Signs and Symptoms of Students in Crisis

Signs of Personal Difficulty

  • indicates that he/she has problems affecting academic performance
  • displays unusual behaviour or exhibits a notable change in behaviour
  • identifies serious problems or losses in relationships
  • acts distraught, confused or disoriented
  • tells you "secrets" that no one else knows and that you must not share
  • exhibits behaviour that is threatening to self or others
  • is disruptive in class or living environment
  • makes references to suicide
  • is abusing drugs or alcohol
  • is taking up an inordinate amount of your time contacting you about personal problems

Signs of Critical Incident Stress

Each individual reacts to stress in their own way, but some of the common reactions that you may experience are:

  • flashbacks/re-experiencing the event
  • difficulty sleeping
  • irritability/anger
  • memory loss/confusion
  • loss of appetite/nausea
  • depression

These symptoms represent a normal reaction by a normal person to abnormal events.

Possible signs and symptoms of a person in crisis

  • Emotional Reactions: numbness, fear, guilt, grief, depression, anger, uselessness, changes in mood, increased irritability, restlessness, mood swings, etc.
  • Physical Reactions: fatigue, tremors, headaches, sweating, pain, nausea, etc.
  • Behavioural Reactions: tears, hyperactivity, reactivity, withdrawal, emotional scenes, drinking, social isolation, marked changes in appearance, etc.
  • Cognitive Reactions: worry, flashbacks, blaming, confusion, suspiciousness, doubt, dreams, etc.