Am I Having A Nervous Breakdown and If So What Should I Do?

I've been putting off doing this, but I think I need to.
Since the start of the year I noticed I started to become allot more depressed then before. Things that before were easy (General schoolwork, especially Maths) have become allot harder, I started to feel more tired yet still found it hard to sleep, things that I found interesting and fun before (Anime, videogames, reading) I just couldn't be bothered to do, I started to avoid hanging around with friends (Or anyone), I feel like I want to go on a rampage somedays most of my food(Which is especially bad considering that I am, or was, a pacifist), stopped eating (Sometimes skipping eating for a whole day) I started to think I wasn't worth shit, suicidal thoughts began crawling into my mind (Though I do not take notice of them for fear of what it would do to my parents, I cannot stand to think of them crying over my dead body), it's become impossible to concentrate, I keep thinking that behind my back everybody hates me (Silly, I know, but it keeps on scratching away at the back of my mind).
I wonder if that I'm having a Nervous Breakdown or that I'm just overreacting and being stupid. I find it impossible to talk to anyone I know about this, especially my parents, so I thought I would make a thread.
If I am having a Breakdown, what should I do?

If you are having suicidal thoughts and not eating, I would suggest a counselor and/or doctor before you seriously harm your health.

I can relate. I used to feel like that sometimes. I think it may just be puberty. You know, wild mood swings and such. Although, it couldn't hurt to talk to a counselor.

I think perhaps the best thing you can do is find someone to chat with. And I mean really chat with and have a serious discussion regarding this.

If you have a personal friend who you can trust to not go run their mouth off at first notice of you saying something slightly dangerous or controversial, then go to them and try to have a private discussion and figure things out.

Otherwise, I would suggest finding a good internet buddy to hook up with. Chat about things, see what they think, and ultimately try to sort it out, and perhaps play games with that very same person.

I think you have depression, like to the level that needs to be medicated. I think nervous breakdowns are more short term and brought on from stress. But yeah what you described are like the symptoms from straight out of a Zoloft commercial, I would look into trying to get a prescription.

You need to talk to someone. A counselor, psychologist/psychiatrist, teacher, relative. It might just be you have a chemical imbalance in your brain and need meds for it.

Oh yes, I know where you're coming from here. Trust me, suicide causes pain to EVERYONE else that can't be filled, and can lead to others doing the same. You need to talk to someone, and someone you know, not us. Your parents or something, a professional councillor, anyone who can help. After that, you'll be feeling a lot better.

And trust me, when you're having a nervous breakdown, you never think you're having a nervous breakdown. You're nerves go haywire and you're shivering, blurting out nonsense only you can understand. You're fine, but depression is something that needs to be tackled.

Calumon: Hug?

I'll have to echo the thoughts of a few people in this thread and say that you should seek advise from a counselor or doctor :/

Chances are they'll manage to tell where the problem lies and give you appropriate medication or advice for dealing with this.

I wrote this on another thread about depression... It's a common problem, and most of it applies although I have no idea how old you are. It should give you some ideas the think about.

You've already identified the behaviours, not eating, avoiding friends, etc. Although you don't feel like it, if you're aware of it you can change it. Eat when you don't feel like eating. See people, and here's a good tip, spend the entire time with them listening to them. Don't talk to them about being depressed, or anything, just really try to listen to what they're talking about and engage with them. It's surprising what this can do when you're stuck in your own head.

Also nervous breakdown is a bit outdated, and no, you're not having one. You're depressed (depressed literally refers to the decreased emotional response to things. You feel flat and don't enjoy things you normally would). A nervous breakdown was used more for anxiety attacks and people ceasing to function. Function meaning your ability to get up, feed yourself, go about your business. Can't remember if I mention below but get counselling, call a help-line. It may seem like a big hurdle to get the courage to do it but set your mind to doing it and before you know it you'll be having a great chat with some complete stranger and feeling a 1000 times better.

-------------my previous email----------------------

First of all. Take it easy on yourself. You're 15 and being 15 does suck, at least for most of us. If you're life is fantastic at 15 you're probably going to be one of the dullest adults ever so realise that at least it's not a great time for most people.

You are basically in metaphorical prison at the moment. It sounds terrible but it's not that bad. Because you're 15 you legally not allowed to do a lot, you don't get to make a lot of choices about what you do. You have to go to school. You have to get along with the random friends you make at school. You have to follow your folks rules. You are restricted, like being in a prison. This helps contribute to the "triangle of depression", which are these 3 beliefs 1. I suck (internal), 2. The world sucks (external), 3. Both the world and I are going to go on sucking (ongoing). You need all 3 to be really depressed. We'll get into breaking those down a bit later...

First of all Suicide ideation is very, very common at your age, and really it's ok. Fantasising is a healthy way of figuring out how you feel about anything. But with suicide there's a line you need to be aware of. Fantasising about what it would be like if you were gone is fine, as long as you're not fantasising about the exact details of how you'd do it. For example, wondering what people you know would think or do if you were gone is fine, even healthy. Imagining where you'd buy the rope, the steps necessary, people's timetables so you'd know who would find you... that's bad. If you've got to that point where you're actually making realistic plans then SPEAK TO SOMEONE. If you don't feel comfortable talking to school counsellors, friends, family etc then call one of those anonymous help lines. That's what they're their for and they'll perk you up straight away. The reason people contemplate suicide is because they feel there isn't another "out" from their current situation. Remember there is always another out. Always.

So let's break down the triangle. You've been depressed before and then felt better. Doesn't matter how bad you've felt before, strangely you always get over it and have a laugh at some point. Plus things never stay the same, good or bad, but especially the bad. Point 3. Ongoing suckiness rarely exists. Maybe for people in horrible marriages, or with chronic illness, but NOT 15 year olds. Your situation will change whether you want it to or not. You're entire life will go through transition after transition year after year for a good while yet. Some good, some bad. The bottom line is that things will not go on sucking indefinitely.

Point 2. Maybe the world sucks around you right now but that will change. Also as much as it may suck it's not war torn Africa, or the slums of mexico city. This isn't a lesson in well-you-shouldn't-ever-feel-bad-because-you're-not-starving. Just take a step back and realise that although you may not like where you are you're in a better position to make your life better than others. You're in a more hopeful situation. The environment around you has a much bigger impact on how you feel and behave than most people realise. Scientifically proven in fact. Plus, pretty soon you'll have more choice about your environment. If you go to college you get to pick what you study, who you hang out with, where you go to socialise. You go from prison to half-way house as it were. You get more choice.

You can also change what's going on right now. You are not responsible for your friends' behaviour. If they want to be jerks, that's fine. You can either smile and say nothing, have it out with them, or just change where and when you see them. Whereas people will gladly see things as their fault and not a result of their environement, strangely they don't see themselves as an agent in other people's lives. What you do affects your friends. And you ARE responsible for what you do. As I said, you're in prison, maybe you need to keep your mouth shut and that's hard, but don't think that's the way it's always going to be. Most people will tell you they are no longer friends with people they knew in High School. Maybe one person. Think about that. Millions of people go through high school and most don't stay friends, and that's because you don't have much of a choice right now.

Point 1. This is the tough one. How do you get confidence, how do you convince yourself you don't suck. This might sound a little cruel but take it in a humourous way. Suck it up, Boo hoo to your self-pity. Self-pity serves no good purpose generally. If you sit there thinking about why it's all so unfair, and how the world isn't fair on you then all I can say is I can't help you. The world isn't fair, not by a long shot. It never will be. The only justice you will ever see is the justice humans implement in society. I am also an atheist. If there is a god he certainly doesn't seem to mind children being painfully murdered or killed. He also allows extremely rich and evil people to destroy the lives of others at a whim. There's no justice here. So again, count yourself lucky you were born an American and probably not in povery, rather than an Estonian girl whose best career option is sex trafficking.

So whenever you catch yourself feeling self-pity there are two things you can do 1) See it as an indulgence, like eating a lot of chocolate. As long as you're aware you're doing it it becomes more funny and you get less bitter about the whole thing. 2) Once you admit it move on. Come up with a plan to fix whatever you're moaning about and do it. You don't have to be happy about it, or get yourself psyched like some Anthony Robbins oprah-bot. Just face it like a chore, like mowing the lawn. It's just something you've got to do. An example. You've got to do something you hate/fear, like public speaking. Just accept that you have to do it, then do it. 90% of all phobias are caused by people just refusing to confront their fear in the first place. And self-pity springs from fear. Every time you hear someone whine about how unfair something is for them you can usually see that if that person plucked up a bit of courage then they'd have done something about it.

But I did say, take it easy on yourself. That's not self-pity. Realising that you're fine the way you are is are hard thing to get sometimes. I didn't really get it until I was 30, and only when I let go of other people's expectations. And let's be clear here, we feel a lot of expectation on us. Not just the obvious body image, career-minded, money focused, achievement grabbing, glory hunting image the media suggests we should all be. And not just the good boy, work hard, study for the future image our parents want. The expectations you've got to watch are the ones you make in your head about how you should behave and act around your friends and around girls.

For example, if I want a girl to like me I should.... get better clothes, be more funny, not talk about stupid stuff I read on the internet... and so on. It's tough because a lot of the time those goals are what really motivates people to do stuff, like go out and socialise. Problem is you'll find the expectations are never clear cut. You'll meet a girl and she'll say "I love guys who are career minded and have a 5 year plan". And next week she'll start dating the lead singer in a crappy metal band.?? And you're lucky if you even get that clear a signal from someone about what they want. Lots of people behave the way they do because they THINK that's what people expect them to do. But here's the kicker, it's an expectation they created themselves. I knew a couple where the guy tried to be this super boyfriend all the time because that's what he thought she expected. It wasn't, but nothing she did or said changed his belief. Of course no one can be super boyfriend for ever so everytime he failed he assumed she hated him for it. Then he'd resent her for hating him because after all he was trying to be super boyfriend. All of this was in his head though. She didn't think he'd failed, she just liked him the way he was but clearly he didn't.

(for some interesting reading on this look up Carl Rogers - in particular "conditional love" leading to "incongruity")

So all that leads to the phrase "just be yourself". Which just sounds stupid without clarification. It's like people saying "Just relax". Both are good advice but you'll have to figure out the tools to just being yourself. And the best way is practice. Experience as much life as you can. The main difference between a 16 year old and a 36 year old is experience. You won't know what you want, or what to do without at least trying stuff. Change jobs, move around, go travelling, read a lot. All that stuff will help you figure out what is true and what isn't.

So here's the last crucial bit of advice I can give. People haven't got a f***ing clue. That includes you and me and everybody else. Despite all the religions, all the philosphers, all the scientists, all the world leaders, no one can definitively say they've got THE answer. If they do then they're a con man and trying to sell you something (see Anthony Robbins). Usually there's something to learn from all these places so listen, analyse, figure it out, just don't accept it at face value, and don't feel bad because you disagree. I've studied psychology, philosophy, medicince, law, and have done a fair amount of reading. I've travelled and met lots of people. My over riding theory on people is this. They do whatever the hell they want and then rationalise (justify) it afterwards. If they succeed they'll tell you they knew they were right all along. If they fail they'll come up with an explanation for their failure. Generally the true reason for the behaviour is a mystery to them. It's like showing children a magic trick and them asking them how it was done. They'll tell you something but who knows if it's true.

And that's fine. There's not a lot wrong with people doing that. That's what they do. The lesson to learn from this is that you should listen to yourself first. If you decide to do something and tell people, believe me, they'll all have an opinion, and they'll all tell you what they think you should do. That's fine, listen to them, but remember most of them are talking out their asses. Most of them will say the first thing that comes in to their heads without doing any research or analytical thinking. That's because there's no risk to them, to them you're just an experiment. He was going to do this, I said this, then he did that... and they await the outcome. Don't let what other people say spook you. Trust you're own judgement. I literally got lost at sea once because I ignored my own judgement and let someone else decide (it was only for 30 minutes but I was kicking myself because I should have known better). That way your mistakes are your own, and so are you successes.

Anyway, not sure if that helps much. It's all the helpful stuff I've accumulated since I was your age and wished I'd known then.

Good luck.

Your profile says you are a Brit. Go and see your GP. If your GP tries to fob you off by saying it is just your age, see another GP.

I think you would probably benefit from at least some sort of counselling. At your age, they really should be very careful prescribing (SSRI meds are not always trialled or approved for younger people) but I think that having some safe and neutral space to talk might help. Even if it is 6 sessions with the local mental health nurse, just having someone who can listen to you can be useful. Or talking about some techniques you can try when you feel yourself starting to struggle.

Some things for you to consider:

You are getting in to a cycle of behaviour - You feel low, you avoid friends/stop activities, you feel low. This is a cycle that you can recognise in yourself and break. And I promise you that I know that it can take effort to take those first steps outside the front door when you really don't want to. There will always be things in life that you don't really want to do and sometimes you have to suck it up and do it anyway. Now I am not saying "cheer up" because I know that's horse shit. But sometimes you do have to make yourself act, go out, start doing something. And when you have started, it will feel easier. The first step is always the hardest, try to push through it if you can.

Not eating - You need to try and eat. You really do. When you are low on energy and low on blood sugar, you will start to feel low and miserable and anxious. If you don't know you can stomach it, try eating little and often and identify the things that you find most palatable.

Depression and negative behaviours can be very self-fulfilling. It's good that you can see that you are struggling, that should help you to identify when you are acting in a way you don't really want, and take steps to beat it. Working to beat it now means you don't have to do exactly the same thing 5 -6 years down the line.

It doesn't sound like a nervous breakdown. Nothing of the sort. I think it sounds like a lot of the fears and anxieties that many of us go through. If you're finding it hard to cope, then there is nothing at all wrong in asking for help.

All of that is, of course, totally layman's knowledge.

many people have been sucked in this downward spiral. while you are spinning further down it get's harder and harder to get out of it, and it's almost impossible to do it alone. you need to find the root or at least define a part of what got you going in this direction. right now everything looks grim so talking with another person who's mind is not clouded is a really big help to sketch the big picture. and it is always good to not face these things alone. if you want to see a therapist, be careful about starting medication, often it is not necessary and they can be really tough to quit. always try talking first, you've already made a huge step in the right direction by posting here and deciding that you want things to change and acknowledge that you are not happy. for most people that is the hardest part i think, from this point on it will gradually get better, i sure hope so at least.

 

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