Nervous Breakdown or Mental breakdown is a condition when a person is unable to function in everyday activity of life. The term nervous breakdown is no longer considered a medical term, it’s still used by many to describe intense symptoms of stress and an inability to cope with life’s challenges. It is a state when physical and emotional stress become intolerable and impair one’s ability to function effectively. It is a disease of modern lifestyle. It can also be caused by any mental health disorder.
During a nervous breakdown, emotional state of a person shifts from an ability to cope with life
stresses to a state of total disruption of normal functioning.
Cause of Nervous Breakdown
Overwhelming Stress is most important cause of nervous breakdown. Other possible reasons includes:
- Financial problems
- Problems at work and school
Symptoms of Nervous Breakdown
- A strange feeling and believing that someone is watching you or stalking you, known as paranoia
- Anxiety with high blood pressure
- Depressive symptoms such as loss of hope and thoughts of suicide or self-harm
- Extreme mood swings
- Loss of sleep
- Panic attacks- which include chest pain, detachment from reality and self, extreme fear, and difficulty breathing
- Sensation as if someone is speaking although not in real and many other kinds of hallucinations
- Shaking of hands and feet
Post traumatic stress disorder– flashbacks of a traumatic event.
Some signs of withdrawal can also be seen like–
- Avoiding social functions and engagements
- Difficulty in focusing at work, and being easily distracted, poor concentration
- Easy fatigue
- Eating and sleeping poorly
- Excessive sleep
- Feeling of hopelessness or worthlessness
- Isolating oneself in home
- Loss of interest in social, family or work
- Maintaining poor hygiene
- Not attending office work
- Suicidal thoughts
Change of mood include-depression, feeling burnt out, uncontrollable anger, fear, helplessness or crying.
Physical symptoms like
- As a person is susceptible to infection he has frequent illnesses
- Difficult sleep or disrupted sleep
- Difficulty in breathing, feeling like your heart is racing, tightness across the chest or a lump in throat
- Headaches and dizzy spells
- Hot or cold flushes
- Lack of energy to household activities and office work
- Stomach cramps and irregular bowel movements
Psychological Signs of Nervous Breakdown
Unsolicited Thoughts– It includes those thoughts which a person simply don’t want to have but your mind keeps on bringing them into your awareness. How hard a person try to keep them away, they keep on coming to his mind. This is a very important sign of nervous breakdown.
A person has continuous thoughts of uncertain future. He keeps of thinking about scenarios where life is unbearable or there is no perceived way out. It is also important sign of nervous breakdown.
Patient is extremely sensitive to any opinions and judgement of the people around them. Harmless passing comments can become increasingly taken as criticism and intentional attacks on the sufferer.
Emotional signs of nervous breakdown-
It includes a range of symptoms like deep sadness, hopelessness, irritation, agitation.
Other symptoms include–
Patient become critical of themselves, particularly with respect to what has happened in the past. This feeling that nobody can go back and change the past is the main reason to feel guilty. The feeling of guilt eats away their self-esteem which make them more critical.
Feeling of helplessness is also there. There is kind of vicious circle as helplessness makes people feel useless and incapable so this can often start a cycle of self-criticism and guilt.
Risk factor which can contribute to nervous breakdown
- Family history of anxiety disorders
- Major life change like divorce
- Persistent work stress
- Personal history of anxiety disorders
- Poor sleep and relaxation
- Recent injury or illness that is causing trouble in day to day life activities
- Recent traumatic event like death in the family
- Serious financial issues
Some other physical signs include
- Change in posture- if a person has change of posture from upright position to stooping.
- Slowing down of movement. This is a sign of depression.
- A person feels extremely tired without any strenuous exertion.
- Unexplained pains can be a common sign.
Homeopathic Medicine for Nervous Breakdown
1- Aconite napellus
It is remedy which is associated with fear, anxiety and great anguish of mind and body. Patient has great physical and mental restlessness. Patient has complaints and tension caused by exposure to dry, cold weather. Patient has great fear, anxiety. He also fears death buy believes that he will soon die. He often predicts the day of death. He also has characteristic fear like that of future, crowd, crossing the street. This is a remedy for restlessness in which is keep tossing about. Music is unbearable for patient. It makes him sad. He feels as if what had just been done was a dream. It is one of the best remedies for panic attacks and fear. It is given to patient when he has rapid, sudden, intense symptoms of fear and panic after accident and natural disaster. It is given when patient is agitated, restless, and fearful. Associated with fear he has other symptoms like dry skin and mouth, thirst, pounding heart.
This remedy should be given in cases where panic attack is very intense, where something needs to done instantly and medical aid should be given as emergency. The tension is seen both medically and physically. Physically patient has severe muscle pains with extreme restlessness with shaking and even convulsions can be seen
It is great remedy for ongoing anxiety caused by a traumatic event.
Dosage- 30C 4 pellets, 2 times a day for 7 days.
2- Argentum nitricum
This is a remedy which has in coordination, loss of control and want of balance. Patient wants mental and physical balance. He is fearful and nervous. It is given when patient has impulse to jump out of a window. Patient is very sad and apprehensive of disease. His time passes slowly. His memory is weak. He has impulse and he wants to do things in a hurry. He has very types of fears and anxieties. Patient has desire for sweets. Patient has dried up constitution due to long time mental exertion. Patient has apprehension and nervousness. It is given when patient has continuous anxiety and feel worse because of this anxiety. Patient has great desire for sweet things. But the habit of sugar can lead to digestive upsets and diarrhoea and flatulence is caused by anxiety. It is given when patient has strange impulses like- stepping into a line of traffic, throwing themselves from a height, or throwing themselves from a height, or poking something into a power outlet.
Patient feels worse by overheat and they feel better in cool fresh air and away from crowds.
Dosage- 200, 4 pellets 3 times a day for 5 days with less frequency as improvement is made.
3- Arsenicum album
This remedy is associated with weakness, exhaustion, restlessness with worsening of all symptoms at night. Patient feel extreme exhaustion after slightest exertion. Patient usually has complaints when sea side. The complaints of this patient often comes annually. He has great anguish and restlessness. It is given to a patient who often changes place continuously. He fears death and being left alone. He has great fear all the time with cold sweat. It is given to a patient who thinks that it is useless to take medicine. He is often suicidal. He has hallucinations of smell and sight. He has great despair which drives him from place to place. It is given to a person who is very thin, miser, selfish, lacks courage and is always confused. This remedy is to be given when patient focuses on issues like security and safety, what will happen in future, especially at night and when alone. It is given when patient has anxiety about health, robbers, or money. These patient feels better when in company of his family and friends. These patient do their work with perfection in order to divert their mind.
Dosage-200, 4 pellets 2 times a day for 6 days with less frequency as improvement is made.
4- Calcarea carbonica
This medicine is to be given to person who has increased local and general perspiration, who is in bad position due to mental or physical overwork. It can also be given to children who grow fat, have large belly, with large head, pale skin. These kind of person are sensitive to cold. Children want to take eggs in diet, eat dirt and other indigestible things. These person are prone to have diarrhoea. This to be given to a person who are very apprehensive which is worse towards the evening. He fears misfortune, any disease which is spread through contact. This person does not want to do anything. This is a great remedy for phobias like dark, insects, spiders, and animals, especially dogs. These patient can’t see anything unpleasant things and cannot tolerate any act of cruelty.
Dosage-30 C, 4 pellets 3 times a day for 5 days until improvement is made.
5- Gelsemium sempervirens
This medicine is to be given to a person who has weakness. Weakness is so much that it seems that patient has paralysis. Patient has complete relaxation and weakness. It is given to patient who has general depression from heat of sun. It is important remedy for sunstroke. It is given to a person who desire to be quiet and want to be left alone. He has dullness of mind and is very lazy with lack of energy to anything. This person completes lacks fear. It is given to a person who has complaints related to body as a result of emotions like fear, excitement. He often has bad effects from fear, exciting news. In children, the condition is opposite as they are afraid of falling and grasps the nurse and screams. It is a very good remedy for agoraphobia, which is basically a fear of wide open spaces. Patient has peculiar desire to hide away.
Dosage- 200 C 5 pellets once a day before sleeping, for 4 days till improvement is made.
This a remedy which should be taken by those who are tall, slender, narrow chest, are very weak due to loss of blood. these patient are sensitive to light, sound, odors, touch, thunderstorms. This remedy has special feature that all the complaints starts suddenly. This remedy is to be given to a person who has great depression of spirits. Patient has a fear as if something was creeping out of every corner. It can also be given for loss of memory. It is given when patient has fear of death when alone. It is given when person has insanity with an exaggerated idea of one’s own importance.
Dosage-200 C, 4 pellets 2 times a day for 6 days until improvement is made.