A mental breakdown can be one of the most traumatic and disturbing experiences anyone has to face. The term is more often used by sufferers themselves rather than health care professionals who will tend to diagnose a specific condition such as depression or anxiety disorder.
Mental breakdown is, however, very real to the person that suffers from it. It can not only have damaging consequences for you as an individual but also for those around you who may be uncertain and equally frightened about what is happening.
The good news is that there is plenty of help out there and recovery with the right treatment and support is highly likely.
Admitting There’s a Problem
Most people realise there is a problem when they have a mental breakdown as it involves severe episode. Symptoms can include heightened levels of anxiety, depression, disrupted eating habits, feelings of hopelessness and confusion, and even suicidal thoughts that have a detrimental effect on everyday living and those around you. Once you realise that you have a problem it’s time to seek professional help.
Clinical Treatment for a Mental Breakdown
There is no one size fits all cure for a mental breakdown as it will depend on the circumstances and condition you are diagnosed with. For instance, depression might be treated with some medication in the first instance to stabilise your condition. This will probably be followed by some form of therapy that will address the underlying causes. This can include processes such as talk therapy where you talk through the development and causes of your condition with a qualified therapist. There’s also Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) which can help you look at your illness in a different, more positive way.
The trick is to understand that there is not a quick cure for a mental breakdown but if you have the support in place then you can make a full recovery. It’s often about taking small steps that lead you out onto the other side.
Self-Help for a Mental Breakdown
Apart from professional help, there are also things you can be doing to help get over your mental breakdown. It can be a long road but if you face it head on then you can begin to do something positive about it.
First of all, you shouldn’t be ashamed or embarrassed about having a mental breakdown. It happens to millions of people every year and is a mental health condition, not a personal choice or mistake on your part.
Don’t be afraid to look at what caused your mental breakdown and find ways to put these issues right. For example, it might be that you had too much of a stress load at work and were unable to say no or cope. You might have had a combination of problems such as a past traumatic experience you were bottling up or issues within the family that have added to your anxiety and stress.
Keep yourself healthy. This means eating properly and regularly as well as staying away from substances such as alcohol. Introducing an exercise regime, even if you don’t immediately feel like it, can improve your mood. It doesn’t have to be anything strenuous – taking a 15-minute walk is just as good as anything else. A good night’s sleep is also vital for recovery.
Learning some relaxation techniques can help you cope with stressful situations. You are more likely to be susceptible to these after your breakdown and learning something like meditation and mindfulness can help a good deal and has been shown to be effective in cases where there are health problems.
Accept support from friends and family. One of the keys to recovering from a breakdown is to make sure that you don’t feel isolated and alone. Joining a family therapy group can help your loved ones understand what you are going through and provide the support you need.
As any sufferer will tell you, a mental breakdown can be devastating for the individual involved. Getting help from your doctor and doing something about it is the best course of action. While it can be a long road to recovery for some people, the support and treatment you need is out there and can help you move towards a happier and more productive future.