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Guide To Surviving Your First Mental Breakdown Abroad

Here’s how to deal with mental problems when you are abroad!

If you are feeling a combination of stress that makes you moody and causes you to stay in bed more often than usual - you might be headed for a mental breakdown.

While it is common to experience stress in our everyday lives, being all alone while studying abroad can bring with it a unique combination of stress revolves around school work, social relationships and even homesickness.

Understanding the signs of a mental breakdown is important before you can begin to manage it and prevent and further breakdowns from happening.

5 Signs Of A Possible Mental Breakdown

What is a nervous breakdown?

It is a period of extreme mental distress. During this time, you may be feeling depressed, anxious, and stressed out.

The build-up towards a mental or nervous breakdown slowly creeps in and before you know it, you might suffer a sudden panic attack that might seem to come from nowhere.

Here are five signs to take note:

  • You gradually feel its harder to get out of bed or motivate yourself to accomplish tasks
  • There is a drop in your appetite or you suddenly begin binge eating
  • Your mind gets bombarded constantly with negative thoughts
  • You find it hard to focus when it comes to your schoolwork
  • You suffer from erratic mood swings, going from happy to sad within hours or minutes

While individually, they might not be sure-fire signs of an impending mental breakdown, collectively they are a major red flag for you to start taking steps to surviving a mental breakdown or even preventing one!

7 Ways To Survive Your First Mental Breakdown

1. Find An International Doctor’s Office In Your Campus

doctor office

Student depression is a more common phenomenon than you think. Most campuses in Universities have such offices that help international students that have difficulty adjusting to school life.

Making an appointment to speak to a qualified doctor can help you address any stress you might be feeling.

  1. Join An International Student’s Group

Getting together with other foreign students will not only help you with advice on getting settled, but you could also make new friends that will consistently build you up!

  1. Start Or Maintain A Regular Exercise Routine

It is a scientific fact that exercising helps to release endorphins that will make you feel good - so get off the couch and go for a run or a session in the gym consistently!

  1. Continuing Being Productive As Possible In Your Studies

While this will help you maintain your grades and prevent further stress from accumulating, consistency is one of the best ways to discipline yourself and build up your emotional resilience.

  1. Start Making Local Friends

Feeling lost and can’t adapt to the local culture? Finding some local friends is a perfect way to acclimatise to your new home for the next few years with a human touch!

Plus, you will get to know all the best places to shop and eat!

  1. Travel Around Your New Study Destination

Whether it be the UK or Australia, each country is a treasure trove of adventures just waiting to be explored. Travel around the country at your leisure and soak in their history and heritage and take your mind off the stresses of everyday life.

  1. Maintain Regular Contact With Family & Friends Back Home

contact family members

A phone call a day or a Skype session a week might sound difficult, but staying connected to your family back home is one of the best ways to know people care deeply about you.

After all, that is what family is for!

Stay Healthy & Mentally Strong

If you’ve recently suffered from a mental breakdown, understand that you aren’t the first and won’t be the last. What is most important is how you will take care of yourself going forward.

Understand the signs of impending stress and try the above 7 tips to help minimise the chances of another breakdown from happening ever again.


What to do when you have a mental breakdown overseas”.

The Dark Side of Studying Abroad and How to Address It”.

Travel and Mental Health”.

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