The Benefits of a Nervous Breakdown

Below is an excerpt from my book, “Eye-locks and Other Fearsome Things.”  In this section of my book I am describing to my therapist a theory I had researched in grad school before my psychotic break with reality at age 28, long before I was to start my life over from scratch as a conceptually-challenged yet more feeling person.  Breakdowns can destroy cognitive functioning. It did for me. While I was never ever good at conceptual thinking, the breakdown has made it virtually impossible to understand even the most basic concepts.  Despite being on medications for Bipolar Disorder, my mind simply does not work as it once did. This is often humiliating and frustrating though I am mostly okay with it.

Yet, in the past few months, I found Mooji and am following his path– something I thought I would never do because Buddhism was so “beyond” me.  And I find myself following many Buddhist blogs. Many times reading such posts and poetry sail way above my comprehension.  But this, too, is good.  It is humbling and it deprives the ego of its food supply, which according to Mooji, is good.  A “chop” at the ego-self is needed over and over again in order to be in the Presence.  But the mind still yearns to understand.

For what it is worth here is the excerpt from a therapy session in which I describe my “theory” to my therapist.  What is synchronicitous is that the theory sounds somewhat Buddhist in nature.  It opens with me talking to my therapist, or rather, reading from my notebook, because I found it difficult to talk at times.


“Alpha = life in utero.  Birth = the end of life in utero—  death of a sort, a seeming death.  Birth is entering the world of light— Reality.

“Reality is too much.  People need to escape— to regress.  Therefore, the mind goes into altered states of consciousness.” I look up and stop reading and explain.  “I studied this when I was in graduate school.  I hit upon the literature of altered states of consciousness while I was in a Psych class doing a research paper on creativity and I became obsessed with the topic.  I nearly had a breakdown then because I wasn’t eating or sleeping or going to classes.  All I was doing was this research and writing.  A friend in the dorm used to make sure I ate something.  But all that time I felt like I was banging my head against a brick wall.  The material was difficult and I was afraid I was really going off the deep end and writing far out stuff. But in the end the professor gave me an A+ on the paper…”

“Anyhow,” I say as I start to read from my notebook again, “many altered states of consciousness have been found to coincide with the production of alpha brain wave patterns.”  I stop reading again and say, “I know this first hand because I did biofeedback once and the feeling you get when you’re producing alpha waves is the same as the one you get in mystical experiences and meditation.  Altered states of consciousness typically occur under conditions of sensory deprivation or sensory overload because overloading the system shuts it down, so in effect it becomes a condition of sensory deprivation.  The first experience of sensory deprivation occurs in the womb.  The ultimate form of sensory deprivation is death.  Death is a return to the womb.  The womb of the earth.  Therefore, Alpha = Omega.”


So there it is in a nutshell.  The book is mainly an emotional chronicle of relationships, and finding love, despite being very handicapped by Bipolar Disorder and Asperger’s Syndrome and OCD.  If you would like to purchase it for $2.95 please click on the link below:


8 responses

  1. A breakdown can be a ‘reset’ button sometimes, and as such, I would agree with you; it can become a place of positive regrowth.

    Liked by 1 person

    March 6, 2015 at 1:56 PM

    • Yes, sometimes it is the only way to break “through” the shell of the ego. Thank you so much for adding your thoughts. xx ellen

      On Fri, Mar 6, 2015 at 1:56 PM, MOONSIDE wrote:


      Liked by 1 person

      March 6, 2015 at 1:58 PM

  2. Genie

    I’m glad you mentioned biofeedback, it’s a fascinating science, when I used to have migraines, it was explained to me that the blood flow went to the heart in a migraine, due to the ‘fight flight’ reflex being triggered, thus, having the blood flow normally again, through learning biofeedback would reverse a migraine — and it did for me. Eventually, I discovered that the migraines were caused from an allergy to hidden sulphites in foods, so I don’t have them anymore, however, biofeedback can help all kinds of physical and mental problems, including stress, mind blowing how this alternative therapy does not have a wider audience and that the pharmaceutical companies are still the main ‘fix it’, however, the side effects are usually very harsh, so it’s important to try alternative therapies.

    Great article, Elllen.

    Liked by 1 person

    March 7, 2015 at 4:05 PM

    • Thanks so much for your very interesting comment, Genie. I find biofeedback so intriguing and effective. I have 2-4 migraines a week but my neurologist has never mentioned biofeedback or allergies. She just keeps wanting me to go on meds I can’t take. Would be interested to hear your story. And glad you liked the article!! Thank you, Ellen


      March 9, 2015 at 1:20 PM

  3. “Reality is too much”, that’s for sure Ellen, and that urge to retreat must me handled carefully.

    Liked by 1 person

    March 7, 2015 at 4:32 PM

    • Yes, overstimulation is a problem for those on the autism spectrum. A major problem! Thank you for writing, Maria. Your posts continue to amaze me. xx ellen


      March 9, 2015 at 1:22 PM

  4. Breakdowns also destroy memory (in my experience in 1998). Now I can’t multitask and my short-term memory is both selective (and appalling). It seems as though my brain was so full in 1998 it burst, and now……if I put something new in my memory bank, something else has to fall out of it to stop it overflowing.
    These days in enforced retirement due to chronic illness and pain, I practice Mindfulness every day. I’ve stopped trying to ‘remember’ and started concentrating on only one thing at once.

    Every time my email inbox gets too full, I allow myself the pleasure of deleting everything that is not important to this day. I give myself the freedom of being Me (and not having to follow mainstream lifestyle and thought patterns).

    It’s both liberating and beats the Brain Fog that envelopes me in times of Stress.

    I think you’ll find many of us find solace and understanding in Buddhism. Regardless of which form of Buddhism you follow, there’s something in the concepts that allows us to feel free. I’m not a Buddhist, but do enjoy reading the philosophy.

    Liked by 1 person

    April 26, 2016 at 1:25 AM

    • Thank you so much for your comfortingredients comment. We do the best we can. Yes, my doctor said breakdowns can leave permanent damage. I have accepted that and all the other things that are happening. What terrifies me is something bad happening to my husband!! Thanks for writing!! God bless!!

      Liked by 1 person

      April 26, 2016 at 8:27 PM

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