7 Early Warning Signs of a Mental Breakdown

Have you ever had difficulty going through the day because of a sudden overwhelming feeling of worry or stress?

A lot would call it a mental breakdown or a nervous breakdown, but those are actually terms that medical professionals no longer use.

Symptoms are diverse for each person, but it is usually a manifestation of an underlying mental health issue.

These so-called breakdowns (presence of stress) may feel quite terrible when encountered, so to help, here is a list of 7 early warning signs you’re going to have a mental breakdown.

FRIENDLY DISCLAIMER: This is a disclaimer that this article/video is for informative purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose or treat any condition. Please reach out to a qualified healthcare provider or mental health professional if you are struggling.

1. Lack of a sexual appetite.

Photo by Kebs Visuals from Pexels

Masturbation and sex have been shown to release tension, improve your self-esteem, and even reduce stress.

But what if you no longer want to engage in sensual activities, both alone or with others?

When was the last time you felt excited about the prospect of sex?

Having a constant source of stress or anxiety in your life may give you a hard time dealing with your urges.

It might also be because of a previous bad experience that can come up during the act.

If you no longer enjoy the activities you’ve once liked, you may find it useful to find other methods of relieving tension off your shoulders.

You can practice meditation and yoga for relaxation as well as identifying your triggers and staying away from them.

Avoid forcing yourself in doing the things you don’t want to.

You may be worried about the sudden loss of libido, but keep in mind that things heal over time with the proper help.

So if your symptoms persist, it might be time for a visit to your medical professional to address underlying conditions.

2. A feeling of numbness.

Before encountering a mental breakdown, you might face a period of stillness.

Does it tire you to get out of bed?

Is it exhausting to think of seeing your family and friends?

These lethargic thoughts are symptoms of depression and they may progress the longer time passes without medical assistance.

You may feel like things are out of your control, but this is mostly never the case.

You are the one person that can help yourself most.

Even if you don’t feel like opening up, it’s nice to surround yourself with the people who love and understand you.

Try going to events and keeping up with a personal routine – you might not be so willing, but it can help you gain a sense of control and even improve your mood.

And when the time comes when you’re ready, speak. Talking does wonders for your mental health, and someone will always be there to listen.

3. Irregular heartbeats.

Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels

Do you sometimes feel a sudden jolt in your chest?

Are you prone to having racing heartbeats that can cause feelings of alarm?

Those palpitations are most probably caused by anxiety, and they can certainly cause you to panic at random times during the day.

If they occur frequently and at a long duration, they can also be symptoms of other heart problems. This is why it is best to contact a medical professional to provide an accurate diagnosis.

It is very important to give yourself time for recuperation.

Do your best in taking time-outs during the day and breathing deeply for resetting and relaxation.

Too much stress and worry from problems can spike up your anxiety and worsen your mood.

Everything is a process so attempt to take it one step at a time.

4. Digestive problems.

Photo by Kat Smith from Pexels

Are you having digestive discomfort?

When you’re stressed, your body goes into fight-or-flight mode and delays any bodily processes that are not of utmost importance.

That includes your digestion, so you may probably experience bloating, stomach aches, or abdominal pain before having a mental breakdown.

To promote good digestion, it helps to have a physical routine and a balanced diet.

Try to get 30 minutes of exercise 5 times per week. Even walking helps! Here is a fun and effective workout video you could follow at home.

Don’t give up!

5. Concentration issues.

Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko from Pexels

Are you having difficulty getting your tasks done?

This is because long-term stress can lead to structural changes in the brain, which can affect your memory and lead to difficulty concentrating (WebMD Editorial Contributors, 2020).

You can try taking breaks and creating a distraction to-do list.

A distraction to-do list should contain all the things that caught your attention throughout the day.

You suddenly remembered you had to do your laundry? Write it down.

You want to watch the movie Encanto? Write.

Your desk is so dirty? Write about it and how you feel!

By keeping a paper and a pen near you and writing down these random thoughts, you’re acknowledging them and letting them pass.

Once you’ve reviewed your list, you’re more mindful about your emotional process and what things still need to be done.

Try this concentration tip and tell us how it worked for you!

6. Sleeping difficulty.

Photo by Craig Adderley from Pexels

Sleep relates a lot to mental health.

Do you notice yourself sleeping too much or perhaps too little?

This is because there may be a constant influx of worries and problems that plague you whenever you’re awake.

It increases stress and anxiety and can make you feel helpless against your situation.

It’s good to visit your doctor who will provide guidelines for recovery. 

Try creating a sleep diary (what time you slept, woke up, how you felt) so you can track your behavior and present it to the medical professional for examination.

Staying active and avoiding caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine may help.

It may trouble you for now, but you will recover and get a good night’s sleep.

7. Physical changes and pain.

Photo by Kindel Media from Pexels

Have there been any changes in your appearance lately?

Things like rashes, weight loss, or perhaps some random pain aches here and there?

When physical symptoms are caused or made worse by your mental state, it’s called psychosomatic (Ferguson, 2020).

Because your body goes into fight-or-flight mode, mental conditions such as anxiety and panic disorder fill you with stress hormones and make you feel like you need to prepare for immediate danger.

Even if there isn’t any.

So if you’re undergoing any rapid change that concerns your physical state, don’t hesitate to immediately contact your health care provider to get the right treatment.

Mental health plays such a huge part in your capability to deal with problems and tasks.

And when you keep in a lot of things, forget to relax, and face multiple problems on your own, it may manifest as physical and internal problems that can turn into long-term illnesses.

This is a reminder to take care of yourself and take it easy.

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS

Nervous breakdowns are aftershocks of underlying mental health conditions, so it is significant to identify the roots of the problem to learn how to manage it.

Have you ever had a nervous or mental breakdown?

What did you think caused it?

Please share your experiences in the comment section below.

We appreciate hearing from you. Your comments help us and other people, especially those who can relate to the different experiences.

Thank you for reading. See you next time.

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REFERENCES

Anxiety & Depression Association of America. (n.d.). Tips to Manage Anxiety and Stress | Anxiety and Depression Association of America, ADAA. Retrieved January 27, 2022, from https://adaa.org/tips

Brody, B. (2017, May 3). 6 Signs You’re Headed For A Nervous Breakdown. Prevention. Retrieved January 27, 2022, from https://www.prevention.com/life/a20452311/signs-of-a-nervous-breakdown/

Cleveland Clinic. (n.d.-a). Heart Palpitations & Anxiety: Causes, Symptoms & Treatment. Retrieved January 27, 2022, from https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/21677-heart-palpitations-and-anxiety#:%7E:text=Heart%20Palpitations%20and%20Anxiety,(excessive%20or%20persistent%20worry).

Cleveland Clinic. (n.d.-b). Stress: Ways to Ease Stress. Retrieved January 27, 2022, from https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/8133-stress-10-ways-to-ease-stress

Cole, L. (2021, April 15). Lack of Concentration and Focus: Causes & Actionable Tips | MentalUP. MentalUP. Retrieved January 27, 2022, from https://www.mentalup.co/blog/solve-focus-and-concentration-problems

Ferguson, S. (2020, June 30). Yes, Mental Illness Can Cause Physical Symptoms — Here’s Why. Healthline. Retrieved January 27, 2022, from https://www.healthline.com/health/mental-health/mental-illness-can-cause-physical-symptoms#:%7E:text=When%20physical%20symptoms%20are%20caused,mental%20state%2C%20it’s%20called%20psychosomatic.

Henry Ford Health System Staff. (2021, June 26). How Stress Affects Digestion—And What You Can Do About It. Henry Ford LiveWell. Retrieved January 27, 2022, from https://www.henryford.com/blog/2021/07/how-stress-affects-digestion#:%7E:text=The%20emptying%20of%20the%20stomach,experience%20bowel%20urgency%20or%20diarrhea.

Hill, M. (2020, May 29). Stress Affecting Your Gut? These 4 Tips Can Help. Healthline. Retrieved January 27, 2022, from https://www.healthline.com/health/four-ways-to-improve-your-gut-if-youre-stressed#:%7E:text=To%20boost%20and%20support%20digestion,symptoms%20and%20improve%20stress%20outcomes.

Huizen, J. (2020, September 30). What are the signs of a nervous breakdown? Medical News Today. Retrieved January 27, 2022, from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/321018

Mayo Clinic Staff. (2016, October 15). Insomnia – Diagnosis and treatment – Mayo Clinic. Mayo Clinic. Retrieved January 27, 2022, from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/insomnia/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20355173

Mind. (2020, May). Sleep and mental health. Mind, the Mental Health Charity – Help for Mental Health Problems. Retrieved January 27, 2022, from https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/types-of-mental-health-problems/sleep-problems/about-sleep-and-mental-health/#:%7E:text=If%20you’re%20having%20problems,or%20make%20existing%20symptoms%20worse

Planned Parenthood. (n.d.). Is Masturbation Healthy? Retrieved January 27, 2022, from https://www.plannedparenthood.org/learn/sex-pleasure-and-sexual-dysfunction/masturbation/masturbation-healthy

Smith, M., Robinson, L., & Segal, J. (2021, December 23). Coping with Depression. HelpGuide.Org. Retrieved January 27, 2022, from https://www.helpguide.org/articles/depression/coping-with-depression.htm

WebMD Editorial Contributors. (2020, October 20). Signs of a Nervous Breakdown. WebMD. Retrieved January 27, 2022, from https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/signs-nervous-breakdown

Wignall, N. (2020, June 9). The Distractions List: A Simple Technique for Better Focus. Nick Wignall. Retrieved January 27, 2022, from https://nickwignall.com/distractions-list/

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