After spending time with these beautiful people, who allowed me to sit with them and even ask them questions about what they are experiencing, brought me to today's topic; What are the signs you may be headed for a crisis?
Of course, some crises are sudden and random (or are they????), but I’m talking about the ones that have been in the works for a while. It is suicide prevention month which got me thinking; attempted suicide, self-harm, anxiety and depression all have early warning signs that go unexpressed or unheeded. In Malcolm Gladwell’s book, Blink he talks about how we act and react in any given situation on a gut level (a ‘knowing’) long before our logical brain can explain what we know. I believe the very same process goes on inside of us alerting and trying to divert us, from trouble down the road.
So what are the unexpressed or unheeded warning signs? (These may or may not be present but are common symptoms reported)
1) Constant and or recurring illness. – long standing physical or mental duress suppresses the immune system, making us more vulnerable to common colds, flues and other viruses
2) Poor Sleep Patterns/chronically tired – occasional insomnia is not a problem for most people and it happens to all of us, but consistent difficulty falling or staying asleep is either a sign that your stress is a problem or the lack of sleep is causing stress and depression. Get help for chronic sleep deprivation. The only way our brain and body can recover fully and function ultimately is with good sleep! Of course, when you are sleep deprived you will be tired all the time, lacking ability to function optimally. It is nearly impossible to address any issues in your life when you are exhausted.
3) Curbed Enthusiasm – things that used to be enjoyable no longer are and it is more and more difficult and then eventually impossible to think of anything that you find enjoyable.
4) Isolation – It starts out that you stay in and by yourself because you are always sick and or always tired, but eventually you find social interaction too bothersome and taxing. It is a sign that something is off when staying alone is always preferable to seeing others.
5) Impostor Syndrome – there is a gap between the person you are to others and the person you are when alone, but when the gap widens to a point that you feel you can’t express your true self safely, to anyone, that’s a problem.
There are many more symptoms or clues you may be heading for a crisis, of course. If you have some or all of these symptoms, you probably know and have known, on some level, inside yourself that you need attention. Please seek out someone to talk to. If the first few attempts to express your concerns are ignored or not taken seriously, keep seeking, find someone that will listen.
I know from my own experience the first few times I tentatively erected a white flag, I got no response, so I continued to suffer in silence and tell myself not to be a bother. My symptoms did not go away, they just got deeper and louder until a full on crisis developed.
I am grateful for that crisis now, because it got me the attention I needed, eventually, but the signs were there for a long time and I knew it. Get help early.
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