What should I know about a new diagnosis of bipolar disorder, major depression, or schizophrenia?

You may have many questions after you receive a new diagnosis. Especially for a condition that is a serious mental illness (SMI). Your family members and loved ones may have questions also.

You may feel a range of emotions as well. This can include concern, fear, anger, and more. Try to remember that a diagnosis is a critical step in your journey. It is a tool for the mental health clinicians on your care team. It helps advise and guide your care team on things like your treatment options and future health risks.

You can read our free infographic called What to Know About a New Diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder, Major Depression, or Schizophrenia. It lists many things to know and remember after a new diagnosis. You can share this helpful resource with your family members too.

Keep in mind that:

  • SMI is not your fault nor is it the fault of people in your life. It is not caused by one event that you could have prevented.
  • All people have different experiences with SMI – even people with the same diagnosis as you.
  • When you live with SMI, you are never alone. Help, support, and compassion is always there with a click, call, or support group meeting.
  • The journey to improved health and functioning is different for each person.
  • Many things are possible when you start treatment early and play an active role in your treatment.


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