Monthly Archives: July 2010

Guest Post: How To Have a Mental Breakdown in 11 Easy Steps

Have you ever wondered to yourself, “How can I add more stress to my life?” Of course, we all have. But now, for the first time ever, comes a comprehensive guide to take the guesswork out of getting stressed. Never before has such a thorough, step-by-step guide to your very own mental breakdown been published, be it online or off. If you can master these easy to follow instructions, you too can be the envy of all your friends and find yourself well on your way to a life you’ve only dreamed of!

  1. Treat traffic jams exactly as they are: carefully planned and sinister conspiracies designed to keep you from your destination.
  2. Pack your day so full that you are not distracted by superficial things like the sunset, the smell of roses, or the toddler smiling at you from across the grocery aisle.
  3. Avoid the time wasting activity known as sleep. For best results, try to keep it under four or five hours per night.
  4. Take everything seriously because, obviously, it is.
  5. Don’t fall into the trap of expecting big, amazing, wonderful things to happen. They probably won’t and you’ll just end up disappointed anyway. And while you’re at it, pat yourself on the back for outgrowing the silly practice of believing in things like Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, and God.
  6. Make sure you eat most meals either in the car, near the microwave, or from your recliner. If someone invites you to join them for a dinner that is likely to last more than fifteen minutes, respectfully decline.
  7. Don’t bother asking questions. You probably know all the answers anyway. If you don’t, just act like you do. And remember, “Because we’ve always done it this way” is a perfectly good answer to a almost every question.
  8. You can take some time for yourself, but only if you’re caught up on all of your work, your e-mail inbox is completely empty, your bills are paid, and your junk mail has all been alphabetically sorted. And the grass has been cut.
  9. If someone drags you on some sort of “vacation,” be sure to bring your beeper. Also, figure out the total time you’ll be on said “vacation” and plan things to do and see that will accommodate roughly double or triple that time.
  10. Spend most of your waking hours — remember, you should be shooting for about 20 of those a per day — doing things that completely drain you. You know, the stuff you’d never do in a million years if they didn’t pay you such a good salary.
  11. If all else fails and you forget the other guidelines, a handy shortcut is to observe a child and do the exact opposite.

As you can see, a complete and utter mental breakdown does not require any extraordinary skills. By following these simple steps, literally anyone can have one. However, a failure to comply with the majority of the steps listed here may result in a life that is less-stressed and more fun and fulfilling. Good luck!


Jason Kotecki is a mild-mannered cartoonist, speaker, and author with the mission of helping people diagnose, treat, and cure cases of Adultitis. He is the creator of the hilarious internationally-known comic strip, Kim & Jason, and the author of “Escape Adulthood: 8 Secrets from Childhood for the Stressed-Out Grown-Up.” Read his blog, listen to his podcast, reminisce about your own childhood and sign up to receive free comics and tips on escaping adulthood at

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