Mental Breakdown


meltdown photo: Meltdown 067A MeltdownArt067PB-b.jpg

The term “mental breakdown” (or nervous breakdown) isn’t an official medical term; but it is often used to describe an acute emotional or psychological collapse. When an  individual has reached a point where they are severely and persistently distraught and are unable to function at a normal level. In extreme cases one can suffer from hallucinations or “catatonic posturing” where the individual is unable to move.

Generally speaking , a nervous breakdown can follow a long period of stress that hasn’t been dealt with appropriately.

What “mental breakdown” meant for me was a complete halt to everything I ever thought I had under control. I had been diagnosed years before with depression and anxiety disorders; but had learned to live with them under the care of my doctor.

I can’t recall a singular incident that I can mark as the moment of my breakdown. Three days after my mother passed, I started a new job. Shock kept me functioning for awhile. I grew increasingly dependent on alcohol because I was too afraid to feel. Then one day, I cried and couldn’t stop. I couldn’t think. I paced frantically for hours. I didn’t sleep for 2-3 days at a time. I just simply could not function, and three months after my mother died I had my mental breakdown.

According to my doctor, it was my mother’s death that triggered a “clinical depression” resulting in a “mental breakdown”. Severe loss and grief compiled with a troubled relationship , pressures of inheriting guardianship of my teenage niece, attending college, working a new job and raising my daughter while financially drowning, finally resulted in hospitalization.

The memory is a big blur. I lay there with tubes in my arms and oxygen in my nose. My asthma had severely exacerbated. My body was so worn and weak. I couldn’t breathe. I had an infection that went through my lungs, sinuses and even my eyes. My mind was blank. I looked around and recognized that I was in the same room my mother had been in. That reality hit me hard. This was rock bottom and I was going to die if I didn’t get help.

After a week and a half in the hospital, my doctor strongly suggested disability. I had to quit my job, end my relationship and move to an apartment that I could afford being on disability. It hurt my pride to be deemed disabled but I was grateful for the opportunity to receive the assistance I needed, both financially and medically, while I learned how to heal.

The truth is, we all need help sometimes. If you ever think you may be breaking down, please get help. It does not go away if you ignore it and it only gets worse.

Symptoms of a breakdown can be mental, emotional &/or physical. You can experience one or more of the following: persistent & uncontrollable crying, disorientation, confusion, feelings of worthlessness, loss of self esteem, agitation, restlessness, mood swings,violent anger, paranoid thoughts and hearing voices, diarrhea, constipation, disrupted menstrual cycle, difficulty breathing, &/or loss of vision or memory.


22 thoughts on “Mental Breakdown

  1. i didn’t officially reach the mental breakdown stage, although I had already reached the unplug the phone, sit on the floor so no-one can see you through the windows, and stop bothering to even dress stage. Also, more worryingly, the *if I fall out of this window it will all stop* stage. I think what struck me then, and what still strikes me, is that unless you break out in pustulent boils, people really don’t believe, or accept, that you are ill!! Brave girl, it needsto be spoken about.

    • I believe that IS officially a meltdown, lol.
      I agree it definitely needs to be talked about; otherwise, it will never be understood.
      Thanks for your support! 🙂

  2. My mum had a pretty serious breakdown when I was about 16 so I have a first hand perspective of what you are going through… Its good that you are so open about what your going/have been through, there are still a huge amount of people who don’t know how to talk about it, even when its happening to them…

    • Wow, that had to be difficult to watch your mom go through. I hope you are both well now. Thanks for reading my post, and I agree there are many people who need to know more!

  3. Thank you for sharing. Reminded me of my post pardum depression that lingered past the one year mark from both my children (though had other outside factors). I remember locking myself in the bathroom in the dark so my little ones wouldn’t see me cry. I’m so glad that phase has passed for me!
    Congrats on the Liebster Award!

    • Oh, I can relate…I used to lock myself (&my tears) away from my daughter too. It’s amazing what moms go through. I hope you are feeling better. I will have to check out that post. Thank you for sharing!!!

  4. I applaud your courage to speak up about an epidemic that causes so much trauma to people around us. I suffer from acute anxiety and some days just picking out clothes to wear to work can be a very rough situation. Thank you for sharing your story, I will be following your blog and look forward to more inspirational posts. Stay strong! Sending hugs and comfort and prayers for strength from just a stranger in NC

    • Thanks Stranger!:) Yes, I totally understand how seemingly small tasks can be so challenging. You stay strong too! Hugs&Blessings!

  5. Thank you for writing this. I can relate to the struggles of dealing with chronic mental and physical illness at the same time, I spent five months this year in hospital with both mental and physical illness (exacerbating each other). I have just started following your blog and am looking forward to reading more on your story.

  6. Your spirit comes through in your writing, it is lovely! we certainly all need help sometimes and your plate was overflowing. I wonder what a difference reading this would have made during my own breakdown. We really strengthen one another when we share our truths. I appreciate the strength now!

    • It pleases me to no end to think that my writing could bring you even a little clarity or strength. I totally agree that in sharing our truths, we can enlighten, console &/or empower each other. Thanks so much for your encouragement and wonderful compliments! ❤

  7. Pingback: Wake Me Up When September Ends… | Labeled Disabled

  8. Pingback: Mental Health Awareness Posts – Labeled Disabled

    • Thank you so much! I am glad you liked it. I agree, we use a lot of ‘mental’ words casually, when for some of us it’s all too real. Thanks for spreading awareness! Keep doing what you’re doing💛

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