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NERVOUS BREAKDOWN

Many different problems may be referred to as a "nervous breakdown." It can also refer to what happens when people try to bottle up stress or tension and then finally let go. Here are some warning signs that let you know someone needs immediate help or attention.

Get help right away for someone who is:
* seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, or feeling something that is not there
* threatening to hurt or kill someone
* threatening or trying suicide or
* not making sense in what he or she says

These are signs of serious problems. With less urgent situations, you may have to use your own judgment. Call a crisis help line or other source for help and information. Most cities maintain a suicide hotline or crisis hotline. In smaller towns, someone at a hospital or medical center may be able to help you decide how serious a nervous breakdown is and what to do.

Sometimes people may feel on the verge of a nervous breakdown due to stress. Stress occurs when we have to suppress a natural reaction to a problem. It also occurs when people feel like they have run out of choices.

People usually want to react to a stressful situation with "fight or flight." This means that you want to either get away from the bad situation or fight back. You cannot always do this. For example, you cannot run away from your boss. You cannot hit him or her without getting fired or worse, so you force yourself to stay at your job. But in the meantime, the stress builds up. The same thing may be happening at home in your relationship with your spouse or your parents. Learning to cope with stress can keep you from feeling overwhelmed.

Eat right. Get some exercise for about twenty minutes at least three times a week. Get enough sleep. Avoid illegal drugs. Cut down on your drinking or stop altogether. Take vacations. Learn to relax. Have fun. Learning to cope with stress means learning how to communicate with other people. You want to be assertive, not aggressive.

There are many useful books available on this subject. Taking classes in communication and stress reduction can help. Therapy with a mental health professional can also help.

 

Copyright © 1998. HBOC Call Center Group (602) 230-7575.
All rights reserved. Information in this document is subject to change without notice.

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