Many mental health conditions are often referred to as “invisible conditions” as it may be impossible to tell that a person is living with a mental health condition just by simply looking at them. However, in the event of an emergency, it may be important to let first responders know about your mental health, as it could explain certain symptoms such as panic attacks or hyperventilation, which could avoid misdiagnosis.
30% of people live with a mental health condition in the UK. That’s 1 in 4 people! In this blog, we will go through a few different mental health conditions and explain why wearing a medical bracelet can help you in an emergency.
Post-traumatic stress disorder.
Living with PTSD can often mean you relive the traumatic event through nightmares or flashbacks, and may even cause you to experience feelings of isolation, irritability and guilt. Other symptoms may include: insomnia, difficulty concentrating, and avoiding anything related to the trauma.
Additional symptoms such as difficulty controlling your emotions and feeling distrustful towards the world could be a sign of “Complex PTSD”. Fortunately, there are treatments to ease these symptoms, including trauma-focused cognitive-behavioral therapy or eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing (EMDR), and medication. Find out more on Complex PTSD.
By wearing a medical bracelet, you can inform those around you that you’re susceptible to panic attacks, and so you can get the right treatment in an emergency. A bracelet with a clear message such as “PTSD” will quickly alert first responders to why you had a panic attack or why you have a shortness of breath. A bracelet will also help you get your condition across to others if you cannot speak and can help notify your family if you have a phone number engraved onto it.
Usually when you think of PTSD, you think about soldiers in the army, but the truth is, PTSD can come in any form and can affect all of us. Gary talks about his experience with PTSD, and his journey to recovery.
Find support for your PTSD at PTSD UK.
Bipolar Disorder is a condition that causes extreme mood swings that include emotional highs (mania or hypomania) and lows (depression). These mood swings may affect sleep, energy, activity, judgement, behavior and the ability to think clearly. The type of bipolar someone has affects the severity and type of moods they experience.
The two most common types of bipolar are:
Although bipolar disorder is a lifelong condition, you can manage your mood swings and other symptoms by following a treatment plan. In most cases, bipolar disorders are treated with medications and counselling. For further information, check out mayoclinic.org
A medical bracelet can reduce the risk of treatment errors that can occur when doctors don’t have a patient’s medical records upon admission to the hospital. They can also prevent the combination of multiple medications. With bipolar disorder, it is likely that you already take psychiatric medication to ease the symptoms; having this information engraved onto a medical bracelet may help avoid this potentially dangerous medical mistake.
Reading other people's stories and experiences of bipolar may help you counter those feelings of isolation. Many people when diagnosed have never met anyone else living with bipolar and don't know what to expect.
Bipolar disorder can affect people of all ages and from all backgrounds. Like many mental health conditions, bipolar symptoms are usually first noticed in teenagers and young adults. Research has found that almost 50% of people develop symptoms before the age of 21. Bipolar UK is the leading charity for those with bipolar disorder.
Dementia is not a specific condition but rather the general term for the impaired ability to remember, think, or make decisions that interfere with everyday activities. Alzheimer’s Disease is the most common type of dementia, caused by specific changes to the brain.
There is currently no cure for dementia, but medication can help ease symptoms as well as cognitive stimulation therapy, which involves taking part in group activities and exercises designed to improve memory, problem-solving skills and language ability. Check out cdc.org for more information.
A medical bracelet can explain information about your dementia, including medications and emergency contact details. If you or someone you love becomes lost or disoriented, it can help reach loved ones and get them home safely. A medical bracelet could also provide faster, more accurate treatment in an emergency as it will state your dementia and the fact that you have memory loss. This also avoids unnecessary tests as there are many conditions that result in memory impairment, such as stroke and traumatic brain injury.
Around 850,000 people in the UK have dementia. Diane shares her story of helping her dad with dementia.
What should I engrave on my mental health bracelet?
You may wish to include your name, what kind of mental health condition you have, details of any allergies and where to find your medication. Including some of your symptoms can also be helpful so medical staff don’t mistake your symptoms for something else.
As a guideline, your bracelet should say “PTSD” or “Complex PTSD”, or “Bipolar Disorder” etc. Clearly state your mental health condition so it’s visible to paramedics if you find yourself in an emergency. However, we do offer hidden message bracelets if you prefer to keep your condition discrete.
We have analysed our engraving data throughout the years and roughly a third of people who live with PTSD mention that they have “Complex PTSD” or “C-PTSD”. And a third of those with bipolar mention that they are either type 1 or type 2 bipolar. It is worth mentioning the specific type of condition you have as it may speed up your diagnosis in an emergency.
We recommend that all medical bracelets or necklaces include a medical symbol. This means that if you become unwell and are unable to communicate, people that check your pulse can find your medical alert bracelet and information about your mental health condition. Helping others to understand your condition means you can receive the right treatment, as symbols will attract the attention of medical staff.
If you are going with a medical alert bracelet with custom wording, it can be helpful to add a name or phone number to help with identification or to keep you in touch with your family. These details are especially important if you have Alzheimer's or Dementia as you are at risk of becoming lost.
What type of medical jewellery do you recommend?
Those with a mental health condition can wear any type of jewellery, whether it is a bracelet, necklace or even an attachment like a keychain. However, we recommend our Confidential Medical Wristband as it can be engraved on the inside, keeping your condition private but assuring you it can be seen by paramedics in an emergency.
Why not try our Blush Bracelet? It’s made from rose quartz, which some believe promotes calmness and relieves anxiety. Check out our other blog to find out more about gemstones in personalised jewellery.
In conclusion ...
Wearing a medical bracelet for your mental health can help inform others of your invisible condition. You can choose your own style, design and engraving to let others know how to help you in an emergency. Equally, your friends and family members will feel reassured knowing they can keep in contact with you. If you have any questions, please leave a comment or send us a message at firstname.lastname@example.org
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