Nervous breakdown is something that most of the people mention in a colloquial speech. Usually, people are saying they have a nervous breakdown whenever a certain situation is very upsetting, or if they feel they are overwhelmed by stress. However, nervous breakdown is far more complex, and it is usually used to describe an acute phase of a specific disorder that presents with main features of depression and anxiety.
History of nervous breakdown
In the past, this term was often used even by the medical experts of that time, to describe a great diversity of mental disorders. Today it is often used only in colloquial speech and it is not considered a medical term. It does not bear any kind of association to certain specific mental illness even though it may indicate a sufferer has some underlying mental health problem, usually anxiety or depression. Nervous breakdown is also known as a mental breakdown. It does not have any kind of specific definition but usually involves situations in which a person fails to complete normal life activities due to emotional difficulties.
Signs and symptoms of a nervous breakdown
There are no specific signs and symptoms of a nervous breakdown. In general, the manifestation of a nervous breakdown may vary from person from person and may be dependent on the underlying cause. Typically, a nervous breakdown is declared when a person is no longer able to function normally. Sometimes, the sufferer will have difficulties in following normal and healthy patterns of sleeping, eating and personal hygiene. A person may start to avoid other people, miss already scheduled appointments and restrain from any kind of social engagements. Very often, these individuals will stop going to work, school, or express some other kind of unusual or dysfunctional behaviors.
Causes of a nervous breakdown
Nervous breakdown may occur because of many different causes. In most cases, people are finding it very hard to cope with problems with intimate relationships, divorces or marital separations. Problems at work or school as well as financial problems, contribute to a great number of nervous breakdowns. Health problems can also cause a nervous breakdown, the same way as any other stressful situation causes impairment in day-to-day functioning.
Prevention and treatment of nervous breakdown
It is important to seek medical help whenever a person feels concerned about a nervous breakdown. Doctors can help to determine what exactly causes the change in behavior and tailor the appropriate treatment method, based on the signs and symptoms the sufferer complains about. It is also important to distinguish nervous breakdown from acute stress disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder, and any other type of similar disorders.