Different coping strategies for disorders:
- Anxiety: My counselor used to refer to it as the "McDonalds Milkshake" technique. Get a straw, preferably a bit thicker of one like a milkshake straw and take deep breaths through it. This will help focus your thoughts away from anxieties, engage your diaphragm and open your lungs to help stop chest tightening sensations. Additionally, wearing a wristwatch and counting seconds up to a minute can also help to center yourself. Always remember your deep breathing!
- Dissociation: You need to encourage communication between your logical and emotional cognition. A neat way of doing this is if you can catch it as it's coming on, stand on one foot, squeeze or fidget with something like a stress ball, and begin venting to yourself. Even just whisper quietly, talk about what you're feeling and thinking. Engaging yourself physically like this as well as emotionally will help keep you grounded.
- Depression: Remember that while it's okay and totally necessary to take a day off sometimes and let yourself mentally recoup, you do need to continue a routine. Even if it's uncomfortable get out and run errands, clean your house, phone someone. By pushing yourself to be proactive it can help to correct your brain. Additionally, about 20 minutes of exercise each day can help heaps as well.
- Hallucinations: Call someone. Wish I could tell you some kind of super amazing coping advice for this, but honestly, the best thing you can do when hallucinations start happening is just avoid being alone. Text someone, Facebook someone, Skype, phone. Let someone know what's happening and allow them the liberty also to be able to contact ambulatory services if it goes too far. There's also many many helplines available that can assist you with this.
- OCD: Exposure therapy, although in some areas a bit controversial, can be incredibly effective. It's often recommended though to have a counselor or worker with you while this happens if your OCD is quite severe. An interesting thing my counselor recently told me is to make yourself OCD-free zones. Draw out boundaries in your home and town where within certain areas you won't allow yourself and will stop as many compulsive behaviors as you can, and outside the boundaries you're free to do as you please. This can help teach management of negative symptoms as well as show that a little bit of compulsion is perfectly fine.
- Borderline Personality: Thought challenging. Before you fly off with your emotions because someone says something that you take as invalidating, try and stop yourself for just a moment and force logic into the situation. Try and show yourself how this comment wasn't meant to make you feel bad, and while your emotions are always valid and you as a person are valid, this comment wasn't meant to be invalidating. Additionally, it's good to have communication about this but REMAIN CALM (as hard as it can be). By calmly sorting out your emotions and opinions you can shed a lot of relief onto a situation.
- Bipolar Disorder: Mood tracking, so great. eMoods, Optimism, and a couple other apps for this stuff is out there and can be incredibly useful. Being able to map out your mood cycles and see them graphed makes it much easier to predict, manage and prevent negative self talk and other symptoms.