What to say to someone having a mental breakdown?

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Page last updated: 24/09/2022

This article will center on explaining what are things you can say to someone that is having a mental breakdown. The article will show what it means to have a mental breakdown, and how it can cause the person going through it to feel.

What to say to someone having a mental breakdown? 

Going through a mental breakdown can be terrifying. The person may be so on the edge, that it can feel like the world is falling apart. And when they are going through that, one should be extremely supportive and think about what they should say.

Let them know you are there and they are not alone 

Feeling like your world is collapsing, and being unable to cope with it can lead some people to feel desperate. As your friend or loved one is going through a mental breakdown, the most important thing you can say is that you are by their side and that they are not alone. 

Feeling other people are right beside you can give them a sense of being connected to others, which can be a source of relief since they can feel they are part of something. 

It also lets them keep an eye on the perspective that even though all of this is happening, there will be more to life than the mental breakdown. In life, some people love them and are always willing to lay a helping hand.

Ask them if they need some space

When they are going through a mental breakdown, especially when it manifests itself among other people, asking them if they need some space will go a long way. It will show them that you are attentive to their needs and that you want them to be able to express their feelings in a safe environment, not in one in which they may feel judged.

Tell them you are open to listen 

Understanding that they may take some time to share how they feel is important. It can be that they will need to understand what is going on with them before they feel ready to speak up. 

But every so often telling them that you are there, and open to listening to whatever they have to say in a non-judgemental way will open a trusting communication channel between the two of you, and with time they may feel comfortable to share.

Ask them about what they have been through 

Asking them about what has been going on, and what they feel may have been through will give them a chance to vent about their emotions. In the same way as telling them you are open to listening, it can happen that at first, they won’t say a lot. 

But as they become more comfortable with you, they may find it easier to answer your questions.

Always try to be understanding and supportive of what they say. And keep in mind that as they are telling you what is happening, it may also be a chance for them to better understand what they are going through.

What to say to someone having a mental breakdown?

Talk to them about professional treatment

Although it may be a sensitive topic, talking to them about the possibility of looking for professional help can be extremely important. The first thing you can do is ask them if they have been in treatment already. 

And if they tell you they have not, it may be a starting point to talk about it. Try to have this conversation in a non-judgemental way. Tell them that you understand they are going through a lot, and even though you will always be by their side, they may benefit from having professional support.

Remind them that it is okay to recognize their limits and that reaching this breaking point can be a chance for them to rebuild themselves a stronger way emotionally.

What is a mental breakdown? 

A mental breakdown, which is also known as a nervous breakdown is what happens when someone is having an intense mental crisis. A mental breakdown will happen when the person feels like they are not able to cope with all the things that they have been going through, which may be taking a huge emotional toll on them.

A person may experience a mental breakdown as a reaction to a cumulative matter that they have gone through, which they weren’t able to cope with healthily. 

And how severe it will be can vary from one person to the next. It can go on for a few hours, or even a few weeks, and the longer it goes on, the more it will affect the person.

Some matters can often lead a person to a mental breakdown like the death of a loved one, ending a relationship, or going through financial problems. Aside from those, a mental breakdown can also happen if the person is going through a lot of stress in their work, or has gone through a physical assault.

People that are going through an anxiety disorder will also have a higher chance of experiencing a mental breakdown, the same way as someone that has been diagnosed with an illness or is going through an injury.

How does a person feel when they are going through a mental breakdown? 

During the mental breakdown, the person will feel a lot of pressure, and they may have trouble keeping to their activities the way they did before. They can feel overwhelmed, and their mood will most likely change.

It is important to keep an eye on someone that is going through a mental breakdown because it can often lead to self-harm, and thoughts of suicide. So be attentive if they seem tired all the time, anxious if their mood has changed if they feel anxious, overworked, or even paranoid. Since those can all be signs they are close to having a mental breakdown.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ): What to say to someone having a mental breakdown? 

What are ways to help someone going through a mental breakdown? 

When someone you love is going through a mental breakdown there are some ways you can help. The first thing you can do is to create a calm and safe environment for them. Make sure it is a place in which they will feel physically and emotionally safe.

Be sure you can listen to them without judgment, even if what they are saying doesn’t make sense to you. By doing that, it will be easier to form a bond of trust with them, and they will open themselves easier.

Try to be a positive influence and make a point of showing them how getting treatment is important. Showing them that they are being cared for by a professional will help them feel better. 

And with treatment may come the need for lifestyle changes. Help them in making those, and also keeping to those changes, valuing how they are getting better.

What shouldn’t say to someone going through a mental breakdown?

When you know someone that is going through a mental breakdown, there are some things you should never say. You should never tell them that everything is going to be ok. You can’t know that, and making this sort of prediction will make them feel invalidated.

Another way you will often minimize how they feel is by saying that this will pass, and they will get back to normal. Aside from that, telling them that they should have looked for help sooner is another way you can make them feel worse.

It can make them feel guilty, and even more ashamed of being emotionally vulnerable. Keep in mind that understanding you have a problem is not always easy, people may find it hard to make themselves vulnerable. And by saying that you are only making it worse.

How can I show emotional support?

If you feel someone you know is struggling, emotional support can be extremely important. You can show that by actively listening to the person. You can do that by giving them all of your attention, letting them say how they feel without any judgment, and asking questions.

Empathizing and validating how the other is feeling is also an important tool of emotional support. This will all allow them to feel it is okay that they are struggling, and that you understand how hard it must be.

Showing your love, and helping them think of ways to deal with the difficult situation are also ways of emotionally supporting a person. But remember to not try to fix the problem, but rather talk to them about what they think may help. 

And if they find a way to work through the problem, you can offer them material support like accompanying them to a doctor’s appointment.

How can I help someone feel motivated?

When a person is going through a mental breakdown they can often feel unmotivated to do things. If someone you love is going through that, you may want to first accept what they are going through. Don’t ask too much of them, since it can make them feel pressured.

You should also show them encouragement. Try to invite them to do things they may enjoy, but be understanding if they say no. Just make sure you keep trying, and celebrate when they agree to take part in things. 

Try to have some regular activities you can do with them, and try to do it little by little. Taking small steps is key so they don’t feel overwhelmed. 

Aside from that, you should always try to focus on the future rather than the past. Saying to them that in the past they would be good at doing something will set them back, and make them feel even worse.

Can my friend ever recover from a mental breakdown?

Yes, your friend may recover from a mental breakdown. It is often a temporary condition. But to get better, it is likely that they will need to go to treatment and stick to it. Caring for their mental health will be a necessity from that moment on.

And even when they are feeling better, they may always need to keep caring for their feelings, and emotions, so they won’t go through this again.

Conclusion 

This article showed what are things you can say to someone that is going through a mental breakdown. Aside from that, the article explained what a mental breakdown is, and how the person that is going through it can feel.

If you have any questions or comments about this article, feel free to write them in the section below.

References

https://www.bridgestorecovery.com/blog/4-ways-you-can-help-someone-having-a-nervous-breakdown/amp/
https://www.nddtreatment.com/blog/how-to-help-someone-who-is-having-an-emotional-breakdown

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