5 Tips to Recognize and Prevent a Nervous Breakdown
Most of us experience some type of stress on an everyday basis. Some of us cope better with such anxiety and some of us, less so.
However, sometimes the levels of anxiety and stress can grow to such a height that it can interfere with our daily lives. This is what is known as a nervous breakdown.
It describes a particular condition, rather than being a medical term. It is a type of anxiety disorder and can is also called mental health crisis.
An individual can experience such a breakdown in a number of situations, all of them connected to very high levels of stress.
For example, the death of a loved one. But it doesn’t have to be just one situation, it can be a series of stressful situations which gradually build up to ‘the big boom’.
There are plenty of factors which add up to one’s daily stress, whether on a professional or personal level.
There are also quite a few signs which indicate that someone is having a nervous breakdown. They can be either emotional or physical.
Let’s take a closer look at them, shall we?
Signs of a Nervous Breakdown
- Isolation – you may isolate yourself from daily activities and feel disinterested in your friends or family
- Trouble Concentrating – This can include getting distracted easily and finding it hard to finish tasks, at your workplace for example
- Feeling Moody – feeling ‘down in the dumps’ i.e. depressed. But there can also be emotional outbursts. Fear, helplessness and anger are also a common occurrence
- Emotional detachment – you may not feel like your usual self and you may feel like you’ve lost interest in everything
- Hallucinating – like recurring flashbacks of a stressful or traumatic situation. This can also be linked to post-traumatic stress disorder
- Tendency for self-harm – in certain intense cases of a nervous breakdown, the individual may have thoughts which have to do with inflicting self harm. In which case, immediate professional help is required
- Abusing substances – reaching out for drugs or alcohol in hopes of coping with a hard situation may also be a sign of a nervous breakdown
- Sleeplessness – insomnia can be one of the physical signs one is experiencing a nervous breakdown. Overly high levels of stress tend to cause either sleep disturbances of lack of sleep in general
- Feeling Exhausted – in the case that you are indeed having trouble sleeping then this also leads to a lack of energy and feeling lethargic throughout your day
- Constant illness – like a chain of events, the frequent exhaustion may make one more prone to getting infections and other ailments
- Headaches – feeling dizzy and constant headaches may also be a sign
- Muscle pain – this and muscle stiffness can be caused from stress and anxiety, and particularly your back and jaw may be sore from all the subconscious tenseness
- Bowel issues – stomach cramps for example, and many other digestion issues may actually stem from too much anxiety and being on the verge of a nervous breakdown
- Racing Heartbeat – you may experience your heart rate to be faster than it normally is, and also that there is some kind of lump in your throat, which makes it hard for you to breathe properly
- Sweating – cold or hot flushes paired with sweaty palms may also indicate a nervous breakdown
These are the symptoms, ladies and gentlemen. If you feel you have experienced a nervous breakdown, read on below for tips on how to deal with it and prevent any future ones.
5 Tips for Avoiding Nervous Breakdowns
1. Seek Help from a Professional
Or someone who you personally trust and can confide it.
That means it doesn’t have to be a therapist, even a family member or friend can be great listeners for when you want to spill your feelings and fears.
The important thing is that you talk to someone, whoever that may be, as suffering in silence helps no one, least of all yourself.
Once you’ve unloaded the burden to a trusted individual, you might just see that there’s nothing to worry about and feel much more comforted and calm.
2. Care for Your Body
When you feel stressed out, your body releases cortisol, which is a stress hormone. An excess of this hormone in your blood can lead to a series of other health issues.
There is a connection between corisol and one’s daily calorie intake. Namely, if there is too much cortisol in your system, you gain unexplained weight.
It’s no secret that one’s response to any stress can have a bad effect on their eating habits. This is why proper nutrition is so vital – without it, your body is not strong enough to cope with stress.
You should eat a balanced diet of vegetables, protein and fruits each day without exception. Also, staying physically active also reduces one’s stress levels, among other benefits.
Additionally, get as much vitamin D as you can by exposing yourself to sunlight (or taking supplements if you must) as this vitamin is crucial for improving your mood and sleep patterns.
3. Relaxation is the Key
That’s why it needs to be a top priority in everyone’s life.
If you have a regular relaxation routine (especially after a stressful day), not only will you be able to think more clearly but the way you see things will also change for the better, giving you a more optimistic view.
There are plenty of ways to relax, whether having a massage or taking a nice bath at home. You can also do yoga and breathing exercises.
Some individuals find it helpful to keep a diary of their feelings. Then there’s also warm herbal teas as a healthy alternative to alcohol or coffee.
4. Address Your Issues Correctly
When you pile on your problems you end up with one giant mess. Which will only increase your stress as you will not know where to start fixing them.
Stacking is never the answer. Rather, take it one step at a time and make sure to solve one problem before moving on to the next one.
The best way to deal with your issues is to introduce order into your life. That way you’ll see that some issues are not as hard or impossible as you may have initially thought.
Further advice is to take your time and not rush things. If you find yourself at a hard period in your life don’t make any rash life-changing decisions.
When at a crossroads, it’s always wiser to take a step back and slowly analyze the problem before coming to a solution.
Stressing out about it will not give you the answer, quite the contrary – it will only serve to create more problems and an endless cycle begins.
5. Be Positive
Whether it’s doing, thinking or being, optimism is always the way to go.
Once you give yourself the time to meditate and relax, you might realize your problems are easier to solve. This is thanks to the positive attitude you’d be adopting.
If you think in a positive manner, the future will also seem brighter and you will be able to control any negative emotions by setting up boundaries as to what is truly worth your time and attention.
Small problems will disappear and big, important ones will be solved once you give yourself the time to find the right solution, without biting your nails or pulling on your hair, of course.
And lastly, it’s perfectly alright if you’ve had a nervous breakdown so far, as you are far from the only one.
There is no shame in feeling stressed and anxious, but if you feel that the above tips are not enough, you can always opt for seeking professional help.
Whatever you do, don’t continue to suffer alone. Life is too short and everyone should be able to achieve their own individual happiness. Stay healthy, dear readers.