Nervous Breakdown: Learn About It's Causes, Symptoms, And Recovery

Have you ever been overwhelmed with the emotional and physical stress in life? You could be having a nervous breakdown. Learn more about the condition.

Arushi Bidhuri
Written by: Arushi BidhuriUpdated at: Aug 29, 2019 16:13 IST
Nervous Breakdown: Learn About It's Causes, Symptoms, And Recovery

Have you ever been overwhelmed with the emotional and physical stress in life? Everyone has at some point experienced a situation wherein they have been unable to cope with the emotional and physical demands of life. A stressful situation in which a person is not able to function normally in their day-to-day life is described as a “nervous breakdown”. 

However, “nervous breakdown” is not a medical term. It is a condition used to describe an unknown underlying medical condition, such as depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), etc. 

What are the Symptoms of Nervous Breakdown? 

Since the condition is not exactly a medical term, the signs and symptoms of nervous breakdown depend on the underlying mental health problem and an individual. However, some common signs and symptoms of a nervous breakdown include:

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  • Feeling irritated 
  • Feeling depressed or anxious 
  • Disrupted sleeping patterns 
  • Unhealthy eating habits 
  • Lack of concentration 
  • Thoughts of suicides or self-harm 
  • Insomnia 
  • Hallucinations 
  • Extreme mood swings 
  • Difficulty in breathing 
  • Panic attacks, including chest pain, dizziness, and upset stomach 
  • Avoiding social gatherings 
  • Not maintaining proper hygiene 
  • Isolation 

What Causes Nervous Breakdown?


There are numerous reasons why a person may experience a nervous breakdown. It could be due to a lot of stress and pressure. A slow buildup of stress leads to a nervous or mental breakdown. Some situations that might lead to the crisis include: 

  • A traumatic event in life such as a recent death of a close one 
  • Continuous work stress 
  • Financial crisis 
  • Too many responsibilities at once 
  • Academic pressure 
  • Some kind of physical or mental abuse 

Treatment of Nervous Breakdown

Treatment of nervous breakdown depends on an individual’s diagnosis, which may differ. When people seek treatment for the condition, it is mainly because they’re experiencing severe symptoms.

According to the diagnosis, your doctor will recommend counseling or some type of psychotherapy. Doctors may prescribe a certain antidepressant or antianxiety medications. You can also do some lifestyle modifications that can help lessen the severity of the condition, which includes: 

  • Try to resolve conflicts that are leading to a buildup of stress 
  • Do exercises that help relax the mind and body, such as deep breathing and meditation
  • Yoga can also help control breathing, which in turn can help calm the nerves down
  • Getting at least 30 minutes of exercise daily – from moderate-intensity to high-intensity exercise, you can inculcate any type of exercise in your daily routine 
  • Doing something that involves getting out of the house, even if it is for 10 minutes. It is important to go out to calm the mind and body 
  • Socialize more – talk to your loved ones, especially about the things that are bothering you, this will help take some of the stress away
  • Set eating and sleeping patterns and stick to them
  • Join a social group made for people who suffer from the same problem 
  • Curb the use of alcohol and caffeine 
  • Stop smoking
  • Ensure that you are taking time out for quality sleep 

Things to Remember 

  • Most of us feel sad, depressed and anxious from time to time, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you are having a nervous breakdown. 
  • Nervous breakdown is when you are not able to cope up with the daily tasks like you used to due to some stressful events in life. There are medical treatments available that can help you fight the problem. But you have to recognize the symptoms and muster up the courage to visit a doctor and get treated. 

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