How Long Does a Nervous Breakdown Last?

How Long Does a Nervous Breakdown Last

How Long Does a Nervous Breakdown Last?

Get Answers from Personal Experiences of Nervous Breakdown

Going through a mental health crisis is a scary situation. Anytime you are battling things going on in your own mind, it’s going to be complicated. Having gone through a nervous breakdown myself, I am well aware of the complex feelings and emotions that occur. Before I went to Icarus Behavioral Health to get control of my mental health issues, I had nearly lost all hope.

Unfortunately, there is still a serious stigma surrounding mental health in our society. It can be seen as a weakness, and unfortunately, it often is. I learned this couldn’t be further from the truth, but still, a lot of people would rather not talk about it.

The reality is that mental health conditions are a thing that people would rather sweep under the rug than tackle head-on. But for me, this was no longer an option, and it might be the same for you if you are searching for answers to, ‘How Long Does a Nervous Breakdown Last?

Keep reading to learn more about my mental health diagnosis, the hard path I traveled to find Icarus, and how their programs let me conquer depression and anxiety disorders. There is hope when you seek support, and for me, reaching out for treatment gave me a life better than I could have even imagined when panic attacks were my daily reality.

Dealing With An Underlying Mental Health Condition

Stressed Person in Everyday Life

We all deal with a certain amount of stress or anxiety in our everyday life. It’s natural. Dealing with smaller amounts of stress can actually be beneficial and help us grow. For others, stress and anxiety are a constant, everyday occurrence. It wasn’t until I was in my twenties that I realized that my stress and anxiety were more frequent and intense than the average person.

It seems like an echo chamber at times, when panic attacks and anxiety surge, and then create more panic and anxiousness. For me, it was like a vicious cycle I could never seem to fully escape. Sure, I had good days and even weeks when I thought everything was fine, and a mental breakdown was the furthest thing from my mind.

Then, as if on cue, everything would come flooding in at once and I would feel overwhelmed, crushed underneath the weight of my countless worries.

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Going Without a Diagnosis for Decades

A lot of us who struggle with mental illness go undiagnosed for a big chunk of our lives. A lot of the reason for this can be because we try to ignore it or self-medicate. I self-medicated with drugs and alcohol during my teenage years, which only worsened things. I got to a point where I believed that everyone dealt with intense stress and constant emotional turmoil.

Even just learning that this was not true, when I first sought our mental health care services, was a huge relief.

Living With Mental Health Issues in My Daily Life

Anxiety Attack

Growing up with mental health issues can make you feel completely alone. It’s an exhausting way of life, but a lot of people end up succumbing to it. It becomes your norm after a while. I would be on edge all the time, waiting for the next anxiety attack or nervous breakdown.

When you are going through emotional distress, it can be impossible to function normally. It affects every aspect of your life.

An emotional breakdown can happen for many reasons. There are underlying mental health conditions that can contribute to this. Depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder are a couple of the main issues that can result in a nervous breakdown.

Substance abuse and substance use disorder also can contribute. A lot of people encounter a stressful or traumatic event at one point or another, but people without mental health issues (or in my case, nearly constant mental health crises) can usually come out of it on top. This wasn’t the case for me.

Unhealthy Coping Mechanisms

I witnessed my brother die when I was nineteen years old. It was a really bad car accident, but somehow I was fine. I was already dealing with depression and anxiety, and this event sent me over the top. I developed what I now know were unhealthy coping strategies to deal with this.

My drinking increased, which resulted in negative consequences to my personal life. My idea of self-care was only making the situation worse.

Having a social support system helps, but you have to be careful with how much you lean on people. After my brother died, I had a lot of people trying to help me for the first few months. A lot of people reached out to see what they could do. Eventually, people go back to their own lives, and rightfully so.

A Clear Call for Mental Health Professional Help

I had programmed myself to rely too much on these people. Once I had to pick up the pieces myself and didn’t have anyone holding my hand every day, that’s when things got really bad.

I stopped drinking, but the traumatic thoughts and memories began to be too much. Instead of picking up a bottle, I began to experiment with cutting, making quick, surface-level strikes with a razor down my shoulder, and then my wrists. It would release the pain for a while, and then I would need to do it again.

Eventually, I began to think of deeper cuts, of doing real self-harm. At that point, I realized I needed more support than I could try to come up with on my own, or even ask for from my well-meaning friends.

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When A Mental Health Crisis Strikes

I slowly felt myself becoming more and more isolated from friends and family. I began having more frequent panic attacks. I did not grieve or process my brother’s death properly, and it came back to haunt me. I slowly stopped going out and socializing.

The idea of going out with friends or trying to meet people terrified me. I became very insular, and it made me retreat into my mind more and more. The idea of leaving the house worried me every time. These are all symptoms of a nervous breakdown.

The daily overwhelming stress made it impossible for me to function normally any longer. I couldn’t work, and there were some days I couldn’t get out of bed. Eventually, I suffered a full-blown nervous breakdown. The extreme stress of engaging in everyday life became unbearable. I had always dealt with mental health issues, but the fact that I couldn’t function at all was scary.

Sharing the Symptoms of a Nervous Breakdown in My Case

Symptoms of a Nervous Breakdown

Mentally, I began to feel detached. I started to feel like I was literally separate from reality. Everything else was going on around me, but I wasn’t a participant. I felt invisible. I couldn’t make even the most basic decisions. The idea of making myself a simple meal seemed like an overwhelming task.

I started to feel paranoid and delusional. Because I wasn’t sleeping much, my mental capacities were compromised and another nervous breakdown felt almost inevitable.

Beyond the mental stuff, the physical symptoms were crippling as well. I started to lose weight. I wasn’t eating very much, and I had zero energy. Not having a healthy diet is detrimental to your mental and physical health. It’s amazing how that one thing can make such a big difference. At this point, my daily life was simply exhausting. I never had visual or auditory hallucinations, but these can be common symptoms of a nervous breakdown.

How Long Does a Nervous Breakdown Last? Contacting Mental Health Professionals

How long does a nervous breakdown last? It depends on the person and the situation. Everyone’s breakdown can look a little different. My nervous breakdown lasted for several weeks before I finally sought help. It can be hard when you are in that position to know how bad things are. This is why you cut yourself off from others. I didn’t want anyone to see me. I knew things were bad, and the second my loved ones saw the situation I was in, they pleaded with me to get help.

You can only get help if you want it. Luckily for me, I did want help. I didn’t want to linger like this forever. I knew that my quality of life was awful. I didn’t want to deal with the uncontrollable stress and the constant feeling of being overwhelmed by everything. Once I got into Icarus and developed a treatment plan, things started looking more positive.

Getting Out Of A Mental Health Crisis

I learned so much about myself at Icarus and had more self-esteem and confidence than ever before. They helped me every step of the way but were also honest about what I needed to do. I needed to develop better coping skills and not be so dependent on others to make me feel better. I learned some great relaxation techniques that helped me bring myself down when my mind would start racing.

Untreated mental health conditions are often a part of the reason why someone suffers a nervous or mental breakdown. I was diagnosed with persistent depressive disorder during treatment, and once I began researching it, it made a lot of sense. It felt a lot better to finally have a name behind what I was going through. At this point, I could begin to work on my recovery because I knew what I was dealing with.

Get Your Mind Back at All Costs

Going to support groups

You can’t get out of a mental health crisis without a bit of work. If you leave it alone and do nothing, rarely will you be able to get out of it. Once I started to get my mind right, I was encouraged to engage in as much physical activity as possible. A healthy diet and exercise go a long way in getting your mental health back where it needs to be.

Having the right mental health professional on your side goes a long way too. I see a therapist regularly, and I still go to support groups. Going to support groups helps me hold myself accountable, and also try to tell my story to others who might have been through something similar. You never know how much someone may be suffering. The way I talk about my recovery may be the thing that helps somebody, and I don’t take that for granted.

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Get Your Life Back at Icarus In New Mexico

The mental health treatment at Icarus is among the best in the country, at least in my opinion and that of many of the amazing alumni I met during and after my time there. If you or someone you love is struggling with a mental health crisis, Icarus in New Mexico can help you get your life back.

I know that there are risk factors that still exist that could send me backwards, but I am well aware of this. I try very hard to keep a positive attitude and not fall into the negative thinking that I used to. I still have times when I feel overwhelmed, but the coping strategies I learned at Icarus help me tremendously.

Nervous breakdowns can come out of nowhere, even if they take a while to happen. My mental health is a priority, but it has to be fought for, and I know that there are certain things I need to do to not slip back into my old ways. If you find yourself in a similar position, reach out to Icarus Behavioral Health and see what they can do for you, that one call can take a huge weight off your shoulders!

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