Identifying Relapse Triggers
- violent movies
- extreme heat (e.g. being in a car on a hot day)
- eating sugar when feeling blue
- taking on too many projects
- being around argumentative people
- losing sleep
Recognizing and Responding to Triggers
- early warning signs
- the beginning of a crisis (the onset of moderate symptoms)
- a full blown crisis (the onset of severe symptoms which can lead to a breakdown)
Stage 1: Early warning signs
- Check to see that your daily exercise regimen has not lapsed. If it has, get back on your schedule.
- Check to see that your diet and sleep cycles are normal.
- Make an appointment with your therapist. Discuss any significant stressors you may be experiencing such as domestic conflicts, problems at work, health challenges or financial worries.
- Do something nurturing for yourself (take the day off, spend time in nature, get a loving massage, hang out with a good friend).
Stage 2: The beginning of crisis—things are breaking down
- Call your psychiatrist or prescriber so that your medication can be evaluated and possibly adjusted.
- Call your therapist/counselor for an emergency session.
- Call your support team to let them know you are in crisis.
- Take three days off from responsibilities.
- Have a friend come over and stay with you until you symptoms diminish.
- If you are open to prayer, call one of the telephone prayer ministries listed on this web site.
- Do something nurturing for your physical body, such as going on a long walk, practicing yoga, or taking a bath or a jacuzzi.
- Monitor your thoughts. If you are beginning to catastrophize, tell yourself that with the right support, you can make it through this period.
Stage 3: Major Crisis — The Symptoms Become Extreme
Creating a Personalized Relapse Prevention Plan
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