Nervous Breakdown: Treatment and Medication
People suffering a nervous breakdown speak about their misery of pain and desperation in trying to understand what caused the downward spiral in loosing their ability to cope with life. It's a heartbreaking familiarity that always touched the core of Mehdi's heart as he helped people in many different areas.
For more than 30 years, Mehdi's knowledge and compassion for sufferers of a Nervous Breakdown has helped many people overcome the dark and desperate phase in their life. Today, many people are able to enjoy transforming results through Mehdi's 'Tools For Life' DVDs, where he incorporated essential life-changing tools, which are simple and easy to follow.
People can and do recover from nervous breakdowns. Underlying conditions that may lead or have led to a nervous breakdown can be treated, therefore it's important to know what different treatments are available.
When receiving medical treatment, an extensive assessment is required. It's important for a psychiatrist or psychologist to determine the underlying cause of the breakdown. Once the cause is properly determined, a doctor can prescribe the appropriate treatment.
Therapy is one of the most common and effective forms of treatment for nervous breakdowns. The following are some of the therapeutic methods used.
Aromatherapy, Yoga and Massage Therapy
These are complementing therapeutic procedures that are used to help the patient relax. In aromatherapy, aromatic herbs are used to set the mood. In yoga, the patient is taught how to meditate or concentrate so he can put his mind at rest. In massage therapy, the body is subjected to a soothing massage so that tension would leave and the body could relax.
Nervous breakdowns are usually a result of extreme stress and chronic anxiety. Through the above mentioned therapeutic procedures, relaxation can be induced. The body and mind will be given relief from the ravages that constant agitation has wrought on them.
Medical professionals also use their most effective form of treatment – psychotherapy. This type of treatment is something that is commonly used among all types of psychological disorders. It doesn’t have negative side effects, and it has been proven effective in helping patients overcome underlying issues that have led to their breakdown.
Psychotherapy is an interpersonal and relational therapy that aims to help a patient deal with everyday problems. The goal of psychotherapy is to increase the person’s sense of well-being and to reduce the effect of past painful experiences on the present.
The forms of psychotherapy include:
Psychoanalysis. This type of psychotherapy is attributed to Sigmund Freud. Freud believed that a person’s past experiences – particularly those that occurred during a person’s childhood years – have a significant effect (positive or negative) on the person’s adult years. Freud, however, was more concerned with sexual patterns of behavior. He based his study in 5 stages of sexual development. If a need in a certain stage is not gratified, then the person will manifest certain fixation.
Psychoanalysis is useful in the treatment of patients suffering from nervous breakdown because childhood and past experiences may explain a person’s predisposition to the condition. Once the issues arising from past experiences are resolved, a person may have a better chance of adapting more effective stress-coping mechanisms and thus prevent another breakdown in the future.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. This type of psychotherapy is focused on constructing as well as reconstructing the cognitive and emotional maps of a person. Medical professionals use techniques to determine the person’s way of thinking, feeling and behaving. Oftentimes, they use the interview as a means of assessing the patient. Once the thinking, feeling and behaving patterns have been identified, the therapist will be able to help the patient get rid of those negative patterns that make him especially vulnerable to stress and the subsequent nervous breakdown.
Hypnotherapy. Hypnotherapy refers to hypnosis therapy. Hypnosis is used to accomplish several things. It can be used for helping the patient relax. It can also be used as a diagnostic procedure; the therapist may put the patient under hypnosis to discover why the patient thinks the way he does and what possible events may have triggered the breakdown. Hypnosis may also be used in ‘rewiring’ the brain – specifically the subconscious – so that the patient’s irrational perception or thinking patterns (even those that he takes for granted) may be corrected.
Expressive Therapy. This type of treatment is used by medical professionals to help the patient express their feelings in a more positive way. A patient can, for instance, use drama, music, writing, and other forms of art as their tools of expression. This treatment is very effective in cases where the patient tends to suppress what he is feeling or has no healthy outlet for his emotions.
Counseling. This is basic talk therapy. The counselor acts as a guide or advisor to the patient. He will become the patient’s sounding board; the patient will therefore be able to analyze his own thoughts, emotions and behavior without fearing any judgment. Through the counselor’s help, the patient will be able to spot whatever faulty thinking patterns he has and take steps to correct them.
People who have suffered a nervous breakdown may also be given medication. Typically, anti-depressants, anti-anxiety and other psychotropic medications are used in treating patients who are suffering from a nervous breakdown. These medications, however, are generally not meant for long-term and continued use. Some of them can be addictive while some have serious side effects.
Here are the following psychotropic medications prescribed in cases of nervous breakdown:
Anti-depressants - these medications are primarily used for treating depression. Anti-depressants include MAOIs (monoamine oxidase inhibitors), tricyclics and SSRIs (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors). These medications work in different ways and they vary in effectiveness. A person taking anti-depressants usually waits for weeks or months before they will feel the beneficial effects of these drugs. Caution is advised, however, for those who have a history of alcohol abuse.
Anxiolytics - these medications are mainly used for treating anxiety disorders. Anti-anxiety medications include benzodiazepines, barbiturates, hydroxyzine, and serotonin 1A antagonist. Some anti-anxiety medications can be extremely addictive so administration must be strictly supervised.
Anti-psychotics - these medications are used mainly in the treatment of serious nervous breakdowns and psychotic disorders like schizophrenia. These medications should not be used in patients who are suffering from a nervous breakdown until absolutely necessary; it has serious side effects like dystonia (muscle contraction in the neck), akathisia (uncontrolled movements of the hands), Parkinsonism (rigidity and tremors), hypotension, and seizures.
Mood Stabilizers - these medications are typically used for treating mood disorders like bipolar disorder (i.e. manic-depressive disorder). The most common form of mood stabilizers is Lithium Carbonate.