The experience, for me at least, takes anywhere from two hours to two days. As short as it is, it’s acute. And there’s typically a pattern to it. It takes place sometimes a couple of times a month. The busier I am the more often I succumb. I love being with people and helping them, which is my life purpose, but too much of it – and especially too much to do – and it becomes a task and a burden and I begin to burnout. The breakdown for me is the first sign of burnout. I cannot help but respond because my mind begins to slow to a stop, warning me of the time I need to take to reboot. When I take the time I need, including the time to completely discharge my emotional energies, I’m only hours or a night’s sleep from the recovery of my hope.
It’s different for others, but there are always similarities. The subconscious mind does not only have dreams through which to express itself – we bury the stresses of life and baggage of our uglier encounters only so far. We always have to deal with it eventually, and even if these things aren’t our problem, many of us are paid/called to bear others’ burdens, so these are the occupational hazards.
The theory converts nicely into practice: allow the experience of breakdown, and do not fear it, for breakdown precedes recovery and through redemption there’s hope.
There’s no shame in the depressions and breakdowns common to daily life. So long as we’re honest we recover.