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What Is a Nervous Breakdown?

What Is a Nervous Breakdown?

It is easy to tell if someone is physically hurt—look for a cane, a cast, or a bandage, and you will see an ailment or injury. However, more and more people have mental illness and other cognitive disorders that may be deceiving or altogether unseen by the naked eye. For example, we have all heard about celebrities and other infamous people having a “nervous breakdown,” but what does this mean, and how do you prevent one?

A “nervous breakdown” is not something you can easily find on a medical chart and studies, but there are signs to be aware of and ways to heal from a mental break caused by several factors unique to any individual. Below read the warning signs and ways to heal and move on from a mental break.

Your Life Is Not Only Stressful—it's Seemingly Unmanageable

It's impossible to remove all stress from your life. It's normal to feel the ebb and flow of tension that corresponds to many factors, including relationships, career, or general circumstances. However, if the stress in your life does not dissipate and only gets more and more unmanageable, you might be headed toward a mental break. There may be a terminal point where the stress makes it impossible to address or complete everyday tasks. If stress-relieving activities you once relied on no longer work, or you cannot relax, your stress may be becoming unmanageable.

You Are Experiencing Numbness or Anxiety Attacks With Frequency

Either one of these symptoms on its own is a sign of a mental ailment; however, if you are experiencing both with frequency, this can be a tell-tale sign of an impending nervous breakdown. When we have panic attacks, our sensory body is hyper-aroused which can cause a “flight or fight” response. The body and mind are not in sync and can, unfortunately, cause this very stressful response.

On the other hand, a feeling of numbness can also manifest if you are experiencing symptoms of a mental break. This sensation can cause a lack of interest in activities you once enjoyed, can cause a decrease in appetite and energy, and get in the way of you performing day-to-day functions.

How to Reverse or Prevent a Nervous Breakdown

Luckily there are both self-care tactics and professional ones that can help curb or even prevent your chances of having a mental breakdown. Below, see what you can do to keep your mental health stable.

1) Exercise Your Body: Our physical and mental bodies are more in sync than you think. Regular exercise is essential to keep both your mind and body healthy and functioning. Moving the body both indoors and outdoors will raise endorphins to manage stress and improve your self-image. This can be as simple as planning physical activity for at least 30 minutes three times a week.

2) Prioritizing Rest and Relaxation: Easier said than done—but if you focus on taking breaks when stressed or incorporating breathing techniques to calm down, you can significantly reduce your chance of a mental break. But, again, these are not just silly suggestions but scientifically proven tactics to readjust your brain's response to stress.

3) Cutting Out Substances: Sometimes, a drink can cause more harm than good. If you feel fragile emotionally, try cutting out alcohol, drugs, and even caffeine to allow your body to build defenses naturally. Avoiding these substances can also help realign your appetite and sleep schedules, which can holistically improve your chances of a nervous breakdown.

4) Find a Therapist: Not everything can be done alone, and sometimes we require outside help from professionals. Finding help through therapy is not a sign of weakness but rather a significant step to widening our networks of support and care.

You do not need to suffer from mental illness in silence. There are ways to inform and empower yourself to make the changes necessary to live a happy and healthy life!

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