HAWMC Day 11 - My New Favorite App - DBT911

April 16, 2013

Ok, so I am now going out of order in using the prompts, but I am too excited about a new app that my therapist told me about to do the prompt for today.  Day 11 asks me what is my favorite health smartphone app and the answer is absolutely DBT911.  It's available for both the Android and the Iphone.  My therapist recommended that I use this app when I told her that I was disappointed that when I got triggered during my vacation a few weeks ago, I couldn't remember a lot of my DBT coping skills and so I acted out.  I didn't act out as badly as I would have in the past, but still I felt pretty disappointed in myself.  The app takes you to a page where you can access information on mindfulness, distress tolerance, relationship skills, emotion regulation, and validation.  The sections, of course, don't hold as much information as your workbook probably does, but they have enough to refresh your memory.  My favorite part of the app is the "Crisis List," where you can list all of the possible coping skills that will help you in an emotional crisis.  You can even then change the order of your list, so that it reads exactly in the way that will be the most helpful for you.  Here is my Crisis List as an example:

  • Call my sponsor.
  • Call my therapist.
  • Call my best friend.
  • Talk to my mom. 
  • Take Vistaril (my PRN for anxiety).
  • Pray.
  • Color.
  • Journal.
  • Paint.
  • Write poetry.
  • Listen to my favorite station on Pandora.
  • Read my inspirational quote book.
  • Take a bubble bath.
  • Brew a cup of hot tea.
  • Surf the web.
  • Eat some chocolate.
  • Cuddle with my cat, Arlo.
  • Fantasize about something positive, instead of dwelling on the negative.
  • Make a pros/con list about acting out.

Isn't it cool how personal you can make it?  Now that I have made this list, I no longer feel disappointed in myself, but empowered, because I am being proactive in my recovery.  Now there are no more excuses for me acting out.  (Except for if my cell phone is not charged up or if I leave it at home, but basically, my excuses are gone.)  Before having this app, I would get triggered and wish that I had my DBT binder with me or that I had a better memory or that I had a DBT self-soothing kit nearby, but I never did.  I mean, who is going to bring their DBT binder or workbook with them everywhere they go?  And who has a perfect memory, especially when they are triggered?  This list is perfect, because I am almost always going to have my phone with me and so no matter where I am, I will always be able to access ideas for possible coping skills, plus other Dialectical Behavior Therapy knowledge that might help me have a better day.  I almost feel like I want to be triggered, so that I can whip out my phone and see if the app really helps!  In reality, I know better than to wish for myself to be in an emotional crisis, but I do feel much less anxious and worried about the next time I face a difficult situation.  This app has really helped me feel both at peace within myself and excited about being in recovery.  Let me know in the comments below if you download this app and if it works for you.  Feel free to share your own favorite healthcare app too!

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