What Are The Presenting Features Of Nervous Breakdown & How Is It Treated?

About Nervous Breakdown

As scary as it may sound but Nervous Breakdown is not a medical condition but can definitely indicate an underlying problem, in most cases anxiety and depression.

Researchers define nervous breakdown as a state of mind where the affected individual has complete breakdown of emotional state to an extent that he or she is not able to function normally. Excessive stress due to professional and personal issues is the primary cause of Nervous Breakdown. There are certain warning signs which can help an individual identify whether he or she is going to have a Nervous Breakdown; however, these signs may not be readily noticeable by the individual. An individual with excessive stress is more likely to suffer from a Nervous Breakdown than an individual who has the ability to cope up with stress better [1].

This is especially true in cases where the person has multiple stressors in his or her life at the same time. It is always better if an individual is under extreme stress and feels that he or she is losing control that the person gets in touch with a psychologist or a psychiatrist to help them manage stress better and in a healthful way. Some people start consuming alcohol just to distract their minds from the stress but this only worsens the situation and the individual may get habituated to substance abuse which can affect his or her overall health and well-being [1].

The presenting features of a Nervous Breakdown are varied and differ from individual to individual. Any type of stress whether it is emotional or physical which the body finds it impossible to handle leads to a Nervous Breakdown. The potential causes of a Nervous Breakdown include grief of passing off of someone close. Traumatizing situations like witnessing a crime or being in the war for long periods of time can also cause an individual to have a Nervous Breakdown [1].

A rough relationship where there is constant quarrel over petty issues and physical abuse also plays a vital role in the individual having a Nervous Breakdown. Working in an extremely stressful environment and the pressure of performance and meeting targets also plays a role in an individual having Nervous Breakdown. This article speaks about the various presenting features of Nervous Breakdown and different ways to deal with it and even preventing it [1].

What Are The Presenting Features Of Nervous Breakdown?

Since Nervous Breakdown has not been identified as a medical condition and is just a reaction of the body to excessive stress there are no defined features for this condition other than impaired ability to function or carry out tasks normally. However, there are some signs that can tell whether an individual is having a Nervous Breakdown. These signs include always feeling anxious, irritable, and feeling the need to cry. The person will also have a feeling of helplessness and hopelessness. They will feel that nothing is going right for them and that there is no way out of this stress. Their confidence will be severely dented and they will find simple tasks which they used to do easily before a tough ask [2].

People with Nervous Breakdown will avoid any social gatherings and will hesitate to meet new people or make friends. These people frequently miss office calling in sick to an extent that their performance level dips significantly. An individual with Nervous Breakdown will have an irregular sleep schedule where he or she will either sleep too much or very little. Their food habits will also be unhealthy and there will not be a stipulate time for eating. Nervous Breakdown can make an individual forget their schedules or appointments and even if they remember they will not be much motivated or focused to carry on with the task at hand [2].

These people always feel fatigued physically and emotionally drained without any rhyme or reason. A Nervous Breakdown can cause an individual to lack interest in things that they previously enjoyed. There will also be physical symptoms like generalized muscle aches and pains without any identifiable cause. At times, people with Nervous Breakdown find it tough to get along with people and become excessively irritable. They may also have suicidal thoughts in extreme cases [2].

In cases if Nervous Breakdown is caused by a traumatic incident then the individual will have flashbacks or nightmares of the incident making it tough to sleep for the individual. This will cause them to wake up at night with night sweats, rapid heartbeat, and dry mouth. In cases where an individual has a known diagnosis of psychosis or other mental health disorder a Nervous Breakdown can cause the patient to have hallucinations, delusions, and even make the patient paranoid [2].

How is Nervous Breakdown Treated?

Since Nervous Breakdown is not a medical condition, there is no predefined treatment for this. However, there are a few steps that the patient can follow to reduce the symptoms of emotional and physical burnout. These steps can not only help the individual in calming down the symptoms but also play a major role in preventing future occurrences. The best way to treat Nervous Breakdown is by going to a psychologist for a counseling session. The patient can speak to the counselor openly about his or her condition to get the best advice possible [2].

Cognitive behavioral therapy is yet another effective way in dealing with physical and emotional stress. At times, the patient will be given medications in the form of antidepressants or anxiolytics to calm down the symptoms of Nervous Breakdown. The physician will also try to identify the source of the stress and work towards helping the patient cope with it in a better way. The physician will also suggest trying out different exercises to relax the mind and body and cope up with the stress like yoga, meditation, and deep breathing [2].

Gentle stretching exercises and exercises like tai chi has also shown great effectiveness in controlling symptoms of Nervous Breakdown. It is also vital for an individual to do regular exercises at least 30 minutes every day. This is because exercises and physical activity results in the production of endorphins which play a major role in an individual feeling good and have a positive frame of mind. Distracting mind from the stress is also a good idea to relieve and even prevent the symptoms of Nervous Breakdown [2].

This can be done by getting involved in some hobbies like gardening where an individual has to spend at least a few minutes out of the house and away from any form of stress. In case if an individual has overwhelming stress which he or she cannot get rid of then it is always better to share the feelings with someone close like a friend or a relative or family member. Staying away from any form of alcohol and caffeinated products is the best way to prevent the condition from worsening [2].

In conclusion, Nervous Breakdown is not a medical condition but a framer of mind where an individual loses control over oneself due to excessive physical and emotional stress. This results in the individual having sensation of extreme depression and anxiety about the future. There are no predefined causes as to why an individual has Nervous Breakdown apart from stress but there are certain risk factors which have identified which increase the risk. These factors include being a part of a traumatic incident like witnessing a crime or being a part of war while serving in military [1, 2].

Losing someone very close is also one of the reasons why someone may have a Nervous Breakdown. An individual with Nervous Breakdown will find it very tough to focus on a specific task at hand. He or she will not enjoy things that they used to love before. There will be complete lack of motivation to do things. They will always be thinking about what is going to happen in the future rather than concentrate about the present. All these feelings will ultimately take control of the individual leading to Nervous Breakdown [1, 2].

This may sound scary but it is definitely something that can not only be treated but also prevented. Speaking with a counselor of being a part of cognitive behavioral therapy can be extremely effective in not only treating but also preventing future episodes of Nervous Breakdown. In addition, some people may find medications in the form of antipsychotics, anxiolytics, and antidepressants to be quite effective in talking care of the symptoms of Nervous Breakdown [1, 2].

Thus it is recommended to seek professional help through a psychologist or a psychiatrist if an individual falls that things are getting out of control as a result of Nervous Breakdown due to excessive stress [1, 2].