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Dear Cynthia... > nervous breakdown
nervous breakdown
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7 posts
May 15, 2010
12:41 AM
Dear Cynthia,

What is a nervous breakdown? I guess that term is obsolete. Yesterday, I couldn't stop crying or get out of bed. I cancelled all of my students for the evening which I never do unless I have a migraine. I stayed in bed all day only to get up and use the rest room. I finally got up enough nerve to allow a girlfriend to come over and comfort me. I had a panic attack that lasted all day. I'm not sure what I would have done if she didn't come and rub my back and hold my hand until I finally fell asleep. The despair I felt was near suicidal. I didn't want to die I just wanted to sleep for a few days.

Today I was able to get up and meet a friend at the park. We cried and just shared our emotional pain with each other. I thought I would be exhausted by now, but I can not sleep again. Last night I broke down and took Ambien. I slept from 10-3am; 5a-7am. What happens when people say that they snapped or just lost it?

293 posts
May 16, 2010
12:30 AM
Hi Sweetpotato,

"Nervous breakdown" is a term from popular culture that seems to mean "couldn't function anymore and needed drastic measures" or something like that. I don't think it's really been defined. Sometimes psychosis is involved, sometimes I think it's just severe depression.

For you, it does sound like you're in severe distress, and it may be more than is possible to function through, or resolve naturally. If it either goes on like this for a couple of weeks, or goes on long enough to threaten your job, or other serious aspects of your life (whichever comes first), you will have to move to the next level of treatment.

If you are reacting to something that happened recently, or to something that recently triggered something from your past that was devastating, then just more therapy, and perhaps EMDR might do it. If it is not related to your life, but just biochemical, then a good psychiatrist should evaluate your meds. Believe it or not, electroshock therapy can also be very helpful if nothing else works, and it's nothing like people say it is. It is not violent, barbaric or sadistic, and it has given many people their lives back, almost miraculously.

But first see if you can find and resolve (with help) what might be bothering you. Hopefully that will be all you need.


Last Edited by on May 16, 2010 1:45 AM

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 Cynthia W. Lubow, MFT

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