You have the right to:

  • ask for what you want, to say yes or no, and to change your mind.
  • make mistakes.
  • follow your own values, standards and spiritual beliefs.
  • express all of your feelings, both positive or negative, and to be afraid.
  • determine what is important to you and to make your own decisions based on what you want and need.
  • have the friends and interests of your choice.
  • be uniquely yourself and to allow yourself to change and grow.
  • your own need for personal space and time
  • be safe.
  • be playful and frivolous.
  • be treated with dignity, compassion and respect at all times.
  • know the side effects of recommended medications.
  • to refuse medications and treatments that are unacceptable to you for any reason.

A few things to remember.

You will feel better. The feelings and experiences you are having now - the symptoms of your illness - won't last.  With help from your friends, family and your doctor, they will go away. Ask for help in managing what you are feeling and for help in staying well.

The earlier you get help the better, before your symptoms get worse. Don't wait to ask for help.

These feelings and experiences are not your fault.

It is difficult to make important decisions - like changing your job or moving -  when you are
coping with these feelings and experiences. If you can, wait until you feel better before making these kinds of decisions.

Remember to value yourself - you are not your illness. You are no less smart or important
than anyone else.

Some people may not understand what you are experiencing. Spend your time with positive
people who value your friendship, are nice to you, and who like you just the way you are.

Listen to the concerns and feedback from your friends, family members and health care providers who are trying to be helpful.

You are a person with rights.

Source: Mary Ellen Copeland