Do you ever find it hard when the professionals want from you? Or what support do you think you need? That is my personal hell! How am I supposed to know what support I need? I just want help!! But I also find simple (or simple to those not directly affected by it) questions like “what are your early signs?”, “what helps?” often I think I have no idea when asked on the spot but on reflection I may think of something. So here are some prompts on writing/co-writing your crisis recovery plan.
I have recently just completed my plan with regards to my mental health, I say completed it is still a work in progress as they can be quite difficult to write. Now most of you know I worked with autistic adults for 7 years and within that role I helped write/update care and support plans. I never once expected it to be so hard doing it for myself. I decided that I would show you what the one I’ve been given looks like and prompts to make it easier for you to plan your answers to get the maximum out of your care plan.
I wasn’t sure if I was allowed to just blank out mine and use the one from my local crisis team so I prettied it up and made it my own and just used the sections as reference. Just a little shout out to Rachel helped perfect it with regards to making sense visually.
So first things first triggers it basically wants to know what things set your “crisis” mood off, where everything feels like it’s going into meltdown. An example of my triggers is my weight and body image.
Next is early signs so what do you do often without realising or is an outward sign of your anxiety? Another example from my own experience is I pick at the skin around my nails or my lips.
Now the big one when you hit crisis what are the signs. I find this one difficult to be honest because I rationalise everything/they seem normal to me, nothing in my crisis seems like it is worthy of being classed as such. But one thing I guess would be either not eating or majorly restricting food.
Now for the more trickier sections well in my mind that is, it might be the section you find the easiest! So what helps you when you are in either the early stages or crisis (or both) for me it is things like going for a run preferably listening to shouty loud metal/punk or just listening to the music. I used to do that when I was suffering social anxieties and have kept it up.
Next is who helps and how section; which is pretty straight forward who makes the situation easier and how do they do it? For me it is Jeki, Steven and Rachel I just rant at them or talk it out and it sometimes makes me feel better.
This can be tricky but what’s unhelpful to you when your mood is beginning to tip? Does certain phrases get your back up more? Someone doing something in particular? Mine is people offering distractions like taking my mind off it or saying “everything is going to be fine” that in particular drives me bonkers!
So now we move onto crisis what does that look like in your world (we are all different so please don’t minimise or think it’s a bit extreme as it is how it affects you!) Like I said before mine is directly linked to my eating and it takes a few days for it to normalise.
Next we have the plan again this bit I tend to find hard as it’s on the same lines of “what support do you need?” but it is what small actions would you find helpful or need to be put in place to reach your end goal. So a couple of mine are: avoid things that will make me obsess over food and meal planning. In fact I have gone through my social media and unfollowed accounts or people that talk frequently about weight loss and diets, plus those that are negative to body shapes and use fat as a negative word.
Lastly we have the end goal this is your ultimate ideal with regards to your crisis element, mine is simply to not use restricting food as my go to coping strategy. Lets face it how is it coping really?
I hope you have found this remotely useful if you would like to print off the prompt sheet above please click here for the PDF file.
If you missed last weeks instalment of Time to Talk Tuesdays please click on this link!