What is a Nervous Breakdown and How Do You Fix It?

We’ve all heard the expression, “nervous breakdown”, but what does that mean, exactly?

First off, what makes people think they are having a nervous breakdown? Is it the moment they feel they have lost all ability to cope with their lives and all the stresses that come with it?

What are the symptoms they are experiencing at that time? Probably the most prominent is their minds are spinning. They can’t get a grip on any one thought because they all blend together as one chaotic mess. It’s impossible to think straight, to sort things out. They might also have lost their energy and are unable to get up in the morning and complete their daily tasks. They can’t cope with the simplest concept.

In short, they think they are going mad. After all, isn’t madness the inability to care for yourself because your mind has gone awry? It’s a terrifying concept, to be sure. But does a person really go mad?

We’ve seen the stereotypical images in movies of people wandering the halls of darkened institutions, staring straight ahead, shuffling their feet, and mumbling repeated phrases to themselves. They don’t recognize others or know themselves. You can’t communicate with them and they can’t communicate with you.

In actuality, total madness that is depicted in movies is very rare and generally is not caused by the person having too much stress. Yet this is the image we might conjure up when we think of someone having a nervous breakdown.

The fact is, “nervous breakdown” is not a medically recognized term. It is a blanket term used to explain more the feeling than the actual condition. A “nervous breakdown” has nothing to do with nerves. It’s a breakdown of the adrenal system.

If you think about stress, you will make the connection with anxiety and it’s symptoms. You will notice that when under stress, your heart will race, your body will sweat, and your thoughts will speed up. The adrenal glands are designed to cause these changes so that you are prepared to react to danger. When the real danger never appears, however, the built-up apprehension and body changes are not released as they normally would be if a bear came at you and you ran away to safety.

When the body is under consistent stress, the adrenal glands continue to work until they begin to tire out. That’s when the body has reached the point of adrenal fatigue.

In doing it’s job, the adrenal glands produce 50 or more different hormones that are essential for life. They help our bodies to manage fat, regulate blood sugar and blood pressure, and manage the body’s energy sources.

The hormone, cortisol, helps to keep our body systems balanced and protect body cells.

In effect, the adrenal glands help to predict our longevity. The healthier the adrenal glands, the longer we can expect to live healthy lives.

Unfortunately, chronic stress hampers the ability of the adrenal glands to do their jobs. Consequently, we experience increased difficulty concentrating, our energy levels drop significantly, and we become even less able to cope with stress.

Among the symptoms of adrenal fatigue are lowered sex drive, depression, muscle weakness, lightheadedness, increased menopausal or menstrual symptoms, cravings for foods that are high in fat and salt, and persistent tiredness even after a night’s sleep.

What can you do about Adrenal Fatigue?

As with anxiety and panic disorders, adrenal fatigue can be eased by:

  • Learning to laugh more often and to have fun
  • Be sure to get enough rest
  • Stay away from negative people
  • Eat regularly and nutritiously (no junk food, processed foods, fats, salt)
  • Take vitamin and magnesium supplements, including vitamin C & E
  • Take Vitamin B complex supplements that are high in Vitamin B6
  • Replace table salt with sea salt
  • Reduce stress by eliminating the things that are causing it
  • Participate in activities that help you to relax. Use music therapy, find your special place of peace and solitude and go there often. Let the stress fade away and the quiet replace it.

The longer and more severe your condition, the longer it will take to recover. It can take anywhere from six months to two years. Keep this in mind. Don’t think your efforts are not working or aren’t working fast enough. Be persistent with your program and you will recover from anxiety, stress and adrenal fatigue.

If you feel you are under too much stress, you need to deal with it now before it ruins your health.  This will help.