A mental breakdown, sometimes called a nervous breakdown, can be the culmination of symptoms of various mental disorders. In general, the mental breakdown occurs when the mental disorders you suffer from are so intense that you can no longer act normally in your daily life. If you've recently experienced a mental breakdown, there are techniques you can try to help yourself recover.
Method 1 of 3: Get Medical Help
Step 1. Determine the underlying cause
You will need to work with your doctor and therapist to determine the underlying mental illness that is leading to the mental breakdown. This will help you determine the best treatment, including appropriate therapy, medications, and other treatment options.
You will need an official diagnosis from the doctor or therapist. You will need to describe the symptoms and behaviors that lead to the mental breakdown in order to determine the underlying disorder
Step 2. Go to therapy
There are many forms of psychotherapy that can be used to help after a mental breakdown. The choice of one will depend on a mixture of your personal preferences and the underlying mental disorder that leads to the crisis. Talk to your doctor about which treatment is best for you. These forms of therapy include the following:
- talk therapy (in which you and the therapist examine your problems through conversation)
- cognitive behavioral therapy (a form of psychotherapy that focuses on changing your thoughts to change your behaviors)
- interpersonal therapy (which focuses on your relationships with other people)
Step 3. Join a support group
After a crisis, you should find a mental health support group. This will help you connect with other people experiencing similar problems and provide you with the support you need for recovery. Talking to other people about your problems can help you gain more insight and receive helpful advice on how to cope.
Ask your doctor for a referral to a local support group. They can also look for national foundations, such as the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), that have local chapters with support groups
Step 4. Consider taking medicine
Depending on the underlying cause of the mental breakdown, you may need to take medication. This measure will alleviate the symptoms of the mental illness that contributes to mental breakdown and can help to even out your moods.
- Your doctor and psychologist will tell you what medications you will need. These can include antidepressants, anxiolytics, and other similar medications.
- If you are unhappy with any prescribed medication, ask your doctor if it is necessary. If the doctor does not heed your reservations about it, seek another opinion.
Method 2 of 3: Focus on Yourself
Step 1. Be kind to yourself
One of the best ways to help your recovery after a mental breakdown is to be kind to yourself. This means that you shouldn't torment yourself if you have a bad day or if you don't feel like leaving the house. You can only heal if you allow yourself to process everything in your own time.
Avoid thinking of yourself as a failure if you need to take a day off or if you don't meet all of the goals you set. Recovery takes time
Step 2. Write in a journal
A good way to deal with your mental problems is through a mood journal. Write what you feel every day and what makes you feel that way. Check your journal at the end of the week to find patterns in your behavior.
- This will help you figure out which thought patterns make you feel which way. You can also identify triggers.
- Once you learn that, you can work with the therapist to change negative behaviors and avoid triggers.
Step 3. Find the meaning of the crisis
To cope with the crisis, you can look for the meaning of what happened to you. Think about how you can change and grow after the crisis instead of concentrating on getting back to who you were.
You can use medications, inspirational or self-help books, or a religious faith to help you do this
Step 4. Rebuild your relationships
The mental breakdown may have caused you to push those close to you away. As part of your recovery, reach out to those people you may have ignored or lost contact with while you were going through the crisis. Try to correct or renew these relationships so that you can regain some of the life you had before the crisis.
This can be difficult if you don't want to say what exactly happened to you. Be as honest as you feel comfortable with
Step 5. Avoid isolation
The worst thing you can do is suffer in silence when recovering from a crisis. Go to your family and friends for support. Having someone you can trust will help you feel more optimistic and positive about your recovery.
Start going out to social events again, as long as you feel comfortable in them. If necessary, start small (for example, go to a coffee shop with a friend) and work your way up gradually
Step 6. Realize that it will take time
You won't recover from a mental breakdown overnight. This is a long process where you will have to work on yourself, examine your feelings, and identify the underlying disorders that caused the crisis. However, don't be too hard on yourself. You want to make sure you take as much time as you need to heal.
Don't set yourself a schedule either. You don't need to worry too much about sticking to a recovery schedule
Method 3 of 3: Change Your Life
Step 1. Simplify your life
Being overwhelmed with many responsibilities in life can make your recovery difficult. If you have obligations in life that make you stress and anxious, try letting go. If you overload yourself with too many obligations, leave as many as you can so that you can feel more comfortable doing your daily activities.
Allow yourself to do fewer activities without feeling like a failure
Step 2. Find an active hobby
A good way to start recovering is to be more active and seek new interests. Try new active hobbies, like biking, hiking, jogging, gardening, or dancing.
This will stop your mind from focusing directly on recovery and will allow you to release tension
Step 3. Be creative
A good way to express your feelings is through the creative arts. This will give you a channel to express things that you would not feel comfortable expressing in other ways. Try painting, photography, writing, or other creative activities that you are passionate about.
If you are not very creative, still try something new so you can express your feelings
Step 4. Reduce stress
Stress is a leading cause of mental breakdowns. To avoid the possibility of delaying recovery, reduce the amount of stress in your life. Practice breathing techniques, try yoga or other relaxing exercises, get a good night's sleep, and rest during the day.
- This will help you feel better as you progress through your recovery, as you won't be worrying about every detail.
- Also learn to structure time. This will help keep you from feeling overwhelmed or stressed while you recover.
Step 5. Avoid making life-altering decisions
When you are recovering from a crisis, you should not make important decisions about your life. Avoid moving across the country, quitting your job (unless it contributes to the crisis), breaking up with your partner, or other important decisions that can affect your entire life.
You want to make sure you are at an appropriate time to make those decisions, at a point where you feel stable enough to think carefully about all the alternatives and the repercussions of your actions
Step 6. Change your diet
You can improve your mood by improving your diet. Eat more natural foods, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and other healthy ingredients. Avoid fatty foods, take out food, processed foods, and other unhealthy foods.
- You should try to feel the best possible way inside and outside so that you can dedicate energy to your recovery.
- Also increase your water intake to improve your health.