When I had a mental breakdown, I can remember exactly what happened to me at the time. It was so awful that I was afraid I would pass out. In the kitchen, I was preparing my usual breakfast of oats and two sun-cooked eggs. A sudden burst of tears rolled down my cheeks as I struggled to finish preparing my morning meal— I attempted to push through, but it felt so out of control that my chest began to ache, making it difficult to catch my breath. This time around, though, my resolute declarations to myself, “You’ll be OK, just take a deep breath” were so insignificant compared to what was going on. The other issue was, I had no idea what was truly happening, which terrified me. “What is going on?” I asked myself. Why is this happening? As my cries grew more ferocious, my inquiries grew more complex, and there were no answers to the simplest of them all, I felt increasingly out of control.
On that particular morning, it was my father’s birthday, and I remember waking up really eager to facetime him. In fact, I had awoken–I had texted him and planned to call him later, given how early it was. That did not happen– he ended up contacting me since he perceived it as out of character for me to not call him on his birthday. I didn’t pick up the phone, not because I didn’t want to, but because I didn’t want to spoil his day or even talk about what was going on– especially given, as I previously stated, I had no idea what was going on. In retrospect, even though I couldn’t place the source of my furor, I could see how repression, coupled with anything contemporary, must have been a trigger. It was more like something that’s on the verge of detonating.
Typically, I’m able to deal with things quite well, but this time it hit different. I was so terrified by this incident that I immediately dialed the mental health hotline and also contacted one of my trusted confidants. A lack of words and a dwindling supply of breath left me unable to speak at the time; as a result, I requested them to be on the phone with me as I lay down to try to fall asleep. I recall my confidant terrified saying– “Omg, I’ve never heard or seen you behave this way; what the fuck is going on with you?” I couldn’t possibly answer that question.
With my breath back under control, I took a moment to try and not think about anything– but you know how that goes, the exact opposite happened instead. But this time, I was in charge of my thoughts, or at the very least, I was able to organize them. I decided to take a break from everything in order to regain my composure and address the situation head-on. After a few days, I decided to talk to someone, and in the process, I broke uncontrollably–I understood that my suppression was much deeper than I had previously assumed. I had no idea how much had been suppressed until that moment. “I have so much rage and I’m not sure where it’s coming from,” I recall telling the assistant. In general, I’m a patient person who doesn’t become easily irritated. So where was this furiousness coming from?
Why did it choose that particular moment to occur? The body could no longer take it– It’s strange how the body works, but it does communicate when enough is enough. It does signal when we should rest and regain our composure. It does alert us when there is a problem. And occasionally, in fact, most of the time, triggers can serve as a stimulus. Despite our attempts to remain in denial and push it to the back of our minds – more along the lines of will process that later and get on with what is – the mind and body fight to give you what you ask. That does not imply that it has been forgotten.
What is a nervous breakdown?
A nervous breakdown (alternatively referred to as a mental-breakdown) is a term referring to an extended period of mental or emotional stress. The person’s stress level is so high that he or she is unable to carry out everyday tasks. A nervous breakdown is not caused by a single factor. It can be triggered by anything that causes an excessive amount of stress. Feeling stressed and unable to deal with it can make it difficult, if not impossible, to go about your typical daily activities.
Stress is a natural aspect of life. However, when feelings become very overwhelming, they can precipitate a mental breakdown. Being overwhelmed by the responsibilities of life is not an unusual experience for humanity. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by stress, speak with someone — this might be a family member or a friend, your therapist, or even your doctor. Allow yourself to explore any and all emotions that may be running through your mind. Mental breakdowns are not time-bound; they can occur at any time and to anyone. Communicating with another person can empower you in processing your thoughts and developing solutions to reduce your tension and anxiety. Always remember that it’s okay to feel it all– take care of yourself.