Think You May Be on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown at School? Here Are 9 Signs of a Mental Health Crisis
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College is a high-stress environment for many people. Between classes, assignments, making new friends and living independently for the first time, you’re likely dealing with a lot of stressors. That can be a lot to handle, and you may say that you’re having a “nervous breakdown.” However, the term “nervous breakdown” is not an official diagnosis and can be stigmatizing for people who are experiencing what may be more accurately called a mental health crisis.

So, what exactly is a mental health crisis? It’s often described as a period of intense mental distress where you may experience overwhelming emotions or an inability to cope. If you’re experiencing signs of a mental health crisis, you may struggle to function in your everyday life. This inability to function can last from a few hours up to weeks or even months. 

About two-thirds of college students reported dealing with high stress levels, which can contribute to a mental health crisis. If you’re experiencing signs of a mental health crisis, you don’t have to deal with it on your own. No matter what mental health issue you’re going through, we’re here to help. Let’s walk through what the signs of a mental health crisis look like and how you can address them.

Signs of a mental health crisis

Since mental health crises aren’t the result of one specific mental health disorder or trigger, they can be difficult to spot. But there are some common signs you can look out for. Signs that someone may be on the verge of a mental health crisis can include:

  • Extreme anxiety or panic attacks — Frequent and severe anxiety or panic attacks can be a sign of overwhelming stress.
  • Severe mood swings — Rapid and extreme changes in mood, such as going from feeling very high to very low, can indicate emotional instability.
  • Insomnia or changes in sleep patterns — Difficulty sleeping or significant changes in sleep patterns can be a sign of increased stress or emotional distress.
  • Isolation or withdrawal — Avoiding social interactions or withdrawing from activities that were once enjoyable can indicate a lack of coping ability.
  • Physical symptoms — Physical symptoms such as headaches, stomach problems or muscle tension that are not explained by other medical conditions can be related to stress.
  • Difficulty concentrating — Having trouble focusing, making decisions or remembering things can be a sign of mental exhaustion.
  • Feelings of hopelessness or despair — Persistent feelings of hopelessness, despair or worthlessness can indicate depression or severe emotional distress.
  • Increased irritability or anger — Heightened irritability, anger or hostility can be a sign of emotional overload.
  • Changes in appetite or weight — Significant changes in appetite or weight can be a sign of emotional distress.

It’s important to note that experiencing one or more of these signs does not necessarily mean someone is on the verge of a mental health crisis. However, if you or someone you know is experiencing these symptoms and they are interfering with daily life, it may be a sign that professional help is needed.

How to address the signs of a mental health crisis

The first and most important thing you can do if you’re having a mental health crisis is to seek professional help. At Lightfully, we have licensed clinical experts to walk with you through this challenging time. Treatment for a mental health crisis may include therapy and medication to help treat any underlying mental health disorders.

If you think you’re on the verge of a mental health crisis, there are steps you can take to lower your stress levels and help maintain balance in your life. Preventing a mental health crisis before it happens is the best course of action. Here are a few steps you can take:

  • Maintain healthy habits — When you’re stressed, the first things that you tend to neglect are eating and sleeping right. But nutrition and rest are vital to your overall physical and mental health. Make sure you’re giving yourself adequate time to rest and enough nutrition to fuel your body.
  • Get external support — If you feel like you’re drowning in stress, sometimes you need someone to pull you out of that negative mindset. Reach out to friends and family. Talking through your problems can help you put them in perspective.
  • Start saying no — In a world suffering from FOMO, it’s easy to feel like you have to say yes to every new opportunity. But overloading your schedule is only going to increase your chances of having a mental health crisis. Try to intentionally block out time to relax and recharge.
  • Reduce academic pressure — Making good grades in school is important, but your mental health should always come first. One poor test grade isn’t going to ruin your academic career, but pushing yourself to a mental health crisis will negatively impact your mental health.

If you think you may be on the verge of a mental health crisis, don’t wait until it gets worse. The sooner you get help, the easier it will be to address your mental health properly. 

When you’re ready to take the first step, reach out to our Admissions Co

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