Monday, January 04, 2010

What makes a person snap?


What do Charlie Chaplin, Walt Disney, Abraham Lincoln and Sir Isaac Newton all have in common? 


Believe it or not they all had nervous breakdowns at one time. 


Surveys show that about one-third of Americans feel on the verge of a nervous breakdown at some point. 

The term nervous breakdown really isn't used by the medical community much anymore.  Today the medical dictionary defines it this way:   "A severe or incapacitating emotional disorder, especially when occurring suddenly and marked by depression."  Others define it as:  "burnout."  When putting it in these terms of serious depression or burnout, probably about 80% or more of my friends and I have had nervous breakdowns at some point...some of us more than once!  Keep in mind I have some of the most amazing friends in the world who lead people in every sphere of life and most of the time seem like they have it all together. 

The other day I was sad when I talked to a friend on facebook and said, "where have you been?  I haven't seen you post in months."  They told me that they had just suffered a nervous breakdown and had been in treatment.  I was regretful because I didn't even know.  I would not characterize this person as one of my very best friends in fact we rarely see each other, but we still we have enough of a relationship that I was discomfited to know that I wasn't there when she could have really used my encouragement. 

 Any of us are capable of  snapping one day if we aren't careful, and some things you would really do well to read on this are here, here and here.

 People who are are especially at risk of snapping and having a nervous breakdown are those who have just experienced or are experiencing:

  • A major move
  • Loss of a job
  • Death of a relative
  • Severe financial problems
  • A change in your living situation
  • Extremely stressful work situation
  • A very unhappy marriage
  • An unrealistic schedule/pace
  • No opportunity for a break/no let up in circumstances
I have personally lived through many of these multiple times and I know it's not easy.  Without the Lord, I don't know what I would do.  God has given me guidance in finding some things that help me when I am feeling overloaded.  Of course going to His Word and prayer is the most important but there are some other practical things we can do to help.  

 Tomorrow, I'm going to share what personally helps me. 

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