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Bad Bad Burn


So, here we are.  The crash and burn…   Not because you don’t have good intentions.  You love your family soo much, you never meant to hurt anyone. It all just got out of control. A person with bipolar can feel like everything is in ultra super max control efficiently flowing through all realms of existence powerfully and awesomely creatively making it happen, like a god… then it happens, everything crashes, and the burn is bad. How do we get back on track? How can we prevent that all too common endless hole of emptiness that we can feel after the crash; is life worth living? Lets examine Three Steps to Re-Balancing…


Stop. The world must stop for a minute. Consider printing this quick blog along with the next three and keeping it in your Wellness Plan. It is a part of your Crisis Recovery Plan.  We are not predicting that you will experience a crisis in the future. Rather, when we have a plan, we are more likely to use it before the crisis completely explodes, should you find yourself there; and in this way, can also serve as a crisis reduction plan. I have found that individuals experience less anxiety when they embrace this simple practice and that this can reduce the probability of going into a full crisis.  If you do end up in in the hospital or jail, you can work through your issues more quickly and with less pain if you use this approach. So, when this happens, get yourself to a safe place, both emotionally and physically, and let your support people know about your situation. Time will tell you how bad the fallout is, and what you will have to do to repair it.  For now, its time to get your head back together. When you find your world spinning out of control- STOP and Review, Reset, Return.

The first step is to review your recent past and the events leading up to it.  When we do this, we leave out judgments.  If the chatter in your mind is shaming you or blaming you, be strong and tell it to “shhhhh- be quiet”.  We want to be focused as we review the recent events.  Perhaps you found yourself doing things that just are not you.  During the “High” a person with bipolar might engage in some pretty crazy high risk behaviors that are not congruent with his or her true character. These might include high risk sex, stealing, using drugs, driving fast and getting expensive tickets… etc….

The reason why we want to review the recent past, is so that we can achieve a few things. You will want to review what you have done, what you were feeling, what you were thinking, where you have been. This will give you the information that you need for the purpose of revising your Prevention Plan, and for clean up and damage control. For example, you will have a list of relationships that you might want to work toward repairing. You might have to reconnect with your support system.  You might want to organize the mess that we now have to clean up. This sounds like allot, but by reviewing the events, we set the stage for organizing the clean up that must be done so that we can reset,  This will help you from falling into a deep depression.

Later, you will be able to use the list of identified triggers, including your environment, your thoughts, your feelings, and the events that played a part in the behaviors that led to your experiencing the mania that caused you to get so “high”. This will be helpful as you revise your Prevention Plan within your Wellness and Recovery Plan.

Finally, by reviewing the recent past, we can estimate the possible fallout from any negative actions that you may have engaged in and minimize the damage. This will be used in your “To Do” List of Actions that you will take to return your situation to balance including damage control, relationship repair, and addressing financial fallout, etc.  This leads us into the “Reset”.  Please continue reading – Reset will be posted on March 4th, 2015 and Return on March 5,2015.

 Dont forget to comment and share your experiences with others 🙂

Bad Bad Burn

Dr. Barbara Bachmeier

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APA Reference
Bachmeier, D. (2015). Bad Bad Burn. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 19, 2019, from


Last updated: 6 Mar 2015
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 6 Mar 2015
Published on All rights reserved.