Seeking treatment when symptoms from mental health conditions become severe can be scary. A person experiencing paranoia, delusions, or hallucinations may not be able to advocate for themselves. They may not be able to tell doctors and nurses which medications they have adverse reactions to, how to best treat their symptoms, and who to call in case of emergencies. This may lead to them being put in situations that exacerbate rather than relieve their symptoms.
One tool that can help is a Psychiatric Advance Directive, or PAD. A PAD is written by a currently competent person who lives with a mental illness. The PAD describes treatment preferences and/or names a health care proxy or agent to make decisions if the person is unable to do so for themselves.