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What Occurs During a Nervous Breakdown?

Man sitting anxiously with closed eyes and hands covering his face, depicting a nervous breakdown.
Navigating the depths of a nervous breakdown: Understanding the turmoil of overwhelming anxiety

Nervous Breakdowns are an unfortunate endpoint for Mental Health issues. They can come from anything, big or small, seemingly out of nowhere. In reality, however, they tend to go from buildup. This buildup begins the breakdown process before finally hitting a breaking point where it all bubbles to the surface. It can have different symptoms and signs, but - most importantly - treatments. This article will cover what a Nervous Breakdown is, its symptoms, signs, and treatments.

What is a Nervous Breakdown and what are the signs?

People cannot cope with too much pressure, causing their lives to suffer and affecting their daily lives. It is not a Mental Health condition but can be linked to a Nervous Breakdown for some people. Such as  Anxiety or Depression seeping more and more into someone’s daily life and adding to a mounting feeling of pressure and powerlessness. Nervous Breakdowns are usually tied to these Mental Health Disorders due to them being a symptom or consequence of them.

The signs of a Nervous Breakdown are similar to those of Anxiety or Depression. For example, the overlap includes:

Irritability - This can come in the form of snapping more, having less patience, and being triggered more easily by things that normally would not bother you as much. Such as sound or people, for example. 

Fatigue - Stress can cause severe fatigue. This means that you will have less energy for tasks or they will seem more taxing. This can also affect sleep, with you sleeping less than usual or more. This can build and build until a Nervous Breakdown.

Concentration - Stress and Anxiety can impact your levels of concentration, meaning that you can lose track of conversations, work, or other things that you need to keep an eye on. It can also affect memory and concentration on specific details within memory.

Girl with closed eyes and hands covering her face, symbolizing distress during a nervous breakdown
In the depths of despair: Understanding the emotional turmoil of a nervous breakdown

What are the Symptoms of a Nervous Breakdown?

Nervous breakdown symptoms can vary from person to person. Below is a list of some of them:

  1. When you're stressed, you can feel paranoid, like someone is always watching you. And you have to look over your shoulder all the time. It can be due to the anxiety you're experiencing, but it can also make you feel more on edge, adding to the Nervous Breakdown.

  2. Feeling Suicidal or thoughts of Self Harm - While more extreme, a Nervous Breakdown can lead to recurring thoughts of suicide and self-harm. The situation may be overwhelming and hopeless, causing this feeling. In this case, you should seek professional help or speak with someone right away. 

  3. Burnout - Stress and fatigue can lead to burnout. It is when you are all out of energy to do anything. This can tie in with depression as well, as it can lead to things that you once enjoyed not bringing you anything anymore.

What can be done to treat a Nervous Breakdown?

  1. Having fewer obligations - This one can be tricky, given work tasks, but it is more so for activities you do outside of work. Give yourself time to relax, and it can help bring your stress down. 

  2. Exercise -It can help bring your stress down. Yoga or a walk can all help you have a moment to relax and not feel as stressed. Another activity that can combine both would be something such as Forest Bathing.

  3. Therapy - With therapy, you can discuss what is stressing you and how to cope. Additionally, suppose the build-up to the Nervous Breakdown is also due to Mental Health Issues. In that case, the therapist can prescribe medication or give you further resources to help you cope with them so that you have coping mechanisms for when you next find yourself stressed.

Girl exercising and running, symbolizing coping mechanisms during a nervous breakdown
Finding solace in movement: Exploring the role of exercise in managing a nervous breakdown


Nervous Breakdowns occur primarily due to stress, but other factors, such as life/world events, can also cause them. They build up stress over time and are scary, but they always pass. The next time you feel overwhelmed, you must talk to a therapist or find a healthy coping method that works for you.

Written By: Jamie Clark Edited By: Sadaf Iqbal


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