We all have a different way of facing difficult situations in life, but if I have learned anything in my years of practice is that emotions can mark your path for better or worse. They are an essential part of our life, however, knowing how to understand them is not an easy task.
It is not a pleasant task to deal with the death of a loved one, or the loss of a job or even a love relationship. That is why these situations are the ones that commonly lead to an emotional crisis.
Despite the fact that God guides us every day, that He is our protection and strength, I know that it is also complicated to face life after such events. Pain frustrates us, weakens us and prevents us from seeing the help that our Lord offers us. It is not your fault that you are blinded. You simply do not have the necessary resources to successfully face these transitions.
That is why I want to show you how you are able to overcome adversity, and not allow emotional crises to bring you down.
Emotional crises: what are they, types and stages
I would like you to keep in mind that in order to recognize how to overcome adversity. You need to identify what adversity looks like and what causes it. Therefore, take into consideration the following points:
What is a crisis?
A crisis is a transitory state that will affect your emotional and behavioral perception. Impairing your ability to take decisions. In other words, it is a difficult situation for which you will have to go through, and that it will disturb your emotions. It may be that the event as such affects only you, or it may be on a larger scale, affecting an entire family, community or even country.
Tragedies come with many faces, so it could be the sudden death of someone you care about, it could be a car accident or a hurricane. As I said, each person will respond differently, and it is that response that will give an outline to the recovery process.
The curious thing about emotional crises is that while for some people they are a danger, for others, they are an opportunity. For example, an opportunity is when in the midst of pain, the family unites to overcome it and become greater than it is. Also, when solutions are sought together.
However, unfortunately, there are also those who see crises as a danger because they are paralyzed by fear, their self-confidence is drained, and they wait for others to solve for them.
In my therapy sessions, I have seen thousands of different reactions to crises. There are those who use them to reflect on life, those who give up, those who look for a new purpose, those who get sick, those who take years to heal and even those who heal quickly.
There is no standard recovery time for crises, but if you are stuck in one, it is time to seek professional help.
Types of Emotional Crises
Most people have gone through or will go through an emotional crisis in their lives, because in that, creation is sincere, the great challenges will be imposed on us in one way or another. So, these events will appear unexpectedly many times, causing confusion.
However, keep in mind that emotional crises cannot really be categorized into types, but what we can do is to categorize the transitions that cause them. Its circumstantial character makes them to be ordered in two forms: the crises by external conditions, and the crises by internal conditions.
By external conditions, we will have those crises that are caused by an event that is unrelated to you. For example, natural catastrophes, terrorist acts, accidents, illnesses, deceased or missing relatives. Similarly, others such as layoffs, discrimination and harassment are part of the list.
On the other hand, internal conditions are those crises that do not depend on facts as such, but on subjective feelings. They have the meaning that you want to give them.
Such are the cases of existential crises, vocational crises, identity crises or couple crises. There are hundreds of other forms, such as developmental crises (childhood, adolescence, old age) and spiritual crises.
The 4 stages of a crisis:
In a crisis, you will generally have to deal with four stages. These stages are the following:
- Paralysis: The first stage of an emotional crisis usually begins with a sense of bewilderment and a feeling of not being able to reason or act. What is happening in the instant is processed?
- Uncertainty: Events that trigger emotional crises are not an everyday occurrence. That is why the most usual thing is that a deep feeling of uncertainty invades you. No matter how many ideas come into your head, you will be pondering them all.
- Intrusion: It is in the intrusion that you will finally accept the painful feelings, as well as live through and remember the tragic images. Having frequent thoughts of that event will be normal at this stage. It is a time that takes longer for certain people.
- Elaboration and solution: In these moments, the pain is expressed in true thoughts, and although there are those who can do it naturally, there will be those who need psychological support. In the stage of overcoming the pain, one begins to unburden oneself and reach a conclusion about what has been experienced.
The Grieving Process in a crisis:
Curiously, understanding the origin of the word “duel” will help to better understand what it consists of. This word comes from the Latin “dolus”, means pain or combat between the two. Researchers define grieve as a process of adaptation for the reestablishment of family equilibrium.
On the other hand, according to Kaplan’s Treatise on Psychiatry, a normal mourning process usually consists of three stages that are not completely linear. For it is possible to regress to one of these.
The first of these is the phase of shock and denial, in which denial and bewilderment will be predominant in the feelings exhibited. Intense feelings are those shown when some are spoken of as longing or protest. The second phase is that of acute distress and isolation, consisting of a mixture of suffering, anger and difficulty in resting.
Finally, there is the phase of reorganization, where the loss is finally assimilated in all its meaning, however much it may have cost. This phase is the one that will mark the beginning of the restarting of life, going back to the previous roles and starting from scratch.