Facts about crisis and sorrow

Published: 28 March 2018

Crisis means that something serious has happened in life that is difficult to handle and that causes us to temporarily lose our footing. The crisis is both a reaction to what has happened and a time for adaptation to the new reality.

A life crisis can be triggered by, for example, separation, infidelity, own illness or a relative's illness. When you are in the middle of the crisis it feels difficult to process but it usually goes well with time.

Developmental crises are part of human psychological development. They can occur during important transitions in life, for example, when you start studying at university, or finish an education and start working life. These are periods when you are extra vulnerable. If something besides this happens then it is often felt as if the cup overflows.

A third type of crisis is the one that can occur in connection with sudden and unexpected events. For example, there may be rapid deaths, acute illness, accidents and disasters, and violence and threats. You have not been given time to prepare. Many describe it as having received a knockout blow.

The experience can be so powerful that it shatters our perceptions of ourselves, others and the world we live in. Most of these types of crises, too, are most able to get through if you get support from people in your vicinity.

Many people may also, for some time, need more professional help to cope with the consequences of what has happened.