There are many situations and causes that can result in a nervous breakdown. Defined as acute emotional or psychological collapse, this term is not medical jargon. Instead, it is a term the general public uses to broadly describe a range of mental illnesses that render the individual incapable of dealing with daily life.
A nervous breakdown occurs when people tend to seem disconnected from reality and unable to function and socialize, usually resulting from prolonged stress.
Signs of a Nervous Breakdown
People who find themselves suffering from a condition that prevents them from handling daily tasks struggle to deal with work situations and their home life. They also may present physical and emotional symptoms in relation to the condition, which is primarily related to mental issues.
- Headaches: Because most people are tense and unable to relax, they tend to have headaches. Once you find a way to calm your emotions, the headaches tend to alleviate.
- Physical pain: Pain in the muscles and throughout the body can also be related to having a nervous breakdown, as the individual holds himself tense until areas of the body send pain signals.
- Sudden appetite change: Appetite change is one of the signs of a nervous breakdown. People who are highly stressed tend to forget to eat or not feel hungry during that period. While for others people, when feeling depressed, eat vigorously as a method of burying their feelings.
- Slumped posture: This happens gradually over time. However, usually you can see a shift in a person’s posture when they are stressed.
- Breathing patterns: Breathing becomes shallower to the point where it may impact the individual’s voice as well.
- Movement: It tends to take longer to accomplish a task when you are close to a nervous breakdown.
- Insomnia: Because of the tension and continual thoughts related to a nervous breakdown, a person rarely can relax enough to sleep.
- Mood swings: Anger, resentment and other negative emotions are common when a person is close to a nervous breakdown.
- Memory issues: Along with an inability to concentrate, an individual who is highly stressed has trouble committing things to memory.
- Sensitive to sound and light: When you are already on high alert due to stress, continued sound and light exposure heightens that stress and causes pain and discomfort.
- Rapid thinking: Repetitive, negative and fast thinking is all common when a person is close to a nervous breakdown.
- Nervous behavior: Like rapid thinking, the outward behavior of a person is fast and unpredictable when a breakdown is imminent.
Besides the physical signs mentioned, there’re also many emotional signs of a nervous breakdown that an individual may present.
- Suicidal thoughts: Due to high stress levels and a feeling that you can not control thoughts or behavior, many people feel like suicide is the best alternative.
- Hopelessness: Negativity is common when dealing with stress for extended periods. That comes through in a feeling that there is no escape from the situation.
- Stress: Usually, stress is caused by an outside source, leading to the symptoms of a breakdown. Then, the individual is stressed because they are not feeling well.
- Tension: The body remains tense when a person is dealing with stress, and as a person nears the breaking point, that stress increases. Therefore, a person feels uptight and the body can even produce feelings of pain related to tension.
- Loss of interest: When outside issues are causing stress and tension, a loss of interest in hobbies and daily tasks is common.
- Feeling isolated: People who are stressed and tense tend to feel cut off from other people, when they typically are the ones cutting themselves off from those around them.
- Feelings of guilt: People who are more aware due to stress and tension tend to blame themselves more for things that happen in their lives. They then feel guilty about the things that happen, finding reason for the issue that they feel they are responsible for when that is not the case.
- Fear of never getting better: Commonly, an individual feels like the feelings will never go away and there is no answer to their current situation. They are afraid to keep moving forward. This is related to the suicidal thoughts mentioned above.
How to Get Over a Nervous Breakdown
Seeing a licensed psychologist is important to determine the best path. Some people greatly benefit from therapy that addresses and changes thinking patterns and behavior, while others require the intervention of medication (see below). For those who benefit from therapy, a mental health professional is the best suited to help determine the type of therapy and the best schedule for that therapy. Group therapy and one-on-one therapy are examples of the type of treatment that could be recommended.
2. Relaxation Techniques
Meditation and yoga, along with other techniques focused on lowering the body’s stress response can greatly help an individual deal with the signs of a nervous breakdown. The high levels of stress can be reduced, allowing the person some relief before it becomes prolonged and the situation is made worse.
Guided meditation and yoga classes can both be beneficial, as they bring the individual into contact with others and also help them develop a set routine because those classes have a time and place to meet.
In some cases, an intense workout can exacerbate the symptoms of a nervous breakdown. However, a consistent routine involving exercise can help the body work off energy that is created when a person is tense and stressed. Therefore, the benefits of exercise can occur if you make it a point to include it in your regular routine.
Anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medications are commonly prescribed to someone who deals with the signs of a nervous breakdown. Typically, these medications can help the individual find a better balance in their life, feel less stressed and deal with situations appropriately.