Compassionate Love: Displaying compassion for those who struggle with mental illness (c)2015 Nancy Virden
We need to be kept safe from ourselves.
From never leaving the house without a phone, to filling our car tank when it drops to one-quarter full, we all use safety plans to guard us against foolish decisions and the unhappy consequences of not being prepared. We use safety plans to protect us from ourselves.
Similarly, in a struggle with depression, especially if it is a chronic problem, a safety plan is simply having three pre-decided actions ready in response to certain symptoms.
I know a woman who goes for a walk when her thoughts turn negative, and another who tells her mom if self harming thoughts came to mind. These plans can include anything from having someone else dole out medications, to prayer. Safety plans vary as much as people do.
You can protect yourself from you by planning ahead. Write your plan where you can see it. If you are a support person you can help your loved one develop a plan and perhaps hold them accountable to follow through.
NOTE: I am not a doctor or mental health professional. I speak only from personal experiences with and observations of mental illness. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental health care.
If you are struggling emotionally today or feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Hope and help can be yours.
* pictures from Qualitystockphotos.com