What is mental crisis?
How do you know you are in one?
How can someone else know you are in one?
A mental crisis is when you wonder “am I in a mental crisis?”
You know you are in one because you were googling “mental crisis” or you searched “mental health crisis” until you ended up reading this post
You know you are in a mental crisis when you begin trying to think of reasons to live for
You know you are in a mental crisis when you can no longer do things that you used to do easily, because of your feelings of severe depression
You know you are in a mental crisis when you just sit and cry because the pain is so great
You know you are in a mental crisis when you are struggling to find any light at the end of this darkness
Someone else cannot tell you are in a mental crisis
This is the frightening part
Even when we try to communicate to someone, like our best friend, that we are in a mental crisis, they do not always understand
Why is it hard to communicate the fact that you are in crisis?
1. It is difficult to impossible, to communicate to someone you are in a mental crisis because everyone communicates differently. You really have to just come out and say the words “I am in a mental crisis. I am wondering if I can continue living.”
2. It is not something that you can beat around the bush about, because the longer you try to tell them and they do not understand, the more hopeless you will feel. If you cannot get the message across quickly, then you may lose your energy for telling them, and give up.
3. When you try to communicate a mental crisis to someone by starting with the details, like emotions and thoughts, they will not get it. Even people who have mental illness, who should know the signs, are often too caught up in themselves to really hear you.
4. People are dense. much of the time, and also they do not want to think you are in a mental crisis. They do not want this to be in their reality. When people do not want something in their reality, then they do not perceive signs and symptoms, to come to the conclusion.
5. You have to say “I am in a mental crisis.” Yes I know that I wrote this already, but it is important enough to tell you again.
6. Another reason it is hard to communicate that you are in a mental crisis, and/or suicidal, is that your thoughts can be confused and disorganized. There is so much emotional / mental overload, that the words are difficult to put together. It is hard to know what to say or how to say it.
7. There is an unknown factor of what they will do when you tell them. There is a fear that they will not understand, and this can come true. In this case, you can try again or you might have to go on to the next person on your list. Speaking of the list…any of us who are a candidate for a severe mental crisis or suicidal thoughts, should have a “save me” list of people and resources.
8. You may feel so worthless and ashamed at this point that you feel uncomfortable telling someone.There are alternate methods, if the first try fails. If you cannot tell someone in person, then try over the phone.
If you cannot do it over the phone, then try email, texting, blogging, poetry or whatever works, but do something that will get across to someone as fast as possible.
How can people hear you?
This is the most difficult thing for me to understand. If any of you have suggestions about this, please let me know. I have trouble communicating during a mental crisis. It feels like my ability to communicate goes down. The words do not come out of my mouth.
Maybe it is a matter of who you are trying to get help from.
Should be try to communicate with someone who has mental illness or someone who does not?
This is a really good question and the answer is probably that it matters more “who” the person is, rather than whether or not they have been through mental suffering.
In some ways it seems that, a person with mental illness would understand better. If they have been in a mental crisis before, then they should recognize it and also know how frightening it feels. They “should” be sympathetic.
I guess it depends of what mental state they are in at the time. it also depends on their personality. If they are a very caring person, then maybe they will click it in right away that you need help. If they are self absorbed, then they may not understand.
People that do not have mental illness, do not understand what it feels like to be in crisis, or have suicidal thoughts. But that does not mean that they cannot feel sympathy for you, and know how to listen.
Unfortunately, people in general, have lost the art of listening. Many people do not know how to listen, never mind see and identify signs that someone needs urgent help.
You need to have people that will be able to help you, if you do have a crisis. The best time to work on this, is when you are in a relatively normal (for your mental condition) state of mind. When you are able to think more rationally, then it is a better time to organize your “get help” plan.
I have never called the hotlines, but I have heard that people have been able to get some help there, at least enough to reduce the level of suffering, in order to think of the next thing to do. I am not a great fan of the emergency room, but for some people it may be the best thing.
I really think that we should be able to have friends that are there for us. There are so many people in the world that there have to be some people that can be compassionate for you. Sometimes I feel like they are not around me in person.
If there is no one around in person, then there are people on the internet. I have read suicide blog posts and seen how many people came to the person in the comments section and actually made them feel validated. There is nothing wrong with the random acts of kindness from perfect strangers about this. Sometimes a stranger can be more sympathetic to you, than the people around you.
I think the important thing is to recognize when you are having a mental crisis. If you are in severe mental pain, that is more than you can tolerate, then it is a crisis.
I think I have been rambling and I apologize for that.