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How To Overcome A Mental Breakdown

How To Overcome A Mental Breakdown

Life can sometimes come at us hard and cause us to feel intense stress, pressure, or anxiety. When this happens, we can get overwhelmed and even experience a mental breakdown that makes us unable to function in our daily lives. Hence, it is not something that you would want for yourself. However, it can suddenly happen to you when you are expressing intense stress or pressure. So, the question is do you know how to overcome a mental breakdown?

If you do not, then you can learn how to in this article.

Let’s begin by looking at what a mental breakdown is.

What Is Mental Breakdown? – How to Overcome a Mental Breakdown

The term “mental breakdown” is used to describe an acute period of mental illness or stress that suddenly occurred.

It is not an official or medical term.

However, it is used by several people to describe a feeling of intense stress and inability to handle life’s challenges and issues.

A mental breakdown does not just occur.

It happens after stress or pressure has built up to a peak and causes people to become unable to function as they usually do.

Mental breakdowns are often temporary.

However, the duration that it last can vary for people.

In other words, people can experience a mental breakdown for as a few hours, months, or even years, depending on their person and the help they get.

Mental breakdowns are also referred to as nervous breakdowns or emotional breakdowns

It can manifest as depression, anxiety, or an acute stress disorder.

Symptoms of a Mental Breakdown – How to Overcome a Mental Breakdown

A mental breakdown can happen to people in different ways.

Hence, the symptoms and signs vary based on people’s personalities, and situations surrounding the mental breakdown.

These symptoms can be physical, psychological, and behavioral.

Let us see them:

Physical Symptoms – How to Overcome a Mental Breakdown

When a person is experiencing a mental breakdown, they can experience physical symptoms that affect their physical health.

This includes:


Insomnia is the inability to fall or stay asleep.

When a person is experience a mental breakdown, they can struggle with insomnia which can affect their physical health and even their brain.

Panic Attack – How to Overcome a Mental Breakdown

A panic attack is another thing a person can experience when they have a mental breakdown.

During a panic attack, they are likely to experience:

  • Extreme fear
  • Shaking or trembling
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Sweating
  • Accelerated heartbeat

All of these can ultimately affect their physical health if they are not checked and helped.

Upset Stomach

When a person is experience a mental breakdown, they can also have an upset stomach.

They might find it difficult to hold food in.

Some people might even find it difficult to excrete.

Irregular bowel movement and stomach upset will also negatively affect their physical health.

Dizziness – How to Overcome a Mental Breakdown

Some people might have a hard time staying steady.

In other words, they might be feeling dizzy and exhausted.

As a result, they will struggle with functioning as they should.

Muscle Pain

Another physical symptom that people experience during a mental breakdown is muscle pain.

They can feel their jaw, back, or neck muscles stiff or sore which can cause pain and make it hard for them to do things.

Frequent Illness – How to Overcome a Mental Breakdown

When people are very stressed or exhausted, it can make them susceptible to infections.

As a result, they might find themselves getting ill frequently.

Psychological Symptoms

People also experience psychological symptoms when they have a mental breakdown.

These symptoms include:

Hallucination – How to Overcome Mental Breakdown

Some people who have it worst can hallucinate.

That is, they can start seeing or hearing things that are not real.

They sometimes can feel or touch some of the things they hallucinate.


Paranoia is a feeling of extreme fear that you are being watched or followed.

People experience this during their mental breakdown.

If this is not helped, it can worsen one’s situation.

Extreme Mood Swings – How to Overcome Mental Breakdown

Some people can also experience extreme mood swings.

One moment they are stable and fine, and the next they have an unexplained outburst of unstable emotions.

Depression Symptoms

People can also experience depression symptoms when they are having a mental breakdown.

Some of these symptoms include:

  • Feeling worthless or guilty
  • Feeling persistently hopeless or sad
  • Fatigue or low energy
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Less interest in activities or hobbies

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Symptoms – How to Overcome Mental Breakdown

In some rare cases, some people can experience post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms when they are having a mental breakdown.

People experience these symptoms after a traumatic event, and some of these symptoms are:

  • Continuous feeling of shame or guilt about the past event
  • Nightmares, intrusive thoughts, or flashbacks about the past event
  • Reckless or self-destructive behaviors
  • Avoidance of situations or places that can trigger memories related to the event.

Behavioral Symptoms – How to Overcome a Mental Breakdown

When a person experiences a mental breakdown, they also exhibit some behavioral symptoms different from theirs.

Oftentimes, the psychological and physical symptoms have a hand in the behavioral symptom they exhibit.

Some of these behavioral symptoms include:

  • Eating poorly
  • Avoiding social engagement and functions
  • Isolating in their home
  • Withdrawing into their mind
  • Keeping poor hygiene

Common Causes of Mental Breakdown – How to Overcome a Mental Breakdown

Several things can cause people to experience a mental breakdown.

The things that stress or pressurize one person to their breaking person can be different for someone else.

However, some common causes of mental breakdown are:

  • Bereavement and grief
  • An abusive or toxic relationship
  • Persistent stress or conflict at home or work
  • Ill-treatment due to racism or sexism
  • Experience of a traumatic event
  • Loss of job, a relationship, or a home
  • Fear of getting a hereditary family illness
  • Chronic or severe injuries or medical conditions
  • Poor sleep
  • Major life change (i.e relocation)

Tips on How to Overcome a Mental Breakdown

A mental breakdown can happen to anybody.

Nobody wants it for themselves, but everybody should be equipped to deal with it.

If  you experience a mental breakdown you can fight  and overcome it immediately by doing the following:

1. Understand The Cause of Your Breakdown

To overcome a mental breakdown, you would need the help of a therapist and a doctor.

This is especially important if it was a huge mental breakdown.

So, for you to get a good result while working with your therapist or doctor, you need to understand what triggered your nervous breakdown.

Your therapist or doctor cannot effectively help you if you do not tell them what caused the breakdown.

When you tell them the causal factor, they will know the right medication, therapy, and other options for treatment they can use for you.

So, know and understand the cause of your breakdown.

Also, know how to effectively describe the behaviors and symptoms you experience both before and during your mental breakdown.

2. Attend Therapy – How to Overcome a Mental Breakdown

You will need the help of a therapist or a doctor to overcome a mental breakdown.

So, do not hesitate to attend therapy.

Now, different psychotherapy forms can be utilized to treat mental breakdowns.

However, the one that you make use of should depend on the causal factor of your mental breakdown, the symptoms you experience, and your personality.

So, do not hesitate to speak with your therapist or doctor and determine which treatment will be most appropriate for you.

The different therapy forms you can choose from with your doctor include:

  • Cognitive behavior therapy
  • Talk therapy
  • Interpersonal therapy

3. Consider Medication

You might need to take medication depending on the causal factor of your mental breakdown.

This would help relieve some of the symptoms and level your moods.

Since you would have spoken to your doctor about your causal factor and your symptoms, they will know the right medication to give you.

However, if you aren’t comfortable with your medication prescription, you can speak to your doctor about it.

If your therapist or doctor does not give hear to your reluctance to use the medication, then you can seek help elsewhere.

4. Talk To Others Who Has Experienced a Mental Breakdown – How to Overcome a Mental Breakdown

Understand that you are not the first or the last person to have experienced a mental breakdown.

Several people have had that same experience.

Yes, the causal factors and symptoms might not be the same, but they will understand better than others who haven’t experienced a breakdown.

So, you can consider speaking with these people.

Speaking to them will enable you to gain other perspectives and helpful advice about handling your breakdown.

The best place to meet and connect with people who have experienced a mental breakdown will be at a support group for mental health.

Understand that attending their meetings will help you overcome your breakdown easier.

So, do not hesitate to seek and attend them.

5. Be Good to Yourself

To overcome a nervous breakdown, you need to be good to yourself.

In other words, you should not beat up on yourself for having a hard or bad day, or if you do not want to go out.

You should love yourself even when you find yourself struggling.

If you do not meet your goal or relapse, never feel or think that you are a failure.

Understand that you cannot heal if you do not accept that the process will not be easy and that it will not happen overnight.

6. Write Out Your Feelings – How to Overcome a Mental Breakdown

Your feelings and mood have a huge impact on your recovery.

So, you have to give attention to them.

The best way to do this is to write out your feelings in a notebook or journal.

You should write about your feelings every day in your journal.

Do not just stop there.

Ensure that you determine and write what will make you have the feelings you experience.

This way, you can go through your journal every weekend and evaluate your behavioral patterns.

Figuring and identifying your behavioral pattern can also help you to identify those things that can trigger you.

When you know your triggers, you should try to avoid them to ensure that you do not fall back into a mental breakdown.

7. Understand and Find Meaning To What Happened To You

To overcome a mental breakdown, you need to accept that it happened to you.

However, before you can accept it, you have to understand it and find a meaning to it.

In other words, you need to look at what happened, and then discover how to grow and change after it happened.

However, when you do this, you should focus more on the changes and growth you can make and not how you were when the breakdown happened.

When you do this well, you will discover that you have not only accepted that it happened, but also that you have become better.

Some things you can make use of to grow and change after your mental breakdown include:

Meditation – How to Overcome a Mental Breakdown

Meditation can help you to focus on the present and re-center yourself.

Most often, when people experience a mental breakdown, they let themselves be swallowed into the past or consumed by fear and anxiety.

This does not help them to overcome and heal from a breakdown.

Meditation can be used to overcome this and also give you a better meaning of who you are and who you can become.

So, you should consider meditating at least once a day.

Check here to discover 7 proven ways meditating prepares you for success.

Reading Self-help or Inspirational Books

You can also draw strength and healing from reading self-help or inspirational books.

These books are written to lift people’s spirits and help them to grow beyond what has happened to them.

Some of the authors of these books have also had rough times in their lives.

And most of them write about it in their books.

Knowing that someone has gone through something similar to you and overcame, can give you a better meaning of life, and inspire you to grow.

So, you can consider reading some self-help or inspirational books, and become more inspired and better.

Engaging in Religious Beliefs/ Faith – How to Overcome a Mental Breakdown

If you are a spiritual or religious person, you can consider engaging more in your religious beliefs or faith.

Spending time engaging in spiritual or religious activities can give you a better meaning and purpose in life.

It can help you to view your breakdown as a challenge in your life that you can easily overcome.

This mentality will then give you the strength to overcome, heal, and become better.

8. Work On Your Relationships – How to Overcome a Mental Breakdown

Most often, experiencing a nervous breakdown can cause people to withdraw from the people in their lives.

If you did this, then you need to correct things by getting in touch with those people and rebuilding those relationships you might have damaged.

This is an important aspect of recovering and overcoming a nervous breakdown.

Therefore, do not take it lightly.

Some of these people might not know your reason for pushing them away.

Hence, it might be difficult for you to rebuild some relationships if you are not comfortable with disclosing what you went through.

However, ensure that you are honest about rebuilding your relationship with them, and if they care about you, they will come around.

9. Avoid Isolation

You have to avoid isolating yourself as you working to get better after a breakdown.

It is bad to suffer and recover from a mental breakdown, but it is worst to do it alone.

Hence, you should avoid isolation and seek the support and help of your friends and family.

When you have people you can lean on during your tough times, you will find it easier to overcome those times.

So, go out with your friends and associate with your family.

If you are not comfortable with a large group of people, do not beat yourself up.

You can start small like having coffee with one or two people, and gradually do more.

10. Understand That It Cannot Happen Overnight – How to Overcome a Mental Breakdown

When we say “overcome a mental breakdown” we mean that you will recover gradually from it.

However, we do not mean that it will happen overnight.

You have to understand that a mental breakdown did not just occur one day but built up till the moment you couldn’t take it any longer.

So, since it didn’t come about in one day, you also have to allow yourself to recover from it with time.

Overcoming it is all about not letting it win.

And you do that by fighting every day till you fully recover.

So, do not make a deadline for when you should overcome and recover from it.

Understand that as long as you are fighting it, you are overcoming it.

Go through the process of overcoming your mental breakdown with patience and love for yourself, and eventually, you will overcome it.

11. Avoid Making Major Life Decisions

As you are working to overcome your breakdown, you have to avoid making any major life decisions.

Major life decisions can alter your life, and they come sometimes with consequences.

You don’t need that during this period of your life.

So, avoid those kinds of decisions for the time being.

12. Reduce Stress – How to Overcome a Mental Breakdown

Stress is one of the major causal factors of mental breakdown.

So, for you to overcome a breakdown, you have to reduce your life stress level to avoid getting triggered.

Some ways you can work to reduce stress are:

  • Practicing breathing exercises
  • Practicing yoga
  • Taking breaks during your day
  • Sleeping enough
  • Practicing time management

Conclusion on How to Overcome a Mental Breakdown

A mental breakdown can happen to anybody.

So, you should not be ashamed if it happens to you.

However, you need to be ready to fight it to ensure that it does not keep you down.

You can do this by attending therapy, being good to yourself, talking to someone you trust, avoiding isolation, and reducing stress.