As you can see, there are many factors that contribute to any blackouts you may be experiencing. This variety is matched only by the difficulty in treating these occurrences. If blackouts are a problem for you, seek help. Here’s how:
Consult Your PCP
Every treatment needs a starting point. For you, your primary care physician is the best place. Explain your situation to your PCP and express the level of concern you have with your current state to explore physical causes to your blackouts. Your doctor can recommend testing to rule out the physical.
Consult a Psychiatrist
After your PCP has excluded physical causes of your symptoms, move to mental health. Request a psychiatric evaluation to monitor and manage your symptoms. Many of the sources listed above will be greatly reduced if your bipolar can be better controlled. If you only experience blackouts during times of extreme depression or mania, medication can limit your incidents. Take you medication as prescribed and communicate effectively with your prescriber regarding side effects and symptoms.
Consult a Therapist
A therapist can help you gain awareness of your underlying issues that may contribute to blackouts. If your blackouts are related to ADHD impulsivity, a therapist can construct behavioral interventions to lessen risk. If you blackouts are related to PTSD, you therapist can assist in processing the trauma through trauma narratives or trauma timelines. These interventions will reduce the impact that past trauma has on your current life.
Identify and Avoid Triggers
You know that drugs and alcohol greatly influence your blackouts as well as other aspects of your life. Using to the point of blacking out is not an accomplishment. It is a dangerous situation that could end with death. Understand the role that drugs and alcohol play, and work to reduce or abstain from them. If this seems difficult to you, consult with a drug and alcohol specialist. Chances are good that your use is covering up some type of hurt that will only be resolved when dealt with directly.
The good news is that few people have to deal with blackouts. The bad news is that those who do will have a difficult road of identification and treatment. Work to achieve awareness and acceptance of your situation before seeking treatment. By starting with the physical before moving to the psychological, you gain a more comprehensive understanding of your situation. By doing so, you give your treatment providers better information to help you.
It’s time to make blackouts a thing of the past.