The signs and causes of a nervous breakdown
We've looked at the symptoms of a nervous breakdown in Part 1, so now let's take a look at the causes of you 'falling apart', the fears and the signs to watch out for.
Rather know what to do about it straight away? Hop over to this page.
Know that a crisis is always time-limited. You will recover from your breakdown - even if it's not going to be as fast as you'd want.
Praise (received by email)
I have been slowly breaking down for 2 years. A month ago, I had a nervous breakdown. Yup, broken. Slowly doing better.
Your writing is so spot on. Thank you for putting my feelings to understandable language.
7 Common causes of a mental meltdown
You now know what the signs and symptoms are.
Looking back, then, you can perhaps see when you first started to feel 'not your normal self'. Maybe you're now aware of how sustained stress decreased your resilience - almost by stealth. Perhaps you knew that you were pushing the limits, but thought you had no choice and that you'd get over it.
Here are the most common contributing factors to a nervous breakdown:
- a sudden relationship disaster, such as the disclosure of an affair
- separation and divorce
- a traumatic event, or perhaps a series of traumas
- a drip-drip effect finally taking its toll (not unusual in emergency service personnel and when caring for someone who suffers from a long-term illness)
- other work-related stress (See here how your managers should be helping you)
- not having eaten and slept enough! (Click here to read what Doris Lessing discovered when trying it out for herself)
- domestic violence (See my page on the signs of an abusive relationship)
Sometimes people are completely caught off guard - never having suspected that life could come crashing down so dramatically. They, perhaps like you, would never have identified themselves as not being able to cope, or being prone to a 'mental breakdown'. They may have considered themselves strong and able to cope with anything.
(You can learn more about how we put our bodies under stress on my page on adrenal fatigue treatment.)
What happened to you?
Having a 'complete' breakdown?
Don't be alarmed if you...
... are terrified of the doorbell
... don't want to open the post anymore
... can't get out of the front door
... can't stand in a queue
... can't even get anywhere near to your place of work
... suddenly have found yourself somewhere, without a clue why you're there or what you were meant to do - and feeling terrified
I know all of the above is scary, but it is all part of this condition.
I promise you, you will get better and do all those things again in time without that terror. But you may need a bit of help to speed up your recovery. See the video below...
Feeling anxious, or are you experiencing full-blown panic attacks?
Are you terrified of doing anything or going anywhere in case you get a panic attack? We've established that you're likely to constantly feel restless and on edge. But, unfortunately for some people their survival system goes into complete overdrive - they get panic attacks.
Take a look and see how many of the following symptoms you recognise...
10 Signs and symptoms of a panic attack
- a pounding, racing heart, chest pain - you may well worry about having a heart attack
- difficulty breathing, fearing you're going to choke
- feelings of unreality, as if you're not of this world
- a sense of detachment from yourself
- fear of going crazy, of 'losing your mind'
- a terrifying fear of dying
- constant worry about being very ill
- feeling completely out of control
- becoming terrified of getting another panic attack, avoiding anything you think could be a trigger
- All this is leaving you feeling jumpy - easily startled and on edge all the time - just in case it should happen again
We really want to calm your fear of further panic attacks as that fear adds yet another layer to your suffering. You can really do without that right now.
If you think you're going to have a heart attack - know that most likely you won't. Neither will you faint as your blood pressure shoots up when you're stressed. People who faint do so because their blood pressure drops. You're really not falling apart! CLICK ON THE LINK a brilliant method to stop your panic attacks.
Now read: Symptoms of a nervous breakdown: why you're not going crazy and when to call a doctor. OR... in case you can't wait - here's how you recover from your mental breakdown.
Anxiety for No Reason?
Social Anxiety Symptoms and Support
How to Help Your Partner Overcome Anxiety
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