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What are the Signs and Symptoms of A Nervous Breakdown?

What is a nervous breakdown? It should be noted that although many people classify a nervous breakdown as a “mental breakdown” – a nervous breakdown is merely a subtype of mental breakdown that involves intense feelings of anxiety and stress – this is what causes us to react with our “nerves” and we feel “nervous.”

A nervous breakdown is typically caused by excessive activation of the sympathetic nervous system. This triggers a “fight or flight” response in the body and results in intense feelings of anxiety and tension. This anxiety becomes so overwhelming that we are unable to cope with life. I personally have experienced a nervous breakdown, so I know how difficult it can be to cope with.

During this experience, you may feel as though life is completely hopeless and that you will never recover or return to normal. It can be both scary and difficult to cope with these symptoms because your body is either in a state of hyperarousal or is transitioning into one. You may feel as if you are going crazy and may experience rapid thinking, feel depressed, and suicidal. Your outlook on the future may seem pretty bleak and things may feel as if they are never going to be the same.

The truth is that many people have experienced nervous breakdowns to a very severe degree and have made full recoveries back to biopsychosocial homeostasis. I am a prime example that recovery is possible – my breakdown lasted over a year and the recovery process certainly did not happen overnight. I am of the belief that the recovery from a nervous breakdown is somewhat proportionate to the build-up or onset length of the symptoms.

Signs and Symptoms of a Nervous Breakdown

Common signs and symptoms of a nervous breakdown can vary from person to person. In general, the hallmark symptoms include: anxiety, nervousness, stress, increased arousal, and tension. Whether you are a man, woman, teenager, or elderly, below is a list of some things you may experience.

  • Anxiety: The anxiety that you experience during a nervous breakdown can become overwhelming. In fact, most people are not able to cope with it until they learn that this anxiety is simply the result of their body’s stress response.
  • Appetite changes: People may feel like not eating any food. It is more common to avoid eating than it is to want to overeat. Everyone copes differently though and some people may turn to eating large amounts of food as a means of coping.
  • Depersonalization: This is a classic symptom that you may experience. It involves feeling unlike your natural self. You feel like an entirely different person, often void of emotion, and stressed. You may even feel like a zombie or as though an alien has invaded your brain.
  • Depression: The depression that you experience during a nervous breakdown is often a result of extreme anxiety. The anxiety becomes crippling and you lose all confidence, isolate yourself, feel alone, and as if you will never recover. Your entire outlook on life becomes that of dread and gloom.
  • Confusion: It is common to experience confusion and confused thinking. When your brain is overloaded with a stress response, it can be difficult to think clearly.
  • “Going crazy”: You may think or fear that you are going crazy, have some undiagnosed mental illness, or are schizophrenic. Just know that it is much more likely that you are just overly stressed.
  • Headaches: These are typically a result of tension, inability to relax, and inability to get proper sleep.  As soon as you are able to calm down and get some rest, it can help with headaches.
  • Hopelessness: Some people become hopeless about their future because they think they will never recover.
  • Hypochondria: Physical symptoms are common during a nervous breakdown. These accompanied with the rapid, stressful thinking can make you think that you have a severe physical illness. Often times these symptoms seem so real from a first-person perspective that even with reassurance from a doctor that nothing is wrong, we continue to freak out and think there is some undiagnosed, untreated condition.
  • Hyperarousal: Feeling hyperaroused involves feeling energetic, tense, stressed, and stimulated. Typically when we are overstressed for an extensive period of time to the point of “breaking down” we become hyperaroused.
  • Inability to concentrate: You may experience rapid, obsessive thinking and may actually get so stressed that you cannot concentrate at work or school.
  • Insomnia: One of the most common symptoms is insomnia or the inability to fall asleep.  This is due to overstimulation and high amounts of stress.  The person literally cannot calm their brain down to help themselves get a good night’s sleep.
  • Isolation: Some people experiencing a breakdown may isolate themselves from friends and family because they don’t know how to cope. Men are more likely to isolate than women.
  • Losing control: You may fear as though you are losing control of your mind and entire life.
  • Losing interest: You may lose interest in pleasurable activities such as sex or hanging out with friends.
  • Memory problems: People can struggle with both short term and long term memory when extremely stressed. These memory issues are not permanent and will subside as soon as the individual trains themselves to relax again.
  • Mood swings: It’s common to experience anger, hate, resent, and other negative emotions throughout the day. When people are stressed, there’s no telling what their mood will be – it can change on a whim.
  • Nervousness: This is the primary symptom of a nervous breakdown. Nervousness is an interchangeable term with anxiety and stress.
  • Physical pain: Some people report bodily pain and muscle pain. This can be a result of tension and rigidity throughout the body, but can also be a somatic issue.
  • Rapid thinking: When you have a breakdown, your thinking can become increasingly rapid. Typically this rapid thinking involves unfavorable, obsessive, and negative thoughts.
  • Sensitivity to sounds / lights: When we become overstimulated with stress, we can become highly sensitized to loud noises and bright lights. These things can further stress us out.
  • Suicidal thoughts: It is very common to feel suicidal during a nervous breakdown. This is because we don’t know what’s going on in our body and we can’t control our thoughts or emotions. These feelings are normal, but should be addressed in therapy.
  • Sleeplessness: People often experience broken sleep throughout the night because they cannot relax.
  • Stress: The stress you experience may be greater than ever before. In fact it may become so great that you feel as though you cannot cope with life anymore. The not being able to cope anymore is the “breakdown.”
  • Tension: Physical tension is one of the most common signs of a nervous breakdown. You may feel tense all over and not know how to deal with it.

How to Overcome a Nervous Breakdown

Explaining how to overcome a nervous breakdown scientifically is pretty easy. The goal is to increase activity in the parasympathetic nervous system – which is responsible for helping the body relax. By increasing activity in the parasympathetic nervous system, you will naturally decrease activity in the sympathetic nervous system.

This will allow you to experience increased levels of relaxation. However, this is much easier said than done. In someone that has already experienced a total breakdown, their brain and body is wired to stay in hyper drive. The goal is to help them recognize that they are experiencing an intense state of anxiety and/or emotional response, and to use various tools to increase parasympathetic nervous system activation.

  1. Psychotherapy: Getting yourself in to a psychologist of licensed psychotherapist can be beneficial for your recovery. They will work with you to address and correct faulty thinking patterns and behavior. This can be highly effective for people struggling with a breakdown.
  2. Relaxation techniques: Techniques such as progressive relaxation and guided meditation have been found to be effective at reducing the body’s stress response and increasing the parasympathetic (relaxation) response.
  3. Exercise: Some would argue that the effects of intense aerobic exercise can actually make symptoms of a nervous breakdown more intense. However, the cumulative effects of exercise over time are generally good for the brain and body. Exercise will help your body utilize the extra “nervous” energy that it has created and may help you sleep better at night.  Read more about the psychological benefits of exercise.
  4. Medications: You may benefit from taking an antidepressant or anti-anxiety (anxiolytic) drug to help you cope with the symptoms.

You may also want to read the articles how to overcome PTSD as well as 10 natural cures for anxiety disorders.  Both of those articles have some helpful information that you may be able to apply towards alleviating symptoms and recovering from your breakdown.  You can fully recover from a breakdown, I am living proof that it can be done.  You just need to take things one day at a time and gradually increase relaxation throughout your body and mind.

Have you ever experienced a nervous breakdown? Were you able to overcome it?

For some people, the symptoms of a nervous breakdown can last weeks or months. In some cases, the symptoms may persist into a more chronic form of anxiety that lasts for years. If a person takes proper care of themselves by getting into psychotherapy and relaxation techniques, they can usually get over it in a relatively short period of time. However, some people do not treat their nervous condition with professional help and end up unnecessarily suffering for years. If you experienced a nervous breakdown, feel free to share how you overcame the symptoms and/or more about your experience.

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{ 129 comments… add one }
  • Claudette Saifert August 18, 2014, 4:11 am

    I really, really wish I had found this article in 1984 when I was 14…

  • Ruth September 3, 2014, 12:32 pm

    I had a “nervous breakdown”, diagnosed as major depressive disorder. I was suffering from extreme grief, stress, anxiety, doom, unknown future, and some other minor feelings. I got into therapy pretty quickly, a few months before I was settled physically, (had to make a major move back to my parents home). I was put onto medication that probably saved my life even though I still made a few suicide attempts. It took me six years before I was pretty much back to my old self. I still suffer a bit and have been on disability for five yrs now. If I can be of any help, please drop me an email.

    • Mujtaba September 19, 2014, 5:11 pm

      Hey how did you face this problem? I am going through an extremely bad patch because of some girl you can say…nothing is going the way it should in my life…im soooo depressed but cant share it with anyone. I was never like this. Any help will be appreciated.

      • Cass February 3, 2016, 4:54 pm

        I recently went through a bad break up, I was always anxious, never stopped to think about anyone else but him, everything seemed to be grey and I majorly distanced myself from anyone. What I did was every time he popped up in my head I instantly tried to think about something else. On top of that, I told myself I was great before I met him all in time I’ll be great without him. On top of that if you fell for this girl, I’m sure you will fall for another one and then another one. No, the feelings and love may not be the same but it can be even better the next time around. Love is all around.

    • steven December 30, 2014, 10:13 pm

      I have been on a similar journey. Had to move back home and relearn things over again. Thanks for your post.

    • Sue March 12, 2015, 5:08 am

      Ruth your experience seems very close to mine. I would like to reach out to you for answers that may be able to help me. I’ve been on disability for 4 years now and I don’t see any hope in sight. Bit of background: I resided in the Canadian arctic in an isolated environment for 10 years and was being harassed by my boss.

      My coworker was also being harassed by my boss and committed suicide. Another friend couldn’t deal with my coworkers suicide and she attempted suicide and I found her. Shortly thereafter I had a nervous breakdown and it was recommended I leave the territory for my own mental health. I moved back to central Canada and dealt with severe anxiety and social anxiety issues and was unable to access proper healthcare as I didn’t have the proper provincial entitlement to healthcare for 4 months.

      My condition worsened I took to gambling as a release, lost about 150k and found myself jobless as the government I was working for terminated my employment while on disability. I then hit major depression and loneliness. It took all my strength not to commit suicide. I’m at a point where I really don’t feel it will ever get better. As a result of my mental illness friends that I had 10 years ago turned their back on me. Looking for answers and guidance.

      • Lee-Ann November 6, 2015, 2:00 am

        My thoughts are with you Sue. I’m sorry to hear about your losses and setbacks. Statistically I should not be a survivor. After a series of events stemming from childhood, I had breakdown after breakdown and was never able to reset. After sifting out the negative influences in my life, I was slowly able to get on my feet. I suffer from chronic fatigue now because of this, but not to the extent of being bedridden. Doctors have not been helpful and essentially, I have had to figure this out alone. I hope you are able to find some way to process everything…

        • Panya November 8, 2015, 6:14 am

          I had a nervous breakdown in my early twenties. I went through major stress and anxiety and depression. Bit by bit I recovered. Moved to another state in Australia which I loved and started going to church again. However I still got tired and fatigued easily. Now 20 years later I still have fatigue. I need more sleep then others and get tired and worn out quite quickly. My friends think I have chronic fatigue. Any suggestions?

          • Diana November 10, 2015, 4:47 am

            Dear Panya, I just experienced a nervous breakdown two weeks ago. I too suffer from being fatigued. I had a sleep study in 2004 and was found to have sleep apnea. I use a CPAP machine, and that has great improved my life. However, the fatigue has gotten worse. I am going to see a neurologist/sleep doctor get another sleep test for narcolepsy (daytime sleepiness). You may want to have your doctor consider a sleep study too. Best wishes to you.

          • somegronk March 25, 2016, 10:15 am

            CPAP is not going to help with the fatigue experienced as part of a nervous breakdown. You may feel like wrapping the tubing around your neck really tightly instead. Try to eat really healthy food rich in iron (green veggies) and as hard as it is exercise a bit each day and make sure you try to build on that and make it longer.

            Using energy actually helps you build and create new energy, so walking a bit outside somewhere nice and then try to go further each time. Sunlight on your eyes is really good too for depression. I have had a nervous breakdown before and I know the lingering fatigue well. Even just sit outside in the sun for a few days first before you make a commitment to stand up and walk a bit. All the best.

      • lissa November 25, 2015, 8:17 pm

        Read your story. Please don’t give up. Sending you lots of best wishes and love. You’ve been through so much you sound like you have so much to offer others in terms of help and guidance. Don’t give up.

        • Meg December 16, 2015, 10:57 pm

          I too have suffered a nervous breakdown and feel like it’s taking me about 3 or more years to recover from it. Antidepressants help, but I am still missing that joy for life that I used to have. I feel for all of you who have gone through this, and my wish is that none of us loses hope.

      • Audrey February 24, 2016, 7:14 pm

        Not sure how old your comments are, but I have a similar background which attributed to my burn out/breakdown. My soon to be ex husband attempted suicide in the first 2 years of our marriage and when our marriage ended 10 years later proceeded to attempt suicide 3 more times all with me being on the other end of the phone or finding him.

        I understand what living in the north can do to others as well as the amount of suicide that happens there. I also lived up north and had classmates commit suicide. If you would like to talk, I’m open to it. Best wishes!

      • Sandra August 12, 2016, 7:21 pm

        I have had more than one breakdown. I understand everyone’s posts. Because I am in exactly the same painful situation… I relate to all of the sharing of our painful stories. I am 62 yrs old. Yes, I have had joy in my life. However, I always have picked the wrong friends, as well as boyfriends/husband. They all fed off me, drained me, ripped me off and betrayed me. I have chosen to stay alone.

        I am in a living situation with a man at the present time. I have PTSD he knows it and aggravates it, until I pray for death. I too have had abusive bosses. One got her face slapped as I quit because of her meanness towards me everyday at work. All because I sold more than her. I was unmercifully harassed for being the number one sales person.

        I cried during work and all the way home most everyday for 2 years before I smacked her. I am sick of cruel, predatory people. That’s why everyone on here is suffering, or has suffered. OTHER PEOPLE. People who are predatory are drawn to people like us. They feed on our emotional disorder. They take delight in watching us cry, beg for them to give us a break, and will laugh in our face while we are hysterical from no sleep, pain and constant stress.

        A therapy pet has really helped me. The love you receive from an animal is soothing and like no other!❤️🐈🐾🐾 Swimming has helped also. And just being alone in a natural setting. I listen to Somewhere over the Rainbow by the late IZ. I walk, lost 60 lbs. I have tried everything I can think of. Expensive shrinks. Medication (stopped that, do not medicate, unless cannabis. That does help, but is not for everyone.

        I just can’t find a way to be well. Have done volunteer work. Church (bad idea) I am open to suggestions from anyone who is or has experienced this debilitating problem. I hate when people don’t understand how one feels. Good luck too all. ❤️🌈💘👽🌷🤕🐾

    • Bree April 26, 2015, 9:33 am

      I’m not even sure how old this post is, but I have and am experiencing every single one of these symptoms. And, I have been for a while. I was diagnosed bipolar at 15 (13 years ago). Starting about 8+ years ago, I started losing a LOT of very important people in my life… And, I’ve never recovered. I am currently on medication and in therapy, but it doesn’t seem to help at all. I still feel hopeless and crazy. And, I’d really like to find someone to talk to about it all.

      • Sue August 30, 2015, 8:52 pm

        I have a wonderful doctor and a wonderful counselor. My doctor understands about mental health. From my counselor I have learned many skills. At the moment I am learning to get my sleep into a normal pattern again. I/ we work on one thing at a time. Actually just recently I have started seeing a psychologist ( organised by my doctors nurse…3 free visits for financial worries and lack of support worries).

        That was/ is through procare (government funded in new zealand) (and my next 3 free visits for sorting out my anxiety). I am trying to be not so isolated and over the last few years I am learning to have a friend, I need to be a friend. I enjoy (that’s a word I am using/ saying more, I’m happy to say), as I was saying I enjoy learning… including learning to have friends. I have done a wrap course. (Wellness Recovery Action Plan) a couple of years ago.

        And I have started to do another one. I recommend anybody to do a WRAP course. Doing this course always gives me more tools/ skills and updates them, for coping / dealing with daily life. THERE is HOPE and RECOVERY for me and everyone. I am still and always will be on the road to recovery. And you are too, by reading this, it proves you want to educate yourself, about HOW TO RECOVER.

        • Sandra August 12, 2016, 9:10 pm

          Thank you Sue…❤️

      • Deborah June 24, 2016, 4:04 am

        I really can relate.

    • Nicole July 15, 2015, 7:53 am

      I think I’m having a nervous breakdown right now. My back is seized up, haven’t slept in three days, my mood swings are crazy. My apartment is disgusting, I haven’t showered in two days, and I feel like I don’t want to be here anymore. I have a PTSD diagnosis; I weaned myself off all medications a few months ago. I am neglecting everything in my life, and I am being very self-destructive. I don’t know what to do. I can’t have anyone in my home, because I’m too ashamed at how I live right now. I don’t know what to do.

      • Kim July 19, 2015, 4:10 pm

        Hi Nicole, I have been where you are, recently. Through prayers and begging to a God I did not feel existed, I searched and searched my outer and inner self to try finding any small reason to stay alive. I did this while laying in bed for a year and more, Isolating and self-medicating my pain. It took a week of mental preparation before I could shower or brush my teeth. I lived from my bed sun up to sundown.

        At some point which I don’t remember, I received a glimmer of the Love my Children and Grand Children had for me. I had believed they did not care or need me anymore because they had their own families now. My Grandies were very young so I figured they would never miss me. But somehow that little glimmer began to grow inside, and I found a microscopic ray of hope. This is where my recovery began. I know where you are and I pray for you to see a glimmer. May you receive Peace, Kim.

        • Michelle January 30, 2016, 6:04 pm

          This morning I woke up crying & don’t know why. I just want to take my own life right now because I feel that nobody loves me. I need help but don’t know how or what to do. I feel like the walls are closing in on me from all sides & every direction.

      • Jimmy September 25, 2015, 10:19 pm

        I am right here in the same boat your in. I am taking a long hot bath and trying to relax. Try it please.

      • Sandra August 12, 2016, 9:12 pm

        Nicole…don’t feel alone! I feel the same. Don’t give up! Please, sometimes I wish I wasn’t here. But somehow. It will get better! Hang in there❤️🐈🐾

    • Tanya February 3, 2016, 4:24 pm

      Dear Ruth, So sorry to hear that you have been through so much yourself too. My husband found your message today 3.2.16. I am not at all well myself although from how I was I have made some improvements. I have Anxiety & Mental Health Problems, etc! I have not got any friends not even a best friend. I am feeling very lonely.

      Talking to my husband isn’t the same as if I had a friend… I’m going to be 50 years old this year… I would love to be adopted, although it is not possible… My whole life haven’t been good… Except for my husband which I have got now. I don’t get on well with his Mother & Sister etc. – but this is not the main problem.

      Apologies without going into too much personal detail at present, I was wondering how old you are and wether or not you would like to be my penfriend? I do not mean anything else other than a friend, someone for you & myself to talk too regularly & permanent hopefully via email or texting maybe telephone conversations? I haven’t been well for 2 years now…

      I do have sense of humor inside me somewhere, I enjoy texting or emailing mainly, I will talk on the phone & speak to a strange person like to the Hospital or someone, I am quite nervous & I got to build up courage to do so. I personally would love to hear from you especially if you feel lonely like me & that you would like me to be your penfriend too…!?!? Best Wishes & Kind Regards, Tan.

    • Tanya From Bristol (UK) February 3, 2016, 4:58 pm

      Dear Person who is Feeling Lonely… I am 50 years old this year. I do not have one single friend, not even a best friend. I am not very well, I do have Anxiety & Mental Health Problems for the past two years, I have made improvements. I do have mobility problems due to a fall.

      I do have a sense of humor inside myself somewhere! If anyone is feeling lonely & would like a Penfriend… “PENFRIEND – AS A FRIEND ONLY”, someone to chat to via emailing or texting. Regularly & Hopefully permanent, Trustworthy, Caring, Reliable, Honest, People ONLY PLEASE AND THANK YOU. Email me…

    • Mindy February 27, 2016, 1:10 am

      Hi Ruth, I’m glad to see you recovered. I have a 32 year old daughter. She used to be bubbly, full of fun and always happy. However, I’ve noticed her behavior changing a lot. Within the past 14 months, her grandfather died, whom she cared for and was very close to: shortly after, she was in a freak car accident which left her w/o a vehicle until just a couple weeks ago: last month her apt was burglarized and the thugs not only kicked and hurt her chihuahua, but opened her grandfather’s ashes leaving her place in shambles.

      Through all if this, she’s complained about ongoing physical pain either her back or stomach enough to go to the ER. Just this past week she was admitted to hospital wen a CT scan showed growth on her pancreas. 12 hours later they told her there was no lump in her pancreas but that her liver is enlarged. She was literally a mental wreck.

      I’ve also noticed her extreme anger at other drivers while in car w/her. Its like she has road rage…she never used to be like this… Tonight she text me that she’s “shaking all over” and that “I need my mama.” With three emoticons balling. She will also often text me wen she’s upset about something then tags on: “crying” so I’ll know. She never used to do that either, and personally I think is a bit bizarre.

      Oh, I almost forgot…she’s very close to her younger brother, and they actually shared an apt for 3 years up until March of last year. My son moved out to be closer to his work. Bad timing, as he moved out same month their grandfather passed. I myself have a disability and living with a terminal brain aneurysm. I need to keep my stress levels at a minimum or I could die.

      That being said, Its been hard for obvious reasons. I love my daughter more than life itself and always try to support her emotionally and be there…but her constant breakdowns and back to back crisis are taking its toll on me and my health. Her employer does not provide insurance (she’s worked there 4 years), and Obamacare is just too expensive. Money doesn’t go far when you only make 11.50 hour.

      I have no disposable income otherwise I’d help her out. I’ll never give up in her, but I’m exhausted and at my wits end. I just wish she could find better coping skills… Thanks for listening. Concerned mother

    • John May 13, 2016, 4:44 am

      Hi Ruth. I just read your post after reading an article on Mental Health and I think I am dealing with some of the same issues that you are and maybe more so. I have not been diagnosed by a medical practitioner partially because of fear in finding out that I may have psychological issues that have not been dealt with for years and partially because I think my family and friends can be very judgmental.

      I recently beat cancer lost my daughter lost my job lost most of my friends lost my hair lost my confidence lost my upbeat personality and find that life does not mean as much as it used to. I really don’t know what to do, life has become a daily struggle and I am the type of person who will keep it all inside and I am at a point where I feel I’m going to explode on somebody that really does not deserve it. Thanks for allowing me the opportunity to sound off.

      I think tomorrow I need to get in touch with my doctor. Thanks again Ruth, I hope you have been able to deal well with the issues that you face and all the best to you.

    • Kristina Andrews May 17, 2016, 4:02 pm

      Hey. You sound just like me as I am on disability now from a nervous breakdown caused by grad school, but really the living conditions while I was there. I don’t know your email, though. I’m on G+.

    • Carina Fernandez August 9, 2016, 12:57 am

      I worry too much about things. I quit my job because of the way they treated me. They put a new employee in front of me so they don’t have to pay her as much as me they cut my hours & they’ve also fired a lot of employees as well as cut their hours also due to the way the economy is. I’m seeing a psychotherapist who is advising me to get a disability because I have multiple sclerosis but I am on medication.

      I’m able to walk & do everything I don’t have any impediments, she says with this type of disability I’ll be able to work part-time but I’m afraid that I will get depressed being in the house for the rest of the time that I’m not working.

    • Thomas Pearce August 15, 2016, 11:18 am

      Ruth, I am going trough a divorce proceeding and the stress and anxiety is so overwhelming. I am alone all the time. I have to sell the house and get an apartment. On top of all this I am so heartbroken on my wife leaving me. It’s been over a year now. The mornings are rough. I feel as if I may have a nervous breakdown, I am on medication. It only helps a little. I feel as if I will never recover. I am alone all the time. Please any suggestions.

    • Christina Taylor October 16, 2016, 8:59 pm

      Hi my name is Christina and I believe that I’m suffering from a nervous breakdown! I have 4 children and lost a son about a year ago! It’s like my mind is playing treats on me. I took some dietary supplements that was high in caffeine and a week later I had a panic attack. If I had of known that a caffeine overdose would have triggered the stress that I had already going on I never would have taking them.

      Since then I’ve been so not my self not eating really, it’s feels like I’m losing my mind it’s like my thoughts have taken over. I even had to give my job up I’m trying to do this natural with drugs because I’ve had bad experiences. Can you please help?

    • Monique November 6, 2016, 8:04 pm

      Hi Ruth. Wow reading your posts sounded so similar to what I am going through. I don’t know how to cope, I am a single mom going through a divorce I was never a fearful person one day I woke up with intense anxiety and panic attack after panic attack started happening to me (this happened almost a year ago I didn’t even know that I was experiencing panic attacks and anxiety).

      I had to resign, give up my home, give up my independency and move back in with my father. The Dr did prescribe strong meds for me but I stopped taking them because it left me into a zombie state. My father is a Psychopath, so the mental and emotional abuse is severe I just can’t take anymore. I wanted to take my life today by driving off a bridge.

  • Zoe September 3, 2014, 3:23 pm

    Hi

    This is so helpful, had a nervous breakdown nearly three years ago, it’s a very gradual build up of symptoms that you don’t notice, until for me anyway on the Christmas Eve I was like a rabbit caught in headlights, insomnia… never had before am usually great at sleeping, loss of appetite and for me the main thing. I just could not speak, was literally mute for about three weeks, after this various other shitty stuff took over especially the anxiety rushes and agitation.

    Antidepressants and a good psychotherapist together is the key to recovery also once I could manage to read anything regarding anxiety, because I was absolutely petrified by what was happening, I came across a book called self help for your nerves by Claire Weekes you can buy it on amazon for 1pence it is an old book but absolutely amazing, she has wrote like she is n front of you and you will easily relate to it because if you have had a nervous breakdown you are in this book.

    Recovery is down to the individual I would it was probably 6-8 months before I felt normal and the symptoms had all calmed down. Another thing I have done is buddhism mainly for the meditation, but also because its all about the mind and it changes your thought processes which lets face it we need to do. So now two and half years later I am coming off my antidepressants and am feeling very hopeful and relaxed.

    One last thing you don’t have to do Buddhism for a religion or spirituality it can be used for mood management. Wishing you all the best and I hope I have helped a little bit. X

    • Natasha June 9, 2015, 1:52 am

      Thank you for your advice and I hope to purchase the self help book you mentioned, my mother is going through what appears to be a nervous breakdown so this site and responses were interesting to read.

    • Carolyn March 31, 2016, 3:48 pm

      I read Hope and Help for your Nerves by Claire Weekes in my twenties. It was my bible and literally saved my life. I had anxiety disorder for ten years which led to a horrendous depression. There finally was a light at the end of the tunnel when I drastically changed my life. I am now in my mid fifties and need it again. Thanks for the reminder…

      • ProofYouDontNeedTheBible May 5, 2016, 4:04 am

        You are living proof that we don’t need the bible! Any faith will do as long as you believe, things will happen.

  • Megan October 3, 2014, 1:57 pm

    Hi there,

    Im 14 years old and i feel like i am living in a huge nervous breakdown. I spoke to my older nrother about it the other night and he said they only last a little while ? But i have been having nervous break downs every night since last year. These break downs trigger my emotions hugely and i dont know how to handle it. Since they started i have been addicted to self harm. Everytime, which is everyday, they last for about 7 hours. It causes me to think about suicide most of the time, as well as cut and over dose.

    Please help me ? Someone. Anyone. How do i make this stop ? I have seen a therapist, but it doesnt help me ? I started feeling better for a while but that was a short period of time. Is this maybe a discorder ? Should i be put on medication ? My parents dont know about this, should i say something ? I have also realized eating change, i throw up majoirty of the time, about 5 times a day. I am an insomniac, very restless, cant concentrate and find myself crying 90% of the time

    Please help xox
    Thanks

    • C October 3, 2014, 4:32 pm

      Megan, you definitely have to ask for help with all of that! If you don’t feel you can talk to your parents about it right away, then call a help line in your area or speak to a guidance counselor at school. You have to take care of yourself, which means asking for help from those who can help you –your parents, a doctor, a therapist, etc.

      When I was your age, I was going through a lot too. It can be a very hard time of life. But you have your whole wonderful life ahead of you. It WILL get better, but you need some smart, caring people to help you along the way. We ALL do. No matter how old we are, we all need to rely on others for help from time to time. It’s part of being human.

      Take care. Be good to yourself.
      C

    • Stef December 2, 2015, 1:17 am

      Hi Megan, Brand new to this site, exploring whether I’m having a nervous breakdown too, I’m a mum to twin girls (3 years old) and a carer to my mother in law, (what seems like an ungrateful one too). I have self harmed in the past, at about the same age you are, please try to find a way in your mind not to inflict pain on yourself, YOU ARE BETTER THAN THAT.

      I do my best, even though I very often don’t feel it’s good enough, I struggle with sleep, basic day to day function, appetite etc. I cry very often, even at my ripe old age (35) and have experienced what you have described for much of my life, stand proud and hold your head up high, I am here for you. XOXO

    • Melody January 9, 2016, 9:49 am

      Hi Megan, I am on here because I think my grief over my dad’s suicide may be a nervous break down. I was just prescribed meds for major depressive disorder. I remember being your age, and in my experience teen years are the most difucult. I wouldn’t do it again for anything and I had a lot of the things people think would make them happy. Both parents siblings and was a thin “pretty” girl, but even still it’s a terrible time…

      The hormones and fact that it’s your learning years, it’s all about learning. So add other things to the normal teen experience is painful. But it does get better, it doesn’t matter what it is; everyone gets picked on. Short, tall, fat, skinny, blonde, black, etc… (Usually it’s a deflecting strategy, if they point out others issues it takes focus off them) so if that’s happening try to know it’s not really about you, it’s them trying to keep others from looking/seeing/focusing on them…

      You know “hey guys look over there” (see then they’re not looking here) if the therapist you saw didn’t help, try another one as many as it takes o find one who feels right. I was raised in a church very strict, but now after soul searching am spiritual not religious. I believe we come back many times to learn many lessons. I try to think of this life as a lesson I need to learn. So with that I try to think of it as “I don’t want to have to do this lesson again, so if a certain lesson I’m here to learn I’m better off to finish it this time I’m already part way through.”

      I also find angel Cards to really help. I’m often surprised and relieved to the point of tears when I do one. They have them in Amazon or even as apps for phone and just google pulls up free sites for drawing a card. I like them better than tarot because well they are Angels. You have endless possibilities ahead of you and some great firsts and experiences. Please don’t give up, keep trying and trying different things different dr’s different ways to inspire yourself. It’s out there, just don’t give up…

      One day at a time, sometimes the full picture is just to much… So one hour at a time one day at a time the future will take care of its self if we just keep breaking the time down to a step instead of the whole list. I heard something today on a “action” type movie of all places, and a guy said “anxiety is one click away in the brain from excitement…” And I love that, so when we are anxious let’s try and think of something exciting instead.

      And please talk to someone, if you’re closer with one parent or the other or anyone you feel close to. Listen to your instincts on who, it’s the first feeling not the thought that follows. (Our brains mess us up, they say things like if I say that they will think this) I’m learning to hear the first voice and tune out the pessimistic thinks it’s a mind reader brain…

      Take care of yourself, find someone to talk to and find your purpose and lessons… (Turning struggles into lessons gives you the opritunity to win!) And unless your beliefs are against it try the Angel cards if you haven’t already, I think you’ll find guidance love and insight into yourself. Take care of yourself. Melody ❤️

    • Tom May 27, 2016, 10:38 pm

      I’m 54 and just started getting a mental breakdown. At age 14 I was so happy…

  • Clint October 6, 2014, 2:18 pm

    It all makes sense when I read the symptoms now, but at the time I was like a caged animal. Hypnotherapy helped me control my mind, would highly recommend it. I’m 6 months after my initial symptoms and have had periods when I was convinced I was over it, only to succumb to a few days of setbacks. All my setbacks are caused by events out of my control, I still don’t respond well to potentially bad news.

    For anyone reading this tough out the bad days, the good days far offset the bad ones. Once you learn to cope with the symptoms and stop fearing them they tend to fade away, although the healing process can be very slow at times. Never fear insomnia, you can’t make yourself sleep, but you can’t stop yourself sleeping either, eventually you just zonk out, steer clear of sleeping tablets if you can they just delay the healing process in my opinion

    • India April 7, 2015, 10:13 am

      Hi Clint, I’m looking after my Mum whose experience is similar to yours. Knowing the reality of what I might expect has really helped. Thank you so much for sharing. I hope your days are brighter and more peaceful. -India.

  • Robin October 19, 2014, 8:31 pm

    I’m a fifty three y.o. woman who was fired (for the first time in my life) about 2 1/2 yrs. ago now. I’ve worked my whole life as a surgical dental assistant and, although I sometimes found it difficult to work with certain doctors, I did enjoy my job. I worked in one practice for twenty years and then, when that Dr. had to sell the practice, I worked for those Drs. for ten years. I haven’t been able to find work and although I was able to collect unemployment for a while, it wasn’t much and when it ran out a year ago, I panicked and went into a full blown depression.

    This isn’t the first time I’ve struggled with depression, but, it is the first time I actually had to worry about my survival. I live alone (never married) in a crummy apartment which I’ve been forced to spend far too much time in since losing my job. I have no family to depend on and my mother won’t let me live with her, so I don’t know what I’m going to do. I’m currently living on my retirement IRA money but that’s only going to last for about another year. At this point, the whole experience has taken such a toll on me, I feel as though the money will last longer than my mind will.

    I’ve tried therapy and medication, neither of which helped, in my opinion, because my circumstances are so hopeless and extreme. Anti-depressants worked only once for me, to a minor degree, but that was after a long term relationship ended. Also, they never lifted my mood at all, they just made me better able to hold up to stressors at work a bit better. I’ve always thought I was reasonably attractive, but, a year ago, my hair changed completely and now I can’t stand to even look in the mirror. It had always been thick and straight but had body and looked good after blow drying w/the right products.

    Now, it’s thinner and looks and feels like a bunch of frizz that just hangs limp around my face no matter what I (or mu stylist) do to it. My body has suffered also from too much inactivity due to physical problems I never had before and also shame of being seen. I have more and more difficulty eating to the point where I have to force myself to eat now. In spite of not over eating during my unemployment, my body has changed completely, especially my midsection which has lost all muscle tone. I injured my back almost a year ago when my step father lost his balance and pulled on me. He just passed away a week ago.

    Without going into any more detail, does anyone out there have any experience with this level of trouble? I never went to college and have neither the desire or ability to go now. I don’t want to work as an aid because not only do they earn half as much as I used to make (and that just paid the bills), but the work is horribly depressing and lonely. They help the elderly, mostly people who are already unable to cope, both physically and mentally. You have to assist with people who need assistance with going to the bathroom and cleaning themselves, often in homes that aren’t even clean.

    Due to my age and bad back, along with all the strength I’ve lost this past yr. especially, housecleaning probably isn’t an option either. It also only pays half as much as I used to just support myself with. This is, by far, the most humiliating and crushing experience of my life and although I can’t think about anything else, I don’t know how I’m going to survive and am terrified of becoming homeless.

    • Ilene November 7, 2014, 5:51 pm

      Hey there Robin, I am only 39 but I can definitely relate to some of your feelings. First of all we have to understand that scientists and psychologists today are just understanding that humans do well when they have the circumstances to thrive. They have figured out a great many things on humans but the truth is that we are very complex. When of the most important things to remember is that when we go through difficult situations, we internalize.

      We tend to think that it was all because of us and what we did wrong and what bad choices we made and how we cannot possibly crawl out of the ditch we are in, etc. You get the picture :) The actual truth of the matter is that this economy is fickle and has been fickle for some time. Because of large corporations, congress and big business and the government having much to do with our expenses going up, we feel insecure and that in turn makes us feel hopeless. Many people can bypass these feelings of insecurity due to having well paying jobs for a certain amount of time.

      So how do we fix this? How have all of the other people coped who have not have an unlimited amount of income? Very simply, put relationships first. When we do not feel alone and feel we have support, there is nothing that we feel that we cannot do. This helps us to stop internalizing and see our circumstance for what it is and that is A TEMPORARY CIRCUMSTANCE. I like the advice of the previous post. Perhaps look for a roommate. A relative can make a good roommate. Or share a house with someone.

      Don’t fret about your job situation. Any job can do at the moment. If it means serving burgers, then view it like you can make some friends and be happy. When you change your perspective on your situation, you will start to see that little by little your emotions will heal. We are in these crazy struggles to live a be happy. Remember humans are very sociable creatures and sometimes all it takes is someone who can relate to you and share your thoughts. Do not internalize about your job situation.

      Have you not heard that even the most qualified people are loosing their jobs because of the $ sign. Sometimes its a matter of who the boss is going to pay less. Do not take this personally. There are employment agencies that can help with this. It is not a matter of you not being qualified or knowing how to write a resume. It is a matter of taking advantage of our support networks and getting encouragement.

      Realizing that we are not in a bubble and that many other people are having these same issues helps us as well. In truth this system is meant to break us and make us feel like we have no hope. Don’t fall for it. We are resilient creatures and there is much more purpose involved with us. I get this encouragement from studying the bible. Hee Hee :)

    • lg April 30, 2015, 2:36 am

      Hi Robin, I am entering the “nervous breakdown” phase after years of being a stressed out and drug out tired night nurse. A few years ago, my hair fell out too. What is left is like thread, like you described your hair. I have had a lot of old patients, and their hair didn’t do that. It is so hard to hide. I have gotten to the point that I just come to work with wet hair and let it air dry. I just wonder if anyone has any theories as to why the hair would change to thread in depression. I do have low thyroid and menopause, but so have countless others and they don’t have threadlike hair. Any one out there is welcome to reply.

    • matt May 24, 2015, 1:04 am

      Robin, I’ve experienced every symptom you talked about. Every one! I was basically saved by a friend who literally came and got me from my house, took me to her house with her family, fed me 3 meals a day because I had lost 40 pounds, and then took me to a psychologist. I hadn’t slept in over 2 weeks and had no idea what was happening to me. The medication is what helped me however I did have temporary set backs and am still not feeling 100% and its been 9 months since I began taking the medication. Please try medication and feel free to contact me anytime.

      • Rebecca December 2, 2015, 11:47 pm

        Robin, I’m 48 married, four children and my mother lives with me. I just recently lost my job due to being on pain meds. for the pain in my back, neck and hands(my boss said I was unable to focus) so now I sit home and dwell, on my pains, problems and finances. Just today I felt like my brain broke! Talking to my mother, who informed me I said something I can’t believe I said but she said I did!

        This is not the first time I have been told I’ve said something they did not understand, or that I have “babbled”. I’m worried and don’t know what to do. I’m concerned it could be early dementia or a nervous breakdown. I have many health issues I deal with and my family make I joke at how I act sometimes but I really worry! Sorry I made this about me, I just wanted you to know your not alone! I will pray for all of us with mental health issues.

  • Christine October 23, 2014, 8:44 pm

    To robin: It’s hard but try to think about and be thankful for what you do have. Pray-sit quietly and breathe – look up autogenic training and do some form of it. I got myself an egg timer and try to do it 2X a day – it helps. I can relate to mid-life crisis – I am also a 50+ woman going through a meltdown – mine is different as it’s partly from being mildly on the autism spectrum which I mostly coped with by drinking since adolescence. Now I’m sober 8 yrs and this is the second time I am breaking down.

    Overwhelmed-unskilled and looking for employment. At least you have a skill and a good work record! Also don’t rule out house sharing. I’m with a wonderful senior couple and so the money stress is much relieved. A lot more people are doing this these days and there are good situations out there, be particular, however and careful. Maybe consider tutoring with what knowledge you have. Anyway believe that there will be possibilities for you!

    • Kim September 7, 2015, 12:47 am

      Caroline, I understand what you are saying but I just cringed when I read your line that started with “at least you have….”. People should be very careful on a forum like this. People should choose their words carefully. I too suffered what I believe was a nervous breakdown roughly a year ago and I’m still trying to feel better. My situation is compounded by the fact that I have almost zero support system; other than a paid therapist.

      The one family member I have (my “mother” —and I use that term loosely) only has criticism for me. She has no sympathy and no motherly comfort to offer. I won’t go into the reasons here but your comment just smacked of one of my mother’s comments. The old starving kids in Africa s*^t doesn’t work with someone in real crisis or pain. I realize you probably didn’t intend for your comment to come across that way… But I’m here to say that sometimes it may. Just be careful.

  • Tim November 3, 2014, 4:24 pm

    I am 27 and just had a complete mental breakdown one week ago. It was precipitated by using an amphetamine + oxycodone mixture while recording music for my band… alone, at a cabin in the middle of nowhere. I had a complete panic attack (thought I was going to die — and maybe almost did… my pulse and BP were off the charts when I went to the ER) and am now left with all of the symptoms talked about in this article.

    Especially the dizziness, headache, anxiety and loss of appetite. I am so comforted to know that others have gone through this, and that it will be a long recovery. Obviously… having symptoms where your brain feels like its’ on fire and you are dizzy and lightheaded daily… anxiety can magnify that by infinity and make recovery difficult.

    I’m seeing a psych in a few days and happy to get my life on track. I let my anxiety and depression spiral out of control for years until this episode. Its like my body said: “HEY! YOU ARE DOING IT WRONG!!!” and just broke down… my brain just completely broke down. Thank you for the article. And as someone who is just beginning on the road to recovery, thank you for the other comments of hope. I am excited to find tools to overcome this and become a stronger person for the second half of my life. Lord knows I need the peace.

    I love you all who suffer. You are not alone. If I can go down this path… anyone can. Stay strong. The countless hours of improper thinking and living that lead to this circumstance can be changed, understood, respected and learned from. Seriously… I love you all. Keep strong my kin.

    • Brenda June 21, 2016, 12:07 am

      Thank you Tim for your message to all your kin. I am reading through many messages and started to realize how so many experience “breakdowns” of some sort. I am very confused, seem like A nervous breakdown is aka as depression. My stress has been getting worse in the last few years due to work place’s.

      Owner yells, argues, and co-workers lie, and fight back. Terrible environment. I am an emotional mess, my heart beats, I get sweaty, I can’t control my crying, then my head hurt so much I vomit. A few times now. I personally feeling today I was going nuts, are they making me nuts?! I think so, I just wish there was a support group out there. Do I don’t think I am nuts.

      Pretty strong woman, love to laugh and tell jokes, dislike being around negative people. Then, I have so much empathy, I think I can fix everything and everyone. Crazy… Your message was the one that hit me the most. Thank you.

  • momiw67 November 11, 2014, 10:30 am

    I’ve dealt with this stuff a lot.The key is to keep off of your phone and computer. You need to know this to will pass. Increase your exercise. And stay away from needy stressful people. Go to bed at the same time every night. No TV an hour before bed. If you can, get meds to help calm you. Write your thoughts down in a journal. Start a new hobby too. Again stay away from Your PC and negative people. For me I had to cut my abusive father out of my life and a few siblings. I had and still do put my kids first. I do not worry about anybody but them. Why? Becausey family are adults. I need to focus on my kids and myself now. People can drain you, so be very careful when suffering from a mental breakdown. Get meds, write in a journal, and see someone to get talk therapy. Good luck to all!

  • Alan December 6, 2014, 7:09 am

    I’ve experienced nervous breakdowns at least 4 times in 33 years, all stemming from a childhood trauma. For the last 11 years I’ve been drugged and numbed into happy bliss or zombified by the health system (meds do work, but in my instance I wanted to be alive, I wanted to find myself) This latest episode I decided to do some serious mind work, by breaking all my fears (i.e.: breaking my boxes of protection) and starting from scratch. I would not recommend doing this without anchoring yourself with caring friends, because if you attempt this extreme form of self therapy you could go insane (I was on the verge of suicide for about two weeks) except I kept going.

    I wrote and wrote everything out, I journaled it all out in a diary — I had bouts of psychoses, delusions, grandiose ideas, I was seeing distortions and hearing voices… as a result of the process. I planned it out in 3 months 1.5 was all negative and 1.5 is to think of every positive memory and just force yourself to reach out to as many people and activities (example = toastmasters for positive affirmations as possible) the negative ideations are gone, the anxieties are gone, the PTSD gone. The experience was like “shock and awe.” The trick is to trick your mind that it’s not depressed to kind of invert the way you think, to step outside of your boxes and have a look at yourself from the outside.

    Realize that you have value, that your history is in the past, but take the past with you and learn from your experience, so that you can live free from burden in the present. Psychotherapists always taught me to move forward, but I had to go back in time to fix my understanding and make peace with the past by forgiving myself essentially, embracing yourself for who you are, by facing your fears. I figured this all out by watching Inception, Star Wars, & Good Will Hunting to learn the life lessons from those movies, because I couldn’t find a decent therapist.

    Anyways, that worked for me. It took a bit of willpower, and I have to fight it because I cannot will not give up, and I have to tell myself that every night and write it down, write down in your journal that you are strong, you have compassion, you have strength, honor, wisdom, and you can beat this illness and make it through, because there is always hope. Turn the negative into a positive, be very aware of the negativity, when you are angry it’s a self reflection — if you give positives, it’s a self reflection that builds self esteem. I learned this all from watching movies.

    • denise December 4, 2015, 6:46 am

      Thanks you made me smile and laugh, about the movies. I’m movie addict myself. Hope you’re doing ok.

  • Chary January 2, 2015, 1:44 am

    It’s been exactly 5 months since my breakdown. I’m doing like 50% better but it is sooooooooooooooo hard. I still have strong symptoms that lead me to a severe depression, then I think positive but somehow start thinking again that there’s no way out of this and feel depressed again. But I recognize I am better. I think I had a warning at the beginning of 2014 when I had to withdraw from school because of severe dizziness, nausea, heartburn, headaches… that was probably a mini breakdown that lasted like 2 month…

    I didn’t know anything about anxiety, panic attacks, or depression, not anyone in my family dealt with it, so I thought I was better and returned to school, I was also starting a relationship with a guy I liked a lot and he had to leave the country, I wasn’t emotionally stable either, then… after that semester came my big breakdown. And I feel this is going to take quite a long time to feel like my old self again. I never thought mental health was that important until now.

  • Fab January 6, 2015, 8:36 am

    To give you a back story; Roughly two years ago I had surgery to remove my troublesome gallbladder when the surgeon the next day told me he had discovered a blockage in my liver. The day after, after more scans he told me it was highly likely it was cancer of the liver. I was forty at the time. My life fell to pieces. I couldn’t function. I was utterly shocked, distraught, panicked, scared about never seeing my children again, the fear of what the afterlife was if there was one and utterly and totally heartbroken.

    Doctor Google gave me 3 months to live. Did I mention I had a two and half year old son and a one year old daughter at the time? Four days later he confirmed my worst fears and said he was 99% sure it was cancer. I seeked another opinion and lore and behold the first surgeon was 99% way off the mark and it ended up being a stone and some sludge from the gallbladder. Clean bill of health. I thought I had put it behind me but every time I saw or heard the word “cancer” I’d have an uncomfortable feeling go through my mind and body.

    I was noticing that I was becoming obsessed with sex, my concentration span was very poor and I would have that almost dizzy feeling when getting up after squatting on the floor or even standing. I also had trouble sleeping where I’d be getting up at 2am and resort to watching things on my iPad for an hour. Once we went away overseas and in the last couple of days I had a stomach bug. After feeling better my thoughts were, “What do I have to go home to?” as we were leaving. That concerned me. The start of this year I had a procedure to see what my prostate was doing and it triggered what I thought I had dealt with.

    A week and half later I felt strange. I felt myself becoming anxious and emotional. I was getting worried about a lump on my leg and spots on my head. It was done, I had descended into the realms of constant hyperarousal, sadness and utter fear. There was no respite even with the bare minimum of anxiety tablets. It went away after a week but boy was I wrong. It hit again but that was it, I was in it. I couldn’t work, be left alone as I felt I had no control and driving was very very hard. My life shattered to pieces. Over the next two months I was finding life really really hard along with business commitments being overly stressful.

    My consolation was by the evenings I felt OK. I’d have maybe a day or two per week were it kinda of felt better but I was either disconnected, hyper aroused where I’d go for a walk to shake the feeling off, feeling weird from being out in public or simply down and angry. I withdrew from my family and couldn’t connect. I was desperate. My psychiatrist said that all I can do is go through it and my antidepressants would do nothing other than allow you to sink to lower levels. The first 2 months were scary. I had absolutely no choice. By the third month it started to get better. I had a period of almost two weeks were I felt like I was back to normal but then it came back and I was really down and almost in pain.

    It was the closest I felt to thinking about suicide. It got better though but I’d have almost a week of pain to about one and half weeks of being okay. It’s been a roller coaster ride from hell to where ever it decides to go. It hasn’t ended but I am in a better place than I’ve ever ever been since mid February but it has brought up a lot of my past to as far as nine years old. I’ve changed a lot and see things differently now. What I noticed though is that as I’m 99% close to being me again I still get the very faint hyperarousal with headaches and the odd dizziness.

    I’ve been back at work for the best part of four months but I still get dips which can last from three days to a week then I’m in that good place again. I guess I’m tired of it all. I was diagnosed with an adjustment disorder with anxiety and depression. I was told I had some PTSD components which categorized the trauma but not the full range but now I feel like I’m bipolar though I’ve been told that I’m far from it. The question I wanted to ask was, does the above feel like a process of processing pain?

    The pain of fear and sadness accompanied by grief? And are these bipolar feelings a natural part of the process? For heavens sake I still get the hyperarousal feeling that turns into a headache. Not very comfortable to be honest. Am I heading in the right direction? I need to know. Would love to hear your thoughts on my plight.

    • David January 4, 2016, 9:10 am

      Wow. I don’t mean this in a negative way but I’m kind of glad to hear your story because I’m currently on month 2 of experiencing something really similar. I’m a 22 year old senior in college, far away from home. In late October I had bad symptoms that were suggestive of a variety of things, cancer being one of them. Because of this, my doctor referred me to a specialist for a mild surgical procedure that was meant to diagnose my condition and determine whether or not I had any tumors growing inside of me.

      I had to wait 3 whole weeks for the procedure and in those 3 weeks I literally spent many moments crying to myself imagining life as a college guy with cancer, the sadness of my family and friends, whether I’d need to move back home immediately, how I’d miss my best friend if I did have to spend the last months of my life back home, whether or not heaven was real, etc. These 3 weeks were absolutely horrific and fueled the development for some pretty negative thought processes on my behalf.

      The surgery date came and I was diagnosed with a benign chronic illness and was completely cancer free. I spent the day pretty relieved and happy (probably with the help of the sedative from the surgery still in my system) and then the next day it slowly started coming crashing down again. The next day I started googling excessively worrying that the surgeon and doctors missed the cancer, or they accidentally made a perforation inside of me and didn’t realize it, or that I had a tumor that was just too small for them to see.

      These worries transformed after a couple of days into worries about my chronic illness and the outlook of my future with it. I was extremely pessimistic at this point. And then the real fun started to kick in about 2 weeks post-surgery. I found myself inspecting every inch of my body for cancer/oddities. I googled for hours daily trying to diagnose myself. Scars I’ve had forever became cancer and stories of rare cancer occurrences in young people via Google became my catalyst for supporting my outlandish health concerns.

      During this period, I did stop and realize that I was in a paranoid state googling way too often recalling how I never did this prior to my surgery. Still, I couldn’t control the habit and I continued to worry about a new disease daily. Essentially, I put my body into a state of hyperarousal daily and it started to show. I began to have physical anxiety symptoms. Left arm tingles, random flashing pains throughout my body, lightheadedness, dizziness, the list goes on.

      I saw 2 doctors and they both weren’t able to figure out what was wrong with me but referred me to a therapist. I had a brief few days after this where all of my symptoms disappeared and I felt normal again but this came crashing down when I met my therapist for the first time and he mistakingly triggered me telling me of his experiences with cancer patients and how “many of them weren’t diagnosed the first time”.

      Immediately my mind went into panic and that night I started googling again. This time I was convinced that I suffered from a rare reaction to medication I was on. It’s been 2 weeks since and all of my physical symptoms are gone except one… I now have pressure feeling headaches that have occurred on and off for the past 10 days. I went to urgent care and was told it was most likely a reaction of stress that built up tension and my anxiety making it worse (my therapist before had diagnosed me with adjustment disorder with anxiety).

      I just went through a bout of about a week where I felt really depressed that I was going through this and having this strange physical symptoms. I drank for NYE and this led me to have a mini panic attack in my mind where I convinced myself I’d have these physical symptoms for the rest of my life which scared me into assuming that I couldn’t live like this anymore. Luckily I was out with friends so I distracted myself with them and the thoughts went away.

      Finally, today I feel more hopeful. I know these symptoms will go away soon and am super glad that there is also someone out there like me who had a health scare that triggered all of this. I’m barely about a month in since I saw a doctor about my anxiety symptoms and then was diagnosed with adjustment disorder with anxiety but I’m doing my best to try to stay positive. Stretch and pray for the future.

      From the perspective of someone barely beginning their journey, it sounds like you’ve made huge strides towards getting better. I don’t think you’re bi polar or manic. I’ve read continuously that recovering from anxiety/depression isn’t a linear path. You have your good periods and your bad periods and then one day it all just stops and you feel great again.

      I think the most important thing you can do for yourself would be to leave the psychoanalysis to the professionals. You have a biased perspective and your anxiety makes that perspective resort to an extreme trying keep you in a cycle of worry. Look at how much progress you’ve made? You have weeks of good days? Wow. I can’t wait to get to the point. Also, I think it’s totally normal to have good weeks and bad weeks.

      Everybody, even those that aren’t experiencing nervous breakdowns, have them. The only difference is that their brain isn’t trying to use those normal experiences to trigger worry/depression in them like ours are doing. It’s pretty similar to how you started thoroughly examining yourself for signs of other diseases. The ordinary becomes extraordinary when you have anxiety.

      My mom is bipolar and I can assure you that what you’ve described sounds nothing like what I’ve seen her experience. If you were bipolar then your extremes would be so high and low that the people around you would alert you about them. Your psychiatrist would definitely know easily. It’s not exactly a disorder that’s easy to hide. Looking forward to making progress like you have. Can’t wait to finish my last semester of college! Thanks for sharing your story!

  • Tammy February 15, 2015, 1:02 am

    The last few years I began to dislike all the things I loved to do. I was put on antidepressants which helped but not perfect. I was always a stay home mother while my husband worked hard to build a business. Two years ago I went back to work in a job where I didn’t have a direct relation with my boss (I worked alone in an office) I knew I was in way over my head and mostly flying by the seat of my pants. It started to weigh on me terribly a few months ago when my boss started looking closer at my work I totally panicked and left my job.

    My family was so disappointed and all I did was cry. Why couldn’t I handle a job? It has been 3 months and I am a mess. I’ve lost 30 lbs can’t function. Hate being at home, can’t remember simple things, can barely carry a conversation without people saying “Are you alright?” Can barely shower and shake so much I can’t put on makeup. Hate doing life tasks groceries, laundry etc. I’ve been to the emergency twice with suicidal thoughts. I’ve seen a counselor, psychiatrist and tried out patient group therapy and can’t seem to feel better.

    I can barely get through the day it’s awful. To make matters worse my husbands business is barely keeping afloat and we are in major dept. I have nooo money and my marriage is falling apart due to my illness. I will have no where to go and most likely be homeless. Everyday I feel worse and worse and don’t know how to cope. I have 2 kids 18 and 22 who are beside themselves because mom was always there for them and they feel I’m not trying hard enough.

    Last week I kept going to the railroad track waiting for the train to come, I kept thinking just jump in front of the train and it’ll all be over. Unfortunately I was so afraid to do it and I’d come home and cry thinking my poor kids. The doctors changed my meds and although they made me feel a bit better I can’t stop stressing about the future and where I’ll end up. I hate feeling like this all the time. My kids were always my life and lately I feel like I want them to stay away. Why can’t I get it together?

  • Marie February 17, 2015, 4:20 pm

    I have been going through nervous breakdowns all throughout my life. I quit my job due to abusive behaviors towards me, making life so difficult. So the other day I quit my P/T job. I have been on social assistance on and off my life. I just want to feel normal have enough money for food, transportation, I also have a dog to take care of. At this time there is no money for food just gas, hydro, rent.

    I have been on many antidepressants, Valium, vitamins and been seen by professionals. There is no cure for mental health issues. I would rather die than to live like this as I have been for many years now. Die with dignity from this fatal disease of depression, post traumatic stress. I know my family would be upset but at this point in my life I see no other way out. I am 51 Yrs old now, it is time to let go now. No hospital or doctors can help me now.

    I often wonder in years to come that there will be a cure for this deadly disease. They will probably say how did they do it. But for me my time is up, no hope. One cannot live without there mind being so sad, fear, no hope. I just want to die with dignity. Some people have diseases that slowly pick away at their body, I think my disease of mental illness is one of them.

  • Leanna Juliano March 17, 2015, 1:37 pm

    Wow. After having a surgery, moving out of my parents house with my fiance and his friends I had a nervous breakdown. I was having to drive him back and forth to work and myself. We found out our roommates were cooking meth. I became the store manager at my job. We had to move to his mother’s house after finding out the roommates were cooking meth in the basement. They were constantly on hard core drugs, freaking me out and saying I would go to jail for the rest of my life.

    They also were part of a cult, trying to get David, my fiancee and me involved. After moving all my stuff out of the house in one day, I moved to his mother’s house which was 45 minutes away from my job. All being 18, my parents began to threaten to take away my car. Hence I would have to move back home- the place I wanted to get away from more than anything. I felt every one of the symptoms above.

    I remember ringing up people at work (I was the store manager at a sandwich shop and had worked there for years) I couldn’t remember customers orders and I kept messing up. And felt like life was ending, I was crazy and the customers were conspiring against me. They would come in one after the other, and ask how I was. In a weird way I thought. So I thought they were all outside planning to come in and see how the crazy person (myself) was acting. Maybe they were, I was acting pretty crazy.

    I thought the world was ending. I couldn’t talk right. I couldn’t even wash clothes. I remember spending thirty minutes in the drier room turning the drier on and off to make sure my fiancee clothes were dry. It was a crazy experience. I couldn’t eat. I ended up moving back to my parents house. Waking up every morning feeling no hope and crying. It was an awful experience. I never went to the psychiatrist. My memory had become nothing.

    But I pulled myself out of it some how. Honestly, I began not caring. I began taking my percocets prescribed by my doctor, and slowly began to calm down. I don’t recommend doing things this way, but it worked. I’m now in an apartment with my fiancee and some friends, with a new job. And all together 100% myself and normal again. I took the medication for about a month and I was fine. It’s a crazy thing, these nervous breakdowns. So torturous I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. We need to bring awareness to this.

  • Lia Williams March 26, 2015, 3:27 am

    It’s sad to read how much everyone here is hurting. I’m one of you. I’m older and don’t really have the energy to share my story except to say am alone; my family and closest friends have all passed away… and a disabling illness put me in the situation that too many other friends lost interest. Jeez, I’m not a victim, this is life. Except, have had one difficulty after another and if it weren’t for my beloved cat I have absolutely no problem with taking my life.

    Can’t do it because of her. Realize I’ve hit the point where I feel I’m either borderline at nervous breakdown or in one – the symptoms fit. I tremble, have gained 15 pounds in 6 weeks, won’t go out except as absolutely must, do anything (well, am housebound much of time with illness anyway), just sit and stare, on and on. Well, that’s it… or guess that’s all I have energy for.

    • Kim September 7, 2015, 1:12 am

      Lia, I feel for you and would like to send a hug. I too have only one reason to be around, and that is my Grandfather. He has Alzheimer’s disease and is living in a lovely, competent (Thankfully!) memory care-assisted living facility. He has a daughter (my mother) who is cold and inattentive—so obviously, not much help. Without going into my troubles, I just wanted you to know I feel I can relate to you a little. I have no real friends except those acquaintances we all know – but no one who would care whether I lived or died.

      I’m 45, My Dad is deceased, I have no brothers or sisters, I’ve not yet married, and have no children. I had a beautiful cat myself but he’s gone now and I just haven’t gotten around to getting another (a lot of moving in recent years). Anyway, I’m just picturing you at home with your cat and me having my sweet Grandfather—and maybe those two beings are our angels for now….showing us that we are loved and needed. When I think of the distant future, it’s too overwhelming for me right now. So I focus on my Grandfather and his love and FOR NOW at least—I know I can make it.

  • TinyDancer March 31, 2015, 9:22 am

    I have every one of these symptoms! It kind of makes me feel better to know that I’m not really going crazy, but that doesn’t change the practical realities of my situation. I’m being forced to leave the house I live in and I have nowhere to go. Absolutely no money. No friends, no family. I’m not at all sure I’m going to make it through. I’m not even sure I want to. I’m so desperately lonely, that’s the worst of it. If anyone out there feels like talking, I would love to hear from you.

    • denise December 4, 2015, 7:36 am

      Hi how are you doing? Saw you on the nervous breakdown post, hope you’re ok.

      • Lorraine July 3, 2016, 6:07 am

        I’ve been there and have relapses from time to time, now being one of them. The courage it takes to work through issues when all seems hopeless or pointless is staggering, and everything I’ve read has not only been helpful to me, but I am truly humbled by all you amazing people who are trying to live your best possible lives despite huge difficulties. Lots of love and hugs.

  • Paige April 6, 2015, 11:50 am

    This is all so new to me I just experienced a nervous breakdown and I isolated my self into a corner of my room and couldn’t move from that point on. Nothing triggered it I was about to go to sleep but I started shaking and I ran and sat down in the corner, anxiety runs through my family and it just made my breakdown even worse. I’m only 14 and it was my first breakdown, it took me 1 hour to calm down. Most of the things listed here happened to me.

  • michael April 16, 2015, 10:33 pm

    I think I’m having one after this past year I’ve had 32 suicides in my life. I’m only 17 too…I have severe depression, anxiety, always nervous, and I want to suicide also. Recently a girl deliberately broke up with me 5 times even though I was in love with her. I’ve been feeling like this for years now with no help. My family knows I’m depressed but don’t really do anything.

  • lost May 3, 2015, 3:11 am

    I am going through a nervous breakdown and even as I write this I am crying my eyes out. I told my husband that I hated him cause he knows I have suicidal thoughts and he wouldn’t let me go for a walk to clear my mind, the kids are at their grandmas and I was trying to calm down after he called me names in front of friends (I don’t think I would actually do it I have 5 kids that I love dearly) I felt humiliated and just needed space. I just don’t know how to cope with everything in my head.

    I don’t have anyone to speak to, my mom has been diagnosed with cancer and she also looks after my very ill dad, my husband keeps telling me that he hasn’t loved me for years but I love him and I need him. I feel absolutely devastated. I’m depressed to the point that I’m struggling with every day tasks, I haven’t got many friends and if it wasn’t for my kids I’d have no reason to be here. I know my mom and dad need my support but I’m no longer able to give it. I’m an emotional zombie. I just wished I could see the light at the end of the tunnel.

  • Ryan June 29, 2015, 11:49 pm

    Oh boy. Well, I stopped working at age 25 because I was having panic attacks and thought I was dying. I have never been the same guy since the first attack. Something changed. Apparently its called DEREALIZATION or something. Tried meds, counseling even tried to ride it out. At age 33 after dealing with the guilt of not being able to bring in enough money I just went back to work. Not a good idea.

    I had panic attacks, vomiting, nervous stomach, and suicide thoughts. And then one day at work the boss was being rude and I snapped. I just couldn’t deal with anymore. I quit again. I lost all of my pride, family and friends thought I went “nuts” . I stayed inside for a year alone. Having nightmares I just couldn’t understand why I felt detached. I left my girlfriend of 10 years.

    Lost everything again. It is 1 year and 7 months later. And I have found out that I am HSP. That my whole life I’ve been people pleasing and holding back my true self. I started to cut my Internet use down to 1 hour a day and to stop reading to make things better. I joined a yoga class… I am finding myself. Life is getting better. I shut off cable and anything negative. I eat vegan,I pray daily and meditate. And most importantly let go of the past.

    • Kim September 7, 2015, 1:16 am

      Ryan, I am definitely and HSP also. Have you read Elaine Aron’s book on HSP? If not, please do. And my thoughts are with you :)

  • Sheri July 22, 2015, 11:42 am

    Wow, where do I begin. First let me say, my heart aches for all of your pain. I have been searching for a few years now as to why this is getting worse. I am middle aged, hopefully looking at retirement, but a number of years ago, now, I had a mental break that we thought was a heart attack. Now, things get so bad in certain situations, I believe I may die. Then I get home and they lessen. They used to leave, now they simply lessen so I can sleep some to go do it again tomorrow.

    My issue is going home to visit family. When we go, I become so ill you would take me straight to hospital, mental or physical. I can’t eat, all I want to do is sleep, the vertigo & ‘popping’ in my head is maddening all on its own. My IBS is crazy, then the midnight vomiting with horrible indigestion, I have my husband get me a large bottle of Pepto & it becomes my drink of choice with a water chaser. Once we leave for the 6-8hr drive home, my symptoms begin to dissipate, then the emotional roller coaster ride begins.

    Sobbing & hysterics alternate. Once home, it gets some better. At this moment I lie in bed, my head is still ‘popping’, but I am home in my own bed.
    I am nearly a recluse. I say nearly only because I am battling this, looking for answers anywhere. My disabled husband is going in the same direction. We are both quite young and this is no way to live, simply waiting to die.

  • Kate August 26, 2015, 1:18 am

    I have found all your comments due to currently having a nervous breakdown & I don’t know what to do or where to go, but I’m a Mum of a 9yr old beautiful daughter & I need to cope. I have found comfort in your comments, being able to see what the symptoms are & that I now know for sure I’m having a nervous breakdown.

    I have lost everyone important to me (with exception to my girl), I walked out on my husband of 11 yrs & straight into the arms of an abusive partner (who I’m currently running away from – I’m on the buss to the airport in tears & shaking right now). I so desperately need help but have no idea how to get it.

  • Anne September 4, 2015, 4:36 pm

    I sympathize with all of you, am going through this right now and experiencing nearly all the symptoms described here. I am 59 and all my life as far back as I can remember have experienced bad tempers and moods then withdrawal and depression usually lasting a few days to a couple of weeks. I just put it down to who I was, but in the last year have come to realize that there might be something wrong with mentally.

    Using internet did a few tests and have reached the conclusion that I might have Borderline Personality problems which has most likely not helped in my present situation. I live in Greece, moved our here in with my parents, to join my one and only sibling and her husband. My parents built a small business of renting rooms to holiday makers and I worked for them. It has always been a struggle but we were happy for the most part.

    But during this time I also suffered with my problem, usually triggered by people telling me what to do all the time, (esp the local neighbors and my dear mum who was always pretty domineering with me) and also the incompetence of Greek authorities and people who could not do their jobs right,leaving us with several fines due to no fault of our own. In 2006 my dad got Dementia which was a great worrying and stressful time for me, there was no help on the island and we had to cope with everything ourselves, until he passed away in 2011.

    I also suffered depression during that time and cut myself ( not the first time). This seemed to be the start of things getting worse for me. Greece hit instability and laws changed re the business which I was then running, it was hardly viable to keep things going and trade was bad, but decided to try and carry on in the hope things might get better. Last year was the limit, we had ten deaths, friends and family, including my close aunt and sister to my mum who also passed away just two days after, it was quick and a great shock and so hard to deal with having spent all my life with her and dad, and always being a close family.

    I was also on the verge of closing the business due to the fault of a former accountant and the stupid Greek system which has left me owing thousands of euro to insurance, through no fault of my own.Now,one year later this matter is still on going and laws changing so fast here that each time I see my new accountant there is more to pay. A few weeks ago this happened again and turned me. The grief, worry and stress has sent me over the edge, first I blew with my uncontrollable temper and did and said things I usually don’t, and hurt my remaining family and close friends who were staying at the time.

    I reached out to another so called close friend for someone to talk to and was rebuffed by him and he who then went public on Facebook with my problems. I shut myself off completely, locked myself in, cancelled remaining bookings, and fell into depression. I cut myself, stuck the scissors in my arm and thought about suicide all the time, seeing no way out of my problems, no future, feeling worthless and remorseful, hated myself. I stopped eating and barely drank, my teeth were not brushed, my hair not washed or brushed, nor did I wash, my whole life was upside down and I could see no way out.

    I was constantly crying, couldn’t sleep, and every little noise was praying on my nerves, I just lost interest in everything and had a sense of hopelessness. Funnily enough the people I hurt the most were there for me, my sister, and the friends I hurt. They listened and talked to me, hugged me when I needed it. Once my temper diminished I began to think I might all along have some sort of mental condition so I researched the internet.

    At present I am on antidepressants, which have started to kick in, I know I should seek some sort of help but cannot afford to for fear of running out of money which I need to prove I have to authorities in order to live here…otherwise, I would have to leave Greece and my only family behind and then be totally on my own with little chance of work at my age…another worry. I am trying to self help myself, taking one step at a time, I eat things I like, if I can’t sleep or start crying I make a hot drink and put the TV on, I try to think of good things and try to do easy jobs, as yet cannot face any cleaning or any laborious jobs.

    The house is so full of dust and that is simply not me! Am trying to muster up my enthusiasm for my craft work too, am sure that would help, and maybe my garden, when I feel that I can go outside…just going to the shop is overwhelming enough. Just to know that there are others out there having had or going through this is a comfort, and I know that I am not alone and they understand. It is surprising how many do not and turn the other cheek. I wish everyone here well, strength and speedy recovery, just writing this down here has helped me.

  • TC September 22, 2015, 2:06 pm

    In hindsight I was a sitting duck – five years of working two jobs, 80 hours a week, surviving on caffeine, nicotine and codeine, huge financial stress and a difficult home life – pretty much burnt me out. All the signs were there in the months leading up to my crash, I had severe chest pains, headaches, constant anxiety and debilitating fatigue. I had just finished a stressful project and was looking forward to a two week vacation, but when the time came I found I couldn’t relax.

    One morning I woke up and couldn’t leave the house – the fear was overwhelming. My doctor told me I was burnt out and checked me off work for four weeks. In that time I saw a psychiatrist, a psychologist, a naturopath and a dietitian. I read self-help books, listened to buddhist lectures, changed my bad habits, but I wasn’t getting better. One day I came across a book by Claire Weekes that described how I felt perfectly and advised that to overcome nervous breakdown, you have to accept it. In other words, do nothing.

    Don’t fight, just accept and be patient. That’s a very hard thing to do. But by this stage I was burning myself out even more by fighting the symptoms of stress everyday. So I went back to work, continually suffering the worst symptoms imaginable – constant anxiety, feelings of unreality, intrusive thoughts, severe chest pains, stomach aches and nausea. It was horrible, but I tried to just accept it all. For a long time nothing changed.

    Each day at work was a nightmare – constantly anxious and on the weekends I just fell into a heap – seriously depressed and exhausted. However, I began to have moments of clarity – very few at first, but these moments gave me hope and the emotional energy to carry on. Eventually I began sleeping better and my mood improved for short periods. The worst part was that some days I’d feel optimistic, only to have this smashed by a day or two of deep depression.

    I was scared of the depression at first, but then decided I’d rest in my depression. I figured that depression was my body desperately screaming for rest. Whilst the physical symptoms were hard, the mental torture was awful. The worst fears imaginable assaulted my mind everyday. Over time I learnt to accept these thoughts, it was futile trying to argue with them. Very slowly, the fog lifted and the fear subsided. During this time I discovered meditation.

    I tried it by myself but I found my mind was too distracted – so I found a therapist who used mindfulness as part of his sessions. I had weekly sessions for eight weeks and was soon able to practice by myself. At first it didn’t seem to work, but after a while I noticed subtle changes – my thoughts no longer had the same impact. I began to notice small things, such as birds and flowers. I now have a much more relaxed life. I no longer feel the need to rush around at warp speed, trying to please people and prove what a great worker I am.

    I am no longer addicted to achievement. I love the calm life now – and can’t imagine ever going back to the life I lead before. I appreciate life so much now and realize what a precious gift every moment is. I was given various diagnoses throughout that year: General anxiety, depression, adjustment disorder, adrenal fatigue, panic disorder, depersonalization, obsessive disorder, agoraphobia, but these titles are too reductionist: they don’t come close to describing the experience I had.

    Nervous Breakdown is such a better description, because that’s what it is. The most important aspect to my recovery was understanding what was happening to me and learning to accept that my symptoms were nothing more than the symptoms of stress run riot. To anyone here suffering right now, you will recover from this. If I can get through it, everyone can.

  • Kate October 19, 2015, 12:06 am

    I have been reading all your posts and I pray for all of you. I am currently going through a nervous breakdown myself. The anxiety is crippling and the depression has turned to anger. I went through this before in 2002 and ended up in a psychiatric hospital for a month. I would love to go for treatment but I am the only one who can care for my severely autistic son. I moved in with my father who is 85 because of financial reasons and that is when the chronic anxiety started. Meds help but trying to find a therapist that will take your health insurance is near to impossible. Having no support system to help me through this is taking a toll on my health. Hope is all I have right now.

  • Ndawg October 20, 2015, 8:36 am

    Everyone who is going through this is EXTREMELY brave. But it will end, you WILL feel good again, and great things will emerge from this for you, we just have to be accepting and let time pass. With every great pain, the path is cut out for great joy. Contrast is the essence of life. My story is, I was always a bit negative in my thinking, and a bit of a worrier, with a pretty exaggerated internal critic.

    I didn’t have good models of well being growing up, and went through a bit of a traumatic time in my childhood and parts of my teens, this was probably the main contributing factor to these bad habits. Anyway, being an entrepreneur is stressful as it is, I then was incorrectly diagnosed at the end of 2014 with having scabies, which are like invisible head lice if you don’t know, except they live under your skin, and create incredible amounts of itching. I shut myself off from the world for 2 months, trying to cure myself by trying loads of different things off the internet.

    This alone was probably enough to drive anyone into a bit of a meltdown… turns out I never had them at all. Be careful when you believe what doctors tell you, always get a 2nd opinion if not a 3rd, for anything serious, that’s what I’ve learned from that experience… Anyway, after that, I was financially pressured, went on a meditation retreat for 10 days with my friend, which I thought would help me distress, but actually it exacerbated my worrying mind and stress levels, as I found the mindfulness meditation almost impossible to get into, even with 10 days.

    It sent me further into worrying mode to be honest, and let’s be real I was probably already starting to go into “break down mode” and if you’ve been there, you know the mind goes a bit obsessive and mental during this experience, as our stress levels find an outlet in negative obsessive thinking patterns. Then after this, my brother was fairly abusive to me, and then the tax people contacted me telling me that I had no more time to pay my business tax and I owed them circa $12K, and could I make full payment over the phone please? Haha right, go #### yourselves.

    Not to mention all of this, but I was away from family, in another country and had been for 8 years at this point. So basically a TON of stressors all at once, some not so great coping mechanisms already, and not the strongest support network, plus some bad habits in my thinking styles. All this equaled me starting to have insomnia, and then came the intense anxiety, gradually getting stronger over time, and withing a month or so of this, I started to just feel I couldn’t cope with anything, I was tense all the time, what was this feeling? What’s wrong with me?

    Why do I feel so uncomfortable ALL THE TIME??? This was the land of nervous breakdown my friends, and I had started the trek, unwillingly, but without return. So, now where am I? I have moved back into my mum’s, come back to Australia from living in the UK. I have basically quit running my business, and have gotten a 3 days a week in the kitchen (I’m a trained chef) to keep me busy, bring in some cash, and give me a little structure.

    The feelings are still intense like most of the time, I’m still pretty depressed about it a lot of the time too, I still have obsessive, repetitive and quite honestly ridiculous thoughts a lot of the time… BUT I know that I will be okay, I know that this journey is all about acceptance, and just allowing the body/mind to recover as it will. I also know that I will be stronger and greater than ever before after all of this. This experience will/is making me so damn tough, and I’m even open to the idea that one day I will look back on all of this with gratitude in my heart, and see clearly that I needed to go through this to learn the lessons that needed to be learned.

    Godspeed to all of those people reading this who are also on this unwitting journey, be open to the idea of accepting this as it is, and know that soon or in not too far a time in the future, your world will be safe and comfortable again, and you will have found a new level of peace, love, and appreciation for life that you would never have discovered otherwise. Peace!

    • Ndawg October 20, 2015, 8:59 am

      NOTE: I also believe, that 2 of the best things you can do for yourself to help improve your time in recovery (though don’t be too hung-up on how long it’s taking, as this will just add to your stress :) ), and apart from just trying to live your life as normally as you can despite the symptoms, are the following:

      1) Tapping – popular version being EFT (emotional freedom techniques) but there is also a much easier to do method called SET (simple energy techniques) where you basically only have to tap without saying any of the statements that are common with EFT. This comes from the principles of ancient Chinese medicine, and has been proven to lower cortisol levels for a start (SEE REF: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22986277).

      SET also has a practice as part of their philosophy called “acceptance tapping” the idea is to just let whatever comes up in your feelings and thoughts come up as it does, and continue to tap. By tapping, you’re positively “tuning” your nervous system for improved functioning. Check out their free intro guide here: http://www.eftdownunder.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/SET0709.pdf

      (I’ve personally found the tapping to be a life saver when it comes to the insomnia part of all of this, it usually sends me back off to sleep quite quickly if I just start tapping and allow my mind to do what it’s doing)

      2) Sending the pain in your body loving thoughts/emotions. Might sound a little simplistic and dreamy, but basically this whole “nervous breakdown” is a stress response pattern with a LOT of momentum behind it. The thing is, what you resist persists, as you probably know. This condition is stuck in place (and sometimes worsened) by disliking and reacting negatively to the unpleasant feelings/thoughts. This is why acceptance is key to recovery. I believe what we want to do here, to improve our recovery time, is to not only accept these thoughts + feelings, but send them positive energy, or “love”.

      Love and acceptance are very similar feelings/vibrations. At the end of the day, this is just my theory, I have no proof of this, but it’s not a new concept, and you can probably see how it works into helping those going through this experience in particular. It works for me, when I apply it with an open heart and some diligence. I hope it helps, if anyone wants to chat with me about getting through this, feel free to email me at newplacetostay (AT symbol) gmail. Peace guys!

  • Debbie October 20, 2015, 11:59 pm

    I had a mental breakdown over the ‘sudden’ end of a relationship, that came totally ‘out of the blue’! I literally ‘lost it’ on the spot. I can describe it like an ‘overloaded circuit’ in my head, all thoughts, emotions. etc. – crossing over one another from every direction. Felt like I was going ‘mental’, fell to ground rocking like a baby! For 10 yrs I searched for a diagnosis, I knew it was not depression alone that followed.

    I had wicked pain in back of my head. Finally found a Dr that diagnosed ‘Occipital Neuralgia’ which is inflamed nerve. I had medication + injections in back of head which has made a massive difference to my quality of life! I so hope this post may help point other people out there, in the right direction. :-)

  • Vanessa October 23, 2015, 9:29 pm

    3 months ago I had a bad burnout/nervous breakdown. Rapid thinking, couldn’t relax, dry mouth, dizzy off balance. I’ve been off work 3 months already. At the beginning my thoughts were so much that I couldn’t focus on one thought. Having hard time sleeping thoughts wake me up do to high anxiety. I cry often. I don’t have as much energy when I start to try and exercise I get anxiety…not sure why?

    I’ve been doing a lot of resting and trying to eat I’ve lost 20 pounds. I’m seeing a therapist for “cognitive therapy” just wondering how long this is going to last? I do take ativan when needed. I’m not as bad as when it first happened. I didn’t even know it was going to happen. It hit me hard. It can be overcomes? Will I feel good again? Thanks for listening.

  • Whendi October 30, 2015, 12:59 am

    Hi, My name is Whendi and I have been through hell. I have suffered a few breakdowns and more recently because my Alcoholic Daughter who recently got out of recovery, backslid and relapsed 4 times in a ten day period each time being worse than the time before. Slitting wrists severely last Monday evening and trying to run away to Kansas where her boyfriend lives on Thursday and ending up in the hospital Monday night.

    Now my heart hurts and I’m shaky and and scared all the time. My nerves are totally shot as I’ve been dealing with this for 2 years. I’m out of my mind. I don’t know what to do. This is not good. Sincerely, Whendi

    P.S. I want to run away and never come back.

  • Donna November 10, 2015, 9:06 pm

    My situation will never change. I have RSD/CRPS in my throat, neck – which means all the soft tissue in my neck like arteries, blood vessels, nerves, glands, etc, the skin on my neck burn to death. It’s like acid has been injected into my neck and head. It’s worst when I talk, lift my head or be in temperatures below 80 degrees. All from a surgeon and tonsillectomy 16 years ago.

    I lost my health first, them my job. I couldn’t work with this burning. It’s debilitating. I am too sick that when this happened I had to choose not to have kids. I wouldn’t be able to give them a good life. I lay in bed all day. I get up but it’s unbearable some times. I’ve been on tons of medication including narcotics for 8 years which now I can’t get off of, and no doctor will help because they only help recreational users not someone with pain. I have tried everything. I hate living this way.

    And it’s a fact that there is no cure for RSD/CRPS. And drs aren’t interested due to its complexity. My nerves sympathetic and para-sympathetic both are hyperactive, and my stress system is damaged. So that will never change and unlike you person who wrote this article I can’t take anti-depressants or anti-anxiety because with a damaged Autonomic Nervous system they don’t help. So see thinking that things will never change is real for me. Now I have added problems. Hypothyroidism, menopause, and suffering not only in physical pain every day but it’s my life sentence.

    I have attempted suicide and once my fiancee and mom pass, I will be alone, and that’s when I will end this life. I also hate to get on facebook and see how every woman becomes a mom than a grandmom. I hate it that this happened to me. I think if I could sue the doctor for causing this, which can not be proved I would be better if I had money to help me get the things I need. Like a cook, a home, a pool for my muscle atrophy. But it’s hopeless. For me, things will NEVER CHANGE and I refuse to live like this.

    • denise December 4, 2015, 7:54 am

      Hi saw this post. I had chronic burning once and used goldenseal root for inflammation. Try herbal oils also, like lavendar, eucalyptus. Google to see what can work for you. Chinese have used oils and acupuncture. I thought my pain would never go, I prayed and tried natural healing – it’s a journey.

  • Tina November 26, 2015, 3:29 am

    Tried to get off Celexa after 12 years and discovered I still had the same problems I always had and never really dealt with and now anxiety attacks, then discovered burnout has creeped up on me too. I was working so hard to stay afloat and was a single mom. I’m tired of crying at work in the bathroom everyday because it just feels so hopeless with this depression and lack of interest I have will my dull job.

    Everyone else makes 3 times what I make at work. My parents are gone, my cat of 20 years died, I haven’t had a boyfriend in 14 years and am 59 – so I’m pretty alone. My siblings are very well off except for one who is worse off financially then me but he just stays home and makes the best of it. I always seem to want more of something – just now sure what it is or how to get it!

    There’s no one I can depend on and can’t find the energy to declutter the house and move to someplace cheaper so maybe I could rest by working less so I could calm down and heal totally. If I could hang on just 2.5 more years till I’m 62 that would be great and I could retire but sometimes there’s is no hanging on. It feels like a free fall into a black hole that I can’t get out of doing what I’ve been doing.

    There’s homeless people by my work and I’m afraid of becoming one of them plus I feel so sad for them and everyone who suffers. My co-worker is making 40 turkey dinners for all the homeless to pass out tomorrow. She’s so amazing and I’m so blessed to know and work with her. She’s always trying to lift my spirits but depression can be brutal – it’s happy then sad and back again with all the other symptoms.

    I have all the symptoms everyone else described. I’m back on antidepressants and seeing a therapist at times. I have things I should be thankful for but at times I just don’t see anything good in myself or the world at large with so much bad news. I wish everyone lots of hope though and that you will have a great Thanksgiving tomorrow.

  • Sarah December 3, 2015, 12:18 pm

    I’m in college right now, first semester and all, and it’s near finals and for the first time all year I feel… nothing. It’s been constant stress (taking 18 credit hours + honors) and suddenly I can’t even get out of bed anymore and I have just days left of school. I’ve been tossing and turning since 4am this morning. Haven’t eaten anything in something like 20 hours.

    I don’t know if this is more “normal” or more “serious” and the fact that I’ve felt no strong emotion after nothing BUT strong emotion for months on end is worrying on some level. I have been having some odd thoughts come to me, like “I wonder if there’s a reason people hurt themselves” or imagining my own death over and over. These thoughts scare me. I find myself making uncomfortable jokes about not “surviving” college a lot now, and part of me is being literal.

    Yesterday even though I have a test today I couldn’t do anything other than stare into space. I used to be a cheerful person, not a morbid, sad, stressed-out person…. I just wish everything could be alright again. Sorry for randomly ranting I guess. Other people probably have it worse, I know.

    • Liz December 30, 2015, 5:32 pm

      Sarah, please reach out to the counseling office @ school or your academic adviser. Many freshman have some issues and there are resources available to help! The school wants you to succeed!! You’ve worked hard to get this far and you just may need some extra support. It’s ok to ask for help. You may want to look here also for some of the techniques people have been using for stress. Best of luck to you!!

  • angee December 12, 2015, 9:41 pm

    Thanks, going to try your recommendations. I want to be happy again!!! Tired of crying. I have permanent bags under my eyes that just won’t go away without surgery.

  • Peter December 12, 2015, 11:14 pm

    It’s only recently that I realized that I have been recovering from a nervous breakdown, during my breakdown I felt that nothing I did was ever good enough, I was worthless, useless, my breakdown was due to the extreme stress of my wife’s emotionally and mentally abusing myself and our children for a number of years.

    It all started to change when my wife decided that due to fact that I was having a nervous breakdown she should demand a divorce, (pop quiz, what do you do if your partner is having a nervous breakdown? Divorce the sucker.) Anyway within weeks of getting kicked out of my home I began to feel so much better.

    I have been to counseling, changed careers, started exercising, I do yoga, nature walks, meditation, mindfulness, progressive relaxation and feel better than I ever have in my life, it’s been a long two years of recovery but well worth it.

  • Pat December 14, 2015, 9:15 am

    My husband had a nervous breakdown a month ago; was in hospital for 2 weeks and is now home, on anti-depressants and tranquilizers. I am his primary carer now; any suggestions on how to cope? He is so different from his “normal self” – almost zombie-like, no social interaction and very shaky and weak. He is having psychotherapy, but what should I do at home to care and help him?

  • SAM December 17, 2015, 2:05 pm

    I wish I had found this earlier this year…and better yet, last week. I had a nervous breakdown in July and was MIA from the world for 7 weeks and lost a lot of weight. When I went back to work and got back to normality, I seriously thought I was getting better. Last week, I left the office earlier, I had this sinking feeling of doom, so much so, I started feeling sick, had this nauseating taste in the back of my mouth…so much so that I just got up from my desk, about 5 hours earlier than I would and I just left the office.

    (Mind you, this is the exact same way my first nervous breakdown took root, I left the office, and didn’t come back for 7 weeks…fear literally squeezing me until I was ready to come back). I left on a Monday afternoon. On Tuesday morning, I drove halfway to the office, I got to the traffic lights that would lead to the highway…and I just made a U-turn, no regard for the honking cars, the trucks the guy on the street selling sh*t or trying to…I made a U-turn and hit the gas like someone was chasing me…(no one was chasing me) I drove like a bat outta hell until I got home and I’ve been home for the past 2 weeks.

    I’m beyond stressed, this time, I’m gaining weight, bloated, experience cold and hot sweats out of no where. I’m afraid to disappear for another 7 weeks, but I have no way of fixing this. when I go out and I drive I have to take my sibling along. I stopped answering my phone for an entire week – since Tuesday and basically lived in my room. Every time I eat something, I get crazy bloated which makes me upset, which makes me feel like everything is all wrong which makes me feel hopeless and a sense of doom and I spiral, all over again into the depression.

    I look in the mirror and I decide to starve to counteract the bloating and that makes me even more upset…this time around I feel like I’m in a much deeper pit…keeping in mind that I only got back on my feet from my first breakdown in August, the last week of august 2015…I’ve been”okay” for about 90 days…and I’ve crashed/regressed…etc. My questions are too many…but mainly this…did I actually recover or was I in some dissociative state where I was able to go to the office and take on the “look” and feel of a normal life?

    My other question is…how do I “snap” out of this for good (psychologists don’t work…I saw one who made me do TRE…and it didn’t work. I got a Body Vibration machine to try and do TRE and it just made the bloating flare up again. He didn’t prescribe meds…which I think would have been super.) I think I like my job…but my Fright and Flee usually takes place as an escape from work or in the most recent case…I ran away before getting to the office. Does it mean I subconsciously hate the job or that the job is a manifestation of everything that I fear?

    I prefer sitting with the curtains drawn and I’ve slept for almost 14 hours each day, I literally wake up, have coffee, a piece of toast… get bloated, watch meaningless TV and after a few hours of walking around aimlessly, I’ll go back to sleep as soon as I start to feel like someone is crushing my lunch or all teary-eyed outta nowhere. I have no idea how to fix myself and I really want to fix myself.

    I am forcing myself to go back to work next week…but I don’t know if that will help or make it worse…it all depends on whether I make it past those traffic lights leading to the highway I normally take to get to the office. If anyone can help…please help, I can’t see myself going through this in 2016.

    • Liz December 30, 2015, 5:14 am

      Sam, I happened on this site searching for some answers and saw your post. Having gone through several periods of great stress, I have learned that stress can cause a decrease in stomach acid, which means you can not properly digest your food causing gas and bloating. You also will not get the nutrition out of your food, which only makes you feel worse.

      The key to this problem is digestive enzymes, available over the counter. Be kind to yourself and eat as healthy as you can. I have also discovered that Vit D deficiency and make you feel like you’re losing your mind. Your doc can do a blood test for this. Once I got this corrected I stopped feeling like ending it all. I have also discovered that B vit’s help with stress, as well as vit C and minerals.

      I am struggling right now too, but it is better having addressed the nutrition issue. I know this is only one small piece of the puzzle. I wish you well. May you find some solace, support and help from what others here have suggested helped them.

  • Jan December 20, 2015, 11:43 pm

    I had a nervous breakdown a few years ago. My husband’s adult daughter called to tell him all about the ‘red flags’ about me and why he should not have married me. After this phone call which he had on speakerphone so that I might hear what exactly the red flags were, I simply ‘lost it’ and had a breakdown. The relating of her ideas why I was so horrible were so cruel and untrue.

    I have achieved much in my lifetime being a financial planner, a stockbroker, a trader, manager of brokerage firms, animal rescuer, and many more. People relate to me, love me, and give me kudos often. I still to this day, a few years later, cannot shake the feeling after that horrible denigration and devaluation that she imparted within that phone call. I have trouble sleeping if I let those thoughts creep in.

    It has been a very horrible horrible experience. I would love to communicate with others who have or are experiencing similar situations. I know that I am a very good, moral, and ethical person. It is just that once you are shunned, blackballed, and ridiculed you do not want to go back into the cess pool situation. I feel so bad for my husband.

    And he has no idea what to do. He, also, is devastated as he is also shunned and treated with great, great disrespect. I will be glad to hear from anyone who wants to share.

  • Michelle December 22, 2015, 10:23 am

    I had a nervous breakdown in my late thirties. I was working long hours with little pay at a very demanding job with a boss who was difficult and a home life that was adding to the stress on top of some physical illnesses and injuries that made my general mental health and anxiety go through the roof. I began to be in a constant state of agitation and had random outbursts of tears.

    Then one day like any other with my stress levels at a point where I felt like I could not handle life for one more second my brain snapped but oddly I did not snap into psychosis like one would think. Instead of snapping in a negative way my brain snapped, literally in an instant, into absolute peace and acceptance. One second I was about to completely lose my mind and the next I was at complete and total peace.

    It wasn’t mania or delusional like the high of a bipolar or manic depressive person and I didn’t shut down or become catatonic as a form of self-preservation, but rather I suddenly found myself in a calm zen like state that made the world and everything in it OK. I struggled my whole life with fear and anxiety and mild depression and though my troubles and issues were far from gone or resolved I honestly and truly was free from all mental health issues including stress, anxiety, depression, fear or even simple worry over my life circumstances.

    Radical acceptance is probably the best way to describe it and it was honestly the best ten years of my life where I really relished and enjoyed being alive. Maybe most people in general feel that way on a normal basis and it is just that my life long mental health issues are usually in the way of my perceptions of what life should feel like but this was beyond simply being ok and happy, it literally felt like heaven on earth.

    Unfortunately a major life stressor brought back all the fear and anxiety and tossed me back into depression so I lost the zen like state but I have never really understood what happened and why my brain snapped at the breaking point into peace instead of the darker place of psychosis like most people. I have been trying to find my way back there but haven’t been very successful, but I will keep trying until my dying day because it really was an amazing state of mind full of unconditional love I wish everyone could experience.

    Hopefully I can figure out how to get there without a major life crisis to trigger it lol. One can always hope.

  • akansha January 6, 2016, 9:26 am

    I don’t know what is happening with me… Earlier I used to be one of the best students of my class… Now one of the worst last year. I became so depressed regarding my studies that whole day I used to cry, but then I decided to fight. After a lot of fight, I became alright. But before 1 week I again feel like crying hard, getting isolated, leaving home, school, everything… Everyone laughs at these things and no one is around me to help.

  • Deb January 22, 2016, 7:34 pm

    I find all these conversations interesting. My first breakdown was when I was 2 years old. I understand from my parents I was medicated for over a week, but no other information is available. I am now 53… not much has changed since then.

  • Jacklen January 24, 2016, 6:37 pm

    Can anyone give me suggestions for how best to support a loved one who is suffering a long cycle of this condition after a long-term serious illness? She is just now after years of suffering applying for disability. I saw this coming years ago. I love her and don’t want to say or do anything to cause her further harm. What should I be doing to support her? She is in therapy but she is suffering from all the symptoms.

    • Ndawg January 27, 2016, 3:03 am

      I hope the mods on this site will be kind enough to approve my reply, so it may help you… :). The Freedom from fear recovery program by David Johnson (Google it) will help A LOT. I’ve been going through this, and it’s now my #1 resource for recovery. Other than that, if you don’t want to make the small investment, look up Claire Weekes’ work, and get your self a cheap copy of “Self Help For Your Nerves” which is what David’s work has elaborated on. As someone who has dealt with anxiety my whole life in lesser and greater amounts, I can tell you, this is pretty much the only way to full recovery. Everything else is just going to be suppression or escapism, which will never work for any length of time.

  • Rich January 25, 2016, 9:51 am

    Reading these stories has helped me to relax tonight. My breakdown became acute last August, and I think it was a gradual process that went back a couple of years and finally in that one month, I had nothing to distract me and my emotions just flooded over and overwhelmed me. I started having anxiety over doing even little things, I was crying almost every day, I thought about my situation, what might be wrong – and these attacks just seemed to be coming out of nowhere.

    I do not have all the symptoms, and I have not been hounded, berated, or abused by friends, family or co-workers – yet the anxiety and depression stop me dead in my tracks, cause me to freeze in mid-step, make it difficult to just go get some groceries at the store – it’s infuriating!!! Since last August, I’ve read some books, started doing meditations, tried various chat boards, and do walking/riding to cheer up.

    The exercise is the most effective, and the meditation is very relaxing. I’ve looked for new work that is something repetitive and non-thinking. I notice when I simple tasks like yard work, I am very relaxed and don’t worry – and rarely have the crying. Haven’t found anything yet – I’m still looking – after reading peoples’ stories and working on the meditations, I’m generally better. I have a few go-to activities to settle down, and I know I will recover.

    I have worked to release all frustration, blame or guilt in my world so I can just be at ease. I’m focusing on being happy so that no matter the task or the chore, I find joy in simply being up and about. I realized that my worries about what happen to me have been far, far, worse than anything that’s happened, so I’m conditioning myself not to worry. I will pull myself up and reach my highest and best work and activities, I know it.

  • Binit shrestha February 13, 2016, 2:38 pm

    I am a Nepali guy who lives in Kathmandu. My father is the most elder brother of 4 and was responsible to take care of his brother after demise of my grandfather. I always think that I never got a environment to enjoy as a child. I did not got chance to watch cartoons as most of elders were watching TV, and delicious food also needs to be shared among all so I get very less of if.

    When I was doing my graduation my sister was employed and supported me financially those were the good days I can remember. After the marriage of my sister I started getting lonely and angry most of times. One of my aunts is very weird and steal things from us. She usually creates drama and fights with us. The symptom of anger started when I was graduating.

    After the death of my grandmother I got my first anxiety attack o felt like I could not breath and I was taken to hospital. My blood pressure was high but doctor assured that everything was OK. They gave me a pill which relaxed my body, then I don’t know why I started crying. I just felt like saying sorry to my dad and also remembered my girlfriend as well.

    Then I started taking medication which helped me a lot. Recently I broke up with my girlfriend. She told me that she still loves her first love who is already married. This broke me and I started feeling depressed as well as anxiety strikes me. I am still taking medication, but it’s very hard to cope with the pain and anxiety. I just want to enjoy my life again.

  • Jessica W. February 21, 2016, 9:22 pm

    I suffered a nervous breakdown about three weeks ago. I’ve been going through medication withdrawal (coming off of 40mg Prozac/100mg Elavil) for the past three months and the physical and mental symptoms from that experience led to a total breakdown.

    I feel like I wake to a living hell each day. I open my eyes in the morning with a feeling of complete dread and spend the day alternating between crying spells and panic attacks. I’ve sought help with a therapist and am working to gain better coping skills but it all seems so impossible!

  • Sheree collins February 23, 2016, 12:03 am

    I suffered one of the worst nervous break downs 2 yrs ago. I thought everyone hated me. I was afraid to trust or eat from anyone for fear of being poisoned. I mainly thought my fiance was trying to kill me. Also my sisters and step mom could not be trusted. It took me a very long time to over come these feelings.

    About 8 months ago they came back but not as severe. I was very angry all the time. I never wanted to anything that my employer asked of me. I was always agitated and some days I got because the phone would ring. People think that I’m just a mean person now and some don’t answer for me now. This could really ruin your life.

  • Samantha March 1, 2016, 5:54 am

    I am a 22 year old college student only a few months away from graduation. I had the worse nervous breakdown I have ever had a few days ago. It was so bad my fiance called up my work to tell them I was not able to come in. I way over scheduled my last semester. I am working about 15 hours a week. I am taking 20 credit hours. I am doing an internship which is about 12 hours a week.

    I am preparing for my GRE and looking for jobs for after graduation. I can’t reduce any of my academic responsibilities because that would keep me from graduating. I need to keep working because I have bills. I am embarrassed to face my boss. The thing I hated most was seeing the fear in my fiancee’s eyes. I just was curled up in a ball crying, rocking, and going in and out of panic attacks.

    I keep telling myself that I just have to survive until graduation. This last one even scared me. I am trying to remind myself to take time to take care of myself to try to keep this from happening again. I know I can get through this… it’s just the question of how much longer?

  • Cheryl March 10, 2016, 10:13 pm

    Me too! Anyone suffer for three years? I suffered first lost of job, lost of love (fake love, he later tormented me and made me situation worse) lost of home, loss of child, loss of money, loss of clothes, loss of life, no known about to future and I then was arrested, homeless, falsely treated, falsely medicated, harassed, stalked, and end up being a total and utter mess!

    I am just recovering and I was wondering if you or any of you still log on to this article. I could use some support. During my breakdown I became homeless and for the longest time I was treated as homeless as oppose to ill. I remember sitting in meetings and not representing my illness properly and not being able to answer questions such as how did I become homeless or how long.

    I didn’t know enough so I was just homeless. I couldn’t represent myself and when you put your life in others hands, it goes nowhere! I am so glad to be recovering but would love to chat.

  • H March 15, 2016, 10:07 pm

    I’m a male about to turn 50. My wife hates me because I can’t sustain her lifestyle anymore. A wife whom I’ve never loved. From riches to rags is my story My mate… now I want out… Not from the relationship but from this materialistic world. I do consider my son as my greatest trophy and asset and maybe that’s why I’ve suppressed my anguish to realization, for now that is. I never feel upbeat or happy anymore. I’m done. I need out and out very soon, mate.

  • mimi March 25, 2016, 7:18 pm

    I went through severe burnout due to a divorce and overwork at the same time. I think the burnout was aggravated by too much coffee. It took 7 years to gain back the slightest feeling of well-being. At the moment I am experiencing major stressful life events again, but magnesium supplements keep me calm and help me sleep through the night.

  • marianne garland March 28, 2016, 2:58 pm

    There are times when I am afraid of losing it, especially in the morning when I wake up. I take my meds and over a few hours I feel a little better. The same goes for the evening. After 20+ years I feel I can’t go on this way for much longer.

  • Nikki A April 3, 2016, 1:28 am

    I don’t know how old this post is but I am desperate and suffering beyond my ability to fully explain. I am 34 unemployed and a mother of a beautiful, deserving, very intelligent 6 year old daughter. Just writing that I am in full on sob mode and feeling so guilty for my condition. I was a successful hard working woman nearing my 30th birthday when I was blindsided with being terminated from my job I needed so badly.

    At that moment in time I actually embraced the situation I was dealt and walked out of my office with my head held high…not knowing what this termination would actually do to negatively impact the rest of my life. Several months later while enjoying my time off with my little girl, who was only 2 then, I decided I wanted to get back into the swing of things as I was used to them being normally.

    That meant back to work! I applied to a few places where I personally knew that former coworkers had gone to work for and had recommended me come to work for them. I thought “piece of cake!” WRONG. While completing the background portion of the application process for one of the potential new employers I was shocked and shamed when informed that I did not pass satisfactorily and could not EVER work in the industry (banking) for the rest of my life! I did not know what to do. What had happened?

    Someone must have made an error. While yes I was terminated from my last employer it was not for violating any policy or procedure, not for stealing or for any other reason that would “black list” me from being employed elsewhere. I called human resources from my former job and they did confirm that I was red flagged as non rehirable. I could not believe this.

    I was dumbfounded. It also said that it was indeed for violating policies and procedures from the sales and service company handbook. What?!? That is not what was discussed upon my firing. It was actually due to an issue with signatures being enraptured by a MACHINE on time to meet company’s deadline when it came to paper application for accounts etc… I was stupid to not ensure anything crooked was going on when I was singled out for this and terminated for it.

    It turns out my manager’s behind was the one on the line for this error and more. So she used me to take the blame and it worked all unbeknownst to me. I was too stressed at work and welcomed the release from it all. Stupid move. I failed to take care of me during that time. By the time this whole thing reared its ugly head it was too late. My former manager didn’t deny what happened but she did refuse to go in their system and lift the flagged status so that I could carry on with my life.

    I felt trapped. I felt very taken advantage of but mostly I felt very stupid. Four years later I am literally unrecognizable. No longer am I this petite, fit, energetic person with a go-getter attitude that is infectious. I am pale, out of shape, sad, and always tired. I am a stay at home mother with a VERY supportive but very worried family. I am a great mother. I know that is admirable but I am more. I know I am.

    But I am stuck. I tried to find legal help but need money to go further in the process to fight my former employer. The manager who flagged me as non rehirable is actually no longer working for the bank we worked for. She is now a plaintiff in a huge case against them citing her managers as not paying employees for over time and holiday pay. I can’t even believe it. Wells Fargo. Yes that’s them.

    The company I was so proud to work for because I thought I was part of something great and upstanding. This company has left me jobless and unable to get another in my area of expertise as this flagged status follows me everywhere. It’s not just banks or any financial type institutions. I want to work so badly but instead I’m depressed and almost unable to function many of my days. Somehow I muster up the energy to take my child to and from school on time ALWAYS but I know my sadness and depression shows.

    I have no confidence. I come out of my skin when someone coughs or sneezes more than once. I can’t stand when my iPhone auto corrects me and it’s not correct. I’m overwhelmed with issues with my child’s father too. He finds me completely unrecognizable. He thought I might be taking something as far as illegal drugs go. Wrong. I also don’t drink alcohol either and haven’t in four and a half years. Some people joke and say “maybe you should!” Not funny as those things have proven to be of no help to me.

    I feel like my life is over. 50 seems like it’s knocking on my door and I haven’t accomplished a thing and never will. I feel as if I’ve aged fifteen years in only four. My whole body hurts everywhere. I have been tested for all kinds of diseases and all doctors want to do medicate me with pill after pill after pill. All of which have debilitating side effects.

    I’ve tried them and it made things worse. I feel like if I didn’t have my daughter I would be dead or at least would have attempted to make that happen. I am lost. I don’t turn on lights if I can help it. When I shower it’s with a nightlight only. I hate myself. I used to love me. I was great. I was energetic and fun. People were addicted to ME. I could have been so much more.

    • LizaBeth Stephhenson April 14, 2016, 10:13 am

      I’m so sorry that you in such a dark place. I wanted to tell you something you already know… You’ve been blackballed. I, myself experienced this when I quit from a job and my manager told me I would regret it. She was so right, but not in the way I thought. I always interviewed really well and usually didn’t even worry about it, knowing I would get the job and I usually did.

      But after leaving my last job, even though I still interviewed well, I could not get a job ANYWHERE. For 6 months I tried, becoming more discouraged, as I had a very young son to support. One day, I went on an interview for a job, and did so well, I was told I was hired and potential employer left the room telling me he just wanted to check my background and then we would be all set. So I waited a bit and the gentleman came out of his office and asked me to come in, he wanted me to hear something.

      He had recorded the phone conversation from my former employer and I sat in shock listening to her tell lie after lie about me. I was in tears after the recorder stopped. The potential employer was very apologetic but told me he could not hire me with such a reference and he was the one who opened my eyes. He said he hadn’t believed her from the start and informed me she was blackballing me so I couldn’t get a job.

      He told me to call The Very Head Of the Company and explain what she had said about me. It took a few days, but I finally got the info I needed and made the call. The President of the company was very apologetic and told me he would take care of it, and not to worry any longer. And he did, as the next job I applied to, I got.

      It seems that the President of the company had called my former manager and to make a long story short, told her if she EVER did anything like that again, she would be fired without a seconds notice. She was instructed to change my work record and to give me a glowing review to every potential employer that called. How did I find out? Her secretary called and told me. So you see, you are not alone. Doing this sort of thing is against the law.

      Find out who is the very head of the company and explain the situation as he is probably not even aware of what happened. It certainly worth a try as it worked for me. As for your depression, start taking care of yourself and practice hopefulness and gratefulness. I know it seems impossible in the depression you are in, but you must try. The more that you do for yourself, the better you will feel.

      I am disabled from my bipolar disorder, PTSD and Severe Anxiety disorder and haven’t worked in twenty years and still struggle with depression, but I try my best to keep a positive attitude. I do yoga, meditation and try to walk every day. You would be amazed at how different you will feel. As for the medication, don’t be afraid as there may be a medication that would pull you completely out of this.

      And Please, Don’t Give Up. Love and Light To You, Bella

  • Steve April 13, 2016, 4:46 am

    We all get better. Time is our friend. Psychotherapy and medication can help in some cases. Remember, you are not alone. There still is love and life in this world of ours even thought it sometimes feels like there isn’t. Give, love, live.

  • Medina April 24, 2016, 6:50 pm

    After years of being a caretaker and already experiencing anxiety, the last 8 months have been particularly hard and I’m sure, after reading this page, that this is what I am experiencing. I have anxiety, derealization, sadness, complete inability to mentally function and think, etc. I hope that everyone gets out of this slump and I’ll be keeping you all in my prayers.

  • AnaLee April 24, 2016, 7:20 pm

    I feel as though I’ve been having a nervous breakdown for the past 2 years, and 4 months. I lost my only child he was 20 years old. Prior to losing him I lost my only brother 7 years before losing my son, he was 37 years old. I than lost my best friend 3 in a half years ago. I’ve been a huge wreck after losing my brother, a train wreck after losing my only child. Im very self-destructive.

    I have 2 sisters. One who is married with 2 kids. My youngest sister is 22 years old, in college. My mom has a boyfriend who she is with all the time. I feel like I’m nothing but a huge burden on them all. I self medicate hoping to just accidentally overdose. I have nothing to live for, I just turned 44 yesterday and my life means nothing.

    I’m so ready to just die so I can go be with my son and loved ones but I’m so afraid. I don’t sleep don’t eat much at all anymore. I have an mentally abusive boyfriend who I feel I love, he’s also a addict. My life has gone to hell since I lost my son. It was horrible losing my brother, but losing my son has definitely taking a HUGE toll on me, I feel as though a huge part of me has been ripped and torn away from me, it’s all so unfair.

  • baso May 15, 2016, 7:08 am

    Hi, Since college I had a nervous breakdown due to continued stress till the point I couldn’t handle anymore. Even the slightest stress I couldn’t handle anymore with extreme nervousness. A horn on the road will make me suffer literally just want to tear my clothes because of internal feeling which difficult to describe.

    A combination of anger, nervousness, fatigue and muscle tension in front neck that it feels very tight like can’t lookup the sky without feeling the tightness. Started anxiety and SSRI medication and continued on SSRI for 10 years. Due to new stress recently, I started to have these anxiety waves that cause extreme physical symptoms especially if I was tense and eat. Everyone must be patient and have faith that things will change with time. God bless you all.

  • Heather May 24, 2016, 3:40 am

    I’m 14 and I constantly feel a lot of these symptoms and it worries me. I’ve tried asking my mother to let me go to a therapist but she won’t get me one, we don’t have the money. I don’t know what to do. My symptoms have increased the past couple days and it’s horrible – my head hurts.

    • beth May 25, 2016, 12:40 am

      Tell your mom you are sick and need to go to your primary doctor. They can advise you too!

  • Michelle June 8, 2016, 2:40 pm

    My story is long but I will make it short. I already have depression and anxiety, I do take medication for both. In February my dog I had for almost 10 years had to be put to sleep unexpectedly, she was everything to me. Exactly a week later my dad passed away. He did not have a will or anything in order. The whole situation is very complicated.

    I’m trying to file probate but that has been difficult. Everything is resting on my shoulders. He had a girlfriend she has all his belongings. She got access to his checking account even though she wasn’t on it and took out a good size of money. So it’s stressful she has access to everything. She’s living off his money and I’m struggling making it day to day. I feel like I’m just to the breaking point. Any advice greatly appreciated.

  • Sienna June 9, 2016, 6:37 pm

    I thought I was going crazy and that I had some undiagnosed mental illness. I want to die a lot and it’s been going on since January/February and it’s now June also I’ve been more anxious than usual. This is why I thought I might have a mental illness. None of the symptoms matched up quite right though. I never had enough symptoms.

    This has article had just made me realise that I’m having a very long mental breakdowns. I’m prone to having them and usually for me they only lasted a day so I thought I was just having many mental breakdowns because of a mental illness. I’m so glad I finally looked up why I was having them. This is literally a lifesaver.

  • Joanne Helton July 18, 2016, 8:39 pm

    I recently had a nervous breakdown. Everything in my life seems so out of control. I totally froze up. Always tired but can’t sleep.I can’t stop thinking about all the crap going on it’s like I am obsessing over it trying to figure out how to get back to order.I stopped eating or bathing. I couldn’t handle being around people. I cry constantly. I will fight this and pull through. At least that’s what my husband says. Thanks for having the information I need to get through it. Good luck to everyone who feels this way.

  • Francine Scandalis July 27, 2016, 9:09 pm

    I had a five year nervous breakdown. It’s kind of like a massive earthquake, that you feel the resonances of for a long time. In my case, years. It shook something loose in me, and I can almost feel some kind of plate-techtonic shifting inside me. I am no longer the same person. I have always been bipolar, had anxiety and PTSD. But this was different.

    I am not in the midst of my breakdown anymore, but I am still unable to cope with much of life. I don’t know who I am now. The past definitions do not fit, and I am unable to become the person I want to be because I don’t have the energy to do much of anything. And I have been in therapy most of 30 years. I have been on one medication or another for about 25.

    I have tried just about every relaxation technique in the world, none work for me. I have some coping mechanisms. I am better than I was, but just when I got better, the rumblings inside began. I am lucky enough to have an incredible support system, a fantastic husband, caring family and friends, and the best therapist in the world. But no one who has not been through it can understand.

    I have a few suggestions, which seems funny from someone who is not totally well themselves. If some issues are trauma related, EMDR is an excellent technique that is sort of like skipping a record over the trauma part when the needle is stuck. Sometimes, no matter how much work you done to make yourself better, you need something more. This is a great help.

    Second, if you don’t have a therapist, or don’t like yours, interview the next ones you contact. Talk to them first to see if you feel they are someone you can open up to, if they have the same belief structure as you, etc. I did that, and have found the most wonderful therapist in the world, who is actually the only reason I was approved for Disability. (For anyone who has done through that process, my sympathies, it was a nightmare that contributed largely to my breakdown).

    Third, read about your disorders, if you know what they are. And for me, reading about people who have gone through horrific abuse and survived helped me a lot. “When Rabbit Howls” about Trudi Chase, and “A Child Called It” by Dave Pelzer really helped me to see that no matter what happens, life goes on. Sure, you’re not the same person but as long as you are alive, you are still fighting. Give yourself credit for that.

    Many people have not been able to do it. You have. Congratulations! Fourth, medication, but be very careful. I was on over 20 medications in 4 years, and I believe it made me far worse. Doctors are only human, and they can’t know what will help you until you try it. Look up the meds prescribed, see what the side effects are, and what time of day/night the med should be taken so it won’t interfere with your sleep, work, or whatever you have to do.

    DO NOT let anyone push you into something you don’t want. DO NOT stay on a medication that makes you feel worse. And report any symptoms you may have as a result to your doctor. DO NOT let any doctor make you stay on a medicine that gives you side effects you can’t cope with. Often they will ask you to stay on the med for awhile longer. If you don’t want to, don’t.

    The doctor is not taking the med and although they are trained, they do not know your body as well as you do. Every body is different, and everyone reacts to things differently. Being over-medicated or on the wrong medication can make things much worse. Fifth, if you feel you can’t go on, there are options of going to a hospital. A mental illness ward is preferable to a state hospital, if you are having a nervous breakdown.

    Being around patients at the state hospital can be very difficult. I have not been in a ward or a hospital, but I have had a few therapists who wanted to commit me, but didn’t because I was not a danger risk. BE WARNED: once you get in the system, you have very little power. I had a friend who had a two day incident of severe paranoia, which resulted in inappropriate public behavior.

    She was no danger to anyone or herself. Once she got to the ER, and they gave her some Ativan to calm her down, she became much better. She stated clearly – as did I, as I was with her – that she did not want to go to the state hospital, because her mother had been a patient there and had been raped during that time. The nurses and psychiatric help promised that they would keep her until they found a bed in a hospital wing, so that she would not have to go through that.

    They lied. They sent her to the state hospital, and when they told me this was going to happen, I protested vigorously – not inappropriately, however – and then they threw me out of the hospital. When they went to my friend’s room, and saw I wasn’t there, she was terrified because she knew I would never have left willingly. She was in the hospital for only two days, thank god, because they could easily see that she was not bad enough to be there.

    But it was a horrifying experience during a time that needed help and support. I complained about this treatment and received a letter apologizing for my interpretation of the situation. It was a nightmare and so I warn everyone to be careful. I would hate to see that happen to anyone else.
    Sixth, make a plan for the worst days. If you have days where you just can’t do anything, give yourself permission to do that.

    I don’t mean that you shouldn’t get out of bed or not eat or anything of that sort. Get yourself out of bed. If you can’t, let someone know – a spouse, a husband, a therapist, someone who can see if you need emergency help. If you are in no danger, that’s when you give yourself permission to do nothing. Some people need to be active, and that helps them.

    If that works, do it! But I myself get overwhelmed easily, for no reason at all sometimes. My therapist has told me to forego any responsibility at those times, and if I have plans, cancel them. Anyone who cares for you should understand. When I have a bad day, I lay on the couch with my cat with my childhood blanket over me and a box of tissues nearby.

    If I am up to it, I will read or watch tv, but what I won’t do is worry about how the house looks or if I promised to go to lunch. Seventh, what the hell do I know? Maybe none of this applies to any of you. I am still fucked up. I am just sharing a few things I learned that helped me, but I am not a professional.

    Anyone going through this should seek professional help, because it is too much to conquer yourself. It can be dangerous not to, especially if you are alone. Soooooo…. a bit long-winded, sorry. I hope that maybe some of this might help somebody else, or at the least let them know that they aren’t alone. Millions of people go through this, it is no deficiency or shame of any kind.

    As I said earlier, if you are reading this, you are still trying. Still fighting. That’s amazing. Give yourself credit for that, and I wish you the best on your journey. Just remember that yes, it will get worse at times, but it will also get better.

  • Patti July 28, 2016, 3:48 pm

    My boyfriend of two years just broke up with me with no warning. We honestly never had even one disagreement, we done everything together. Went to his parents house every Sunday for dinner. Out of the blue he said he’s done, doesn’t want to be with me anymore!! His Mother was diagnosed with cancer about three years ago, and I’ve been there with him for this also… I’m at a loss, can’t stop crying!! I did not see this coming…

  • Paul August 2, 2016, 7:45 pm

    Mine is more financially related. I was divorced 5 years ago and she’s taking everything including half of my income. Nothing can be done about that and I have 5 years. In the mean time I have depleted all savings, retirement and my current wife is out of work and we have a 5 year old daughter. I am up at 4:20am and get home at 6 pm. 3 hours of driving. I literally will run out of money in a few months and feel like ending this. I don’t know where to turn and I can’t take it anymore.

  • Megan August 15, 2016, 7:48 am

    I think that I am in the midst of a nervous breakdown. I am currently living and teaching in China, and I hate it. I want to go home so badly. I am trying to hang on another month until when I get paid so I can buy a flight home, but I don’t know how I am going to last that long.

    I don’t really have a choice because I don’t have the money to fly home. I can barely eat or sleep or concentrate is becoming too much for me to take. I am also stressed about going home. I have several debts that have gone to collections so I won’t be able to buy a car.

    I don’t care though, I just need to be home and be around my family. My parents don’t have the money to help. But I just want to be around them and get the proper help I need. I don’t know how I will do that since I don’t have a job and don’t have medical insurance. Does anyone have any advice?

  • Brent October 5, 2016, 5:44 pm

    I am going through a breakdown again like I did in December 2013. Did not believe it could ever get this bad again so am going back to the mental health team. When you have tried so hard only to be back at square one is soul destroying. You wonder if there is a curse on you! I have had breakdowns throughout my life like a number on here have and you do wonder if the light will ever be at the end of the tunnel. But the old saying is what can not be cured must be endured so I guess that is the lot of some people. Read Dr Claire Weekes’ books – they are good while in the breakdown state.

  • Anthony October 5, 2016, 11:46 pm

    I am suffering from an OBVIOUS nervous breakdown. Up until mid June (when it occurred) I only saw it as something on TV. I have been suffering from depersonalization, anxiety, panic attack, fear of going crazy, fear of never returning to my happy self… IDK… what I can say is that during this crisis, I have found GOD…and for that, I am blessed. :) Anyone want to chat, don’t hesitate to email me (acgqo5@gmail.com). REACH OUT, EVEN WHEN NO ONE IS IN SIGHT.

  • Ambra October 20, 2016, 8:06 pm

    Lol @ your definition of a nervous breakdown. Take every thing you listed, multiply them three fold, add: a solid thousand pounds’ worth of work pressure, a thoroughly detailed suicide PLAN, functioning on basic motor and survival skills, complete inability to eat, drink, sleep and laugh, and many, many trips to the ER from work for stress, anxiety and depression induced seizures. THAT is a complete nervous breakdown.

    If you aren’t in the psych ward at some point, you’re simply dealing with stress/acute anxiety/acute depression, and all you need is weekly counseling sessions with a therapist, psychologist or LISW who will refer you to a psychiatrist, after careful psychological assessment, for medication, a daily and rigorous exercise routine, maintain a balanced diet, participate in activities you enjoy, and spend a solid amount of time in prayer with Jesus, strengthening your faith. That’s called living, as opposed to a nervous breakdown wherein you barely exist for the purposes of, well, that’s for God to know.

  • Deborah October 28, 2016, 8:39 pm

    I suffered from a nervous breakdown most terrifying thing I ever went through. But you can recover. I have been on my own recovery program for 2 months and am doing very well. For me it was through prayer and down right getting down in my knees and asking God to help me and get me through. Well it worked. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Thank-you God in Jesus name. I was in my breakdown for one year.

  • Bunny November 1, 2016, 6:56 am

    I’m currently in the midst of a breakdown and everything is both chaotic and calm. I’ve never felt more alone then I do right now. I have no idea who to talk to or how to ask for help. I am 23 years old and I feel like a small child. I’m so sad and unhappy and anxious and not myself I hardly recognize who I am anymore.

  • Anxious November 18, 2016, 12:29 am

    I fight anxiety and panic every day. Seems like I feel like I will have a nervous breakdown about every 2 years. I take medication for anxiety but I’m really struggling now. Don’t know what else I can do? Any tips would be appreciated. Thanks.

  • Crystal November 30, 2016, 9:34 pm

    I am also in the midst of a nervous breakdown, mainly from all of the moving and drastic changes in my life the past year (major break-up, miscarriage, financial issues). I wake up everyday to existential dread that I can’t seem to get out of. I think and think all day about all of the issues in my life in fear that things will never get better. Things I used to love to do I know longer do and not to mention the physical side effects.

    I’m only 29 with a beautiful 10 year old daughter. I can’t go on feeling anxious and so afraid all the time. I wish I could just wake up and feel better about myself but I know this will take time. I just hope I can get it together soon for my daughter and just so I can finally have a genuine smile on my face.

    I meet with a therapist once a week but it not helping like I thought it would. I’ve explained the mental and emotional anxiety I have everyday, the shakes and chronic fearful thinking but really she says I just need to change my mindset. Wish it were that easy.

  • Evan Benford December 4, 2016, 3:53 am

    Everybody here look up “trauma release exercises.” It’s saved my life and took what would’ve been likely a year of recovery down to one week. It really is kind of a surreal magic pill, the bodies own way of healing the nervous system. Just try to be in tune with the sensation and do exercises all the way up your spine into your neck.

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