What defines a crisis?

A crisis is an acute emotional confusion. The cause is often a stressful event, such as a loss or a threat of a loss. The stress leads to a crisis if the victim is unable to face the situation. If the crisis is not resolved in a proper way it might lead to emotional suffering with addiction, depression and suicide attempts. A crisis is dramatic, but usually short-lived. The uncomplicated crisis generally has a natural healing process, but the victim is still vulnerable to new trauma. Therefore, the victim can easily fall into a vicious circle where new problems are creating new crises, which further increases the risk of mental breakdown.

What defines a life crisis?

A phase in life which is quite normal and everybody experience it at some time as a part of life. Our reaction to the crisis is usually also quite normal. More than 60% of those who seek help for psychological problems don´t suffer (diagnostically, according to DSM IV-criterias ) from mental disorder but is undergoing a life crisis. Feeling sad does not necessarily mean that a person has a depression. It may instead be a normal reaction to a normal life. Life crises is NOT mental illness. Some common examples of life crises: age-related crises, youth crises, divorce, birth of firstborn child, pension, unemployment, long-term illness, loss of a loved one.