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At one time or another everyone feels upset or distressed. However, there are three levels of concern which, when present over time, suggest that these problems may be outside the norm. It is important to consider each type of behavior in context for the individual in question.
When an individual is emotionally troubled (e.g., depressed, manic, unstable), you may observe the following behaviors:
In an individual exhibiting increasingly disturbing behavior, you may observe the following:
When an individual is deficient in skills that regulate emotion, cognition, self, behavior and relationships, you may observe the following:
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For tips on how to respond to distressed students refer to the Distressed Students Guide, published by the counseling services from the University of California - Santa Barbara. The guide addresses how to deal with students who have problems ranging from aggression and potential violence to substance abuse, suicide and irrational behavior. Clicking on one of the problems listed, leads to a page of useful information, including dos and don’ts for each type of behavior.