A mental breakdown is a broad term used to describe a temporary psychiatric disorder. This disorder is also called a nervous breakdown. There are not formal medical definitions for mental or nervous breakdowns. However, there are facts and helpful information that can make this mental health issue easier to understand. This post covers sheds light on this issue and what causes it.
As stated above, mental or nervous breakdowns are limited in time. They are induced by significant amounts of stress which leads to severe depression, anxiety and similar psychiatric disorders. When these breakdowns occur, the individual who experiences them cannot function properly. They may be unable to go to work, take care of themselves, or perform basic daily tasks.
This inability to function stays in place until the issue is resolved. There are numerous stress factors that can lead to a mental breakdown. Some of those factors include sleep deprivation, being overworked, and other severe types of burnout. This stress builds until an individual is so overwhelmed that he or she suffers a breakdown. Most people who experience this have otherwise normal mental functions on a regular basis.
However, mental and nervous breakdowns can be caused by an ongoing and untreated mental health disorder. These mental health disorders may or may not be diagnosed. Some examples include depression, anxiety disorders, and mood disorders. Some people who experience these breakdowns have been diagnosed with mental illnesses, but they otherwise maintained the ability to function on a daily basis.
Many health experts suggest that there are five common symptoms that lead to nervous breakdowns. These symptoms combine and become too much to bear. They are mild depression, fatigue, obsessive thoughts, mild anxiety, and somatic pains. These leads to a nervous illness though this term is not often used in modern society. Eventually, the person who experiences these symptoms becomes so nervous that they have a mental or nervous breakdown.
Some people experience severe nervous breakdowns that go beyond depression, anxiety, and the inability to function. They may experience hallucinations, flashbacks, paranoid thoughts and behavior, mood swings, and more. When this happens, the cause for the nervous breakdown is often more severe. For example, hallucinations may be a sign that the person has untreated schizophrenia instead of a “normal” build up of nerves, depression, and stress.
Factors in an individual’s life can contribute to his or her mental breakdown. Some examples include divorce or marital problems, health problems, financial struggles, work related issues, and school related issues. Studies suggest that health-related mental breakdowns are becoming less of an issue for Americans. However, the stressors that lead up to a nervous breakdown are unique to each person who experiences them.
There are different treatments used to help people who experience nervous breakdowns. Antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications may be prescribed on a short or long-term basis. Individuals with hallucinations or mood disorders may be prescribed anti-psychotics. Therapy and counseling are also used as treatment. Overall, the chance of recovering from a mental breakdown is extremely high.