Nervous Breakdown

What Causes A Nervous Breakdown (Emotional) Breakdown?

There is always a trigger or a reason that sparks a nervous breakdown. Breakdowns usually stem from a change in a major life event such as a broken relationship, death of a loved one, a demanding job or financial difficulties, difficulties in expectations in various roles in life. A combination of a number of the above over long or short periods of life without been addressed are major causes.

There are also a number of other Factors that may/can contribute to a breakdown these include:

  • Stress
  • Depression
  • Alcohol and drug abuse
  • Low self esteem / confidence
  • Been bullied in extreme cases
  • Not been heard listened to
  • Anxiety surrounding major life
  • hanges such as pregnancy/after birth/labor, menopause, etc
  • Schizophrenia
  • Extreme guilt or emotional problems
  • Loss of Job
  • Promotion unsure if capable of meeting expectations

Physical Symptoms

There are also a number of Physical / Emotional / Behavioural sypmtoms also to be aware of when suffering from an nervous or emotiona breakdown listed below:

  • Physical Symptoms
  • Sleep disruption – much longer periods of sleep or insomnia
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
  • Panice anxiety attacks or Breathing problems
  • Migraine headaches
  • Low libido
  • Memory loss
  • Disrupted menstrual cycle
  • Extreme exhaustion / fatigue
  • Feelings of persistent anxiety or panic attacks
  • Significant changes in appetite, such as eating too little or too much (comfort eating)

Mental & Emotional Nervous Breakdowns

In today’s society, unlike the past, people are becoming more open and less stigmatic around mental illnesss. They are seeking out help for issues such as panic attacks / depression through counselling.

However the term Breakdown can sometimes be frightening. Where in the past hospitalisation in an institution was the outcome with the patient being stigmatised by society. Thankfully it is more acceptable today, but can still be traumatising for the individual family and friends going through this experience without knowledge of what is actually going on.

What is a Nervous Breakdown (Emotional) breakdown?

A nervous breakdown can be described as an acute emotional or psychological collapse. The term nervous breakdown is not a medical term, but rather a colloquial term used by the general public to refer to and characterise a wide range of mental illnesses.

It generally occurs when a person is unable to function in social / work / family roles anymore, experiencing severe depression or feelings of being out of touch with reality. This often occurs after a long period of stress which has not been adequately dealt with.

This inability to function normally can occur in both work and personal areas, resulting in difficulty in fulfilling obligations to self and others. It also may cause the individual to develop physical, mental and emotional symptoms.

A person experiencing symptoms of a nervous breakdown may feel extreme tiredness (emotional tiredness), weakness, episodes of uncontrollable crying, confusion, disorientation and feelings of worthlessness.

This will also effect the self-esteem and confidence of the individaul, extreme weight loss or weight gain, disrupted sleep patterns / nightmares / dreams and feelings of guilt and despair.

In severe cases, an inability to work or want to go to work / school / college. These are serious issues and should not be taken lightly

Emotional Symptoms

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Agitation and Restlessness
  • Indecision
  • Loss of confidence and selfesteem
  • Inability to stop crying
  • Feelings of guilt, poor judgment
  • Disinterest in social life and work or alienation from previously close friends and family
  • Inability to pursue a normal life, normal activities or normal relationships
  • Increasing dependence abuse of alcohol or drugs
  • Paranoid thoughts, such as the thought people are trying to harm you
  • Seeing people who are not there
  • Thoughts of suicide

Behavioural Symptoms

  • Mood swings
  • Strange behaviour such as odd body movements or undressing in public
  • Exhibiting strong or violent anger or the opposite

In more extreme cases, psychosis can occur where the person will experience complete loss of contact with reality.

The symptoms may include hallucinations or visions, feelings of victimization or persecution, strange speech patterns and behaviours –

Untreated or not talking or doing something about been in the above circumstance can lead to a Nervous (emotional) Breakdown and in extreme cases SUICIDE.

Does Counselling Help For Nervous Breakdowns?

Together with the individaul the counsellor will look at acceptance of where the individaual is and ways of preventing similar episodes from happening again. Personally I use a number off approaches when helping in this area.

Listening to the story and uncovering the reasons, Learning/Teaching the individual new ways of dealing with what has caused the breakdown. Dealing with stress through relaxation techniques.

Setting new goals and strengthening self esteem through a mixture of Cognitive Behavioural therapy, reality therapy and Hypnotherapy depending on the needs of the client.

A treatment plan of a agreed number of sessions will be put in place to hep addresse the issues presenting and help the individual firstly accept where they are at and work towards resolving and coming to terms with these issues.

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