Technically nervous breakdowns don’t exist. But I bet you know what they are and may even know someone who’s had one.
When you endure relentless stress there’s a whole heap of things that happen to you physically. Cortisol and adrenaline flood your body leaving you volatile, exhausted, stabby and not thinking straight.
Usually, after a single stressor it takes 20 to 60 minutes for these hormones to return to normal. Our parasympathetic nervous system has to work hard to undo the effects. But with chronic stress, the hormones don’t go back to normal – they stay floating around our system and the parasympathetic nervous system gets depleted and is unable to do its job.
So we stay constantly on edge, sensitised to other stressors.
Because we can’t counteract the stress internally means we often turn to external things to try to control the stress response – like alcohol or food or avoidance – which unfortunately makes things worse.
That’s when you might need a self-induced nervous breakdown.
Try to think of a nervous breakdown as being an emergency handbrake. It’s stops you functioning so you don’t have to deal with the stressors anymore. Until you’ve had enough rest to get back on the horse again.
What if you could have mini nervous breakdowns more regularly and avoid a big uncontrollable one later?
Have you been under a lot of stress? Why not take a weekend where you do nothing? Plan for it in advance and prepare meals you can heat up. Or if you can afford it – go away for the weekend and have someone else cook, clean, and do everything for you. Plan to do nothing and make no decisions. Give yourself permission to be completely useless. No pressure. No expectations. No rules.
Related Tag: Psychologist Burleigh