Periods of dire emotional and mental stress are perceived to trigger nervous breakdowns. It would be best to note that nervous breakdowns are not mental or health conditions but are considered mental health crises. This form of mental health crisis can be quite overwhelming, leaving an individual unable to cope with daily activities and function in an effective manner. The resulting reaction to these stress factors may mimic the features of medical conditions.
Diagnosis for nervous breakdowns often calls for a review of the individual’s medical history to determine underlying conditions. The medical professionals will also review any medication you are currently on. Physical exams and other medical tests may be administered to determine if there are other causes for the noted symptoms. A professional will also review your current symptoms with regards to what is happening in your life.
Conditions That Can Cause a Nervous Breakdown
Nervous breakdowns have no particular cause. These periods may arise from prolonged stress and the inability to cope with this stress. A nervous breakdown may indicate the existence of an underlying mental health condition, which needs to be addressed. Symptoms from other conditions could hasten or be early indicators of an imminent breakdown. Individuals with undiagnosed and untreated depression or anxiety disorders may experience nervous breakdowns.
Depression is evident in individuals who lack interest in normal activities and are constantly hopeless and sad. Anxiety disorders may specifically be social, panic or generalized disorders. Other symptoms for these conditions may manifest as:
- Constant fearfulness
- Low self-esteem
- Constant worrying
- Irritability and spontaneous anger
- Withdrawal from social life
- Low enthusiasm
- Poor concentration and alertness
- Uncontrollable crying
- Breathing difficulties
- Suicidal tendencies
When an individual with these conditions experiences stress and is left untreated, they may quickly sink into nervous breakdown.
Traumatic experiences may lead to Post Traumatic Stress Disorders (PTSD). Individuals who have been recently exposed to severe tragedy and loss are at high risk. If left untreated these individuals could experience nervous breakdowns whenever they are exposed to stressful situations. Other common conditions to look out for include schizophrenia, inflammatory conditions, and bipolar disorders. Constant treatment and care are necessary to keep these conditions from ballooning during stressful situations.
Nervous breakdowns may be brought on by issues in our immediate relationships, such as family wrangles and burnout, both at work or at school. Inadequate rest due to insomnia and restlessness may over time result in nervous breakdown.
Prevention and Treatment
While stress is a part of our lives, it would be commendable to consider medical assistance when one notices stress interfering with their daily routine and functionality. A doctor is well placed to treat the physical manifestations of this crisis and refer you to the relevant professional for further assistance. Early diagnosis allows for quick intervention to curb the risks of nervous breakdown. The course of treatment is often determined depending on the established causes and the individual.
A change in lifestyle could go a long way in managing your mental wellbeing. Our routine lives are stressful and tend to enhance mental fatigue, a common feature of breakdowns. De-stressing your lifestyle can be quite helpful and revealing. This process may involve moving to a stress free environment and taking on less stressful daily activities. Reducing your routine obligations will lighten the load on your mental health. It would be commendable to consider quitting recreational drug and alcohol use with this change.
It would be ideal to adopt a healthy lifestyle, as a healthy body complements a healthy mind. Exercising regularly and eating healthy will keep you refreshed and operating optimally. Breaks and vacations are necessary to allow an individual to rest and restore themselves. Meditation and spending time with nature has also been proven to improve mental wellness.
Medication may be considered to supplement the lifestyle change. Doctors may describe anti-anxiety medication, sleeping aids and antidepressants, depending on the manifested symptoms and established cause of stress. Getting proper rest and managing any underlying mental conditions is quite effective in warding off nervous breakdowns.
Psychotherapy is administered as an effective tool for restoring mental wellbeing. This therapy is heavily hinged on talking to a professional about what led to your mental crisis. These conversations can be quite enlightening and are useful in preventing future breakdowns from similar stresses. The process entails a guided approach to revitalizing your thought processes and problem solving capabilities.
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