Self Help vs. Other Help... (when having an episode)

@mortimermouse gave me the idea of this ponder when he described what his family routinely does when he’s having a hard day.

This last little glitch in the mental programing wasn’t the worst I’ve been through by far. I just hate the feel of that crumbling around the edges. I can still taste the burnt, cold, over salted bitter walnut feeling that lingers afterwords.

During an episode… If I’m home, I want to be in as small as space as possible, but if I’m out, I want to be in as open a space possible.

I had help in coming back into my head, and I had to used some of my self helping tools as well.

This is for my AT HOME plan… different then my away from home plan.

Self Help at home… I try like hell to never miss my meds. Sometimes once in a while, it will happen, but not as often as it used to. Other times I will sit in my closet and in the dark, or sit in my bath tub in the dark. I’ll put on earphones with no music. I’m in a very quiet place. Sometimes I am screaming, but I try very hard to quit that. Because screaming just adds to my panic until I exhaust myself.

I will just think only of breathing. I won’t try to talk myself out of anything just yet, I won’t argue my voices. I will focus completely on the breathing. Once that starts to calm me, I will try to tell myself, it’s not real. All this happening to me isn’t real. If faces are coming out of the walls I try to touch them, and when they aren’t there, I know they aren’t real. As I calm down then I can get my voices back in their room and then I can try to sort out what in the world just happened to me.

While I’m self helping when I can… my sis has a routine too.
First, she opens all the windows and closes all the drapes. So I can hear the ocean outside but not have the feeling that people are looking in on me.

Then she gets me out of the closet into to a dimly light room that quiet and calm, either my bedroom or the bathroom. She’ll get me to sit down and leave me alone if I’m working on my breathing. That’s the hardest part I bet. Leaving me alone. Because I’m sure it’s instinct to try and DO something. But leaving me alone in the quiet helps me a lot.

She talks slower and doesn’t ask me a lot of questions. She checks my meds and does ask if I’ve eaten anything. Other then that, she sits and listens and keeps me from running outside, or if I’m starting to punch the wall she’ll get a pillow and put that between the wall and my fist. She’ll call my doc and alert the crisis team and she’ll then just hang out until I need her to go away. She’ll encourage me to take another xanax and seroquel. If that hasn’t calmed me down or at least stopped the rise of agitation in at least an hour or so, then she calls in the parents.

I was wondering what do others do as a crisis management plan for those days when it all just falls apart. What is your self help and your other help? When do you give up and go get hospital help?


I would be the other help :smile:

I have a document typed up with important information like his name, birth date, health card number, allergies, our telephone numbers and address, who is doctors are (pdoc & GP), current prescriptions, past and current beliefs/symptoms, number of admissions and last admission date. This is if something happens I can just hand over this one sheet of paper instead of explaining everything.

I also have a list of emergency contacts and numbers regarding all aspects of his treatment. So his pharmacy, lab, family doctor, his disability, PACT and Crisis Outreach. These are in case I am not around or something happens to me then someone else can step in and know who to contact for what.

I have gone through all my sons past admissions and consultation notes and noted medications, symptoms and treatment plans. Came in helpful during last admission so that they know what medications he has been on and what his history is like. I also give a copy to his treatment team for their files.

So all this is in preparation for crisis or emergency situations which I have only experienced with my son once.
Leading up to admission I tried my best to stay calm. Didn’t cry in front of him. Kept things quiet and the lights off. Tried not to touch him without him knowing it was happening. Tried to get water into him and some food. For me it was hospital time after 3-4 days of barely any sleeping, eating or drinking (chapped lips) and when symptoms had pretty much taken over.

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I just want to add that it helps to be around others when having an episode because they can prevent self-harm and suicide attempts. I kept walking towards the knife drawer in the kitchen and my parents knew I had suicide in mind, I probably would have committed seppuku (japanese samurai ritual suicide by disembowelment) if my mom didnt pull me away from the kitchen and sit me down and talk me down. I wasnt speaking, just repeating words and phrases.

I used to have delusions about being a samurai in spirit, in fact I almost went to get their seven virtues tattood on my back when I had 1500 bucks saved up the summer I was completely psychotic. I stopped because it turns out you have to book appointments in high end tattoo parlors months in advance, and I wanted the best tattoo and was willing to pay hundereds for it. I would tell people that bushido was my religion if they asked (bushido is the samurai code of honor and incorporates zen buddhism). I almost bought a katana instead of powerlifting gear for christmas…

but yeah the whole ritual suicide thing is not healthy and is an example of religion gone wrong. When faced with defeat, Samurai were known to always cut their stomachs open and bleed out. I figured I was defeated when I was having intense episodes.

Now I dont have samurai delusions. Which is evidently a good thing! No disembowelment for having a head circus!

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Hey dude,

I had a bad couple of weeks with it. But im on the way back up. Hurray. It feels great - it really does.

I went to a hearing voices workshop yesterday and it was so good to hear stories how other people had coped. SZ is tough - but there are times you will less sh1t.

I found this board useful to vent some of my symptoms. Its a great resource and it helps make me feel less lonely…

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Wow, it’s amazing you can work, James with symptoms like those flaring up. Kudos.

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I am so glad I work around plants out in the middle of parks. If I was around people, working would most likely not happen.

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i had a mini episode of pre-programmed erotomania last year…lasted a couple of months but luckily i didn’t believe it was reciprocated…i hated every second of it but it happened anyway. i dealt with it by isolating myself so that no one would c me smile. when it came to an end the voices were so vicious that i actually cried for about an hour. i took a couple of diazepam and a seroquel and went to bed…after that things went pretty quiet with the voices for about four months, then busy again for 6 months, then quiet again for four months…then just recently they’ve been doing both busy and quiet so i never know what the day will bring when i wake up. i do know though that if this ever gets to court they will trigger erotomania for when i’m on the witness stand so that i look like a fan and not a rape victim. i deal with this ■■■■ every day, knowing that episodes r coming, just not knowing when. it’s ■■■■■■■ horrid but i’m a tough cookie and i say bring it the ■■■■ on!


I begin to feel unwell last weekend. Can’t sleep for a few nights and arrahythmia / restlessness comes back. I still have heart pain right now it hits to my back. I seem to pick up the symptoms again when I concentrate on them. I need to pause a few time in the middle of sentences to put together what I was trying to say.

I’m still new to my disorder. But as in the past, symptoms would go away by themselves. Med and hospital can’t help me. I prefer to stay in my own room. I rest and live better at home. This is my solution, to live. And I get better as I take my focus off my symptoms and my own thoughts. It helps when I make myself think about good stuff instead of giving myself a hard time with guilt, pondering or hard facts. Make more room for rest in your head. Think less. It helps me. When I can sleep again, I feel much better. Surprisingly, the sleeping quality gets better. My chronic headaches go away. I’m even conversing much fluently and spontaneously these two days. I haven’t sleep so well for a few years since my onset.

People in my environment don’t seem to have any idea what to do albeit going to see a doc. But it still comforts me knowing that they are presence and we care about each other. I think it contributes to a sense of tranquility.

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That’s really helpful, thanks! Ever since I took yoga my Mom, C and everyone else kept telling me to practice it but I find that hard to do without a set class. They keep telling me to breathe. Guess the right person has to tell you huh?

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