When it comes to nervous breakdowns, often we don’t exhibit many recognizable signs, then one day we snap.  I happen to be one of those people who can appear to be OK when I’m not. I even try and fool myself into thinking things are well when they’re not.

Nervous breakdowns are different for everyone. I tend to push myself to the point where I break, so I try to be vigilant and catch tiny hints that I might be headed toward a meltdown.

Here are some not so obvious signs that you might experience, or observe in a loved one, that may help you help yourself, or allow you to step in to help someone else before it’s too late:

  1. Laughter – Seems antithetical to a breakdown but when things get bad I find myself laughing not necessarily inappropriately but more like in a desperate attempt to mask the pain. It’s almost like laughing for me is a sign I am giving up, and find humor in my distress. So, when a bad situation presents itself, and my response is to laugh, I know something’s not right.
  2. Routine – Typically you would think that when people break away from their routine they might show signs that something is wrong.  They stop going out, they stop working out, they lose or gain weight, they miss work, but, in my experience, it’s the person who stringently keeps to their routine that you should think about.  When you push yourself to remain on a consistent path when deep down inside your mind body and soul might be screaming for a break, you might be headed toward a breakdown.
  3. Fixating – My mind is constantly running with multiple ideas coming at me left and right; it can be exhausting but, when it slows down and a constant thought continues to cross my brain, I worry. I can be obsessing over my stomach fat, or an email war I am having with someone, it could be something major or minor but when that fixation overcomes the fluidity of my mind, I worry. If you find that a friend is constantly bothering you about something they might start to feel guilty, embarrassed, or bad about it so may shut down. When this happens try and kindly sit them down and truly listen and assure them that whatever their fixation is, it’s okay to talk about it over and over.

There are a lot pf people who have breakdowns and their loved ones say they saw “no signs.” Signs are not always obvious, and can be the opposite of what we may think are signs of a pending breakdown so, try and think the opposite, and you might be closer to knowing there’s a problem.

Photo by peachesh