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what is a breakdown? Am I going to have one?

(12 Posts)
SadFreak Wed 19-Mar-14 23:42:55

Daft kind of question I know but how do you know if you are having a breakdown? What happens?

Since 12th January I have had A shit load on my plate. I found out my husband has been screwing randoms for pretty much the whole 11 years of our marriage. At the same time literally his father started end of life care with cancer and H went on compassionate leave and went up north to be there. He was away 5 weeks. I stayed at home with teen dc and could not deal with my discovery. Dh knew I knew and we had one night of tears etc before he left to be with his dad. I completely internalised my feelings and tried to carry on.
Its been shit. I hurt so much hut could not cry initially. At the same time as all this my dd was being severely bullied at school. My father was ill in hospital. My best friends mum died suddenly. Another friends husband died. My credit card was cloned. I have been sent for skin cancer biopsy

H is back now and we are yet to have a proper chat about divorce or what happens next or to actually even have a proper discussion about his infidelity
I am paralysed with utter fear of talking about what he has done but at the same time hate him for being too normal with me. He sleeps on the sofa and I go to bed early every evening.

I feel completely detached from life. Like I am watching in on myself. I feel I want to cry pretty much all the time but some days I cannot even force the tears out and others I cannot stop or just find myself completely breaking down in tears at inappropriate moments such as at Tesco checkout or in a class at college. I mean proper uncontrollable hiccupping type of crying.

As well as this I get random thoughts that just come into my head. They have no trigger. It isn't like I hear a song on the radio and it triggers a memory but totally random. It's almost intrusive. Today I was working on a project at college and out of nowhere comes a memory of building a snowman with my dd when she was a toddler. Dd is now 15. Other memories all trigger back to the same period when I was truly happy and content with life. I get these thoughts 20 plus times a day. They are bitter sweet and usually result in bringing on tears or me zoning out. I just find myself sitting in the same place and I have lost 40minutes or an hour.

I am finding it harder to carry on with the facade of normal life. I have no tolerance for anything other than getting the kids sorted, basic laundry and college. Anything else is an ordeal and stresses me right out. I need to renew the tv licence and I just cannot do it. The thought of dealing with it makes me feel sick. I know that this is not normal. I could not cope with watching Crime watch tonight because it seems too awful. I don't have the capacity to deal with the nastiness and horror of the crimes featured, despite the fact they have happened to total strangers.

I don't prepare meals anymore either. I can't deal with the hassle and stress. I am eating like no tomorrow most days but other days I don't eat at all as I feel so churned up and nauseaus. H cooks for the kids and we have eaten more delivery meals like pizza etc in the past 2 months than ever before.

I feel I am losing grip on reality. I feel scared. Alone. Ashamed. A failure and angry. Shit seems to be landing on my doorstep all the time and I feel that something big is going to happen to me emotionally very soon. I feel like I am on the edge of something but don't know what.

I am terrified if telling anyone in rl how i am feeling and what is going on. I was at drs on Monday re scheduling my skin cancer biopsy and she asked if I was okay as I looked tired ( oh I hardly sleep us another thing and when I do its broken sleep). I lied and told her I was fine. I just cannot get a grip of myself and get help yet I feel I sm losing control of my ability to just carry on the best I can, like I have been since January.

ohfourfoxache Thu 20-Mar-14 00:04:18

Firstly enormous (((hugs))) - bloody hell you have got so much going on sad

It's difficult to say if you're on the verge of a breakdown or not. Have you had one before? Have you had depression previously? If you know what it feels like it may be easier to conclude whether you are or not.

But tbh that's just "labelling" it. To an extent it doesn't matter what you call it. If you need help then you need help - end of story.

I would really, really recommend talking it over with your GP. Does she know everything that is going on at the moment?

metoo22 Thu 20-Mar-14 15:42:35

Hi there
I can relate to how you are feeling and it's not surprising as so much has been going on in your life. I think the term 'nervous breakdown' isn't really used theses days but it seems to me that's what I had at the start of January.

I also had a load of different issues in my life that were making me sad and/or anxious, although tbh not as many as you. I felt like a cartoon character running off a cliff. Something terrible then happened to my dd, and I managed to look after her for about a week while realising I was losing it. Eventually GP diagnosed anxiety and depression and advised me to take anti depressants and I have been off work for 2 months. Dd is doing fine. ADs are helping me and having time off work has given me time to work a bit harder at my therapy. (which I had started in September, having thought about it for years)

So I would agree with the above poster that talking honestly to your GP would be a really good first step. Mine didn't know me well but did know about health worries Id had before and I think had built up quite a good picture of what I'm like. It was a massive relief for me to have her advise me and acknowledge my feelings.

I hope this helps. Try not to be too hard on yourself. Anyone facing all those things would struggle.

janesnowdon1 Fri 21-Mar-14 12:22:57

You are coping with so much. I think you do need to open up to a GP - asking for help is not a sign of weakness (as I used to think). I also think you would beneft from counselling. I was in a somewhat similar situation last year and was looking at waiting up to 6 months for a counselling slot where I live ( I couldn't afford to pay privately) but was able to get free counselling through my pt uni course. Just being able to offload for an hour and discuss things with someone "anonymous" really helped me not "tip over"

Don't worry about takeouts and ready meals - if they help alleviate some hassle atm that's good. "Don't sweat the small stuff" -devote your energy to your children and yourself.

At some stage you will need to tackle your husband as it seems unlikely he will iniate talk. Think carefully about what you want to say and what you want to happen. YOU come first. If it would help youfor him to move out for now so you can have space then tell him that.

Ifound Lundy Bancroft's book "Should I stay or should I go?" really useful in helping me understand my h's motivations and in recognising how to frame my conversations and start to redirect my energy to myself and on how to successfully detach from my domestic situation.

I found it extremely difficult to ask for help ( I thought my GP would feel I was a time waster or a ridiculous woman) but once I did it seemed a lot easier to be open with others. YOu have done nothing wrong at all! Be kind to yourself.

Hugs and empathy

deepest Fri 21-Mar-14 19:32:10

I am sorry that so much has landed at your door. Look at it as a deep trough in your life, as a tough time, as a crisis. Try to make sure that simple basic things are in place to enable you to survive this period. Dont drink, prioritise sleep, walk outside everydat, find space and quiet time, eat well. When my life turned upside down I moved out to a hotel for a few nights to collect my thoughts and focus. It was a long slow drag back from that deep trough but you do come out. See you GP and confide in a friend if you feel you can. Keep connected and off load everything you can from a practical point of view to enable you the strength to shoulder this shit.

Katkins1 Sun 23-Mar-14 10:34:14

Oh, OP. I'm so sorry, that's so much going on . Don't worry about the take away and stuff- that's standard for a college/ uni student, we all do it (!).

Your main concern is looking after you and the DD's- everything else comes second.

Talk to your personal tutor at college and GP- they will be able to help. You sound like an amazing Mum, going through all that you are and still going to college and everything.

SadFreak Sun 23-Mar-14 23:59:18

Thank you. Thank you so much for reading and being so kind. I was expecting people to say FFS get a grip you silly cow its been 2 months you should be moving on by now. Which is how I mentally berate myself.

I have actually had 2 pretty normal days. I have been busy this weekend with family stuff (H is away again). My DD was in a local concert/show this weekend and when I got there (alone) I felt almost panicky and even had tears in my eyes because I felt like the odd one out, like everyone else was with their happy family and no one was holding a dark shitty secret like me. DD sang solo and was just wonderful - I had no idea how talented she is. It was lift I needed. I thought bloody hell - I created her and isnt she just amazing!! I am so proud its kept me lifted all weekend pretty much. I even came home and sorted out the TV licence, actually did some proper housework and read the gas and electric meters and phoned in the readings. All very simple stuff but stuff that I have been neglecting and unable to face before now.

That is honestly been the best I have felt in weeks.

All was good until I woke up this morning with the same horrid realisation that this is my life and have had a little cry this evening on my own. I just feel despair. I know I should be sorting this shit out but just cant face it. What a coward.

I have had bloods done at the Drs last week and need to make an appointment to go back next week, so I may try and pluck up the courage to say something. Although this GP has been lovely I do find her very business like and not too easy to open up to - although she is obviously a very good Dr. My normal lovely GP is away at the moment and I dont know when he will be back. I feel I may open up to him better but I just dont know.

What if I get there and lose my bottle to tell them the truth about how I feel?

I also feel very pathetic, Internally I am always saying to myself Oh FFS, just sort it out you daft cow - but I just cant when it comes to it.

msnorth Mon 24-Mar-14 13:00:58

Hi there
Glad you had a boost, your dd sounds great and you can take credit for that! Well done for doing all the practical stuff too. I totally understand the feelings you are having.

I went to a GP who was not my usual first, and didn't manage to explain at all, just cried. When I went back I wrote down a note of all the things I was feeling and just handed it over. She then got me to do a little questionnaire to assess what was going on. I'm sure this would help you. Your GP has obviously noticed that you aren't yourself, but s/he, I suppose, would wait for you to say anything before looking into depression/anxiety. Mine is quite business like and scary too but she could recognise the depths I had sunk to.

So please do go, write it down, hand it over. You are not pathetic, you have a massive amount on your plate and self criticism is often a factor in depression. I have done quite a lot of reading/listening to stuff about depression and anxiety the last 2 months and so many of the things I felt were just me being useless, seem to be common traits of depression. I cant believe it has taken me this long to work it out.

Try not to be too hard on yourself.((()))

metoo22 Mon 24-Mar-14 13:03:48

Sorry, that was me ^^ Different name, confused and confusing.

AngelaDaviesHair Mon 24-Mar-14 13:08:52

I second mrsnorth and would just like to add: give yourself permission to be angry, and feel that anger. With your DH for what he's done, with the whole wide world, the universe, whatever. The things that are happening to you are horrible and deeply upsetting. It's not weakness to be so affected by them, it's normal. And in managing to soldier on for the last 2 months, you've actually done incredibly well.

If you're not ready to open up in RL to anyone (but I hope you do) even just writing things down in a notebook may help you.

IN addition to allowing yourself to experience your feelings without self-criticism or reproach, try and start thinking about what you want, where you'd like to be in say 1 year's time. It is very soon to make concrete plans but allow yourself to believe that the future will be better.

idlevice Tue 25-Mar-14 21:25:00

I recall your thread about your relationship & shitty situation your so-called DH has put you in. I'm sorry there has been no fresolution of that. But you have clearly been immensely strong to carry on in any capacity through this. Your lack of drive to do basic things is usually one of the key markers for depression (sleep issues is another), which is not surprising given the circumstances. It could even be depression brought about by the most recent events on top of a longer-term lower level of depression due to previous history of the relationship. So as mentioned by other posters, do get help for this - it is not a weakness to do so, but on the contrary will help you to carry on for the longer term. I really think some form of counselling would be beneficial, particularly if you have been low for a while before these latest events.

Then when you feel ready can you break up the relationship stuff into very small chunks to progress working through. Stuff like thinking about what outcome you really want, then how to get that outcome, asking seeing a lawyer, whatever is appropriate. Relationship counselling, alone or joint, might be worth investigating if they also help with relationships ending (assuming that's what you will decide). Also keep up threads here or on relationships to get moral support.

Please don't damage yourself any further. He has done this only too well for so long. From your post here it sounds like you now know you need external help & are ready for it, which is the first stage of sorting out all the other stuff. Take it slow if you need to but do move forward.

BrighterLight Thu 27-Mar-14 00:36:22

Really great advice so far. Just wanted to add that it sounds like you are reacting in a really normal way, totally undertandable. You are making sense of your situation, it might feel muddled, but you expressed yourself here very well.

It sounds a little bit like you are in shock. The sense of everything changing is huge and a lot like grief. Grief and shock can make us feel 'mad' or as if we are losing it, really it's a natural process and you WILL work this out.

I understand what you are saying about the GP and opening up, perhaps you are trying to work it out yourself but equally you seem to acknowledge the need to share and that in itself can be a huge stabaliser. Is there anyone that can be there for you to chat to? Perphaps you can set aside time each day to sit with yourself and try and un-muddle all your thoughts and feelings.

Above all, try not to judge yourself and as someone above said, be kind, you have been hurt and have lots going on. Take care

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