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Hawaii_Jake's avatar

What did your nervous breakdown look like?

Asked by Hawaii_Jake (25799 points ) December 14th, 2012

I’m interested in the physical, mental, and emotional sensations experienced during a nervous breakdown.

I had racing thoughts of suicide that were unshakable, even though I was certain I wouldn’t follow through. Simple daily tasks were insurmountable. My thoughts revolved around the black abyss I’d sunk into. My brain felt like it was on fire at times. It was a literal physical fire.

If you don’t mind, please share.

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10 Answers

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ZEPHYRA's avatar

Simply the vital organs were alive, the rest of the body and mind DEAD.

Shippy's avatar

I’ve had a few and I hate to say that. It makes me sound weak. But each was different. One was crying none stop.

This last one, which was the the most severe I found different and strange. I left work that day, and I was numb. I switched off all my phones, TV’s and closed my door. I sat on the net. I didn’t think, I didn’t worry. Which was strange for me being neurotic. I was simply here on the net in the moment.

I had a sort of haziness around my brain. I can’t explain it. I didn’t clean, I didn’t bath I did nothing. This went on for month after month. I did bath eventually but it would take me an entire day of willing myself to do it. Afterwards I was so exhausted I cannot explain.

Lots of thing lost meaning to me, like the News, people, events, life outside of the window. I did wish I was dead. But I didn’t want to actually do it. At times I would go into a rage inside and want to harm myself very badly. I was going to cut my own throat open. I know this probably is shocking but there you go.

It has been one of the worse experiences of my life. I was alone, I had no one to share with I couldn’t afford help. No one checked in on me, no one cared. That has really changed my perception of people in a huge way.

I am trying Jake, day by day to re integrate back into life,. and so far to be honest I am not liking what I am seeing. That worries me.

burntbonez's avatar

I have never had one, but sometimes, I can feel something—perhaps it is a breakdown—lurking as if on the other side of the wall. I might wake up in the morning, and sit up in bed. I don’t even know how I sit up in bed, because I don’t want to, but curling up in the fetal position seems untenable compared to sitting on the edge of the bed and staring at the wall, and I know there is a presence on the other side of the wall, and it wants to eat me. Consume me.

And my shoulders creep in and tighten and my stomach starts to hurt and I hunch forward and I start davening and keening and I know if I let this go on for one more second….

So I stop. Honestly, I have no idea how. I go take my shower and go about my life, but I am usually sick for a while. Or sick feeling. Like darkness shrouds the world and is creeping closer, like some living cloak.

Creeps me out, just thinking about it. I feel like it’s always there. And some day I could succumb, but I haven’t so far. I don’t even want to think about it if I did.

Sometimes I wonder if therapy would help, but I don’t want to. I don’t think it would make a difference. It’s just me. I don’t need anything. Even if I ever was swallowed whole, metaphorically, of course, I don’t think it would make a difference.

cazzie's avatar

Oh, I stripped down to undies in a Police Station after being taken in. I took a knife to several of the trousers in my ex’s closet, cutting up the bed mattress that we had shared for 7 years in the process. (I laid the pants down and knifed through the crotch, cutting the bedding and mattress along with it.) After years of physical and mental abuse, I snapped. Volunteered myself for a psych hold at the local hospital the next day. He, to this day, has not been promoted and has been stuck in traffic enforcement.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I have experienced numerous nervous breakdowns in my life. The most recent was in the middle of the sociology lounge, as I crumpled hysterical by the copy machine. A professor of mine had to pick me up and bring me into his office.

linguaphile's avatar

My worst was a month-long hide in my bed, crying for long periods of time. It happened right after the ex-husband raped me and, in the process, I realized he was very aware of what he was doing and was enjoying it. That breakdown was the ‘tunnel’ I had to go through to wake up and realize I needed to get myself out of that marriage. When I crawled out of bed, I was ready for the work it would take to get out.

I have had other smaller ones—curling up in closets crying hysterically (closets are dark, enclosed and feel womb-like), catatonia for a few hours and some incomprehensible venting rants to a friend.

I rarely express intense emotions outward, almost always inward. I far, far prefer to have breakdowns over attacking people.

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yankeetooter's avatar

I lost all interest in all the things I had loved doing before. I cried for long periods of time, especially when in bed at night. My temper was very short, and the slightest thing upset me, although I often kept that hidden from others. I wanted to die, although, like you I lacked the will to see it through (thank goodness)....

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