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Feel on verge of breakdown

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notrealname

Well-known member
Joined
May 4, 2009
Messages
766
I'm really struggling again with the amount of stress I can feel all of the time. Everything hurts - muscles and joints etc. - and I feel weak and unable to concentrate.

I think I'm just really struggling to keep up with life so I always feel like I'm failing. I can barely sleep at night then don't wake up with my alarm, so every day I am late for work and this makes me stressed right from the beginning. Once at work, I can't concentrate, and I get behind and feel like I'm letting everyone down. I am not keeping up on housework or personal hygiene/organisation, so I barely have any clean clothes, there are no clean plates or crockery, there is no food in the house, and everything is dirty. My new housemate moved in over a month ago and I have still not sorted out a contract, so she is not paying me and I am paying for both of us.

I'm finding it very difficult to eat, which I think is making me feel a lot worse because I am probably not getting enough nutrition. I am also finding it difficult to motivate myself to wash and put clothes on on the days when I am working from home.

I have tried to do some fun things to help, but I went out to the cinema on Sunday with a friend and was on the verge of panic the entire time I was there, feeling an inch from passing out. I managed to calm myself enough to sit there and watch the film, but I was so exhausted by the time the film was over I needed to cancel our plans for dinner and a catch-up so I could just go home and get to bed.

I am no longer enjoying anything. I feel like I'm being crushed from the outside all of the time.

I keep trying to get myself to just take a deep breath and start cracking on with some of these things, just chip away at some of the chores so that I can reduce the relentless sense of pressure and of inadequacy - how can I fail so miserably on all aspects of life?! - but just trying to push myself seems to be doing nothing. I find myself escaping into daydreams and just lying there, ignoring the world, which makes everything so, so, so much worse because I need to just get everything sorted out so that I don't have to go through this anymore.

My housemate is a nightmare. I need to speak to her and put some stuff in action but I can't seem to face anything. I feel like I'm going to black out whenever I think about doing anything about anything in fact, like I'm so overwhelmed I can't even make a start.

I have some money, fortunately, so I am going to hire a cleaner this week for a deep clean to just get our flat back into good shape so that I can focus on maintaining it rather than trying to deal with all this mess and dirt all at once. That should help. Once that is done, I can safely allow the landlord to come round to sign a new contract, then that's done. These things SHOULD be relatively easy to sort....SHOULD...

Since I left therapy just over two years ago I have had three "breakdowns" during which everything fell apart and I have not been able to work or really do anything. I feel like I am not making improvements despite all of my efforts because here we are again.

I'm at the end of my tether with myself, I don't know what to do. I wish I could just press some kind of restart button, I'm so stressed out!
 
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baynesm3

Member
Joined
Dec 29, 2015
Messages
18
hey :) i've had some of these symptoms myself. when i do something that i have a lack of confidence with, i'll feel some level of discomfort somewhere on my body. i have found lots of different ways to manage those feelings whenever i'm doing something that i have a lack of confidence doing. getting better over the long term takes some time, and its been about taking small steps to get myself moving in a more positive, capable direction. its OK to make mistakes, everyone does. in my mind, everybody is equal. no one is better than anyone else. each person has unique abilities and strengths to contribute to the greater good.

try listening to some relaxing music that you like before bed to help yourself doze off. take some time to think of other ways that you can ease your mind and feel like your ready to go for the next day. if you feel prepared for tomorrow, you'll have less to think about tonight. make sure you give yourself credit for having the courage to make an honest attempt at something as well...you CAN find something that works, so if a solution to an issue doesn't present itself right away, try to let it be and allow yourself to relax and refresh.

Does that help?
 
Nikita

Nikita

ACCOUNT CLOSED
Joined
Jun 20, 2015
Messages
4,931
Hi notrealname,
I understand you feeling under pressure and overwhelmed.It sounds like you need a good long rest with a few days just resting,sleeping and chillin.the idea of hiring a cleaner to set the flat straight is an excellent one.Maybe sort that asap and then find the time to rest and chill is my advice.Maybe see the doctor about being close to a breakdown see if they can help with counseling,medication or a support worker.Also make it a priority to get your new housemate paying their way and helping with the chores?

I hope you get it sorted soon and get rest and feel better,I hope the GP can help you too!
You are not failing I just think you probably are exhausted and need a long holiday even if you don't leave to go anywhere,just stay home and get lots of rest.Nikitax
 
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notrealname

Well-known member
Joined
May 4, 2009
Messages
766
Thanks everybody. I did all the washing up last night and that has made me feel slightly better.

I think the main issue is sleep. I think if I could sleep reliably then everything would be a lot easier. Being constantly sleep deprived (does not seem to matter what time I go to bed...) means I'm constantly struggling during the day and I think that's why I'm so miserable and why I'm avoiding everything. Apart from the things I mentioned in this thread (which are all caused by me avoiding things!!) I have literally nothing to be stressed about.

I need to register at a GP (been planning to do that for two years but I have never been able to organise myself enough to do it) so that I know that's there, although to be honest last time I completely crashed I went to two GPs and several charities and there was no help on offer. I've technically already had all the support, you see, so there isn't really anything new they can teach me. I think my problem is that I'm not making good enough use of the things I've learned. I really ought to be doing mindfulness practice every day but I never do it! I should be practicing good sleep hygiene but I'm shit at that too. I drink too much caffeine and I stare at my computer screen all evening.

I think getting this cleaner will help because at least then I'll be in a less stressful environment and that might instantly lift my mood enough to help me sleep. If I could just get the sleep sorted I think I could cope with everything else.

I have noticed over the years that I have trouble ever completely relaxing too. When I do relax I get myoclonic jerks - most people get them when they're going to sleep but I get them throughout the day if I try to relax my muscles - which I've had for the past 10 years. I don't mind the jerks, they don't bother me, but I guess they are a sign I'm still very wound up, and they do make it difficult to ever rest completely. My body seems to think it is never really safe to relax so it's almost like it doesn't let me! The only reason I can think of for the underlying chronic stress is the feeling that there is no comfort in life...like I've got this outlook that you have to solider on, but I don't really know how to get any kind of comfort from anything. I don't know if that even makes sense! I noticed yesterday that whenever the thought 'I can't cope' comes into my mind when things are like this, I just kind of shut it down and say something like 'you have to, you have no other option' and then try to keep managing. I'm wondering whether I need to rethink coping mechanisms here and whether if my response to 'I can't cope' is always 'keep going' that might be a problem. Whether maybe I ought to respond to that thought differently, like maybe there's something I could do at that point that would actually help me cope?
 
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notrealname

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Joined
May 4, 2009
Messages
766
Ah...actually....writing this down to you all has helped. I don't feel like there's any comfort because I basically never comfort myself. I don't have a bath, or treat myself to something nice, or in any way luxuriate. Ever. All of my clothes I've had for a decade, I haven't had a hair cut in God knows how long, I don't wear makeup, I don't even bother to get the flat repaired when things break. I think the stress comes from self neglect and the self neglect kind of comes from stress too, but really I need to purposefully put aside time for me to be nice to myself and do something nice for myself. Like a bath, or a cup of hot chocolate, or scented candles while I listen to my favourite album or something, you know? I never ever do those things.

I come to this very conclusion every six months and it makes perfect sense to me every time that I crave for those things and need to be doing them. Then I instantly forget, apparently, and continue to just ignore myself.
 
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notrealname

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Joined
May 4, 2009
Messages
766
Gah...ok....it's like it's all just hit me at once in the last ten minutes. I am working from home this morning but need to be in the office this afternoon (like I have to be).

Last year, I collapsed twice in public due to exhaustion and I feel very unwell like that might happen again. This is stressing me out because I'm so embarrassed to phone my new boss and say: You know that urgent thing at the office we've been waiting for for months? Yeah? Well I don't feel well. And yeah I know I was off sick last week. Also, I have to be up super early tomorrow for a 9am meeting in a different city. My job is demanding and I am so behind. And I just wish I could sleep. I'm so incredibly exhausted. Sorry for all these posts, I'm really feeling on the verge. I just feel like I'm going to collapse, this is awful.
 
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baynesm3

Member
Joined
Dec 29, 2015
Messages
18
when was the last time you talked to your boss about how your feeling? also, is there someone that you trust, that you can bounce ideas off of, that you can genuinely problem solve with? asking yourself questions that foster personal growth and well being really makes a difference, like: how can i take better care of myself consistently? who can i model that is satisfied with their lives? how can i use uncertain situations to my advantage and find ways to grow and learn from them? what are a couple things i can try today, or do a little bit differently, to give myself a chance of a better result in the future?

does that make sense?
 
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notrealname

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May 4, 2009
Messages
766
Thanks, yes, I have a therapist but I'm not entirely sure they're right for me. I dont' really talk to my boss about this stuff, I don't really want to do so at the moment. Maybe if things get really bad, I don't know. I haven't been there long (a month).

When it comes to how can I take better care of myself it's definitely to do with not avoiding things and keeping a routine. If I could get to that point - only been trying for a decade or more!! - then that would help me enormously but I don't really understand why I won't just do it. I don't notice myself avoiding at all, because I disappear into daydreams and then the time is just gone. I don't really mind uncertain situations, to be honest. It's more responsibility that stresses me out. I think I probably feel overresponsible sometimes and that's why. At the moment, one thing that stresses me out, for instance, is that I have just applied for a six-week contract doing something that would strengthen my career in my dream job. If I got that job, I would have to ask my current (new!) employer if I could drop to part-time hours within those six weeks (2 days rather than 5) because the contract is a 3-day one. I would also have to move to London for those six weeks and the pay isn't great. The thing that bothers me most about that is that I feel like my boss will be upset because I feel like she needs me and I would be letting her down. That's what I mean by overresponsibility, I guess, that's what ends up stressing me. I feel like everything will fall apart if I'm not there to hold it up, which I think is unrealistic. I wouldn't mind too much if she preferred to just find someone else and drop me (I think I would still be in probation period anyway), because I'm sure I'd find another job. It's more the idea that she depends on me. But I'm sure she doesn't. I'm sure she would not get too stressed and she would be able to find a replacement. This feeling that other people need me is basically a big stressor.

Other people would just be excited about their dream job!
 
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baynesm3

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Dec 29, 2015
Messages
18
i think it might be a good idea to at least talk to your boss and let them know what you're thinking. i know its a tough thing to do, but at least you can get a bit closer to an understanding of how you both feel about the situation. try typing out what you would say to her if you were actually having a conversation. maybe she can relate to your situation on some level.
 
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baynesm3

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Dec 29, 2015
Messages
18
whether you talk to your roommate about helping out with the bills, or your boss about pursuing job opportunities/advancements, you'll be doing yourself a huge favour by breaking the ice in one of these situations that could use some clarification.

i've been in scenarios before where i had something on my mind that needed to be brought up and talked through. about 6 years ago, i was battling depression and living with a roommate who was also battling depression. i was the one doing the house chores most of the time, and would ask him to take his turn doing dishes, and he would just lie and say he just them. we didn't talk much for a long time, and then i eventually was so fed up that i told him i was moving out. at the time, i was in the closet, which is why i was depressed in the first place....so i needed my own space to start accepting myself as bisexual. just telling him that i was moving out took so much weight off my shoulders.

about a year later i was still in the closet to everyone but myself, and it was becoming really painful, so i decided to visit my mom and tell her that i was working on accepting my sexuality. it took a lot of courage for me to actually say that to her, but once i did it was such a relief.

its tough to assert yourself to others sometimes, but it gets a lot easier as you get more comfortable doing it. there's no perfect way to approach people when you're feeling anxious about it, but the sooner the better.

does that make sense?
 
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notrealname

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Joined
May 4, 2009
Messages
766
I think with my boss I'm not saying anything unless I get this other job. I'm going to take the other job if I get it, but there's no use making the working relationship strained by revealing my disloyalty if I'm not going to get the other job.

The other housemate is the depressed one who does all the housework, actually. I'm the depressed one who does barely anything (but does actually own up to that...) and does her best to ignore her flatmate. The flatmate is a drunk. I didn't realise until she moved in. Just had some news about her today which has forced me to decide to move her out. So that solves one problem. She's too unstable to live with me.

I think that's the only thing I'm not talking about - I should have confronted her about her drinking a long time ago, but stupidly I was 'waiting until she's sober' before we have the conversation because I thought it would go better if she wasn't drunk at the time and I thought she might forget the conversation ever happened. Of course, she was drunk by the time I got back from work every day so I didn't get to speak to her. But my reasoning was rational, so I'm not too angry at myself for that. Chucking her out will solve my problems anyway in that regard.

I don't know if I've explained badly here, I'm not sure there is any uncertainty in my life - or very little anyway. If I don't get the other job, that's ok, there will be others. If I do, I'm going to take it. So that's not bothering me (although I guess I do feel bad for my boss, so I imagine I will feel anxious about it if I do get the job and I have to tell my boss I'm leaving/cutting down my hours). But I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.

As far as assertiveness goes, not speaking to my flatmate about the drinking was about the scale of it. The things I was avoiding were mostly just 'life itself' because I find it is unfulfilling, although I've made some decisions about that now. I used to do so many things I found enjoyable and my life felt fuller, so I'm making a list of what those were and planning to go back to them.

Maybe anxiety was just the wrong way to phrase this? Sorry if this is frustrating for people I realise you're trying to give advice. I'm not actually worried about anything. I think I'm more just unfulfilled and bored and then I start avoiding things because what's the point? And then because I'm avoiding or procrastinating, it stresses me out because things get on top of me (suddenly there's tons of work because I haven't done any, for e.g.; or suddenly the house is a tip because I haven't moved off the sofa in three weeks...) The pressure of that stresses me, but if I kept on top of it it really wouldn't stress me.

I guess this is more like depression than anxiety in retrospect.
 
S

Stray

Guest
Hi, I'm sorry you're struggling. I think you had doubts about having this new housemate from the start? So hope that it helps once you've managed to talk to them. Sorry not much use, but I empathise with the feeling of being overwhelmed by it all xx
 
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baynesm3

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Dec 29, 2015
Messages
18
I think its great that you're going to take action and get back into doing things that you love! Would you post some of the items that go on your list of fulfilling things? I'm interested to know what some of those are :)
 
C

Clum76

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Feb 12, 2016
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25
I was once asked by a therapist if I would speak to a friend or treat a friend th way I treat myself I said no ,she said that I needed to be nicer to myself and treat myself like I would treat a friend !So doing little things for yourself eg A haircut, a pamper,movie and a really nice meal whatever would cheer you up I even buy myself flowers sometimes !Try not to do everything at once maybe just clear an area at a time in your flat ,also ask your flatmate to help out with a bit of cleaning ! Maybe once u have had this deep clean you could come up with a rota so that you booth contribute towards keep ing the flat tidy !
 
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notrealname

Well-known member
Joined
May 4, 2009
Messages
766
I think its great that you're going to take action and get back into doing things that you love! Would you post some of the items that go on your list of fulfilling things? I'm interested to know what some of those are :)
Thanks :) Really sweet of you to ask!

So I'm basically going to try and stop myself from using the internet so much since so much time gets swallowed by it. When I didn't have internet at home, I had to make my own entertainment when I was bored and I was really productive and really "had a life", if you see what I mean. I think just having a life gives you a sense of pride.

The things I used to do when I was bored include:
1) Write music
2) Make clothes
3) Craft or make things by hand just for the sake of it (I made a recipe book, for example)
4) Go to the cinema
5) Read a book
6) Go for a walk
7) Go to art galleries or events
8) Go to live music gigs
9) Learn new things (so languages, or new skills, or - I guess I'll need the internet for this - but Coursera courses and stuff).

All that stuff has fallen away as I've got older. Partly because I work and have less time and energy, but also partly because I come home and get suckered into the internet instead of living. I know I'm going to feel better about myself and about my life if I start using my time to actually do things instead, like reading, and creating things, and going out to see things. So that's my basic plan :) If you have to create your own entertainment, you do it, and you find fun things to do.

I think I need to get more social too, but I was thinking maybe I can think of which friends might want to do this stuff with me. I already go to the cinema once a week with one of my friends (we are both big film buffs so we sit around and have dinner and analyse the film afterwards, which I love!); and I was at a friend's house last night to crochet and have a chat. Next week I'm taking a couple of friends to a place where you paint your own pottery. We've been a few times before and it's always fun. I used to organise monthly hikes with a group of friends but need to get back on that. I also think I should just keep my eye out for gigs I'd like to see because I don't mind going alone, and I could always try inviting people too to see if they like it.

Part of the reason everything fell away is because I work outside of work. I have a dayjob, then I have my career - a creative career I'm working on (this is the potential six week contract if I get it...working for a broadcaster in a creative capacity). I need my life to be a bit less about work, though, so I'm still going to set aside an hour a day to do what I want to do with my career, but I'm going to use the other hours to be doing stuff I enjoy.

Oh, also, travelling. I want see Eastern Europe so I'm going to start having city breaks at the weekends.
 
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