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Q: Nervous Breakdown ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   1 Comment )
Subject: Nervous Breakdown
Category: Health > Conditions and Diseases
Asked by: dtnl42-ga
List Price: $15.00
Posted: 02 Sep 2004 07:26 PDT
Expires: 02 Oct 2004 07:26 PDT
Question ID: 395978
What exactly is a "nervous breakdown" - in medical terms please?
Subject: Re: Nervous Breakdown
Answered By: bobbie7-ga on 02 Sep 2004 08:04 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hello dtnl42,

According to the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language:
Fourth Edition.  2000, a nervous breakdown is:

?A severe or incapacitating emotional disorder, especially when
occurring suddenly and marked by depression. Not in scientific use.?


The following information is provided by the Mayo Clinic:

?Nervous breakdown is a term that many people use to characterize a
range of mental illnesses. But generally it describes a person who is
severely and persistently emotionally distraught and unable to
function at his or her normal level. It's not a medical term, and it
doesn't indicate a specific mental illness.?

?Often, when people refer to having a nervous breakdown, they're
describing severe depression.

Symptoms of severe depression:
Agitation or restlessness 
Difficulty or inability to stop crying 
Sleeping difficulties 

The causes of mental illness usually aren't clear. But several factors
play a role, such as:
Drug and alcohol use 
Co-existing medical conditions 

Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research


A nervous breakdown is a popular term for a reaction to overwhelming
psychological stress.

?There is no equivalent medical term. People said to be suffering from
a nervous breakdown may be suffering from a neurotic illness, such as
depression or anxiety, or a psychotic illness, such as schizophrenia.?

Tiscali Reference


The NHS Direct Online Health Encyclopedia defines a nervous breakdown as follows:

?A nervous breakdown is a popular expression that is used to describe
what someone is going through who can?t cope with everyday life. In
the medical sense, it represents a range of many possible conditions
rather than any one psychiatric disorder. Only one condition may be
present, or several conditions at the same time.?

NHS Direct Online Health Encyclopedia

Here is a list of the symptoms:




According to Derek Wood, Clinical Content Director of Mental Health
Matters, there are many disorders that can fit within the criteria of
"Nervous Breakdown", but those that most commonly occur are those
related to:

Generalized Anxiety Disorder 
Panic Disorder 
Panic Attacks 
Trauma Disorders 
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder 
Acute Stress Disorder 
Psychotic Disorders 
Mood (Affective) Disorders 
Bipolar Disorder

Mental Health Matters

The Disorder that is mimics the most directly however is Major
Depressive Disorder (Depression).


What is a nervous breakdown?

"Nervous breakdown" is not a clinical term. There is no psychiatric
definition of a nervous breakdown, and it has nothing to do with
nerves. "Nervous breakdown" is an inexact and unscientific term that
is no longer used in psychiatry.?

?The diagnosis that most closely resembles what the public calls a
nervous breakdown is major depression. Depressive episodes may be
caused by genetic and biological factors and are often triggered by
social and environmental circumstances. Depression is defined as the
"loss of interest or pleasure in nearly all activities" and "sustained
fatigue without physical exertion." Depression is characterized by a
lack of energy and motivation along with feelings of guilt or
hopelessness. It is often brought on by stressful situations, such as
relationship difficulties, health problems, the aftermath of an
accident or the death of a loved one.?

How Stuff Works


A Nervous breakdown is a general term for various emotional disorders
causing severe life disturbance

Causes of a Nervous breakdown




Search terms used:
Nervous breakdown

I hope this helps!

Best regards,
dtnl42-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars

Subject: Re: Nervous Breakdown
From: fradicat-ga on 23 Oct 2004 22:50 PDT
what about the after math, like feeling 1/2 the person you were eg
mental capabilities, memory difficulties and concentration problems. I
am experiencing all of these am still in councelling and it has been 3
years. A better way to explain it is to say that I have feel like a
part of my brain has shut down

is anyone else having these problems and does anyone have any answers

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