What is crisis?
Webster’s Definition: “A turning point in anything; decisive or crucial time, stage or event; a time of great danger or trouble, whose outcome decides whether possible bad consequences will follow.”
A crisis is an event, whether a “normal” part of our developmental life or “accident,” which temporarily changes our world and necessitates an emotional/spiritual adjustment.
Crises are not of themselves good or bad. Their impact is determined by the meaning one gives to the event, and the feelings generated. Let me illustrate by using the story that opened this book. The event that occurred was a spiritual crisis. The pastor’s response, which was natural, was one of fear and virtual immobilization. My response was to answer the questions to the best of my ability. The difference in response was related to two factors.
1) The closeness of the event
2) Perception of the meaning of the event
In either case, a crisis definitely makes us stop and evaluate, seek the Lord, and make the necessary adjustments to cope effectively.
Crisis Management & Brief Treatment
Numerous situational variables may precipitate a crisis, including health emergencies, life-threatening illnesses, family problems, crime-related problems (including violent crime victimizations), and community disasters. The Bureau of Justice Statistics of the United States Department of Justice provides national prevalence estimates on violent crime and victimization.
•959 children are abducted each day of the year (this finding is based on the recent estimates that 350,000 children are abducted each year).
357 individuals are victims of forcible rape each day of the year (this finding is based o the Bureau of Justice Statistics [B.J.S.] Annual Criminal Victimization Rates of over 130,000 rapes each year).
The National Center for Health Statistics and the American Hospital Association each provide nationally representative data on certified suicide fatalities, suicide attempts, and emergency room visits.
Between 685 and 1,645 individuals attempt suicide each day of the year (this finding is based on the Maris & Associates, 1992 estimates that there are between 250,000 and 600,000 suicide attempts each year).
•254,820 persons visit emergency rooms each day of the year (American Hospital Association, 1992). The majority of men and women visit a hospital emergency room because of a traumatic event or an acute psychiatric or medical crisis (e.g., gunshot wound, rape, car accident, drug overdose, sexually transmitted disease, or serious life-threatening illness).
The National Cancer Institute, the American Cancer Society, Inc., and the Center for Disease Control (C.D.C.) each provide up-to-date reports on annual incidence rates for the various types of cancer and AIDS.
•3, 205 new cancer cases are diagnosed each day of the year.
•140 patients with AIDS die each day of the year and in 1994 alone in CDC projects that there will be 43,000-93,000 newly diagnosed AIDS cases.