WHAT IS A CRISIS?
The Presence of Both Danger and Opportunity
A crisis is typically perceived as a danger because it can overwhelm someone to the extent that can cause severe affective, behavioral and cognitive malfunctioning – to the point that he or she is incapable of going any further unless immediate and intensive assistance is given.
However, a crisis state can also be seen as an opportunity because the pain it induces impels the person to seek help. If someone decides to take advantage of the opportunity a crisis represents, it may ultimately reach a threshold point for change and the seeds of self-growth and self-realization are planted, allowing the person the change to set goals and formulate a plan to begin to overcome the dilemma.
WAYS TO DEFINE A CRISIS
Typically, the word “crisis” conjures up images of panic, emergencies and mayhem. And though crises can cause extreme tension and disrupt psychological equilibrium, they are states that can occur on occasion in the lives of anyone who is having trouble coping with challenging situations or issues – something which all of us can relate to and are prone to.
Crisis is a state of disorganization in which people feel as if they face an obstacle to important life goals – one that cannot be surmounted by the use of customary problem-solving methods and behaviors, and in fact, has no response in dealing with the situations at hand.
The crisis state is usually referring the person’s feelings of fear, shock and distress about the disruption itself, and not so much the disequilibrium in isolation. In all, a crisis is a perception or experiencing of an event or situation as an intolerable difficulty that exceeds a person’s current resources and coping mechanisms.
DE-ESCALATION: LET US HELP
Crisis intervention refers to the methods used to offer immediate, short-term help to individuals who experience an event that produces emotional, mental, physical, and behavioral distress or problems. A crisis can refer to any situation in which the individual perceives a sudden loss of his or her ability to use effective problem-solving and coping skills. A number of events or circumstances can be considered a crisis: life-threatening situations, such as natural disasters (such as an earthquake or tornado), sexual assault or other criminal victimization; medical illness; mental illness; thoughts of suicide or homicide; and loss or drastic changes in relationships (death of a loved one or divorce, for example).