What is a crisis?

A crisis is a situation in which a person’s coping mechanisms are no longer working.  By definition, it is a highly unpleasant emotional state.  The nature of a crisis can be highly subjective and personal, and its severity can range from mild to life-threatening. 

When a person is in a state of emotional crisis, you may see or hear the following:   
· Extreme agitation or panic 
· References to or threats of suicide, or other types of self-harm 
· Threats of assault, both verbal and physical 
· Highly disruptive behavior: physical or verbal hostility, violence, destruction of property 
· Inability to communicate (for example, slurred or garbled speech; disjointed thoughts) 
· Disorientation, confusion, or loss of contact with conventional reality 


What to do in a crisis: 
If you or someone you know is exhibiting some of the above behaviors– particularly if you believe there is imminent danger that the person might harm themselves or someone else– you should immediately call for assistance (on campus, Call LSU PD at 225-578-3231; off campus call 911).