How to Find Help Treating a Crisis-Related Problem
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One constant in life is that there are no constants in life. Sometimes, this means that life can be full of spontaneity, involving cherished times and interesting situations. In other instances, the lack of constants and consistency can mean unfortunate occurrences and stressful circumstances demanding difficult actions and reactions. When your life takes a rough turn for the drastically unexpected, it’s important to learn how to find help treating a crisis-related problem.
There is absolutely no shame in feeling overwhelmed when crises overrun your life. What’s important is understanding what is going on and determining a path forward. When you or a loved one need help in the midst of crisis, call our hotline at to connect with trained professionals who are ready to be a part of your recovery plan.
A crisis can be any unexpected adverse event, ranging from mild to severe. For instance, your day’s schedule could be thrown into crisis when a flat tire leaves you stranded at the side of the road. This would be a minor crisis and could, as a result, cause a range of psychological reactions from stress to anxiety. On the far end of a spectrum, an emergency situation could blow up, threatening the lives of your family and the safety of all you hold dear. An excellent example of such a crisis could be a devastating tornado or high-magnitude earthquake. Many people would react to this type of enormous crisis with equally explosive psychological responses.
The American Psychological Association (APA) states that recognizing a variety of crisis responses can help start the journey to recovery. It is also important to understanding crisis situations that you realize they can blow up for any reason or no reason at all, and nearly all crises are unexpected.
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How to Diagnose a Person in Crisis
The best person who would know how to diagnose a person in crisis is a mental health professional. Unfortunately, an emergency situation may demand that you recognize when you or a loved one is in crisis. Learning the many and varied symptoms of crisis reactions, listed below, is one key to understanding a potential explosive situation. But more important than that is using listening and observation skills to understand the subtext of a situation and respond adequately. Of course, it is far harder to diagnose yourself as a person in crisis; self-awareness is a far harder trait to hone than recognizing cues in others.
It is especially vital to recognize if a person in crisis may become suicidal, cautions WebMD, as a fast response may mean the difference between life and death. When you suspect that you or a loved one may be suffering the psychological fallout of a crisis, call our toll-free number, , at any time of day or night to connect with a person who understands.
How to Recognize Personal Crises
People react to stressful situations in many different ways. This can make it hard to learn how to recognize personal crises. The Counseling Center at Texas State University San Marcos lists just some of the different reactions people may have while in personal crisis:
- Difficulty concentrating or making decisions
- Nightmares and flashbacks
- Anxiety and depression
- Withdrawal from others
When you recognize these and other deviations from normal behavior in a loved one, time is of the essence. The National Institute of Mental Health reports that in 2007, the latest year that has published statistics, suicide was the 10th-leading cause of death in the United States. Remember that we’re always available at when you need guidance on how to find help for a crisis-related problem.
Steps You Can Take to Help Someone in Crisis
According to the American Psychological Association, there are a variety of steps you can take to help someone in crisis. These include:
- Allowing crisis reactions and personal crises time to run their due course
- Seeking support from loved ones and likeminded groups
- Discovering healthy behaviors and routines to establish
- Avoiding large decisions while in psychological turmoil
Talking to Someone With Crisis-Related Problems
How you react to a crisis may differ dramatically from how someone else does. Talking to someone with crisis-related problems may be a discussion of commiseration and empathy or could entail putting aside all your own experiences to observe and learn from the reactions of others. Brown University offers the following suggestions when you find yourself in this situation:
- Be open-minded and ask open-ended questions.
- Maintain discretion and privacy.
- Don’t downplay the feelings of your loved one.
- Avoid assumptions.
- Seek additional and higher level support as soon as it is necessary.
Adolescents and Teens
Adolescents and teens may react to crises in a different fashion than adults. This can make it tricky to figure out how to find help treating a crisis-related problem. Young people may react more violently or out of proportion to a crisis an adult may handle in stride. In addition, the National Institute for Mental Health reveals that suicide is the third-leading cause of death in adolescents and teens. You may need to escalate a crisis situation involving a young person far faster than with an adult, in order to seek appropriate psychological treatment. We can help; call us at for information on treatment centers and qualified adolescent and teen psychological professionals.
Learning to Cope During Crises
The first step in learning to cope during crises is recognizing the situation and diagnosing behaviors outside of your normal response system. It may be just as important for you to learn how to cope with your own crisis, as it is to cope when helping a loved one through their own time of distress.
After you’ve recognized the need to implement coping skills, the second step is to take action. The American Psychological Association reminds that some people deal better with crises than others.
After following the suggestions above for dealing with crisis, the third step is to seek help and treatment, sooner versus later. The psychological damage caused by crises can have profound lifelong effects. The earlier you begin treatment, the better chance you having of building and maintaining your coping skills for the present and for future crises.
How to Treat Crisis-Related Issues
A menu of options exists when a psychological professional determines how to treat crisis-related issues. The Department of Veterans Affairs, which helps those returning from war and soldiers separating from service, has built a toolbox that can be used effectively with veterans; it features many practical implications for civilians dealing with crises as well. Some of the tools in this toolbox include counseling, procurement of basic needs after a crisis has interrupted their flow, guided development of coping skills, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), and other education and skills-based programs designed to address individual needs.
Deciding Between Crisis Resolution Options
Resolving a crisis consists of two key phases: dealing effectively with an externally caused crisis situation and treating people impacted by that crisis. Deciding between crisis resolution options is a highly personal decision to be made for yourself or your loved one. When you’re working to learn how to find help treating a crisis-related problem, you can choose between options that are community-, outpatient- or inpatient-oriented. The support that comes with getting involved in such a program can help you or your loved one to gain the psychological skills and practical tools necessary to then respond to and survive a crisis.
Where to Find Crisis Treatment for a Friend or Family Member
Once the decision has been made to seek help, you now need to address where to find crisis treatment for a friend or family member, or even for yourself. Some options are contingent upon where you live and the relative ease you may have in accessing treatment facilities and professionals. We are here to help you in finding the best support for yourself or your loved one in your time of need. Call us at so we can work with you to find help treating a crisis-related problem.