A nervous breakdown is actually a consequence of some extremely stressful situation, which has so strong negative effect on the person who experiences it that normal functioning becomes impossible. It has to be understood that this term does not describe some particular mental illness and it does not necessarily mean that the person who experiences it has some kind of mental disease. On the contrary, nervous breakdown is a reaction or a response, though not common and normal, to stress or sometimes even to physically or emotionally overwhelming demands. However, it is possible that problems such as depression or anxiety are behind all of it, which definitely requires treatment.
As for the symptoms that tend to develop during the breakdown, they are not the same in every case, and the cause determines them to a great extent as well. In general, they can be divided into physical, emotional and behavioral.Those that characterize nervous breakdown and which are categorized as physical might include a number of gastrointestinal problems, some kind of sleep disruption, and migraine headaches. They might further cause exhaustion, changes in the appetite which are drastic, problems with vision, memory and libido. When it comes to signs and symptoms that are emotional in nature, besides constant anxiety or even panic attacks, indecision, loss of self-esteem, guilt and loss of interest in the social life, as well as work, are some of those that are most commonly present. However, what might also be present is constant crying, and development of alcohol or drug addiction. The most concerning and terrifying is when the person begins to hear voices and see people who are not present at that moment, which influences the development of paranoid thoughts of various kinds, as well as thoughts of dying. Regarding behavior symptoms, nervous breakdown is characterized by drastic changes of mood, weird movements of the body and numerous inappropriate ways of behaving in public places, as well as very strong anger, which can sometimes even be violent. In extreme and very serious cases, the person completely loses the contact with reality due to the presence of hallucinations and psychosis.
What can cause a nervous breakdown?
The fact is that very stressful situations can provoke this kind of response in a person, and they serve as some kind of a trigger. It can be loss of a job, a relationship or marriage that has ended, death of a close person, and many other causes. Besides, there is a number of contributing factors, starting from genetics, to various medical conditions.