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Nervous Breakdown: What are the Causes, Symptoms and Treatments?

Signs of a Nervous Breakdown

Signs of a nervous breakdown - (Image Credit: Shutterstock)

Story At-A-Glance

Because “it’s not whether you get knocked down, it’s whether you get up”- Vince Lombardi

  • When an emotional breakdown happens to you, it might feel like you have lost all control of your feelings because of intense feelings of worry, stress, and anxiety.
  • Symptoms of a nervous breakdown can be psychotic symptoms or work-related burnout.
  • You can have a nervous breakdown and not know it. The term ‘nervous breakdown’ is not a recognized medical term, so it can’t even be diagnosed.
  • The signs of a nervous breakdown are being overwhelmed by feelings of stress and anxiety; unable to carry on with your daily life when you need to see a doctor.

Introduction

Mental and emotional health problems are a huge problem worldwide. Over 300 million people suffer from depression – estimates show that mental health conditions will affect one in four people at some time in their lives! 

Years back, we might have heard parents whispering something like “She had a nervous breakdown,” or “They snapped”. That’s what was said about people who would rush out the office shouting “I just can’t take it anymore!” Later, you heard they had quit their job. It’s only when you or your loved ones are involved do you realize just how precious and important mental health is.

What Is Having a Nervous Breakdown?

Signs and symptoms of a nervous breakdown are when you can’t cope with the present circumstances, and you cannot connect with everyday life.

Symptoms of a nervous breakdown

Let’s look at the causes of a nervous breakdown and the risk factors:

  • A family history of anxiety disorders
  • Insufficient sleep
  • Ongoing stress
  • Recent illness or injury
  • Personal history of anxiety disorders
  • Recent super-stressful events or concerns
  • A feeling of not having support from others

When you feel the signs of a nervous breakdown enveloping and overwhelming you, you need to talk to your doctor and he might refer you to a psychologist or psychiatrist – professionals dealing with a nervous breakdown. 

If you are feeling overwhelmed as if you can no longer cope, don’t slink away, cutting yourself off and becoming an island – there is help. For the causes of a nervous breakdown, reach out for the lifeline that is offered to you in the form of treatment such as medications and changing your lifestyle. Of course, there’s always someone to talk to.   

What Is Considered as Having an Emotional Breakdown?

Thank goodness there are good treatments for a nervous breakdown. “A nervous breakdown is not a mental illness,” says Dr. Erin Engle, PsyD and assistant professor at medical psychology in psychiatry at the Columbia University Health Center.

The term nervous breakdown describes a very stressful situation in which people are temporarily unable to function normally in day-to-day life. She describes symptoms of a nervous breakdown as a “situation in which a person cannot function normally because of overwhelming stress.”

Doctors will take note of the signs of a nervous breakdown such as huge anxiety in people with depressive symptoms, which include suicide and self-harm. These are manifestations that might tell them the beginning of a story.

Also, healthcare providers will offer excellent treatments for a nervous breakdown that can help you recover.

What Are the Causes of Nervous Breakdown?

Causes of Nervous Breakdown
As mentioned above, an emotional breakdown is usually caused by high stress or psychological burnout. This may be due to constant exposure to stressful situations that go out of control.

A nervous breakdown could indicate underlying mental and emotional health problems, such as depression or anxiety – serious enough to require psychiatric attention. Nervous breakdowns can happen to anyone, but they are more likely to occur if you have a personal history of anxiety disorders or if you are experiencing a period of high stress in your life.

Treatments for nervous breakdown can include medications for the chemical imbalance of neurotransmitters that control your brain and nerve signaling. 

How do you feel you might be having a nervous breakdown?

  • You have mental and emotional health problems that are not managed well.
  • You’re abusing the use of drugs and alcohol, maybe even the prescription ones.
  • Your life is stressful to the point of you considering suicide even.
  • You’ve been having panic attacks.
  • You feel numb inside.
  • You don’t mingle with your family and friends.
  • Your life feels unmanageable.

See treatments for a nervous breakdown.

What Are the Symptoms of Having a Nervous Breakdown?

Anxiousness and Depression
Mental and emotional health problems such as anxiousness and depression are the common responses to unbearable stress, which can lead to a nervous breakdown. 

Symptoms of a nervous breakdown can be:

  • Low self-esteem
  • Irritability
  • Fearfulness
  • Worrying
  • Feelings of helplessness
  • Withdrawing from friends and family
  • Getting angry easily
  • Losing interest in your surroundings and favorite activities
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Thoughts of suicide and self-harm
  • Uncontrollable crying
  • Sweating and dizziness

Fortunately, there are fantastic treatments for a nervous breakdown and the above symptoms. Seek medical care by calling 911 if you have thoughts of suicide or self-harm.

An emotional breakdown can occur when your basic needs can’t be met and your symptoms get worse, where you could be a threat to other people.

How Are Mental and Emotional Health Problems Like a Nervous Breakdown Treated Today?

Nervous Breakdown

  • Lifestyle Changes. Treatment for an emotional breakdown can be as simple as changing your lifestyle. You would need to include more relaxation and sleep in your life. Therapy, like talk therapy, can help when you are about to confront stressful periods of your life.

    There are some cases where medications may be required to help you cope with mental and emotional health problems. By receiving therapy and taking medications, nervous breakdowns can usually be avoided or managed.

  • Medications. Pharmacologic interventions such as antidepressants or anti-anxiety[1] medications help with the symptoms of an emotional breakdown. If your stress is causing you to be deprived of sleep, your doctor might even prescribe a sleep aid for you that helps to break the sleeplessness cycle and reduce your stress.

  • Psychotherapy. Also known as “Talk therapy,” psychotherapy helps you to work through any mental and emotional health problems, reducing the risk of experiencing another one. It is good to be able to speak with a professional who can help you to process your thoughts and find solutions that will alleviate your stress and anxiety.

Frequently Asked Questions

There isn’t just one thing that will cause a nervous breakdown but there are quite a few symptoms of a nervous breakdown. But anything that creates excessive stress where you feel like you just can’t go on or take any more can trigger a nervous breakdown.

Your moods will change. Other signs to look out for are hallucinations, outbursts, panic attacks, detachment from reality, fear, breathing difficulties, paranoia, and more. Your doctor will refer you to treatments for a nervous breakdown

It can affect you seriously if you have detached yourself from everything around you and you are no longer able to recognize the signs of a nervous breakdown[2]; to care for yourself.

Yes, that’s the good news! Supplements are beneficial that can include herbs, vitamins, and minerals. Can we name a few of the causes of a nervous breakdown that you would do well to try? Here are more.

  • Passionflower: Some studies suggest passionflower can help with anxiety. But experts say there is insufficient evidence to know for sure.
  • Valerian: Organic valerian contains valerianic, formic, acetic acids, essential oil, starch, resin, glucoside, and alkaloids. In botanic medicine, valerian is classified as antispasmodic, nervine, sedative, carminative, and anodyne. One doctor from 1928, Dr. Manson, in the British Medical Journal, says “valerian was perhaps the earliest method of treating neurosis.” 
  • Chamomile: Extracts from the daisy-like flower may help with anxiety according to clinical studies.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids: Such as anchovies, sardines, and salmon, or fish oil capsules help with the causes of a nervous breakdown. Omega-3 fatty acids are recommended for major depression and bipolar depression, boosting the effectiveness of antidepressants[3].
  • Melatonin: Melatonin[4] is a naturally occurring substance that regulates the circadian rhythms in the body like the sleep and wake cycles. It improves the sleep quality in people with signs of a nervous breakdown, people with schizophrenia, seasonal affective disorder, and major depression.


Have You Heard of Relaxia?

When your loved ones can see that you are showing signs of a nervous breakdown, Relaxia may be able to help! It is specially formulated to help with the manifestations of this condition.

That’s why it’s called Relaxia to help with the symptoms of a nervous breakdown, stress, and anxiety. It’s got ingredients that boost your mood and support your serotonin levels, helping your body to resist the effects of everyday stress. Relaxia is 100% drug-free and contains herbal ingredients. Stay calm and get Relaxia!

Conclusion

Already in the early years of the 21st century, we have seen a worldwide epidemic of poor mental health and illnesses related to it. Even though depression is the condition that we all mostly associate with mental health issues, and even though it is the leading cause of disability worldwide, it isn’t the top mental health concern that people face.

Anxiety is. It is claimed that by 2030, the cost for the treatments for a nervous breakdown and other mental health problems could affect the global economy to the tune of $16 trillion.

When you are maxed out, even the little things can cause you to overflow. Working with a therapist can help you to prioritize and find ways to deal with the stressors of your life. Some will be quick fixes and others will take longer.

The good news is that you don’t have to figure an emotional breakdown out alone. You can take control of your life right now, so you don’t have to have a breakdown again!

God gave us doctors to heal our bodies, and therapists and counselors to heal our minds. When the signs of a nervous breakdown come, and when your cup overflows, know that there are support systems that can help you weather these storms of life.

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