This post is for you if you need some clear, practical advice on how to be prepared for a mental illness emergency. The possibility always lurks in the corner, while we try to keep on eye on gratitude for the good days. The Treatment Advocacy Center has an excellent page on this topic, with step-by-step instructions for keeping the monsters at bay by knowing we are ready for them.
I will send you there through this blog post by their Communications Director, Doris Fuller, who says:
We who love someone with a severe mental illness probably all have our own personal coping mechanisms for getting through the worry and fear and frustration of living with the impact of treatable but chronic brain disease. The demons retreat, but they never retire. For me, being ready for them is the first defense.
I suggest you read her short, poignant-yet-realistic post first, but if you’re impatient here’s the link to the Be Prepared for an Emergency page.
Like all preparation, this takes time – but will save you a lot more in the future. Trust me.
Thanks, by the way, to all of you who wrote to express concern about Ben and his “adventure” in a questionable neighborhood. Like Doris in the above blog post, I had my eye out for a stress-triggered return of symptoms, but luckily his reactions to the stress all seem quite conventional. The only “demons” were the ones I could see as well: fear of returning to that neighborhood, reminding us to set our home alarm and change the locks, some reluctance to be alone. I would feel the same way.