We all go through hard times, but everyone handles stress differently. Some people manage to seamlessly power through (lucky them), while others start to exhibit signs of a nervous breakdown. Losing control during tough times can be scary, and whether it's a friend, family member, co-worker, or even yourself, you''ll want to be aware of when someone is going through something rough and may need some help.
Technically, a "nervous breakdown" isn't a real psychological term, but it's what most people tend to describe a severe panic attack or depressive episodes that become debilitating. "When symptoms of behavioral disorders escalate, they can manifest itself with panic attacks and other physical symptoms of stress which can cause a person cease functioning normally and require hospitalization," says Cara Maksimow, LCSW, CPC over email.
Because "nervous breakdown" is a laymen's term, there is no checklist of diagnosable symptoms, but basically, it means someone's stress and emotions have affected them so much, it's influencing all parts of their life and they're no longer able to function as they normally do. Someone who seems to be breaking down could need to be treated for a variety of issues, including stress, anxiety, depression, or more.
If you suspect someone you know might be having a nervous breakdown, you'll want to look out for these eight telltale signs.