I’d take time to talk about something that few people like to talk about: the beginning of nervous breakdowns. Also known as meltdown, going cray cray, or “losing it”, a nervous breakdown is a temporary departure from sanity that leads to a very frustrating inability to live normally.
You wouldn’t believe it but even taking a bath or brushing your teeth is hard when you have this. You can just breathe in a room and stare at the ceiling, and it can go on for days.
It happens to people. They may not be twerking or doing outrageous things for the whole world to see, but it’s a problem and it’s real. And it makes even macho men cry if they had it, for sure.
Here are some symptoms:
1. A helpless, despairing, utter inability to work (to the point of a silent and hopeless paralysis)
2. A general sense that something is wrong… that EVERYTHING is wrong
3. Loss of sleep
4. Loss of appetite
5. Potentially frightening or aggressive behavior bubbling from within
6. Self-destructive tendencies
7. Occasional loss of will to live
I used to think that this was just a cute phrase that some people coined when they want to take a vacation from work. Well, it’s really serious and it needs some medical attention if you have it. There’s nothing cute about it.
When you have it, you will actually FEEL it as you approach it. It’s like you’re this spinning top wildly wobbling from end to end. And then you just fall, one day. No warnings. You just fall flat on the ground and everything where your world used to revolve no longer matters. It’s just darkness and more darkness. And then you horribly realize that you cannot even lift a finger to bounce back. You’re just there, staring at yourself.
A good therapist is definitely the way to go, but no good shrink can help you if you choose not to help yourself.
Tips in the Aftermath of a Nervous Breakdown:
1. Pray to whatever God you are subscribed to.
2. Start living again. START OVER. Start with one tiny goal, one day at a time. Pick up the broken pieces of yourself, one painful piece at a time.
It’s hard to wake up or to do work or to do anything, for that matter. But you have to get up at some point.
Make tiny goals like taking a bath, making a 5-minute phone call, or just at least stop feeling sorry for yourself little by little. It helps to have one thing, just one thing done for the day. You start regaining your confidence in yourself when you accomplish. Don’t make it too hard. Don’t make it too easy. Just one thing per day.
Don’t stress yourself. Just think of what you can handle without breaking down again.
3. Stay away from the triggers of your nervous breakdown, as far away as possible, while you are recovering.
Like really, stay the hell away from them/it/him/her.
4. Don’t give in to impulses of killing yourself or other people. You can ask your loved ones if you are becoming too weird. They’d probably be more than happy to tell you.
5. Take your meds, if any. (If you have a meltdown, you will probably have this)
6. Alter your diet. Veggies and fruits. Heal your heart one carrot stick at a time. If you can handle the herbs, then go for herbs. Also, I heard from the grapevine that sugar and salt messes with moods and waistlines so if you can ditch that while you recover, that will do you good.
7. Remember the experience of hitting the bottom as a memory of how you survived. Operative word is SURVIVE, not succumb.
8. WRITE. Write through the pain. Write for your survival. Write on behalf of those who cannot speak for themselves. Write everywhere and just let it all out until your hands are dry.
9. Don’t let yourself go. Give yourself a chance to rebuild yourself and start over. Be kind to yourself, for a change. This happened because you did not listen to yourself as much as you should…
A tenth possible tip here: Blog about it. 🙂 Chances are, someone whose eyes are parked in these synaptic internet highways will be suffering the same and you might just have the “TIMELY” word that draws deeply from your experience. You will find countless chat rooms and forum topics covering nervous breakdowns when you hit a Google search…
Honestly, it won’t mean anything unless you have seen someone SURVIVE and live to tell the tale.
Oh and one more thing to always remind yourself: You’ll be fine. You’ll get through it. Put up with those “helpful” statements that other people give you but just be convinced that this, too, shall pass. On your own pace.
Start telling yourself these things, these very same things I say when I stand in the mirror every morning.
And we will be fine together, in time.