How you react in a Crisis: Is this a True Indication of who you Really are? Or Not! What Do you Think?
“Do you think people reveal their true selves in times of crisis? Or should we make allowances for shock, fear & panicked fatalism?” Obviously, for each of us this can be different, also how we might react will be dependent on the “Crisis” or situation.
Common Psychological Responses in Times of Crisis
Psychological reactions to a crisis or traumatic events vary considerably from person to person and symptoms and their duration time is different for each individual.
Responses to Traumatic Events
Because psychological responses vary for each person, it is important that those treating or living with individuals undergoing a crisis learn to recognize the common reactions to a traumatic event. Reactions can include changes in behavior, physical well-being, psychological health, thinking patterns, spiritual beliefs, and social interactions. These signs, symptoms, and reactions are common psychological responses to a crisis or traumatic event. Some of them include:
- Anger, moodiness, and irritability
- Becoming obsessive
- Disinterest in previous activities
- Emotional numbness
- Increased use of alcohol and drugs
- Isolation or withdrawal from others
- Nightmares and other sleep disturbances
- Questioning faith or religion
- Sleeping too much
- Social withdrawal
Responses to a Current Crisis
Albert R. Roberts a renowned professor and prolific writer. Describes the characteristics of individuals who are in a current position of going through a crisis or traumatic event. Reactions can include:
- Beginning to recognize that there is a threat
- Discovering that the stress and trauma of the event cannot be dealt with using existing coping skills
- Experiencing fear, confusion, and stress
- Exhibiting symptoms of distress and discomfort
- Entering a state of imbalance where the crisis situation seems insurmountable
How You Can Help Someone Through Trauma or Crisis
If someone you know has been or is going through a traumatic event or crisis, there are ways you can help, including:
- Being available to listen
- Reassuring that all is safe
- Helping them with household tasks such as shopping, cleaning, cooking, or taking care of kids
- Spending time with her
- Not taking negative emotions or outburst to heart
- Encouraging them to get plenty of rest and to eat well
- Making sure they has time to themselves
- Recognizing the suffering and encouraging and supporting their ability to cope
- Making sure they have other supportive people and/or networks in her life
- Helping them to recognize when it is time to get outside help
Is it a True Indication of Someone’s Character
However, a friend asked me today that can it be a true indication of someone’s character as to how they react in tough times? Say a person maybe going through a very difficult stage of their life yet appear to remain unusually calm and unaffected. Does this mean that there may be deeper issues going on under the surface? Or does it suggest that they have learnt great coping mechanisms? Or does it mean that down the tract they may break down because they have released their emotions during this time?
Times of Emotional Turmoil, Drama & Loss
What if a person when confronted with emotional turmoil, drama, acts out recklessly and destructively, does this indicate that there is underlying emotional instability?
Often, during times of trauma, drama, or crisis, these? True Colours that appear to be drawn out, may just be well hidden previous trauma etc and the current situation has brought these to the surface.
True colours may not necessarily be the True Character of a person, but their deep-seated issues that have not been addressed.
So rather than being judgemental or unsympathetic or sympathetic during these times if you are personally going through them or going through them with a friend. It is much better to have empathy, not to allow judgement or criticism to enter your thoughts, but to allow space and time to enter. With the courage, strength, and belief that everything will work out in the end.
Read Next: How to Cope During Difficult Times
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