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).