*Disclaimer: This post may be triggering to anyone who has been through this experience. I am not a licensed professional dealing with mental health disorders. I am simply writing from my own experience to try to help others who may find themselves in my situation.
I don’t remember.
Did I have to wear a hospital gown every day?
Did you come and see me?
What did I do all day in the hospital?
Bits and pieces, shards of memories of my time in the hospital last year are still there but much of my memory from that time is a blank spot.
I remember losing all control.
“I don’t want to be here anymore.”
Just an overwhelming sadness. Darkness.
“Why? Why was I here?”
No one expects their life to spiral out of control to this point but that’s what happened.
I remember doing lots of puzzles. It was calming and comforting to me. A past time carried over from my summers growing up at the lake doing puzzles with my Gran.
Grilled cheese. Gooey. Pancakes, fluffy. The meals weren’t that bad.
I remember the yellow walls in my room. Cheerful yet stark. No mirror. The room brightened by flowers. I had colored pencils and notebooks for sketching and cards from you my friends and family.
Arts and crafts time. I looked forward to this every day. Molding clay, colorful creations.
We had therapy. It was intense. It awoke me from feeling numb. I listened. I took notes. I wept.
How to Help a Loved One Through A Severe Mental Health Breakdown #mentalhealth #mentalhealthawarenessTweet
Apparently I thought it was funny that, “I can’t leave,” I would tell you my friends or an alarm would sound. I was stuck in this place with so many other people struggling.
But it’s where I needed to be. I needed help to climb out of the darkness.
And that’s where you all stepped in. Friends and family helping me to heal and to begin the process of piecing myself back together. You were there for me along with the therapists and medical health professionals given the task of caring for me and keeping me safe.
You wrapped around me. You came to visit me every day. You brought me your smiles, your laughter. You told me stories. You told me I would be ok but you acknowledged that I wasn’t. You let me be sad. You let me tell you exactly what I was going through. You brought me love and kindness. You didn’t let me feel alone.
What can you do when your loved one suffers a severe mental breakdown?
- Affirm that what they are going through is ok.
- Make sure they are safe.
- Allow them to talk about what they are feeling without being judgmental.
- Encourage them to get help-licensed therapists either inpatient or outpatient can be of huge help.
- Let them cry.
- If they enter an inpatient program visit them and write them letters. Let them know that you are there and that you care and are thinking about them.
- If needed contact help.
SAMHSA’s National Helpline – 1-800-662-HELP (4357)
SAMHSA’s National Helpline is a free, confidential, 24/7, 365-day-a-year treatment referral and information service (in English and Spanish) for individuals and families facing mental and/or substance use disorders.
I hope in writing this post that you will understand a little more about me and what I have been through recently. I am only now beginning to be able to talk about this so openly and I hope that in my sharing that I might be able to help someone in need.