Working On Us Prompt: Coping With Crisis

Today, I’m once again joining in with Beckie’s Working On Us Prompt. This week, the topic is to write a narrative of what works for you when facing a panic or anxiety attack, manic episode or other crisis. I don’t get panic or anxiety attacks much or mania at all, so I’m going to describe what works for me when I’m in an emotionally dysregulated crisis.

Like I’ve said before, I have BPD (traits). These are also known as emotion regulation issues. I also experience complex PTSD symptoms. Both can cause me to suffer emotional outbursts. In addition, I can get severely overloaded due to my autism. This can cause me meltdowns, which in some ways are similar to BPD outbursts. In fact, I’m not 100% sure my BPD diagnosis is correct given that autistics, particularly women, are often misdiagnosed as BPD.

Anyway, I usually notice an outburst coming on when I experience an increase in sensory reactivity. I also often start to experience a decrease in my language abilities. I start to stutter or can only make humming noises and repeat the same phrases. My staff at day activities say that when in this state, my communication abilities resemble those of a toddler. It is interesting, in that we have only one toddler alter. When I can’t do something to calm down, I may progress to a full-blown state of meltdown, in which I become angry and sometimes aggressive or self-injurious.

What helps me when I’m in such a state, is to physicaly remove myself from the situation. This is hard though, as often it feels as though everything that happens around me is important. Usually, my staff help me by clarifying what’s important and what is not.

Of course, now that I still live independently, I don’t always have a staff member available to help me sort through a crisis or make suggestions on how I can cope. I, however, have a phone number of a psych hospital I can call in a state when I’m close to a crisis. They can’t do much but listen to me and try to offer advice, but it’s definitely been helpful in some situations. The mental health team that treats me also has a staff available on the phone for crisis intervention during office hours.

Sometimes, when I’m in a really bad crisis, I take my PRN lorazepam. However, I have some experience with it being overused on me in the psych hospital. Like, whenever I’d react to a sound in an irritated tone of voice, staff would tell me to take a lorazepam rather than helping me to figure out what was causing me overload. This has really gotten me weary of PRN medication.

11 thoughts on “Working On Us Prompt: Coping With Crisis

  1. Hello, Astrid! Thank you so very much for participating in Week #8, Prompt #1. I am really pleased that you brought up what happens to you in a crisis situation. Thank goodness for the people around you, as well as being able to contact your psych hospital to talk you through it.
    I would agree when being within the hospital, they tend to over medicate patients just to subdue them. I remember that happening to me. I hated that feeling of being numb, and dull.
    Again, I am pleased you shared about the PTSD and Autism/BPD symptoms and you’re coping with all of the issues that you shared here. Thank you so very much! 💚

    Liked by 1 person

  2. That feels really yucky to me that, instead of trying to help you deal with it in a constructive way, the psych staff would tell you to take Lorazepam… I feel lucky that I’ve never been treated like that, I can’t imagine that could help me out of a crisis if I ended up in the hospital because of a crisis, would rather send me further downhill.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Is lorazepam valium? I took it years ago, I don’t take it now though, dr. barry doesn’t prescribe benzos at all, thank god! I am so glad she wont! I think you have a good team around you, that’s awesome! And soon you’ll be in longterm care, so you’ll have more people available to you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No, Valium is diazepam, which I also have taken briefly back in 2007. When I came into care with my current team, I had three different PRN medications: lorazepam, temazepam for sleep and Phenergan. I’m so glad I only have the lorazepam now and would like to someday ditch that too.

      Like

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