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When you reach the point when you can no longer cope with life, it becomes a mental health crisis.
Life just seems to be getting harder and harder. Never has there been so much angst and fear to deal with on a daily basis. COVID-19 has stretched our nerves to the breaking point. Many feel they are going to have a nervous breakdown, like they simply cannot cope with the stress anymore.
Are these worries real, or is it just the stress talking? At what point do you take action and get help for your mental health concerns?
It helps to have some basic information about what a nervous breakdown looks like. It could be that you are indeed under a great deal of stress. Maybe, though, you might benefit from trying some stress-reducing actions. It could be, though, that your symptoms are flashing a warning sign for a crisis. Read on to learn about the signs of a nervous breakdown.
Let’s Talk About Anxiety
Anxiety is the most common mental health disorder in the U.S. About 40 million people struggle with anxiety each year. That comes out to one in every five adults feeling the effects of anxiety. Intense feelings of worry or fear, more than what a situation calls for, are the main features of anxiety.
Some people have more extreme versions of anxiety. This happens when someone begins to feel they have no control over their life. Or the intense symptoms can be caused by trauma or a highly stressful event. In the most severe cases, the person may feel they are having a mental breakdown. This occurs when you are no longer able to cope with life and become impaired.
Different Ways Anxiety Affects Us
Symptoms of anxiety vary based on the type of disorder present. Here are the forms that anxiety can take:
- Generalized anxiety disorder: Someone with GAD feels constant worry for much of his or her day. This can cause muscle tension, nausea, headaches, and trouble thinking.
- Social anxiety: Social anxiety is the intense fear of being judged by others. They fear being embarrassed or critiqued publicly.
- Panic disorder: Panic disorder features sudden, unpredicted feelings of intense terror. This may cause shortness of breath, nausea, a racing heartbeat, chest pain, and feeling dizzy.
- Specific phobias: A phobia is an irrational fear of a certain thing, place, person, or situation. The person will go to great measures to avoid triggers in order to manage the fear.
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder: Someone with OCD will have intense worries that they manage by engaging in compulsive actions. They may fear germs, and then go to extreme measures to avoid germs, for instance. Other obsessions are fear of causing harm to others, and the need for order.
- Post-traumatic stress disorder: Someone with PTSD has trouble getting over a trauma, even months after it happened. It can lead to avoidance of people, places, or situations that trigger thoughts of the trauma. Symptoms also include flashbacks, nightmares, or repeated thoughts about the trauma.
Can You Control Anxiety?
In many cases, people are able to prevent anxiety symptoms from taking over their lives. There are some healthy measures you can take to soften the effects of anxiety. For most, these actions can really help:
- Breath work. Learning deep breathing techniques can quickly lead to reduced stress. The focused breathing will lower your heart rate and blood pressure in just a few minutes.
- Yoga. Yoga is a widely used method that helps to manage stress. The movements and poses involved in yoga help to relieve stress, and can be practiced at home.
- Hobbies. Some hobbies can be very relaxing. These might include tending to a garden, doing artwork, or writing.
- Walking. Taking daily walks is said to help control stress and anxiety. When walking for 20 minutes at a good clip you release the feel-good brain hormones. These hormones boost your state of mind while they also relieve stress.
- Mindfulness. Learning how to focus your mind on the present moment, and avoid stressful thoughts, can help you relax. Being aware of the sights and sounds of the moment can distract you from your worries.
Warning Signs of a Mental Health Crisis
While it’s good that many people are able to manage their anxiety, some will reach a breaking point. Some things that could trigger a mental health breakdown include:
- Extreme grief.
- High stress jobs that cause burnout without proper supports provided.
- Ongoing abuse
- Severe social conflict that impacts the quality of home and work life.
- Family history of mental illness.
- Serious health crisis.
- Financial issues
- Poor coping skills.
The signs and symptoms of a nervous breakdown tend to come on slowly. There are warning signs and symptoms of a nervous breakdown that the person is having trouble coping with their life situation. Here are 17 red flags that signal someone you love might be hurtling toward a breakdown:
- Severe mood swings.
- Sleep disruption.
- Neglects personal hygiene.
- Intense fatigue.
- Trouble speaking clearly, slowed speech.
- Social withdrawal.
- Excess absences from work.
- Sense of choking.
- Cannot do simple tasks.
- Panic attacks.
- Loss of interest in life.
- Paranoid thoughts.
- Aggressive or violent acts.
- Threats of suicide.
Getting Help For a Nervous Breakdown
There is help for someone struggling with a severe mental health event. It is always best to be ahead of the curve, versus letting things escalate. When someone is showing several of the symptoms of a nervous breakdown, get assessed by a mental health expert. There may be a need for acute stabilization. If that is the case, the person will be admitted into a mental health program to receive the help needed. Treatment follows, which includes therapy and medication to help manage the anxiety disorder.
The Treatment Specialist Can Offer Helpful Information
The Treatment Specialist is an online resource for informative articles on mental health conditions and treatment options for adults, teens, and families. Call today and our team can offer some guidance for treatment options. Call (866) 644-7911.