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7 Signs You’re Headed for a Nervous Breakdown

The Healthy Logo By Claire Nowak of The Healthy | Slide 1 of 8: “Nervous breakdown” isn’t an official medical term or mental illness, but everyone has some idea of what the phrase means. Although there's no precise definition, it generally describes the feeling of being under so much prolonged stress that you feel like you're reaching a breaking point, says David A. Merrill, MD, PhD, a neurologist and psychiatrist at the Pacific Neuroscience Institute at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, CA. Feeling you're having a nervous breakdown can be indicative of an underlying mental illness and you need to talk to your doctor about it right away if it's impeding your ability to live your normal life, he says. Talk to your doctor about all your symptoms so you can get the right kind of help to tackle your extreme stress and start feeling better. "Nervous breakdowns need to be treated both medically and psychologically," he explains. "There are lots of new treatments available, so don't be afraid to ask for help." Don't miss these warning signs of depression.

What exactly is a nervous breakdown?

“Nervous breakdown” isn’t an official medical term or mental illness, but everyone has some idea of what the phrase means. Although there's no precise definition, it generally describes the feeling of being under so much prolonged stress that you feel like you're reaching a breaking point, says David A. Merrill, MD, PhD, a neurologist and psychiatrist at the Pacific Neuroscience Institute at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, CA.

Feeling you're having a nervous breakdown can be indicative of an underlying mental illness, and you need to talk to your doctor about it right away if it's impeding your ability to live your normal life, he says. Talk to your doctor about all your symptoms so you can get the right kind of help to tackle your extreme stress and start feeling better.

"Nervous breakdowns need to be treated both medically and psychologically," he explains. "There are lots of new treatments available, so don't be afraid to ask for help." Don't miss these warning signs of depression.

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