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What I Carry in My Mental Health 'Crisis Kit'

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I have struggled with anxiety since high school. And as I have learned recently, it gets really bad sometimes because of my post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and my triggers. Lately, it has resulted in panic attacks in social settings and insomnia at nights brought on by a fear of nightmares.

I’ve taken to carrying around my crisis kit, which includes:

  • Aromatherapy diffuser pens
  • Eucalyptus oil
  • Fidget cube and tangle
  • Earplugs
  • Mascara and eye brow pencil (if I start picking at my hair)
  • Tissues
  • Tums (because sometimes anxiety gives me stomach problems)
  • Chapstick (so I don’t pick at my dry skin)
  • Eyedrops
  • Tylenol or tension headache Excedrin
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Hard candy (so I don’t bite my nails)
  • Poetry book, journal, bullet journal (has crisis plans in it.)

That seems like a lot, right? I fit most of my items in a small pencil pouch. So it rarely takes up room. I am a student and all of my items easily fit in my backpack.

It’s important to know this is what works for me. When I am having a panic attack or am triggered, it is important to have my eyedrops and tissue and oils for when I start crying and need to ground myself.

I carry my journal because I want to log my emotions in the moment. The bullet journal, admittedly my work in progress, has my crisis plans for when I feel a panic attack. I also write poems and sometimes certain moments help me write.

Personally, I recommend people carry mental health crisis kits, especially if you experience any anxiety or PTSD or panic attacks. You can even make one for depression. The key is including what helps you. I told you what I keep in mine as a suggestion and it has really helped me through tough times. I could be sitting in class, getting all of my anxious energy pooling up and my tangle helps me. The idea is similar to a fidget cube: you twist a moveable plastic toy until it basically cannot move. I got it from my therapist and am never going back to fidget spinners again. I could start biting my nails and need gum or a piece of candy to stop.

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.

Photo via contributor.

Originally published: September 14, 2017
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