Takeaway. A nervous breakdown is also known as a mental breakdown. The term is not an official diagnosis and is not used by the medical community.
People once used the term “nervous breakdown” to describe a wide range of mental illnesses. The medical community no longer uses the term, but a so-called nervous breakdown remains a sign of an underlying mental health condition, such as depression, anxiety, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
If you suffer a nervous breakdown you may feel extreme anxiety or fear, intense stress, and as if you simply can't cope with any of the emotional demands you feel. This crisis will leave you unable to function normally, to go to work or school, to take care of children, or to do any of your usual activities.
A nervous breakdown can last from a few hours to a few weeks. If your breakdown has been going on for a while, and you need some relief, the following ten tips are for you. They will help you not only survive this difficult time, but they might even help you grow from this difficult experience.
Nearly everyone is familiar with the term “nervous breakdown.” It's a term commonly used by people to describe challenging situations in life with which they cannot cope. In contrast, a psychotic breakdown is a mental health emergency that leads an individual to lose touch with reality.
Some of the most commonly used include: Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), such as citalopram (Celexa), escitalopram oxalate (Lexapro), fluoxetine (Prozac), fluvoxamine (Luvox), paroxetine HCI (Paxil), and sertraline (Zoloft).
When the stress becomes unbearable, it can lead to a nervous breakdown. Studies have shown that stress affects both your mind and your body. Long-term stress can lead to structural changes in the brain, which can affect your memory and lead to difficulty concentrating.
How is a “nervous breakdown” (mental health crisis) treated? The main treatment of psychological or behavioral stress is psychotherapy (talk therapy). A commonly used form of psychotherapy is cognitive behavior therapy (CBT).
A nervous breakdown is ultimately caused by an inability to cope with large amounts of stress, but how that manifests exactly varies by individual. Work stress, mental illness, family responsibilities, and poor coping strategies are all things that can lead to a nervous breakdown and the inability to function normally.
In some instances of nervous breakdown, a hospital stay may be necessary for stabilization and treatment. Reasons to hospitalize a patient include talk of suicide or death, violence toward others, self-harm, symptoms of psychosis such as hallucinations and delusions, or a complete inability to function at all.
It's important to remember that even if you or a loved one is having or has had a mental breakdown, it is a temporary condition. With the right treatment, you, or your loved one, can recover and begin to heal.
Mental health issues do not get better on their own. The longer an illness persists, the more difficult it can be to treat and recover. Untreated anxiety may escalate to panic attacks, and failing to address trauma can lead to post-traumatic stress disorder.
The main difference between Zener breakdown and avalanche breakdown is their mechanism of occurrence. Zener breakdown occurs because of the high electric field. The avalanche breakdown occurs because of the collision of free electrons with atoms. Both these breakdowns can occur simultaneously.
'Nervous breakdown' is not a medical term or a mental health diagnosis, since it does not describe a specific condition. It's a term that is sometimes used conversationally to describe someone who is obviously not coping with stress, worry or anxiety, or who is being overwhelmed by mental health issues.
For instance, a 2017 study suggests that severe mental stress could lead to sudden death from heart disease or cardiovascular issues. In addition, a 2021 study shows that physical and psychological stressors can lead to sudden cardiac death (SCD).
The term "nervous breakdown" is sometimes used by people to describe a stressful situation in which they're temporarily unable to function normally in day-to-day life. It's commonly understood to occur when life's demands become physically and emotionally overwhelming.
Treatment for a nervous breakdown may involve therapy, medication, and self-care or lifestyle changes. Working with a therapist can help someone manage negative emotions, explore the causes of those feelings, and change thoughts and behaviors to minimize stress and better cope with it.
“Rest is perhaps the most curative 'home remedy' for a nervous breakdown.” Hamlett recommends limiting daily obligations and engaging in stress-reducing activities such as watching pleasant television shows, spending time with pets, exercising, spending time in nature, meditating or doing deep-breathing techniques.
When Is It Time to Walk Away? In some cases, the decision to leave is obvious. If physical abuse is present to any degree, and especially if the individual fears for their own life or well-being or that of their children, it's important to leave as soon as possible. Safety is the number one priority.
Types of Anti-anxiety Medications (Benzodiazepines)
Benzodiazepines most commonly used to treat anxiety disorders are clonazepam (Rivotril)*, alprazolam (Xanax) and lorazepam (Ativan).
Anxiety can cause a lot of distress, dysfunction, physical symptoms, and trouble thinking. Not managing anxiety and having stress can be a recipe for a nervous breakdown. Depression is another very common mental health condition, and when left untreated could trigger a nervous breakdown.
A mental breakdown can look different depending on who is having it. A range of behaviors can occur, including a person having an angry or emotional outburst or sudden changes in mood. There are no defined symptoms aside from not being able to function as normal, per Medical News Today.
If you're having a mental health emergency, it's important to get help right away. Though the thought of going to the emergency room (ER) might be daunting, it's often the best way to keep you safe during the crisis. Visiting the ER can connect you with resources that will help you manage and overcome these issues.
Try these options: Call 2-1-1 for general community resources. Call the Central Coast Hotline for mental health guidance and crisis or suicide prevention 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at (800) 783-0607.