Learnings from the Lived Expertise Project
the crisis expertise paradox, mania as a sleep problem, and more
Last Thursday I presented what I’d learned from the in-depth expertise interviews I did with people who had gone through psychiatric crises and are now flourishing as part of the Lived Expertise Project. If you’d like to watch the full talk, the video is below.
Some key things I discovered:
It’s hard to develop expertise in handling manic crises without having several of them, which most people who have had one are actively trying to avoid (and often successfully avoiding).
People who experience suicidal crises often stop experiencing the crises once they’ve developed the skills necessary to handle them.
I didn’t learn as much about non-manic psychotic crises as I would have liked, but in some respects it seems similar to handling manic-psychotic crises.
I did meet someone capable of experiencing full-blown mania and then successfully stopping the episode on their own without medication or hospitalization.
What did it say about what direction we should be heading?
Sleep seems undervalued as a response to mania. Like, way, wayyy undervalued. The way people talked about it you’d think a manic episode was a sleep problem.
People need reps at dealing with a crisis in order to develop repeatable expertise, so it’s a good idea to interview clinicians (who have experienced it more frequently, with multiple people).
There may be some beliefs about how your mind works and ‘what mental illness is’ that make it easier to recover and flourish; it’s worth investigating this.
You can also check it out as a Google Slides presentation.
If you have questions, comments, reflections or suggestions, add them below, or email me!
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