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The Final Straw? Why do I feel this way?

Discussion in 'Issues Around the World' started by Advocat, Feb 2, 2003.

  1. Advocat

    Advocat Viral Memes a Speciality Staff Member

    During the past 24 hours, I've heard so many people say "this is the final straw... everything else, and now the shuttle."

    Some have just plainly said, "I think I'm losing it".

    Well, you're not. I'd like to help people try and understand what they're going through.

    What many people don't realize is that seemingly small (or not so small) events in our personal lives leave a mark on our minds. Everything affects our mental state; I'm sure everyone has experienced a day where thing after small thing seems to go wrong: you can't find the cars key, you catch all the red lights, someone spills coffee on a report at work, etc., all of which you just brush off. Then, when you get home, you trip over a piece of carpeting and just go ape! Frustration gets bottled up until it takes only a tiny thing to make us blow our tops.

    It works the same for depression and crisis. Individual small events in our lives (including everyday frustations) can build up pressure in our minds These are <b>minor crisis stressor events</b> and can come and go over days, weeks and months. Here's an Introduction to Crisis Theory

    <b>Major crisis stressor events</b> are the big things in our lives: births, deaths, illness, tragedy, getting married, getting divorced, accidents, crime, war, etc.

    When enough crisis is encountered -- which can be caused by many minor stressors, major stressors, or a combination -- people start to have <b>crisis reactions</b>; by the way, everyone is different and will react differently to events... there's no way to know how much any one person can take in the way of stress before showing reactions. Big gang members have gone into shock over the death of a pet. Little old ladies have sailed serenely though fire, flood and illness.

    Some crisis reactions include:

    - Physical reactions:

    * Bodily tensions
    * Fatigue
    * Jittery
    * Aches, and pains
    * Exhaustion due to lack of sleep
    * Cardiovascular reactivity and "racing" heart
    * Gastrointestinal distress
    * Disorder of sexual desire
    * Low back pain
    * Easily startled
    * Irritability
    * Insomnia problems
    * Muscle cramps
    * Headaches
    * Changes in appetite

    - Psychological Reactions

    * Nightmares
    * Flashbacks
    * Anniversary reexperiencing
    * Dissociation (feelings of being unreal, blank and spacey)
    * Loss of hope, faith, will, motivation, or purpose in ones life.
    * Feeling of profound emptiness.
    * Sense of injustice.
    * Feelings of being in pieces on fragmented, scattered.
    * Difficulty making decisions.
    * Internal sense of breakdown and chaos.
    * Emotional numbing.
    * Active expectation of future catastrophe (more terroristic attacks, tragedies).
    * Mental disorientation/disorganization.
    * Impaired motivation.
    * Feeling overwhelmed by unbidden memories and affects.
    * Basic absence of joy and pleasure
    * Persistent search for security.
    * Apathy.
    * Feeling profoundly distant from society
    * Distrust.
    * Feeling distant from others.
    * Fear of intimacy
    * Loss-based grief
    * Shame.
    * Survivor guilt
    * Feeling neglected and abandoned

    - Emotional

    * Dramatic mood changes tumult of emotions, sometimes changing second by second.
    * Fear.
    * Shock.
    * Anxiety.
    * Anger.
    * Terror.
    * Sadness.
    * Depression
    * Grief

    How do you recover? With time. A mental wound from crisis or shock is no different than a broken leg. It will take time to recover your sense of normalcy, to let your mind readjust to the world.

    What can you do? The biggest thing is to talk about what's going on inside... internallizing the problem will only make it the focus of your mind. When you're ready, talk to friends or family, perhaps a cleric or counselor. The symptoms of shock/crisis should slowly disappear over time.

    How much time? It's different for everyone. If you're really concerned about what's going through your mind, or if some of the symptoms just aren't fading, contact a professional counselor or therapist. No, it doesn't mean you're crazy... it's the same as having a broken leg... sometimes a person might needs help to set things straight, whether or broken bone or a wounded heart.
  2. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    Excellent and most needful post, Advocat, I thank you.

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