After several weeks of hearing about one disaster after another – the hurricanes in Texas and Puerto Rico and Florida – and now waking for a week and a half to skies full of smoke from fires burning to the north of us, I started to wonder about mental health in a disaster. Not the PTSD that disasters cause, we’ve all heard those stories. But what happens to people who have a serious mental health issue before the crisis begins?
I’ve been talking to various people about really starting to set up an emergency kit in case we have a disaster. We’d need water, we’d need food. But more than anything else, we’d need our medications. My son has bipolar, so I would want to be able to give him what he needs on a regular basis. But I also suffer from anxiety and depression, and if I don’t take my pills for a day or two, I am not much fun to be around, and I am not sure how much of my effectiveness I lose. My sons start asking me whether I’ve forgotten to take my Zoloft, and I yell at them that I have perfectly good reasons to be pissed off besides not taking my Zoloft.
You would think I would already have a supply of our meds stashed away somewhere, since this is not the first time I’ve had this thought. At various times, I have had little troves packed here and there, but this is where my perseverating mind kicks in and trips me.
How often will I need to switch out our pills? I can’t just leave them in our emergency pack forever.
(Yeah. But they’d probably be good for at least a year or two.).
What if Martin’s prescriptions change?
(Then you’ll change what’s in the kit.)
But right now one of his meds is doled out two weeks at a time, so it’s really hard to build a surplus.
(So you do what you can do, but you know he already has some extra from when he changed doses. Just don’t use those up so you can procrastinate about refilling the prescription.)
Where will I put them?
(You could put them in lots of places, but just start with the place you picked six months ago Thank you, mind. Have a nice afternoon.)
You’re gonna die. You’ll be the lady with pills but no water.