18 Warning Signs Of A Nervous Breakdown

A nervous breakdown is a phase of mental and psychological illness wherein a person suffers from intense feelings of anxiety, depression, stress, and it can even lead to traumas. This results in them being unable to function normally in day-to-day lives.

The person suffering from such a breakdown feels hopeless and wishes to give up on life. 

list of few warning signs of a nervous breakdown.

Feeling symptoms of anxiety and depression

Anxiety and depression are the common responses to depressive feelings, actions, or stress. When experienced in excess, stress can also lead to traumas such as PTSD.

The various other symptoms related to depression include low self-esteem, fearfulness, excessive worrying and sweating, getting angry easily, crying uncontrollably, difficulty in breathing, feeling helpless, not being willing to eat, and so on.

When stress becomes unbearable, what you experience is known as a nervous breakdown, and it needs to be treated at the earliest.

Trouble in concentrating

Researchers have proved that stress affects both your mind and your body. If the effect of stress stays for a long period of time, it can have adverse effects on your body and mind. Long-term stress also leads to various structural changes in the brain.

These structural changes, like the enlargement of the amygdala, can lead to memory being weak and difficulty concentrating.

In some cases, excess cortisol is released, which can lead to permanent memory loss.

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Excessive fatigue

Being excessively stressed out can make you sleepless; you might spend the whole night staring at the ceiling and doing nothing except allowing stressful thoughts to build up inside you. It can even make you sleep more. 

Many times sleep becomes an escape, but too much of it drains out your energy, and you don’t feel like doing anything.

As time passes, chronic exhaustion, along with stress, leads to nervous breakdowns, which are difficult to deal with. 


In some people, excessive stress leads to the condition of being unable to fall asleep or stay asleep. This condition is known as insomnia and can affect all age groups if they suffer from stress and nervous disorders.

When you are unable to sleep, your body lacks the essential rest and also the phase during which it can recover from stress.

Insomnia can affect your physical as well as mental performance and decrease your focus. 

How stress affects your health


Many times, when someone is suffering from excessive stress issues and depressive feelings, they tend to see and hear things that aren’t actually there.

They can see objects swaying in the air or even floating around them, which scares them and develops a feeling of fear.

People are afraid of moving out or even staying in their rooms. This is how scary and frightening hallucinations can be, and with time, it leads to increased stress and nervous breakdowns.

Digestive issues

Stress and anxiety can even lead to various digestive issues like constipation, indigestion, bloating, cramps, and diarrhea.

If you already suffer from these issues and have a faulty stomach or irritable bowel syndrome, stress can trigger flare-ups.

All of these can lead to digestive discomfort. You tend to reduce food intake, which leads to physical weakness. If you are stressed out already and begin to observe such conditions, don’t wait for these to deplete on their own. Visit a doctor.

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Alcohol or drug abuse

Nervous breakdowns and drug abuse go hand in hand. You might feel like going for that medicine bottle when you are in pain or just out of the blue.

This is not the way the medicine has been prescribed to you by the doctor, and you’re just self-medicating.

You might start drinking more frequently and even more quantitively to feel relaxed. If that’s the case, then you must seek help from a medical professional before you experience a nervous breakdown.

Your life has been extra stressful lately

It may happen that you have been suffering from a critical disease, or any of your loved ones may be suffering. You might have had a divorce, or lost a loved one, or may have got fired.

These won’t immediately lead you to a nervous breakdown, but these always hold a chance of leading you to something much worse than a normal lifestyle.

If you feel that stress from these is pushing you to the brink, you should seek medical help.

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You start feeling numb

One of the major things you will notice if you ever happen to come across a phase of stress or depressive thoughts is the feeling of numbness.

You will observe that you are not enjoying the activities that you used to. 

You don’t care about how you look or feel. You cut off your family and friends. All of these are signs of acute depression and possibly lead to a much bigger mental breakdown.

Having constant panic attacks and even considering suicide

Panic attacks are a legit warning sign of an arriving nervous breakdown, especially if they occur frequently within a small span of time. Nervous breakdowns are preceded by constant thoughts of worry and feeling doomed. You even experience suicidal thoughts known as Hyperarousal.

You begin to feel tense as a result of your nervous system going into fight-or-flight mode. All these can potentially aggravate and lead to a big mental breakdown.

Your mental health issue is not being managed properly

Everyone goes through mental health crisis at some point in their lives. Excessive this can lead to increased stress and depressive feelings. Your body stops working normally. 

Everyone experiences it, but it is mostly when underlying mental health disorders are present like depression, anxiety, and these should be taken care of right away.

If you are visiting a doctor, make sure to be open with them, and raise any red flags if you feel the treatment is not working.

Regular tasks seem daunting

A time comes in the “stressed out” phase when everything you do seems like a burden on you. Something which is an everyday task like making your bed seems unmanageable and heavy. You don’t feel like putting effort into it.

This kind of feeling develops over time due to the ongoing stress and depression or even pops up suddenly.

These feelings of being unable to cope up with life every day can be cured effectively by meditation and medicines.

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Symptoms of Panic attacks

An achy mouth

Excessive teeth grinding can result in the formation of a sore jaw. Teeth grinding increases when you are more stressed out or tensed about something.

This mainly occurs when you are asleep and gets worse when you are going through a stressful period.

Matthew Messina of The American Dental Association claims that using mouth guards at night while sleeping can decrease up to 70% of teeth grinding and the pain due to it.

Experiencing odd dreams

Dreams get more positive as you sleep and sleep well for a long time every day. Your sleeping patterns, as well as your dreams, get more positive progressively. You tend to wake up in a better mood than what you went to sleep with.

When you are stressed out, you wake up more often during sleep and disrupt the process, and hence, odd and unpleasant dreams occur. Stress disturbs your subconscious mind, thus leading to such dreams.

Bleeding gums

A Brazilian analysis of 14 past studies shows that people who are more stressed out experience a higher risk of periodontal diseases.

There are increased levels of the stress hormone called cortisol, which impairs the immunity system and leads to bleeding gums.

The greater the levels of cortisol, the greater the chances of having your gums invaded by blood. You can protect your mouth and gums by brushing properly every day, and exercising, and sleeping more, which helps lower stress levels.

Acne out of nowhere

Greater stress levels lead to increased inflammation, which further leads to breakouts on the skin and pimples. People often consider these to be the effects of puberty or oily skin, but many times, acne is a result of excessive stress and tension.

You should smooth your skin with the help of a lotion containing salicylic acid or anti-bacterial benzoyl peroxide. Your skin won’t respond to remedies if you’re stressed out. Consult your doctor for better medicines.

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How can stress affect your digestive system

Itchy skin

A study conducted on more than 2000 people in Japan stated that people with itchy skin (pruritis) are twice as likely to be stressed out than people without this condition.

Experts say that stress, anxiety, being tensed out aggravate skin conditions like dermatitis, eczema, or psoriasis.

The response to the excessive levels of stress and anxiety activates the nerve fibers, which in turn leads to an itchy sensation. Do consult a dermatologist if you face such a skin issue.

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Period cramps which are more painful

Most stressed-out women are thrice as likely to face painful and awkward menstrual cramps as those who are less worried or tensed. Researchers at Harvard university blame this on a stress-induced imbalance of hormones.

Going to the gym and working out often, and making this a routine can significantly decrease stress and soothe cramps as the activity of the sympathetic nervous system gets decreased.


From the above points, it is clear that there are various indications of a nervous breakdown ranging from acne to having cravings for sweets.

One thing is clear that whatever be the reason for the potential breakdown to occur, none of the above factors should be overlooked. If you face any of the above symptoms, do consult a doctor immediately.

symptoms of mental breakdowns

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