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Elisa Goldstein, Ph.D.Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D.
A blog about mindfulness, stress-reduction, psychotherapy and mental health.

Do You Have a Bipolar Crisis Kit?

Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D. Updated: Aug 4th 2009

crisis kitRecently I wrote a blog outlining 4 steps to stepping out of a mood swing. A reader responded to the blog outlining an additional step that has been helpful to him. I thought this was an important additional intervention and so I wanted you all to know about it.  

Almost always, having bipolar disorder means working with a medication regimen to help stabilize mood from going too far into mania or depression.

This reader said he carries an additional "crisis kit" of medications with him that were prescribed by his Psychiatrist. He uses Lithium as his "frontline medication" and adds Seroquel when he notices symptoms onset. Because his medication is Lithium, he also carries a spare blood serum to test to ensure he is in therapeutic range as a precaution.

The purpose of me writing about this is to bring to awareness to the importance of discussing this option with your Psychiatrist or medical professional who is prescribing your medications. In addition to the 4 steps I discussed in the earlier blog, this could also be set up as a precaution when noticing the symptoms beginning to arise.  

It's important to note that I am a Psychologist and not a Psychiatrist so I am not advocating any particular medications to use for bipolar disorder, all decisions for taking medications should be explored with a Psychiatrist (preferred) or medical professional. This idea is worth exploring.

Are there any other crisis regimens that have worked for you in respect to bipolar disorder? Please share your thoughts, experiences, and questions below. Your interaction here provides a living wisdom for us all to benefit from.

Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D.

Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist in private practice in West Los Angeles and is author of the upcoming book The Now Effect, co-author of A Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Workbook, Foreword by Jon Kabat-Zinn, author of the Mindful Solutions audio series, and the Mindfulness at Work™ program currently being adopted in multiple multinational corporations.

Check out Dr. Goldstein's acclaimed CD's on Mindful Solutions for Stress, Anxiety, and Depression, Mindful Solutions for Addiction and RelapsePrevention, and Mindful Solutions for Success and Stress Reduction at Work. -- "They are so relevant, I have marked them as one of my favorites on a handout I give to all new clients" ~ Psychiatrist.

If you're wanting to integrate more mindfulness into your daily life, sign up for his Mindful Living Twitter Feed. Dr. Goldstein is also available for private psychotherapy.

Reader Comments
Discuss this issue below or in our forums.

don't know what I'm going to do - Abi - May 13th 2010

I know its been a long time since you posted that comment. But oh my gosh i know how you feel. I was admitted into hospital on monday following an overdose, since then i've been due to see a psychiatrist who i was supposed to see last night as professionals think i have bipolar disorder. Right now i feel so anxious and agitated, constantly checking my phone for the call. i feel like taking all my medication and don't know how to stop this feeling, my boyfriend came home for lunch and i just wanted him to keep away from him, i'm irritable and i just don't want anyone near me. God knows what i'm going to do.

Crisis Kit - James - Apr 3rd 2010

I wish I had an answer.  I'm having a real rough time right now and feel lost (and irritable and depressed!)  I don't know what to do. It was somewhat comforting to know that someone else is experiencing something similar.  My meds aren't helping right now and I don't know what to do.  My wife is done with it all.

Crisis Kit - - Sep 22nd 2009

I have read the ideas for a crisis kit and when I am in a "normal" mood it seems like a great idea.   But right now, when I feel like I do (a combination of depressed and extreme irritable) a crisis kit is the last thing I am thinking about.  What I am thinking is I would like to take other kinds of pills that I am not supposed to.  I don't want anyone near me and I could care less about my meds.  I know this is wrong but I feel like I can't control it.  Does anyone else feel like this?

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