A crazy girl's guide to mental health preparedness
My husband say's I'm "loca"/crazy—he means it in a good way. But since I've been diagnosed with clinical depression, I know that I have times when I'm not thinking clearly.
That's not the best time to make health or any other important decision.
That's why I created a mental health plan when I was feeling at my best.
It's best to make health decisions when you're not in crisis
When I created my mental health plan my chronic pain condition was in check, my mood was stable, meaning I wasn't depressed or euphoric because of some especially pleasant circumstance like receiving a promotion or a high score on an important exam.
Having this plan, in the Veterans Health Administration's lingo it's called a suicide prevention plan, they also encourage you to have a safety plan in place. In a mental health crisis, I could refer to a document that I prepared with the help of my family, friends, and health care professionals.
When I'm "not myself," and people around me are under stress, we all have our action steps written down for us, and everyone, including me, has agreed to adhere to the process or actions, even if in the moment we don't agree that it's time to implement my mental health plan.
Generally, the person disagreeing is the person in crisis.
I've yelled at the top of my lungs—"I'm fine I just need to be left alone!"
This means that I've agreed to trust my team and not fight what they're telling me.
Choosing your team wisely is very important. In a future article, I'll talk more about this.
5 Mental health plan tips
Today I offer five tips for your mental health plan.
Don't run out of medication
Use technology to remind you to take your medication on time
Get an accountability partner/s
Stay in balance—mind, body, spirit
You have to do the work to manage your mental health
Tomorrow, I'll post more information on how to create your mental health plan.