It happens when a trauma or fear becomes overwhelming. When a person cannot cope with their problems or the world. They have a nervous-panic feeling to problems, people and the world. Long term it is a state of helplessness or weakness and loss of poise and self control. Some people use medications to settle down the fears and become calm, but there are natural cures too. If it is just habitual behavior, then the outlook of the world must be changed. The inner being has to be re-trained to remain strong and face problems strategically. Coping methods must be installed to immunize the mind from perceived threats from others. A lot of issues of the world and other people must be ignored with a feeling of detachment and disassociation. Self-esteem and self-respect must be installed. The perception of the world and others has to be changed so they no longer have any power whatsoever. Then self confidence must be restored. A lot of people have cured themselves and bounced back with meditation and hypnosis or faith and religion. Instead of the mind controlling them, they now control the mind. If it is a more complicated case, such as hallucinations, severe truama or chemical issues, then a doctor and medication may be the only alternative to become grounded in reality.
I have never had a nervous breakdown but I think I came very close once.
It happened because of an inward fight, a mental fight which was not so much a verbal fight with myself as an emotional one. I was torn between two choices and my heart told me I had to take one road and my 'sensible' mind another. I had to take a risk, a major step in life and I was afraid to take it.
The tension came as I vacillated and procrastinated over a period of some months. I was in a very responsible job at the time which requied me to concentrate and I found that I could not. Inwardly I was rebelling. There was a sort of inner rage that I could barely contain. In a nutshell I was torn between the security, prestige, excellent money and the like and an inner prompting which today I know came from own spiritual essence. Move!
Evenutally I did. I put in my resignation from a career I'd once loved but which had now soured. When I finally posted that letter of resignation and knew there would be no turning back it was if a great weight had been lifted from me. I was free. There was risk ahead but I was up to it.
I changed jobs, changed countries and started a new life with my wife and three young children in a new land. But in retrospect, I feel had I tried to hold on without making a decision for any longer I would have fallen ill - or maybe had that nervous breakdown.
IMHO that is a catch all phrase. It is somewhat like insanity. Insanity and nervous breakdown are not medical terms. Insanity is a legal term. Nervous breakdown is as I suggest of least in my humble view a catch all phrase. Psychology uses a model for diagnosing patients / clients. Common is the four D's and their severity.
Usually the usage of a nervous breakdown parallels with Distress and Dysfunction.
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