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Women in crisis often feel alone and unable to cope with their daily lives, unsure of where to turn for help. Counseling, whether from a trusted friend or professional counseling, is a valuable tool towards recovery. There is no shame in asking for help and admitting to a problem. Everyone faces challenges during the course of their lives. Many times just talking to someone you trust can go a long way towards alleviating the feelings of isolation and desperation one often feels during a crisis. If you are alone with no family around you, seek out a pastor of a local church, your family physician, a local mental health clinic or look in the yellow pages for a crisis hotline or call 911. Help is always available for those who need it.

Knowledge is power. Research whatever type of crisis you are facing - the more you know and understand about the situation, the more you will feel in control. Remember - depression and anxiety affects millions of people in the United States alone. Panic attacks and/or anxiety attacks can seem to come out of nowhere, but there is usually an underlying problem of some kind that you are avoiding. Don’t fight the anxious feelings. If you start to feel anxious, take several deep breaths and begin positive self-talk. Say, “I’m okay. It’s just anxiety and it will pass.” Is there something else going on in your life that you don’t want to face or think about? Oftentimes anxiety is a “mask” for something else going on that we don’t want to deal with or think about at that time. The body does not know the difference between an actual threat, which will produce “fight or flight” symptoms, or just a “scary” thought. To the body, a fearful thought means “I am in danger,“ and your heart will begin to beat faster, your breathing will become rapid - even though you are safe and secure in your own home. A panic attack is basically a build up of energy, with no way to release it. Anxiety is also often accompanied by depression. Depression can produce many symptoms, from aches and pains to episodes of crying uncontrollably, loss of appetite and a feeling of hopelessness. There are many different levels of depression and anxiety, but it’s important to remember it is a real medical condition and not just “in your head.” Divorce is very stressful and can often lead to anxious feelings and/or depression. A person going through a divorce will often feel like a failure and have feelings of guilt. Whether you, or someone you love, is facing a divorce, addiction of some form, an eating disorder like anorexia, depression or anxiety, find out as much as you can about the problem and seek appropriate help.

Thoughts of suicide is considered a medical emergency. If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, do not hesitate to seek help. If you are with someone who is talking about suicide, call 911 or an emergency suicide hotline, such as 1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433,) and never leave the person alone.


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