Home / Health & Wellness Articles / Depression / Coping with a Crisis

Coping with a Crisis

Tragedies happen in our world every day, and many of these tragedies can affect us deeply. In fact, a majority of crisis calls come from young people.

The startling realities we witness through pervasive news reports on television and the internet can cause “secondary trauma.”

Secondary trauma is the negative and sometimes debilitating emotional response we experience when affected by the losses of others.

Exposure to this trauma can cause emotional, physical and spiritual exhaustion and impairment.

No one can ever be fully prepared for every crisis or exposure to crisis.

We can, however, make choices that lead to growth and healing.

There are decisions and actions we can take to minimize the impact and maximize the recovery from secondary trauma.

Here are five suggestions that can help in times of crisis.


1) Understand normal reactions


When tragedies occur, horrific media headlines and images often play in our minds again and again.

It is common to experience a wide range of emotions that are too complex to organize.

It is not simple to wrap our minds around reasons for sudden death or perpetrated violence.

Feelings of shock, disbelief, fear and sadness can affect all areas of our lives and drown our spirits. These are normal reactions to abnormal situations.


2) Realize the effects of other losses


There are two factors that affect how you cope with a crisis: your past and your present. Any past crisis or traumatic experiences can affect how you approach crisis today.

If you’ve been affected by painful past events, such as a family death, divorce or a national tragedy, you may find yourself consumed with flashbacks and memories of these times.

Your present condition will also affect how well you deal with stress.

Life’s stressors, such as caring for an aging parent or enduring financial problems may seem magnified when experiencing another trauma.


3) Consider past healing


Most likely, you have survived one or even many losses or traumas. Consider what helped you most and seek similar solutions.

What activities, actions or involvements helped you heal?

Also, consider what did not help, and try to not repeat those coping attempts.

This could include indulging in unhealthy behaviors or not addressing your feelings at all.


4) Be intentional in self-care


Take care of yourself!

Be patient, but also be deliberate in daily choices that bring health and healing.

Spend time with friends and family. Go for a walk. Take a bubble bath or read a good book.

These and other activities of self-care can go a long way to balance the trauma of events outside our control. They bring emotional and physical relief and are necessary for preventing further strife and turmoil.


5) Recognize the need for help


If your stress is so strong that it gets in the way of your daily life, talk with someone.

Don’t try to deal with trauma on your own – especially for sexual trauma.

You can start with a trusted friend, relative or minister.

If there are ongoing, debilitating consequences resulting from any crisis in your life – ask for help.

You can regain your life again!


You may want to talk with a mental health professional to discuss how well you are coping with a crisis or other recent events.

Contact Us


Seek help early, before the devastation of secondary trauma causes emotional or physical burnout.

Related Posts


Registration kicks off for 17th annual Life;Story 5K/10K Run/Walk for depression awareness and suicide prevention

Centerstone’s 17th annual Life;Story a 5K/10K run/walk will be held on Saturday, September 21, 2019 at 7:30 a.m. at Nathan Benderson Park in Sarasota, Fla. Centerstone’s Life;Story 5K/10K event is held to increase depression awareness and share the message that suicide is preventable. The run/walk is chip timed by Fit2Time and is included in the ...


Schizophrenia and Thought Disorders

Thought disorders affect how one acts, thinks and feels. A person suffering from a thought disorder, such as schizophrenia, can experience hallucinations, delusions and paranoia. Genetics and one’s own brain chemistry all contribute to the risk of developing the condition. Sadly, schizophrenia and other thought disorders can affect anyone.   Meet “George” The onset of ...


Depression Treatment Protocol Pilot for Seniors and Disabled Adults

Depression is a very real and disabling condition that affects individuals of all ages and abilities; however, the impact of depression among older and disabled adults is particularly strong and often overlooked. Nationwide, 6.7% of adults under the age of 60 suffer from depression; in seniors and disabled adults, the rate is 16.7%. Major life ...


Seeking Clients for Illinois Grant Program

Centerstone is seeking new clients to enroll in a new grant funded program. The Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC) grant was awarded to Centerstone to expand and improve community health care in Southern Illinois. The focus population includes individuals with serious mental illness, substance use disorder, co-occurring disorders, and children and adolescents with serious ...


When To Seek Counseling?

Have you ever felt like life was just too hard? Worried that you can’t take the pressure, stress and anxiety anymore?  Sometimes the stressors of life – whether situational or ongoing and dire –can be significant prompters to seek professional counseling.  Having dreams, a vision and motivation for your life is an excellent pursuit. Yet, ...