Mental health is a constant topic of discussion, which serves as a breath of fresh air as it has been stigmatized in the past. Today, many people openly discuss the mental health issues they are experiencing not only to help themselves but to also help others. The amount of support that is available to those with a mental illness is more than ever before, and the negative stigma associated with it is slowly but surely fading. This is great news, as 1 in 5 Americans have a mental illness and can benefit from this destigmatization. However, just because resources are available does not mean that everyone who needs help gets it. This leaves the door open for individuals to experience several side effects of their mental illness, which can require mental health breakdown support from others.
What is a Mental Health Breakdown?
A mental health breakdown, which is often referred to as a nervous breakdown, occurs when a person is experiencing extreme emotional and psychological distress. This specific term used to be used to define certain mental health conditions, however today it has been made clear that a mental health breakdown is not a mental health condition, rather more of a reaction that requires specific action to manage.
There is no definable cause of why mental health breakdowns occur or why they happen to certain people. Instead, there are a variety of risk factors that can contribute to the development of one. For example, sudden and unexpected life moments such as the unexpected loss of a loved one can trigger the onset of a mental breakdown. Major life changes, such as moving, getting married, having a baby, etc. can all contribute to the development of a mental breakdown, too. Some other common occurrences that can spark a mental breakdown can include but are not limited to, the following:
- Financial problems
- Lack of sleep
- Marital problems
- Regular periods of intense stress
- Underlying and untreated anxiety disorders or depression
Mental health breakdowns that go without treatment can lead to more intense symptoms, panic attacks, and even posttraumatic stress disorder. The sooner that treatment is obtained, the greater the chances of a successful recovery.
Signs of a Mental Health Breakdown
Not everyone who goes through a mental health breakdown is going to experience the same types of symptoms. There are several factors that play into what occurs during a mental health breakdown. However, some of the most common signs that someone is experiencing can include the following:
- Symptoms related to depression, such as feelings of hopelessness or thoughts of suicide
- Symptoms related to anxiety, such as panic attacks, high blood pressure, heavy breathing, and extreme fear
- Hallucinations and delusions
- Vivid flashbacks of one or more traumatic events that has contributed to the mental health breakdown
- Significant mood swings
It is important to understand that mental health breakdowns are not always as they are portrayed on TV or in movies. They often last for a few hours to a few weeks and do not always cause individuals to lose all control of themselves. Plus, for those who experience mental breakdowns for longer than a few hours, their moods may ebb and flow and they may even seem somewhat “ok” at points.
Mental Health Breakdown Support: What to Do
If someone you love is going through a difficult time, it is important to know how to provide mental health breakdown support. There are a few steps that you can take to help you get your loved one to a better state of mind or to the help that they need.
Step One: Make the Environment as Safe as Possible
The most important thing you can do when offering mental health breakdown support is to make sure that the environment that your loved one is in is both safe and calm. In order to accomplish this, you may need to help reduce any stimuli (such as the TV, radio, or even the presence of other people) and remove any objects that could be harmful to your loved one.
Step Two: Listen
When we see someone we love in distress, the natural response is to do whatever it takes to help them out of it. But, one of the primary rules of mental health breakdown support is to listen rather than try to fix it. Someone who is going through this type of breakdown is likely not in a place where they can process logical ways of addressing issues, rather they are more likely to need to express themselves and how they feel. Listen without judgment and offer your support.
Step Three: Encourage Getting Help
If you are in a situation where your loved one is spiraling out of control, simply suggesting to them that getting help would be beneficial is not going to be effective. In this serious situation, going to a nearby hospital or even calling an ambulance can be a good idea, especially if your loved one poses harm to themselves or others. If your loved one is not completely out of control, talking about getting help can be huge. Let them know that you can aid them in searching for the right type of help, that you won’t judge them, and that they will feel better if they start getting the help they need.
Watching someone experience a mental health breakdown can be upsetting and even scary. It is important to remember to ask for help for yourself should you feel that you are unable to manage the emotions you develop as a result of this occurrence.
Mental Health Treatment in Redondo Beach, CA
At Clear Recovery Center in Redondo Beach, CA, we offer mental health breakdown support to any of our clients who can benefit from it. We understand how serious this can be, which is why we always encourage continued care to help address the complications that can develop as a result of a mental health breakdown.
If you or someone you love is experiencing a mental health breakdown, visit our website to learn more about our programming options. You can also call us at (877) 799-1985 and speak with one of our compassionate team members right now.