When Things are Breaking Down or Getting Worse

Despite your best efforts, your symptoms may progress to the point where they are very uncomfortable, serious and even dangerous. It is necessary to take immediate action to prevent a crisis or loss of control. You can still do the things that you need to do to help yourself feel better and keep yourself safe.

Signs that things are breaking down

Make a list of symptoms that indicate to you that things are breaking down or getting much worse. Remember that symptoms and signs vary from person to person. Here are some examples:

  • feeling very oversensitive and fragile
  • responding irrationally to events and the actions of others
  • feeling very needy
  • being unable to sleep
  • sleeping all the time
  • avoiding eating
  • substance abusing
  • taking out anger on others
  • chain smoking
  • eating too much

Getting Worse Action Plan

Make an action plan that you think will help reduce your symptoms when they have progressed to this point. The plan now needs to be very direct, with fewer choices and very clear instructions. Here are some examples:

  • call my doctor or other health care professional, ask for and follow his or her instructions
  • call and talk for as long as necessary to my supporters
  • arrange for someone to stay with me around the clock until my symptoms subside
  • make arrangements to get help right away if my symptoms worsen
  • arrange and take at least three days off from any responsibilities
  • do three deep-breathing relaxation exercises
  • schedule a physical examination or doctor appointment or a consultation with another health care provider
  • ask to have medications checked

Make note of the parts of your plan that work especially well. Always look for new tools that might help you through difficult situations.


Quick References

For benefit information, call the number on the back of your insurance card.

Autism Helpline

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Substance Use Hotline

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