Stress, a word we’re all too familiar with. Whether we like it or not, it’s inevitable because not only are our lives have gotten busier but we’re also a generation with hyperawareness about ALL of the world’s crisis. Long term stress can lead to hypertension and what not. Almost EVERY doctor has said that. But what’s lesser known is that it can also lead to a nervous breakdown, which is just as worse, if not more.
First off, we can’t continue without talking about what a nervous breakdown is. When stress doesn’t seem to leave your side and makes it harder for you to function in your daily life. It’s not a medical term anymore so it does have a tendency to be misused. Other than that, nervous breakdowns usually hint towards other mental health conditions or disorders. Basically, a nervous breakdown is considered more of a red flag rather than an actual diagnosis.
How do you even know that you’re having a nervous breakdown? A lot of stress and a mixture of depression and anxiety is usually what a breakdown feels like. It’s often accompanied by obsessive negative thinking and disassociation. Your body is the best at communicating to your brain so it may give signs in the form of muscle tension, unexplainable aches, stomach pains and headaches. Some other symptoms include extreme mood swings, insomnia, hallucinations and even panic attacks. For some it can also take the form social isolation or mental confusion.
The vagueness of this term makes it a very umbrella term, hence, it isn’t caused by the same thing for everyone, for some it could be triggered by a breakup, bankruptcy, divorce or even a loved one. For others, some form of trauma or ongoing difficulties could be the catalyst. If you have a personal or family history of anxiety disorders, it raises your chances of experiencing a nervous breakdown.
It’s very easy to spiral down when your life seems to be surrounded by stress and constant unfortunate events, but recovery is also possible. If a person’s nervous breakdown is caused by an underlying mental illness, the right medication along with the right diagnosis can be life-changing.
Another common treatment is talk therapy with a counsellor or psychotherapist. A therapist can help anyone achieve a better life as they usually provide with the patient with healthy coping mechanisms. Another type of therapy, called cognitive behavioral therapy, can help build a connection between your thoughts, feelings and actions. You can also take matters into your hands directly by making little changes in your life. Using relaxation techniques such as mindfulness and progressive muscle relaxation can pave a way to getting out of this state. These methods are actually used by therapists so results are guaranteed. Things such as self-care, exercising, journaling and even reading books that you enjoy can make you feel better.
A person can break out of this cycle by managing their symptoms. This can be done by getting a physical examination since a medical problem can also affect your mental health. There are also alternative treatments which can help relieve stress such as massage or yoga. It’s truly a matter of trial and error to find out what helps you.
The fact that some people are more susceptible to nervous breakdowns than other is unsettling and not at all comforting. The truth is, as emotional beings, there is only so much we can take. It’s important to prioritize one’s mental health because we can all break at one point. Accepting that you need help is the first step to recovery. Aside from professional help, the support of your friends and family can also do wonders.
All in all, a nervous breakdown is a very human thing and should be a sign for you. A person should never these signs.
Until Next Time,
Team Doctor ASKY!