It is important to distinguish between a crisis and a conflict. A conflict is generally any kind of issue that prompts negative feelings or actions. A crisis is a situation where there are extremes of negativity occurring, causing feelings of great distress that could prohibit you from meeting your basic needs. For example, a fight with a close friend is generally going to be considered a conflict whereas sudden loss of a job would most likely be a crisis.
Crisis situations often require outside support and guidance and in some situations emergency care and resources. If you feel you are in a state of crisis, you should know that there are many resources available to help you. Consider seeking the help of a trained professional; counselors can be very effective in helping you to navigate though a time of crisis.
If you can identify with any of the following statements, you may want to consider meeting with a professional, perhaps from the CSUF Counseling Center or Women's Center:
I am unhappy with the direction my life seems to be heading
I feel like my life is out of control
I do not feel safe
I feel stuck and unable to make constructive choices
I am the victim of a crime or a violent act of some kind
I am experiencing significant financial distress
I do not feel like I have any direction or purpose in my life
I am in an unsatisfying or unhealthy relationship
I am struggling with addictive, unhealthy or dangerous behaviors that are putting me at risk
I feel isolated and lonely
I feel like I am experiencing an identity crisis
I am experiencing a significant loss
I am having problems related to work or school that are significantly affecting my ability to be successful in my everyday tasks and responsibilities
I am under chronic stress or have stress related symptoms that are affecting my quality of life
I am divorcing or ending a significant relationship
I feel that I am only using a fraction of my potential and I am unsure how to change that
Material Adapted from: I Never Knew I Had a Choice (Corey & Corey, 2002)
Here are some general tips to handling a crisis situation:
Try and remain calm and rational; utilize relaxation techniques to help bring your emotionality to a manageable level.
Do not forget to take care of yourself: eat regular, healthy meals, sleep well, exercise and do the things that usually help improve your mood.
Do not go through it alone; surround yourself with supportive, loving people who will care for you.
Be patient and gentle with yourself as you try to cope and adjust.
Remember that even the most challenging and painful of situations will pass or at the very least become easier with time; you will not feel this way forever.
Take advantage of the resources available to help you.
If you feel you are in a state of crisis, it is important to know when to ask for help. You are not alone and you do not have to struggle alone. Please note that this is not a comprehensive list, if you are experiencing ANY sort of distress of which you are concerned about, please do not hesitate to seek help and support.
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