Nervous breakdown - Causes and Symptoms

Related articles: Nervous exhaustion


Nervous exhaustion (or neurasthenia) is a state of physical and mental fatigue and weakness triggered by a psychic component.

This condition can be favored by particularly stressful rhythms of life, which cause a condition of continuous psychological distress, which affects the body with various and non-specific symptoms.

Particularly frequent manifestations associated with nervous exhaustion are: vertigo, insomnia, digestive disorders, poor intellectual performance, inability to concentrate, irritability and pain in various organs and systems, such as low back pain and headache.

The neurasthenic subject feels fatigued with extreme ease and weakened due to the slightest effort (the term "neurasthenia" means "nervous fatigue"). The consequence is a reduction in efficiency both in work and in other activities of daily life.

Often, nervous exhaustion is associated with hypochondria (that is, excessive concern for one's own health, which leads to overestimating the most insignificant malaise), lack of appetite and weight loss.

In neurasthenia, changes in affectivity and emotion can also be associated: anxiety, tension, ease of crying, feelings of insecurity and mistrust, pessimism and increased reactivity in the face of various stimuli.

Nervous breakdown is generally traced to a picture of depression or anxiety disorders.

Sometimes, this symptom is associated with endocrine, neurological or physical pathologies, such as, for example, post-traumatic syndromes and sequelae of an infection.

The abuse of some drugs, alcohol and drugs may predispose to the onset of neurasthenia.

Possible Causes * of nervous exhaustion

  • Alcoholism
  • Anxiety
  • Major depression
  • Postpartum depression
  • Hypochondria
  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)