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Stages of Mental Health Conditions #B4Stage4 (part2)

Stages of Mental Health Conditions2
Stages of Mental Health Conditions
Stage 3Symptoms Worsen with Relapsing and Recurring Episodes Accompanied by Serious Disruption in Life Activities and Roles At Stage 3, symptoms have continued to increase in severity, and many symptoms are often taking place at the same time. A person may feel as though they are losing control of their life and the ability to fill their roles at home, work or school.

 Chato Stewart says: At this point, I’m locked away in my room, it’s been a few weeks since I have shaved or showered.  I look bad and smell bad!  I am in a battle in my head with myself, dealing with my negative critic telling me to hurt myself.  I’m still trying to be in control and trying every coping tool I have in my arsenal. Or utilizing techniques like drawing, walking, trying to get out of the house (even if it’s to go shopping or to get the mail). I will play video games for days at a times.  Yes, I will play video games to try and get my mind to focus on nothing but the game.  Sometimes it works for me, but only as a pacifier at best for my depression. At this point, I know what’s coming and I’m sinking – If I have a moment of clarity at this point, I would call 911 and ask for help, but it’s too late.

Stage 4Symptoms are Persistent and Severe and Have Jeopardized One’s Life By Stage 4, the combination of extreme, prolonged and persistent symptoms and impairment often results in development of other health conditions and has the potential to turn into a crisis event like unemployment, hospitalization, homelessness or even incarceration. In the worst cases, untreated mental illnesses can lead to loss of life an average of 25 years early.

Chato Stewart says: I am not me, my depression has crippled me and if my psychos has kicked in, then it gets scary.  Because a very cold and callous me takes over.  In my mind, it is me at the age of 17 for some reason.  I start doing things I would never do.  Am I dangerous? Yes. A danger to myself mostly.  But if confronted in this state of mind, it could easily be a “danger to others.”

In Stages 3 and 4, the danger here is suicide, and to friends and family.  This can be with both verbal and or physical dangers.  If we are hitting “STAGE 4″ unprepared, our marriage, relationships, family bonds may weather the storm, mostly we “OURSELVES” may not survive the storm.

Here in Florida, each year, we prepare/get ready starting in June for Hurricane season.  We know there will be storms brewing, some will be stronger than others, but we hope they miss our area completely.  And if they come, we prep for them the best we can, get out of the path.

The same can be done for our mental health perception. We know there will be triggers, there will be “stages” we reach.  How we prepare for them can determine how we weather them, the storm and if they will reach “Stage 4.”

Maybe all that is needed is a medication adjustment, or someone to talk to…to get you through a difficulty or emotional strife or stressful situation.  

Something Joan and I did when I first got diagnosed was set up a “Safety Plan.”  This was a way out for her and the kids, in case, I went off the “deep end.”  Something we/she would never need.  Yet, Did she use it?

FREE LARGE PRINT Out of Chato Stewart version of the #B4Stage4: Changing the Way We Think About Mental Health: of Mental Health Conditions

© Copyright Mental Health America 7/02/2015 b4stage4

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Stages of Mental Health Conditions #B4Stage4 (part2)

Chato Stewart

Chato Stewart has a mission, to draw and use humor as a positive tool to live, to cope with the debilitating effects symptoms of mental illness. Chato Stewart is a Mental Health Hero and Advocate. Recovery Peer Specialist board-certified in Florida. Chato is the artist behind the cartoons series Mental Health Humor, Over-Medicated, and The Family Stew - seen here in his blog posts. The cartoons are drawn from his personal experience of living with bipolar disorder (and other labels). [email protected]

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APA Reference
Stewart, C. (2015). Stages of Mental Health Conditions #B4Stage4 (part2). Psych Central. Retrieved on January 21, 2020, from


Last updated: 29 Aug 2015
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