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NIMH » My Mental Health: Do I Need Help?


First, determine how much your symptoms interfere with your daily life.

Do I have mild symptoms that have lasted for less than 2 weeks?

  • Feeling a little down
  • Feeling down, but still able to do job, schoolwork, or housework
  • Some trouble sleeping
  • Feeling down, but still able to take care of yourself or take care of others

If so, here are some self-care activities that can help:

  • Exercising (e.g., aerobics, yoga)
  • Engaging in social contact (virtual or in person)
  • Getting adequate sleep on a regular schedule
  • Eating healthy
  • Talking to a trusted friend or family member
  • Practicing meditation, relaxation, and mindfulness

If the symptoms above do not improve or seem to be worsening despite self-care efforts, talk to your health care provider.

Do I have severe symptoms that have lasted 2 weeks or more?

  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Appetite changes that result in unwanted weight changes
  • Struggling to get out of bed in the morning because of mood
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Loss of interest in things you usually find enjoyable
  • Unable to perform usual daily functions and responsibilities
  • Thoughts of death or self-harm

Seek professional help:

  • Psychotherapy (talk therapy)—virtual or in person; individual, group, or family
  • Medications
  • Brain stimulation therapies

For help finding treatment, visit the NIMH Help for Mental Illnesses webpage.

If you are in crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or text the Crisis Text Line (text HELLO to 741741).

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES
National Institutes of Health
NIH Publication No. 20-MH-8134

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