When a crisis occurs in life it usually is unexpected or at the very least, the severity of the incident was unexpected. In our hectic world today, life is full of stressful events and experiences, and sometimes the seriousness of those stresses can become overwhelming, leading to crisis-related anxiety and debilitating depression.
What Are the Main Sources of Personal Crisis?
There are many triggers that can take you over the edge, including stress and personal issues. Sudden, drastic changes in your personal life, such as the death of a spouse or family member, marital separation or divorce, the loss of a job, lawsuits, business failures, partnership problems, criminal prosecution, and incarceration or personal injury can all result in emotional overload and overwhelming feelings of helplessness. Even unexpected environmental challenges, such as extreme weather or natural disasters, can also put substantial pressure on individuals.
What Are the Signs of a Person in Crisis?
Personal crises are very difficult to deal with, they can lead to wide-ranging symptoms and consequences that are both emotional and physical. It is not uncommon for people to feel:
difficulties dealing with day-to-day life
The outward effects that someone demonstrates are often related to the severity of the crisis and an individual’s capacity for coping with personal troubles. It’s important not to minimize crisis-related behaviors or assume they are something that can be corrected easily. Getting through a personal crisis often involves finding external support from friends, family members, and qualified mental health practitioners.
Emotional Symptoms of Crisis-Related Stress
A personal crisis can often lead to emotional overload. The sheer magnitude of sudden or accumulated stressors can make it difficult for you to deal with the problems you are having. You may experience:
Scattered, unfocused thinking
Loss of motivation
Lack of patience or irritability
Physical Symptoms of Crisis-Related Stress
Crisis-related stress can also result in physical troubles. Headaches and loss of appetite are common. Stomach and digestive upset, joint pains, fatigue and other somatic symptoms are often related to depression.
Pain and depression are linked because a person’s mood is influenced by the same neurotransmitters that send pain signals. Likewise, physical symptoms reinforce emotional disorders, so it’s very important that individuals dealing with a life crisis be able to find resources that will help you break this cycle.
Short-Term and Long-Term Effects of Crisis-Related Anxiety
In the short-term, crisis-related anxiety can be crippling. You may feel too overwhelmed to make decisions or to take the normal actions required to keep life moving smoothly. Fears and irrational paranoia can creep into your consciousness and keep you from seeking out support and assistance from others. Changes in sleeping and eating patterns can make you physically vulnerable and susceptible to illness. The depression that often accompanies crisis anxiety can lead to withdrawal, indecisiveness and suicidal thoughts.
Because of the severity of these emotional symptoms, someone who does not receive support to deal with crisis-related stress may suffer from many long-term consequences including:
Avoidance of relationships
Poor life decisions
Chronic physical pain
There are proven methods to help individuals get through a crisis
It isn’t always easy for a person who is suffering from a personal crisis to realize what is going on. If your symptoms are not yet overwhelming or if you have experienced major life changes and are concerned that you may be prone to crisis-related depression or anxiety, you can get help.
The offices of Ginny Estupinian Ph.D. has extensive experience working with individuals who are undergoing a serious life crisis as those mentioned above. Working together, Dr. Estupinian has been able to help many clients work through their crisis and even become resilient to future stressors.