To all the folks with bipolar, schizophrenia, anxiety, depression, or any other diagnosis that may end you up in the hospital, this blog is for you. I've developed something I call, "The Plan." You can use it as a template for your own plan of attack if something goes wrong. I send it to family, friends, coworkers, anyone who sees me on a regular basis.
It's lengthy and in-depth and some parts will vary for you. If you are someone with mental illness, start noticing your clear patterns. For me, there is fair warning that I'm going to go into an episode. I have about a week to board up the windows and get my non-perishable foods before the real storm rocks me. Get people involved. I can't stress the importance of that for myself.
Because of this plan I know I have stopped at least 4 potential full-blown manic episodes by shutting it down the moment I start noticing anything at all. It isn't fool proof, but letting in the people you love takes the mystery out of it too. I hope this helps you. Pass it on.
Signs of mania, possible hospitalization
o Fast talking
o Big ideas (aka going to news station to reveal the real reason for autism)
o Not sleeping (2 nights straight)
o Delusions increase (beliefs I might have that are not based in reality)
o Paranoia increase
o Taking on too much
o Suicidal thoughts rooted in religious delusions. (I am Jesus and have to die to save the world) Immediately go to hospital
o Talk about God a lot
o Lack insight into the impact of symptoms (when you tell me I seem manic and I deny it)
o The world’s problems are all mine to take care of.
What I personally do to help when in mania
o Talk self down
o Slow speech down
o Look in the mirror
o Play slow music
o Body awareness exercises
o TELL PEOPLE WHAT IS GOING THROUGH MY HEAD
- Read the letter I wrote myself
- Stay in the house
- Call Psychiatrist 619-___ ____
- Call Psychologist 858-___ ____
- Immediately call 1 of 3 main contacts so I’m not alone in the house
Christine (friend) 619-___ ____
Marissa (partner) 941-___ ____
Lindsay (friend) 619-___ ____
Other people to call
Stacie (mom) 303-___ ____
Stephanie (sister) 970-___ ____
Denae (boss) 949-___ ____
*Get family involved as soon as 2nd step has hit. See if anyone can come to San Diego for immediate support.
What other people can do
Have me read The Plan. Go over it with me
Reassure me that I’m just Veronica and not Jesus or whomever else I might think I am.
Say these specific things:
· .Veronica, are you reading into what I’m saying? You don’t need to. Don’t read into anything anyone is saying to you.
· Do you think you have to die to save the world? You aren’t supposed to die. People need you here as Veronica.
· Do you think men are controlling women? They aren’t. You have thought that every time you become manic.
· *if listening to music: Are you reading into the lyrics? You don’t need to.
· *If I’m in the ER and still out of it (even if my eyes are closed) “Veronica, they are not going to do surgery with no anesthesia on you. No one is going to hurt you in any way.
These four points can be brought up frequently as I tend to go in and out of reality at seemingly spontaneous times and frequencies.
(If I say I am God/Jesus etc) You are not Jesus or God. You are Veronica. The world isn’t going to end and you don’t need to save anyone. Remember you have had 3 manic episodes and that is what you thought then too.
****Do not use ambulance if possible. Find someone to drive me****
Name of hospital: San Diego Medical Center
Address: 4647 Zion Ave
Phone # to ER (Helps to call ahead) (619) 528-5000
Favorite hospital after going to the ER: Aurora Behavioral Health Care
Address: 11878 Ave of Industry SD, 92128
Phone # (858) 487-3200
200 mg lamotrogine
100 mg buproprion
1.5 mg Vraylar
1 mg Lorazepam as needed (if I’m not sleeping)
Where to stay:
o In my own home with friends taking turns
o In my own home with sister Stephanie there
o In a friends home that is not close to the coastline
o Back to Colorado (Last resort as flying is hard at this point)
Remember: You are not a burden. People will be there to help.
What to avoid:
o Sarcasm/Metaphors (I won’t understand them)
o Music with words
o Any television or movies