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When you are starting to destabilize, what helps you?


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When you notice that you are starting to destabilize, either heading in the manic or depressive episode, other than your pdoc or tdoc for medication adjustments or therapy, what else can you do to help yourself?

I thought it would be nice to have a thread to create a list of what helps you to continue to "function" even when you are not fully stable, before you get to see the psychiatrist or therapist.

I know one thing I can contribute to the list is that I continue to go to program and that I see my compeer every week to maintain social outlets.

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Well I understand that medication is the primary goal, but say it's Monday and you call your doctor and the soonest you can get in is Thursday for example.

What can you do to help get yourself through from Monday to Thursday to help yourself get through it?

I hope that helps clarify what I'm talking about for the purpose of the thread/post.

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Well I understand that medication is the primary goal, but say it's Monday and you call your doctor and the soonest you can get in is Thursday for example.

What can you do to help get yourself through from Monday to Thursday to help yourself get through it?

I hope that helps clarify what I'm talking about for the purpose of the thread/post.

It sounds like this might technically not be what you're going for then...but in case it'll help, one of the things that's really useful is access to a PRN med. For example, although I've tapered off risperdal and I'm decreasing ativan, if symptoms start emerging, I have access to them in the case of an emergency and can put in a quick pdoc call to make sure it's appropriate.

I have assorted things that will help chill me out a bit...laying in a cool room w/ no lights on, mint flavored tea, listening to soothing music, getting a back rub, etc. But none of those make it go away really...just make it more manageable.

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Well I understand that medication is the primary goal, but say it's Monday and you call your doctor and the soonest you can get in is Thursday for example.

What can you do to help get yourself through from Monday to Thursday to help yourself get through it?

I hope that helps clarify what I'm talking about for the purpose of the thread/post.

This is what I thought you were getting at, Andy. My med manager is very difficult to get ahold of, and in fact I have been trying to get in contact with him since Monday. I personally can have small episodes of depression and mania, often lasting no more than a few hours to a day. And I'm on my own for managing them, more or less.

Here are a few things i have found to be helpful for me. I want to reinforce SashaSue's ultimate point, that psychiatric care is crucial, and these are only meant to fill in minor gaps between visits. These certainly will not work in lieu of seeing a psychiatrist or therapist.

  • I remember to take my meds as prescribed, on schedule, and making sure to follow all label instructions.
  • I get active, I'll force myself to take a walk if the hour is reasonable, and if I have the energy This alone has defused several episodes.

  • I also make sure that I've eaten recently, and have eaten at least halfway decently. I have a tendency to forget meals, and these will lead to mood crashes in me.
  • I am also fortunate enough to have a few close, understanding friends to whom I can reach out, and talking to them has helped me through many an episode, shortening both its duration and severity. having a support system is crucial.

  • I have a full-spectrum spot lamp I use that can also help to chase out the cobwebs.
  • If nothing else, I find something to distract myself. Read a book, if I can concentrate on it, or watch an involving movie or TV show. Something to lose myself in. Sometimes you can merge this with the "active" tip above; distract yourself with something that'll make you feel active and productive, even if it seems largely inconsequential. Some project to consume your mind- learn how to do something, or make something, perhaps.

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Guest Vapourware

If I feel like I'm heading towards an elevated mood, the first thing I try to do is get some decent sleep. That seems to stave off any additional mood elevations.

For depressive episodes, being socially active in some way - even if it's just CB, finding distractions and journalling helps. Allowing myself some personal space to just veg can also be helpful and relaxing, because for me, being stressed can cause depression.

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One thing that helps me is sleep. Especially because I have the type of BP 1 that has difficulty with sleep. Now my answer involves meds, however. Last night I took a little extra of something and I got 9 hours of sleep. That always helps stabilize my mood. And that is a lot more sleep than usual. But I have to medicate to get there.

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Well I understand that medication is the primary goal, but say it's Monday and you call your doctor and the soonest you can get in is Thursday for example.

What can you do to help get yourself through from Monday to Thursday to help yourself get through it?

I hope that helps clarify what I'm talking about for the purpose of the thread/post.

You should really have an emergency plan in place with your pdoc, of prn's you can take if you feel yourself going off the rails, or some such. For instance, I always have extra seroquel around, because it's my emergency go to. Pdoc and I have talked repeatedly about how much I can take, under what circumstances. She wants to know about it asap, but doesn't want me waiting around to hear back from her, with an episode escalating.

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