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Safety Tips for Bipolar: Bipolar Lockdown

April 14, 2015 Natasha Tracy

Bipolar symptoms can get out of control and sometimes we need to consider safety tips for bipolar. These safety tips can apply during a bipolar mania, hypomania or depression. When we implement a series of these bipolar safety tips, I call it being on a self-imposed “bipolar lockdown.”

Bipolar Safety: What is Bipolar Lockdown?

Bipolar lockdown is a state in which you protect yourself from dangers because you know your bipolar symptoms are out of control. It’s important to remember that bipolar lockdown does not take the place of a visit to your psychiatrist or a trip to the hospital, if that’s what’s needed, but sometimes bipolar lockdown can be used in conjunction with those acts or during other times when things are going badly.

See the following video for more on how I’ve jeopardized my safety because of bipolar (mentions self-harm) and how you might use bipolar lockdown to help.

https://youtu.be/VqoCoLMJL2w

Safety Tips for Bipolar Mania/Hypomania

In addition to the tips mentioned in the video, you might consider these bipolar lockdown safety tips for mania or hypomania:

  • Bipolar disorder can be dangerous but bipolar safety tips can help. Read about safety tips for bipolar and how bipolar lockdown works.If you’re likely to express yourself sexually (you suffer from hypersexuality) and you don’t want to, don’t put yourself in any place where that’s an easy thing to do such as in a bar. If necessary, store your car at a friend’s place temporarily so you’re not tempted.
  • Stay away from shopping outlets – online and in person.
  • Put yourself on a strict schedule for sleeping and healthy eating – even though you likely won’t feel like it. This can really help relieve this type of mood.
  • Don’t start a project you can’t reasonably finish.
  • Evaluate risk conservatively and don’t make big decisions – now is not the moment to go skydiving.
  • Do not use drugs or alcohol. Get rid of these things from your home.

Safety Tips for Bipolar Depression

Here are a few other safety tips for bipolar you might want to consider:

  • Put yourself on a strict schedule for healthy eating and sleeping – even though you likely won’t feel like it.
  • Give the bulk of you medication away to a friend so you don’t feel tempted to overdose.
  • Don’t make big decisions, if at all possible. If you have to, get outside input and just be forthright and say you’re really depressed and need help deciding on things right now.
  • Do not use drugs or alcohol. Get rid of these things from your home.
  • If you’re likely to get teary over memories, don’t go through picture books or dwell on the past. Try to practice mindfulness (being in the here and now) if you can.
  • Don’t watch sad movies or listen to sad music. If you have to, give these things away to a friend for a while.

Bipolar Lockdown for Safety

Of course, the bipolar lockdown you might enact may be different – it all depends on the kind of symptoms you, personally, experience. In short, though, it’s about protection. Wrap yourself in safety, when your bipolar endangers you, whenever possible. And, like I said, none of this precludes medical intervention. That step can be critical too.

So, what are your bipolar safety tips? What would be on your bipolar lockdown list of things to do?

You can find Natasha Tracy on Facebook or Google+ or @Natasha_Tracy on Twitter or at Bipolar Burble, her blog.

APA Reference
Tracy, N. (2015, April 14). Safety Tips for Bipolar: Bipolar Lockdown, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2019, August 17 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/breakingbipolar/2015/04/safety-tips-for-bipolar-bipolar-lockdown



Author: Natasha Tracy

Natasha Tracy is a renowned speaker, award-winning advocate and author of Lost Marbles: Insights into My Life with Depression & Bipolar.

Find Natasha Tracy on her blog, Bipolar BurbleTwitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Cheryl
says:
May, 2 2015 at 7:31 pm
I appreciate this article. Too many people with bipolar get "stuck" sometimes and don't really think things through. I feel that I have developed many coping skills over the years, things to help me survive. I have never thought of it as "lockdown", although that is a very good description. Many times, I have had to call off from work because I am in, or feel the beginning wave, of a deep depression. I work at a "big box" store and there are many ways to get hurt, especially if you are not paying attention. Also, I know that in these times, I am particularly vulnerable to mood swings. That could spell disaster if a customer caused my swing. This is when I lockdown. Thank God for FMLA. It won't be that much longer that I can continue to stay in the job force. Soon, the bipolar will become too demanding and volatile. I don't kid myself about that any longer.
Andrea
says:
April, 27 2015 at 9:20 am
Great article! When I feel that I am escalating into mania, I stay at home at night, take my night medication by 8 p.m. and go to bed early. I also make sure to see my psychiatrist as soon as possible. Being on "lockdown" has helped me avoid making mistakes and I'm sure that it has kept me from being hospitalized for mania - which I have been several times in the past.
James Garrett
says:
April, 25 2015 at 5:04 pm
I'd think the best advice for a bipolar person would be to do a number of these things all the time. For example, alcohol and drugs would be at the top of my list of things to avoid all of the time. I'd also suggest limiting credit cards and keeping the allowed balances low.
Sandy
says:
April, 23 2015 at 10:43 am
RE: John Morgan's response

John, with much respect, I believe this "lockdown" article is not about society's safety but that of the patients. If weapons or pills are around the house, the depressed patient may be tempted to hurt himself in a suicide attempt. If checkbooks and credit cards are left lying around the hypomanic patient will most likely act out with an completely illogical shopping spree for items or services not ever needed. I'm proof of this....as a B2 patient I was so hypomanic one day I purchased a car on my Mastercard!! Imagine the panic I felt once my meds kicked in and I saw my monthly credit card bill!! Very rarely are the Bipolar 2 patients violent toward the public; however, the danger is to their own lives & relationships once the consequences must be faced for regrettable behavior.
Sandy
says:
April, 23 2015 at 10:38 am
RE: John Morgan's response

John, with much respect, I believe this "lockdown" article is not about society's safety but that of the patients. If weapons or pills are around the house, the depressed patient may be tempted to hurt himself in a suicide attempt. If checkbooks and credit cards are left lying around the hypomanic patient will most likely act out with an completely illogical shopping spree for items or services not ever needed. I'm proof of this....as a B2 patient I was so hypomanic one day I purchased a car on my Mastercard!! Imagine the panic I felt once my meds kicked in and I saw my monthly credit card bill!! Very rarely are the Bipolar 2 patients violent toward the public; however, the danger is to their own lives & relationships once their brain straightens out again.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Natasha Tracy
says:
April, 23 2015 at 12:03 pm
Hi Sandy,

That is correct. The article is about a lockdown we choose to put ourselves under for our own safety and the safety of our lifestyles.

- Natasha Tracy
John Morgan
says:
April, 17 2015 at 3:23 pm
It seems to me a bit inappropriate to mention the words safety, lockdown, and dangers in an article about people with bipolar disease. If not taking drugs or alcohol, they are no more a dangerous than anybody else in society. As it is now, when there is a major news story about a shooting, plane crash, or act of violence, I count the seconds it takes before the news media mentions "bipolar is suspected." The bubble headed bleached blonde comes on at five.
Ron
says:
April, 16 2015 at 12:32 pm
I give my over stock of pills to my wife. We got rid of a gun we had. I can also contact my therapist when I'm in a crisis. I like the cat in the background of the video...cute!
Jessie
says:
April, 16 2015 at 5:33 am
Thank you very useful! I will be keeping this one in mind so as to use it!
Monica
says:
April, 16 2015 at 4:40 am
My husband, son, psychiatrist, say down together and made "emergency plans" that include these steps. The difference is I've agreed that if 3 people in my care team agree I need them (the above listed, my parents, and the pastor at my church I see for counseling), I agree to implement them even if I don't think I need them. My team has only asked me to do it once that I questioned....and looking back they were right. It's always better to make the plans while we are stable than wait till we need them!

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