CISM Definitions

Alcohol Abuse/Binge Drinking: NIAAA defines binge drinking as a pattern of drinking that brings blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels to 0.08 g/dL. This typically occurs after 4 drinks for women and 5 drinks for men—in about 2 hours. Heavy alcohol use is also defined as binge drinking on 5 or more days in a month.

Anxiety: Is a nervous disorder characterized by a state of excessive uneasiness and apprehension, typically with compulsive behavior or panic attacks. Those who have anxiety on a regular basis or who have felt anxious for six months or longer usually are likely to have an anxiety disorder of some sort.

Codependency: A psychological condition or a relationship in which a person is controlled or manipulated by another who is affected with a pathological condition (such as an addiction to alcohol or heroin); broadly : dependence on the needs of or control by another.

Crisis: An event or sequence of events affecting an individual's personal and/or professional life that culminates in behavior that poses a threat to the emotional and physical safety or well-being of that individual or other persons. Crises include, but are not limited to situations in which:

  • A member is having severe physical/emotional difficulties and is in need of immediate attention, or
  • A member is experiencing difficulties with substance abuse or suicidal thoughts or threats and is in need of immediate attention.

Crisis Intervention: Immediate, on-the-spot assistance to individuals with acute difficulties that threaten their physical and/or mental well-being. This service is directed towards immediate crises in contrast to resolving long-term problems.

  • Crisis intervention has an important role in defusing and resolving immediate or emergency situations. Prevention is far more preferable as a means of resolving personal and problematic issues.
  • Crisis situations require immediate action to ensure the department member’s safety and emotional and physical well-being. Every individual’s circumstances are unique and require action based on the nature of the crisis.
  • It must be determined if the individual is safe from harm, is a danger to others, or has a medical need that must be addressed.

Depression: A mood disorder that causes a constant feeling of saddness, hoplessness, anger, and loss of interest in everyday life for a long period of time. Depression involves the body, mood, and thoughts and that affects the way a person eats, sleeps, feels about himself or herself, and thinks about things.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): A mental health condition that's triggered by a traumatic event - either experiencing it or witnessing it. Symptoms may include flashbacks, nightmares and severe anxiety, as well as uncontrollable thoughts about the event.

Resilience: An individual's ability to successfully adapt to life tasks in the face of social disadvantage or other highly adverse conditions.

Self-Harm: The deliberate infliction of damage to your own body and includes cutting, burning, and other forms of injury.

Sleep Deprivation: Is not obtaining adequate total sleep. Someone who experiences a chronic sleep-restricted state will notice excessive daytime sleepiness, fatigue, clumsiness, and weight gain or weight loss. Also, being sleep-deprived affects both the brain and cognitive function.