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15 Things to Put in Your Borderline Personality Disorder 'Crisis Kit'

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When you live with a borderline personality disorder (BPD), you often can’t predict when you’ll find yourself struggling next. Sometimes, just one comment can completely derail your day. Other times, an unexpected trigger may lead you to self-sabotageWhatever the situation may be, it’s times like these when a BPD “crisis kit” can come in handy.

So what is a BPD “crisis kit”?

Essentially, it’s a collection of comforting items you can have on hand when things get tough mentally. While many choose to carry a crisis kit with them in a purse or backpack, others may prefer to have a box at home — or even have a few calming objects stashed in their car.

If this sounds like a cool idea to you, but you don’t know where to start, look no further. Wasked our BPD community to share one item they keep in their own “crisis kit.” We compiled their answers below — and added a few suggestions of our own.

Here’s what they had to say:

1. Stuffed Animal

“My favorite stuffed animal. Holding it tight when I’m upset makes me feel much safer and helps calm me down.” — Amy C.

“My dog and stuffed panda help calm me when my emotions flare.” — Kellyann N.

stuffed animals

Our picks: Lion Stuffed Animal ($25) Bashful Dinosaur ($15)

2. Headphones

“Sound-canceling headphones so I can focus on the Headspace app without interruption.” — Autumn S.

“My biggest thing is music. When ‘my head gets too loud,’ I blast my music to help focus on the music and the lyrics rather than myself.” — Brianna L.


Our picks: Noise-Cancelling Headphones ($70) and Earbuds ($10)

3. Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) Workbook

“My DBT skills book, along with my therapist’s phone number. I know it sounds super nerdy, but DBT has saved my life and some of my dearest relationships from going down the rabbit hole.” — Tania M.

Our picks: “DBT Skills Training Handouts and Worksheets” ($29) and “The Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills Workbook” ($15)

4. Fidget Toys or Grounding Objects

“My fidget cube. Great to keep my hands occupied!” — Madeline S.

“Something to ground me. Like a stress ball or a fidget spinner.” — James T.

Our picks: Fidget Dodecagon ($9) and Motivational Stress Ball Set ($11)

5. Coloring Books and Pencils

“My adult coloring books and markers, or colored pencils and a sharpener. I would need my phone to make sure I can reach my husband for immediate support.” — Amanda H.

Our picks: Secret Garden Adult Coloring Book ($11) and Prismacolor Colored Pencils 24-Count ($9)

6. Notes From Loved Ones

“I have cards from all my loved ones saying how they miss me and how much they love me.” — Patrice O.

“Notes from loved ones reminding me of how loved I am and that self-care is important.” — Jess B.

7. Ginger Candies and Mints

“Ginger chew candies and ginger mints. One of my stress reactions is extreme nausea and occasionally puking, which ginger helps.” — Rai R.

Our picks: Trader Joe’s “Gingermints” ($10) and Natural Ginger Candy Chews ($5)

8. Hot Water Bottle or Heating Pad

“A hot water bottle. Helps me when I’m feeling empty or low. There is something soothing about the heat.” — Bethany O.

Our picks: King Size Heating Pad ($29)

9. Ear Plugs

“Ear plugs… There’s enough going on inside to absorb external chaos…” — Chloe C.

Our pick: Mack’s Ultra Soft Earplugs 50-Pack ($10)

10. Candy

“Chocolate and Diet Coke (OK, so that’s two things). The sugar/caffeine give me an instant hit and boosts my mood, even if temporarily.” –Rachel L.

“Small, hard candy such as Dum Dums pops or candy canes.” — Stephanie R.

Our picks: Dove Chocolate Variety Mix ($14) Dum Dums 360-Pack ($17)

11. Pictures of Loved Ones

“A small stuffed animal, a healthy snack, a journal and a picture of my little family.” — Danielle W.

“Pictures of my kids.” — Rachel P.

12. Bath Items

“I have a drawer in my bedside table of things that stimulate my senses and help ground me. Things like massage bars from Lush.” — Melissa H.

Our picks: “Tender Is the Night” Massage Bar ($13) and “The Big Sleep” Bath Bomb ($9)

13. Loved One

“Most importantly, my boyfriend. Because he always knows what to say to bring me back to reality. So I guess if I had to choose one, it’d be him…” — Rachel L.

“Preferably my boyfriend and my dog. They are the two that really help to keep me grounded.” — Jenny B.

14. Knitting/Crocheting Supplies

“I would have my crochet kit to keep my mind and hands busy and access to my favorite series or Spotify playlist.” — Jenny B.


Our picks: Crochet Hook Pack ($11) and Circular Knitting Needle Pack ($10)

15. List of Important Phone Numbers

“I like to keep a list (and pass them them out to my loved ones) of the crisis line numbers, as well as friends and family member phone numbers to contact during these times.” — Tatauq M.

“My phone. I have emergency numbers and my therapist number on my phone for a crisis.” — Kristopher T.

If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.

If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text “START” to 741-741.

Originally published: February 8, 2018
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