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 contributors 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)
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.
... 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 ailment.
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
Always been anxious?
Chris Bayliss is a health researcher and nutrition expert specialising in the treatment of anxiety. He cured himself from anxiety!
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! And here's a brilliant method to stop your panic attacks.
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