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Am I having a nervous breakdown

Am I having a nervous breakdown

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Nervous breakdown is a strange term when you stop to think about it. After all, cars break down, people don’t. Also, it has nothing to do with nerves so perhaps the ‘nervous’ part refers not to the person in question but rather the people around them who aren’t quite sure how to react.

Unsurprisingly ‘nervous breakdown’ isn’t a medical term used by professionals. Rather, it’s a phrase often used by people to describe the point where someone has been struggling on for some time and is no longer able to cope with the things that life throws at them. A ‘mental health crisis’ is perhaps what the doctor would call it.


Not everyone suffering from mental health issues will experience the same symptoms but things to look out for include:

  • Feeling anxious or worried
  • Negative feelings about what’s going on in your life
  • Difficulty taking part in things you normally enjoy
  • Insomnia or sleeping too much
  • Lack of concentration
  • Getting upset easily
  • Avoiding social situations
  • Having to force yourself to do everyday things such as leave the house, eat well or shower
  • Exhaustion

Loss of libido

Everyone is different and what may constitute a mental health crisis for one person may be water off a duck’s back to another. What matters is that you are aware of changes in how you feel and it’s important to seek help. We all have down days now and again when we don’t feel like our usual selves but if these feelings have lasted for more than a fortnight then you should ask for some support.

Am I having a nervous breakdown


The causes of a mental health crisis will be entirely personal, depending largely on what has been going on in your life. Events like bereavement, separation or divorce, work-related stress, illness, financial troubles or a traumatic episode can all act as triggers. Alternatively a number of small things can all get on top of you, weighing you down to the point where you feel you are struggling to cope. It could also be a sign of an underlying mental illness like depression or anxiety.

Where to turn

Your first port of call will usually be your GP. It can sometimes be tough talking to a relative stranger about your feelings, especially if you’re feeling less confident than normal, so consider taking your partner or a close friend along with you. In fact, friends and family can be a great source of support helping you out with practical stuff as well as the emotional side of things. It may not be easy to admit to but getting it out there will help you on your road to recovery and you may even find others have been in the same situation and understand exactly what you’re going through.

Just like when cars break down we take them to the mechanic to be fixed, a person’s breakdown isn’t permanent. These feelings won’t last forever and with the right help and treatment it’s possible to get back on track.



About Maria Brett

About Maria Brett

Maria is a freelance writer with over 10 years' experience producing content for a variety of publications and websites. When not working or looking after her two gorgeous sons, she can usually be found playing flugelhorn in a brass band, helping out at her local hospital radio station, shouting at the television while watching Formula 1, at the cinema or plonked on the couch with a cold glass of wine.

Website: Maria Brett

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