Inexcess: In search of recovery

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Friday, November 21st, 2008 Survivors

Right across the board it is an established fact that anyone can have a nervous breakdown. For one person this did not mean the end.

An interesting article in the Independent by Sophie Morris (18 11 08) offering hope to those who have experienced Nervous Breakdowns.

Emma Mansfield 25 had everything to live for, good career as she was a natural historian allowed to travel the world, nice boyfriend. Everything looking rosy.

So the last thing she was expecting was to be dragged down into the deep blue storm of a nervous breakdown. “It was like somebody had pulled a rug out from under me,” she remembers, eight years, another nervous breakdown and spells of clinical depression, psychosis and time in hospital later. “I didn’t know what the hell was happening to me. I’d feel like I was being sucked down in this vortex, like in Harry Potter where the death-eaters suck out your soul.”

An overview as to what a nervous breakdown is becomes relevant. In essence neither medical nor scientific, but a shorthand for someone who can no longer cope in their normal life, explains Phillip Hodson, of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP). “It describes someone who has gone through the tipping point. They have gone from stress and distress, to an over-stressed situation.

It’s the difference between, ‘I’m very uncomfortable but I’m managing’ to ‘I’m so unhappy and fraught that I’m not functioning.’” Not functioning might manifest itself in strange behaviour such as stepping out in front of buses, flaring up at other people, having suicidal thoughts or going into states such as a trance, catatonia or gibbering.”

Furthermore, after a clinical depression diagnosis, Sophie went on to have suicidal thoughts for a week.

Sensibly, Morris sought early intervention, but it is not always the same for others as stigma is still very much attached. However, for Sophie Morris there was a recovery process as along with other public figures who have experienced mental illness.

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