“Crisis is not an illness from which one should recover; it is life one has to live.”
Outi Ruishalme and Liisa Saaristo: Elämä satuttaa, kriisit ja niistä selviytyminen
Crisis is a difficult life situation where an individual’s learned approaches and coping strategies are insufficient or do not work. Something new and difficult to handle, such as a painful loss or some kind of life change, has happened. People in crisis feel helpless and distressed. Their feeling of basic security is weakened and they feel like they are loosing control over their own life.
A person in crisis may experience various symptoms such as anxiety, depression, insomnia, irritability and physical pain. People’s ability to cope with difficult life situations varies significantly. While some may show only few symptoms, others may need more help and time to recover.
Crises can also bring back memories of a previous difficult situation in life, making the current situation even more difficult. On the other hand, a crisis enables reassessment and emotional strengthening.
Different kinds of crises
People go into crisis as a reaction to various life stages and events. The event may be a sudden change or a tragic incident. Crisis can also be the result of several stressful factors occurring simultaneously. Natural and foreseeable events may lead to a crisis as well. The diversity of crises can be clarified by dividing them into developmental, life situation and traumatic crises.
Developmental and life situation crises
Developmental and life situation crises are part of the normal course of life when a person passes from one phase of life to another. Positive events, such as the wanted birth of a child, can also lead to a crisis.
A traumatic crisis is often the result of an unusually intense and abnormal event creating a significant emotional shock; normally the person will not able to handle the matter alone.
The National Crisis Hotline
Discuss your thoughts, feelings and situation in life with a crisis worker or a trained volunteer
The number is 01019 5202
Mon-Fri 9 a.m. - 6 a.m.
Sat 3 p.m. - 6 a.m.
Sun 3 p.m. - 10 p.m.