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A nervous breakdown is a sudden, acute mental imbalance caused by a strong stress reaction. A crisis may appear in response to unexpected, traumatic events, such as the death of a loved one, but it may also be the result of a growing internal conflict. What are the symptoms of a nervous breakdown and how do I deal with its effects?
Nervous breakdown , also known asmental crisis , is a disorder that is often confused with depression. Both diseases cause the phenomenon of the so-called psychological immobility - a state of indifference and disorientation combined with a strong sense of fear, helplessness and depression. Despite a similar repertoire of symptoms, a nervous breakdown is much more rapid than depression and can occur even overnight, for example as a result of a sudden, unexpected loss.
How to recognize a nervous breakdown and help someone who has it?
Nervous breakdown - causes
Psychologists distinguish several causes of a nervous breakdown:
- crisis situation- unexpected event, the consequences of which we cannot cope with, we feel helpless. Most often it is the death of a loved one, news of an illness, loss of job, property, parting with a loved one. Helplessness in the face of a life tragedy causes a strong stress reaction.
- living in permanent stress- a nervous breakdown may also occur when our psyche is no longer able to cope with the growing tension. Especially if we have been downplaying the problem for a long time, pushing it into the subconscious. This includes, for example, accumulating financial problems, a marriage crisis, and long-term work stress.
- non-fulfillment, failure to fulfill a vital need- a crisis occurs when reality does not meet our ambitions and needs. It can be caused, for example, by a series of failures at work, in family life, or in love.
- development crisis- is associated with natural changes in the course of human development. It usually appears at the moment of crossing symbolic life thresholds, i.e. when we reach adulthood, enter middle age (40 years old) and mature (60-70 years old). The immediate cause of the crisis isunsatisfactory life balance, doubts about the purposefulness of one's own actions, lack of prospects.
Nervous breakdown - symptoms
A nervous breakdown usually lasts up to several weeks. During this time, its characteristic symptoms are visible, mainly on the part of the body:
- accelerated pulse,
- shaking hands,
- muscle tension,
- shortness of breath,
- lack of appetite and / or digestive problems,
- nausea and / or vomiting,
- weight loss.
In addition, you can notice a number of emotional symptoms, such as:
- anxiety, anxiety,
- sense of pointlessness, hopelessness,
- tendency to cry,
- social withdrawal,
- drop in motivation,
In very extreme cases, people affected by a nervous crisis may have thoughts of suicide or displaying self-destructive behavior. Then, immediate psychological or psychiatric help is needed.
Every fourth of us experiences a serious mental crisis at least once in our life.
Nervous breakdown - treatment
Mental crisis usually resolves on its own and does not require any special therapeutic or pharmacological treatment. This is especially true of a breakdown caused by a sudden, stressful event, for example, the death of a loved one or a traffic accident. Psychologists emphasize that in such situations a strong emotional reaction is even necessary for the affected person to be able to work through their trauma and come to terms with the suffered loss. Only in this way is it possible to finally close the unpleasant chapter in life and overcome the crisis stronger. Of course, in the first days after a traumatic event, it is worth showing support and interest to the other person - this will make it easier for them to deal with negative thoughts and regain balance faster.
Psychological treatment is necessary when the nervous state of nervousness is alarmingly prolonged and hinders everyday functioning. If untreated, a mental crisis can turn into a chronic form, i.e. depression. Often the harbinger of this disease is the disappearance of the initial violent symptoms of the nervous system and the transition to a state of apathy. The sick person has no appetite, he is constantly sad, depressed, he is not happy, he has no motivation to act. Leaving a person in such a bad mental condition on their own can lead to a deepening of depression and even - in exceptional cases - to suicide. Therefore, you need to be vigilantand in the event of noticing disturbing symptoms, provide a loved one with appropriate psychological support.