Signs And Symptoms Of A Nervous Breakdown

Signs And Symptoms Of Nervous Breakdown

A sense of isolation or indifference to things or people around you, difficulty focusing, moodiness, and hallucinations are all emotional signs of a mental breakdown. Other red flags include deteriorating work and personal relationships and thoughts of hurting yourself. You may also feel others are causing you harm deliberately. Physical symptoms like exhaustion, bowel problems such as diarrhea, trouble sleeping, headaches, muscle pain, frequent illnesses, rapid heartbeat, or the sweats could also point to a nervous breakdown.

We all know or have heard of someone who has had a mental breakdown. But for all its familiarity, the fact is a “mental breakdown” is not a medical term per se – one that indicates you have a specific medical condition. Rather, it is your body and mind’s response to an underlying problem that’s causing you to react adversely. But it’s a fitting word all the same, isn’t it? It describes that sense of being overwhelmed to the point of “breaking down.”

We all experience anxiety and stress daily but it’s usually manageable. But when worry, anxiety, or stress increase to a level that starts impacting normal life, a person is said to be having a mental or nervous breakdown.


A mental breakdown can be triggered by stress from something specific, say, the death of someone close to you. It can also result from stress which slowly builds up due to pressures associated with financial problems, work, relationships etc.

Here’s a look at some signs that could indicate a mental breakdown.

Emotional And Behavioral Signs Of A Mental Breakdown

Various emotional and behavioral factors could point to a mental breakdown.

Isolation And Indifference

You may lose interest in the company of friends and family or withdraw from daily activities. Check if the following statements resonate with you:


Lack Of Focus And Concentration

You get easily distracted and find it difficult to focus. Some examples of this include:


You may feel like you are on an emotional roller coaster. See if the following apply to you:


Changing Thought Patterns

Some ways in which your thought patterns may change include:

Flashes Of Odd Happenings

Some things that you would notice include:


Thoughts Of Self Harm

You have thoughts of harming yourself – of cutting or even burning yourself. Do speak to a counselor or doctor immediately if this is the case.

Deteriorating Relationships

Your relationships seem to be going downhill. See if the following statements ring true:

Physical Symptoms Of A Mental Breakdown

You may also experience a variety of physical symptoms when you have a mental breakdown.


Trouble Sleeping

While the ideal amount of sleep can vary from person to person, on average an adult needs around 7 to 9 hours of sleep in a day. But mental stressors like grief, depression, anxiety etc. can make it difficult for you to get a good night’s sleep. You may also find that you tend to sleep during the day and stay awake at nights.


Anxiety and sleep deprivation can leave you feeling drained and exhausted. You may find that you lack the energy to deal with even day-to-day routine tasks.

Frequent Ill Health

You tend to fall sick quite often. This could be because exhaustion and stress are leaving you vulnerable to infections.


Stress can cause frequent headaches.

Muscle Pain

You may experience stiff or sore muscles. Muscle tension due to stress can cause pain particularly in your back or jaw.

A Rapid Heartbeat

Your heart is racing often or you have a sense of tightness in your chest. You may also feel like you have a lump in your throat or find it difficult to breathe.

The Sweats

You experience cold or hot flashes often. Your hands also feel clammy.

You may get stomach cramps, constipation, diarrhea, or irregular bowel movements.

If you find that you’ve been experiencing a number of symptoms listed here, it’s time to see a doctor or counselor. Managing a breakdown properly can give you the opportunity to understand yourself and learn coping strategies to deal with life and stress better.

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