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Recognizing the Warning Signs of a Breakdown

When we are about to experience a breakdown in our mental health and/or hit rock bottom with our addiction, sometimes there are warning signs. We can look out for these in ourselves and others, to help us try to prevent a serious crash. Some of these warning signs are also symptoms we might experience during manic episodes of bipolar depression.

Panic attacks

A panic attack can feel as severe as a heart attack. We can feel tightness and pain in our chests, lungs, backs and heads. It can feel impossible to breathe. We can feel a heat rising inside of us. We might feel like we’re going crazy, or like we might die.


When we are in a state of heightened anxiety and panic, sometimes our sleep is the first thing to go. We might experience insomnia and be unable to fall and/or stay asleep. Our substance use can also impact our ability to sleep.


When we are experiencing a manic episode or a high before the crash, we might be hyperactive and talk more, louder and faster than usual. We might feel like we’re spinning in circles, and to other people we might appear like we’re cycling out of control. We might say and do things that seem irrational and that don’t make sense to us or to the people around us.


We might start to have trouble processing our thoughts and difficulty remembering things. We might not be able to comprehend basic things. We might feel like we’re in a fog of confusion. We might feel totally lost and hopeless.


We might start to use our drug of choice more than we normally do. We might binge on sex with multiple partners. We might spend days on end watching TV, overeating or playing video games.


Before a crash, many of us start acting recklessly and dangerously. We stop taking safety precautions, and we stop taking care of ourselves. We might do things like drive drunk, have unprotected sex, or start fights. We might spend money frivolously.

A breakdown can be a terrifying experience. When we know some of the signs to look for, we can help prevent one in ourselves and our loved ones. We can check in with each other regularly and offer our support.

The community at Enlightened Solutions has years of experience helping people recover. Contact us today for more information on how we can help you.

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