Signs of a Nervous Breakdown and When it’s Time to Seek Help

signs of a nervous breakdown

Signs of a Nervous Breakdown and When it’s Time to Seek Help

Mental health issues are common in the United States, with 1 in 5 adults experiencing mental illness each year.[1] Unfortunately, it is all too common for individuals who suffer from mental health problems to avoid getting the treatment they need. When mental health issues are left untreated, they can cause someone to have a hard time functioning in their daily life.

When someone has a nervous breakdown or a “mental breakdown” this refers to stress temporarily rendering a person unable to function on a daily basis. People who suffer from a nervous breakdown may have a hard time completing daily tasks like caring for personal hygiene, going to work, sleeping, and even eating. Nervous breakdowns are considered mental health emergencies that must be treated professionally.

What is a Nervous Breakdown?

Everyone has heard someone say, “I think I’m having a nervous breakdown”, or has thought it themselves. But what exactly is a nervous breakdown?

A “nervous breakdown” is a vague term that is usually used by the media or everyday people to explain a mental health crisis. In other words, “nervous breakdown” is not a professional medical term. Additionally, it has taken on a negative meaning, so it is not used as commonly as in the past.

Nervous breakdowns are not specific mental health diagnoses. Instead, this term describes the feeling of being physically, mentally, and emotionally overwhelmed by the stress of life. When someone has a nervous breakdown, they become unable to cope with the physical and emotional stress they are facing, causing them to function ineffectively.

Having a mental health crisis like a nervous breakdown can make a person feel like they are losing control. Some events caused them to experience an immense amount of stress, leading to symptoms like fear, anxiety, worry, nervousness, and depression. Additionally, they may feel stuck, overwhelmed, or incapacitated, which causes them to be unable to function.

If someone you love is experiencing signs of a nervous breakdown, it’s important to know what to look for and how to get them the help they need.

What Causes a Nervous Breakdown?

The general cause of a nervous breakdown is experiencing stress and being unable to cope with it. However, this is highly individualized, as each person has their own limits in regard to how much stress they can handle before they become overwhelmed.

There are certain risk factors that make people more susceptible to experiencing a mental health crisis like a nervous breakdown. These include:

  • Taking on too many responsibilities at work or at home
  • Being a perfectionist or having a high-achieving personality
  • Feeling the need to be in control
  • Not handing out some responsibilities to others when needed
  • Having a pessimistic outlook on life
  • Working long hours
  • Not getting enough sleep
  • Lacking a good support system and not having close relationships
  • Lacking healthy coping mechanisms or engaging in unhealthy ones
  • Having an untreated mental illness

Signs of a Nervous Breakdown

The signs and symptoms of a nervous breakdown will vary from person to person, as everyone deals with different stressors and has their own limits. A breakdown can even look different from one person to the next. However, there are some general signs that most people experience.

Common signs of a nervous breakdown include:

  • Not performing at work, missing work, or calling in sick a lot
  • Missing scheduled appointments or social events
  • Slipping into poor lifestyle habits like unhealthy eating, not getting enough sleep, or poor hygiene
  • Losing interest in previously beloved activities
  • Not wanting to leave the home or be social with others
  • Feeling sad, hopeless, or worried
  • Being irritated, frustrated, or having frequent outbursts
  • Having a hard time concentrating
  • Having thoughts of self-harm or suicide
  • Being unable to remain calm
  • Feeling pain, fear, and uneasiness
  • Nausea, heart palpitations, and dizziness
  • Trembling, shaking, or trouble breathing
  • Experiencing panic attacks
  • Being paranoid
  • Experiencing hallucinations or delusions
  • Flashbacks of traumatic events (symptoms of PTSD)

If someone is displaying the symptoms of suicidal thoughts or ideation as a result of a nervous breakdown, it is important to get them professional help. Even if they are not displaying these symptoms, professional help is vital, as it could prevent them from reaching that point.

When to Seek Help for a Mental Health Crisis

People should seek help for a mental health crisis when it begins to get in the way of their daily life. For example, if they cannot keep up with personal hygiene, have a hard time going to work, or simply cannot emotionally deal with the stress they are facing – professional help is warranted.

Steps someone should take when experiencing a mental health crisis include:

  • Reaching out to a family member or trusted friend
  • Contact their doctor or mental health provider
  • Schedule an appointment for therapy
  • Contact their local crisis center
  • Get in touch with local mental health treatment centers
  • In situations of suicidal thoughts, contact emergency services for assistance

It is important that people do not wait for their symptoms to get worse before attending treatment. In other words, it is better to seek help sooner rather than later. Waiting for symptoms to worsen could lead to self-harm, suicidal thoughts, severe panic attacks, or even symptoms of psychosis. People should consider getting the help they need as soon as they notice they are experiencing a mental health crisis.

Get Connected With a Top-Rated Mental Health Treatment Program in Delray Beach, Florida

If you or a loved one begin experiencing the symptoms of a nervous breakdown, it’s time for professional mental health treatment. Waiting for the symptoms of your mental health crisis to worsen will only complicate treatment further, causing recovery to become more of a challenge. Instead, consider attending treatment as soon as you begin to experience the symptoms of a nervous breakdown.

Life with mental health issues can be overwhelming and affect every part of your and your loved ones’ lives in so many ways. At Florida Recovery Group, we offer a separate mental health program specifically for adults 18 and older who suffer from emotional and psychiatric health issues. Our team of mental health therapists and medical professionals will evaluate, diagnose and treat the root cause with compassion and empathy.

Contact Florida Recovery Group today to get started.