Typical Responses for Crisis

Emotional Responses

  • Shock or denial
  • Anger or irritability
  • Feelings of hopelessness
  • Depression
  • Fear and anxiety
  • Mood changes
  • Numbness
  • Guilt
  • Grief

Behavioral Responses

  • Changes in activity level
  • Social withdrawal or isolation
  • Restlessness, agitation or pacing
  • Eating or appetite changes
  • Sleep disturbance/insomnia
  • Increased use of alcohol or drugs
    Inability to relax

Cognitive Responses

  • Forgetfulness
  • Difficulty making decisions
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Dreams or nightmares of the event
  • Confusion
  • "Flashbacks" of crisis event
  • Self-doubt

Physical Responses

  • Fatigue or loss of energy
  • Headaches and/or back pain
  • GI distress, nausea, vomiting
  • Muscle tension
  • Trembling
  • Rapid heart beat
  • Sweating or chills
  • Dizziness
  • Exaggerated startle response
  • Weakness

Steps You Need to Take if Symptoms are Significant

  • Symptoms are usually significant when they interfere with usual activities, change behavior in significant ways, or they persist for more than two weeks.
  • Seek medical advice for any physical symptoms that are new especially if you are having health problems and have not had a medical evaluation for these symptoms.
  • If you are unable to escape feelings of panic, guilt, depression or stress, or these symptoms are extreme or prolonged, contact a professional mental health provider for advice.
  • Seek help or advice from a qualified mental health professional if a child or an adult begins thinking or feeling guilty or suicidal