Nervous Breakdown?

I just posted a question about panic attacks. Now for nervous breakdowns – what does it feel like to have one?

Typically, “nervous breakdown” is a pop psychology term and not recognized in either psychology or psychiatry. IIRC, we called them “brief reactive psychosis” and they were mainly precipitated by stress or depression.

As to what it feels like? A complex emotional rollercoaster is the best way I could describe what people say it’s like. There are so many different things that happen, sometimes rapidly, that it’s tough to give a concise report. On the bright side, BRPs generally work themselves out.

I’ve read that it feels like your world is completely falling apart and you have no control over anything in your life.

Decades ago, nervous breakdown was a catchall term for any overwhelming period of mental or emotional problems that made normal daily life impossible. Now, it is more likely to be called by a more specific term. In some categories, professionals have a better handle on the diagnosis and treatment of these conditions.

For example, a serious period of depression when a person feels too inadequate and too useless to do anything, go anywhere, or even eat would have been called a nervous breakdown thirty-five years ago. Now it is called clinical depression (whether the person actually checks into a clinic or not.)

Nerves don’t break down, people do.

As said, more of a popular term than a diagnostic one. A quick n’ dirty definition might be a loss of ability to cope with stress. Panic attacks can be one symptom, but others include depression, paranoid fears, agoraphobia, crying fits, hyperaggression, a start or upswing of chemical dependency- pretty much the gamut of psychiatric symptoms.

Are you trying to do a bit of self-diagnosis, gytalf2000?

Oh no, far from it! A few days ago, I read a thread about depression, and I was intrigued by it, primarily because the symptoms people decribed were so far from my own experiences. I had never felt anything like how people described what depression feels like! I decided to ask about panic attacks and Nervous breakdowns as well. I feel sorry for people who go through such experiences, but I (thankfully!) have never felt that way! Just curious is all!