling this way is normal.  When things go wrong, it is normal to get upset. 

But when you start to feel so sad that you know it is affecting your life, it is time to get help.  Call your doctor.  Tell him you are sad.  He can help.  Talk to your family.   Let them know you are sad.  Sometimes just talking about how you feel with someone can start to make things better.

Sadness that lasts for a long time or becomes so bad that you cannot go about your daily life can be a symptom of your illness.  Some symptoms of sadness to look out for are:

bulletSadness that lasts for more than two weeks

This may be a symptom of clinical depression.  If you have felt depressed for more than two weeks, tell a family member, a friend or a mental health worker, and call your doctor right away.

bulletA feeling of hopelessness 

Although people sometimes have very painful experiences, like the death of a loved one, they usually begin to feel better after a while and feel hope for the future.  Feelings of hopelessness that do not go away are usually a sign of depression.  Again, if these feelings last more than two weeks, tell a family member, a friend or a mental health worker, and call your doctor.

bulletFeeling irritable

This might be a symptom of clinical depression, especially for men.  If you find yourself irritable over things that usually would not bother you, or irritable toward your family and friends, or perhaps others complain that you are irritable, tell a family member, a friend or mental health worker, and call your doctor right away.

bulletProblems concentrating and focusing on daily tasks

When people get depressed, they often have problems focusing and concentrating on even simple daily tasks.  If you find that it is taking forever just to bathe and get dressed in the morning, you may be having this kind of problem.  Other problems might be having difficulty focusing on reading and remembering what you have read, or getting confused about what to do next during the day.  Again, if these feelings last more than two weeks, tell a family member, a friend or mental health worker, and call your doctor.

bulletSuicidal thoughts

Wishing for death, thinking of ways to kill yourself, and not wanting to live anymore are clearly signs of depression.  If you have had any of these, tell your doctor and family members about these feelings at once.  Call your doctor.

Learn more about how to know if you need to go to the hospital.  

What to do if you are feeling sad or suicidal

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Call Colorado Recovery at (303) 440-5140.

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Tell your doctor, a friend, a family member, or someone else who can help.

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Give your pills to someone who can give them to you one at a time.

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Remove dangerous objects or weapons from your home.

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Avoid alcohol.

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Avoid street drugs that have not been prescribed for you.

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Do not try things that you might fail at or that will be too difficult until you are feeling better.

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Do not try to go beyond your limits until you are feeling better.

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Set reachable goals and work at them slowly, one step at a time.

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Make a written schedule for yourself every day and stick to it.
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A written schedule gives you a sense of being able to count on things and being in control

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Cross things off your schedule as you finish them

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Crossing out things that you complete gives you a feeling of accomplishment.

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Schedule enjoyable activities for yourself, like some of the following:
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Listen to music

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Play a musical instrument

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Meditate

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Do relaxing exercises

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Do needlework

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Read a book or magazine

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Take a warm bath

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Sew

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Write

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Shop

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Play games

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Watch a movie or TV

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Work in the garden

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Play with your pet

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Enjoy a hobby

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Take a drive or a walk

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Take care of yourself.  Eat well and do not skip meals.

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Get as much sleep as you need.

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Exercise at least a little every day, or go for a short walk.

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Talk to other people. It almost always helps!

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Remember that the bad feelings do not last.