Mental Breakdown: 7 Signs To Watch Out For Mental Breakdown: 7 Signs To Watch Out For

Mental Breakdown: 7 Signs To Watch Out For


Feeling like you're about to have a mental breakdown is a common experience. Many people face stress about achieving success, meeting parental expectations, and dealing with work-related concerns. As a result, many individuals feel like they are reaching a breaking point.

Understanding that a mental breakdown might not always manifest as a sudden or overt outburst is crucial. Intense stress and anxiety can build up gradually over time. In this article, we discuss recognising the indicators of a mental breakdown and seeking assistance when necessary.

What Exactly Is A Mental Breakdown?

A mental breakdown, often called a "nervous breakdown," is not a medical term or a formal mental health diagnosis. Instead, it is commonly employed to characterise a phase marked by profound mental and emotional turmoil.

The term "breakdown" is utilised when individuals cannot complete their daily activities as usual due to overwhelming anxiety, burnout, or stress.

What Are The Signs Of A Mental Breakdown?

Identifying the signs and symptoms of a mental breakdown, whether in yourself or someone else, is crucial to facilitate prompt assistance.

These indicators of a mental breakdown can vary significantly from one person to another and may encompass mental and emotional states and physical symptoms. The underlying cause can also influence the specific signs.

When experiencing a mental breakdown, the intense reaction to stress can resemble other mental health conditions such as chronic stress, anxiety, and depression. Additionally, burnout, resulting from prolonged exposure to excessive stress, may exhibit similar signs and symptoms to a mental breakdown.

Here are seven key signs to be vigilant for:

1. You’re Feeling Anxious Or Depressed

Do you feel overwhelmed by anxiety to the point where managing daily life seems impossible? Or are you grappling with such deep-seated sadness and depression that they interfere with your ability to function? It's essential to recognise that both anxiety and depression are emotional reactions stemming from prolonged stress.


If you're on a mental breakdown, you might encounter instances where you feel powerless or experience uncontrollable bouts of crying. Additionally, emotional outbursts or an overwhelming sense of anger may also manifest.

2. You’re Having Panic Attacks

If you're suddenly overwhelmed by intense anxiety, it could indicate a panic attack. Sometimes, individuals may encounter panic attacks as a response to significant stress.

These emotional distress episodes may also be accompanied by physical manifestations, including:

3. You’re Finding It Difficult To Sleep

Achieving a restful night's sleep is crucial for your emotional and physical health, and excessive stress can adversely affect your sleep patterns.

When your mind is burdened with numerous concerns, falling asleep or maintaining restful sleep can become challenging. Some individuals may even find themselves waking up in the early hours, while others may experience prolonged sleep.

A 2018 review discovered that "stress-related worry and rumination" were responsible for sleep disturbances, ultimately increasing the likelihood of developing insomnia.

4. You Feel Exhausted

Excessive stress can lead to feelings of extreme fatigue and weariness. During a mental breakdown, tasks and activities that were once pleasurable might become notably challenging. Additionally, you might perceive a need for more energy when tackling everyday responsibilities.

Fatigue can also be attributed to inadequate or excessive sleep patterns.

5. You’re Withdrawing From Friends Or Family

During a mental breakdown, you may retreat from social interactions with friends, family, and colleagues. Signs of withdrawal can encompass:

  • Taking sick days off from work.

  • Avoiding social gatherings and failing to attend scheduled appointments.

  • A reluctance to spend time with loved ones, isolating yourself at home.

  • Neglecting personal hygiene and self-care.

6. You Have A Change In Appetite

Do you notice a tendency to eat to deal with overwhelming emotions excessively? If you're experiencing overeating, it may be associated with stress, anxiety, or potentially a mental breakdown. A study has revealed that the stress hormone cortisol can stimulate cravings for foods rich in sugar or fat.

Furthermore, evidence indicates that some individuals may lose their appetite when confronted with intense emotional or mental challenges.

7. You’re Unable To Concentrate

Studies indicate that extended periods of stress can impact your memory and ability to focus. This is attributed to the potential for stress to induce structural alterations in various brain regions.

During a mental breakdown, you might encounter challenges with concentration, memory retention, and decision-making. These cognitive symptoms can further hinder your capacity to manage your stress.

What Should I Do In A Mental Health Crisis?

Experiencing the intense emotions of a mental breakdown can be frightening, but it's crucial to recognise that support is accessible.

If you're in danger of self-harm or suicidal thoughts, please dial the emergency helpline or seek immediate assistance at your nearest Accident & Emergency (A&E) facility. Additionally, contacting your local crisis team can provide a listening ear and assistance.

Understanding that seeking help for your mental well-being is not misusing anyone's time is essential.

When Should I Speak To A Doctor?

If you find it difficult to cope with your mental health, seeking help from a healthcare professional is a valuable and beneficial initial measure. They can assist you in obtaining additional assistance.


It's advisable to consult with a doctor or therapist when:


  • You're experiencing feelings of sadness or depression.

  • You're contending with anxiety, stress, or another mental health concern.

  • You cannot manage daily life, encompassing work, education, or relationships.

  • Sleep disturbances are impeding your ability to rest or awaken.

  • You're encountering thoughts of self-harm or suicidal ideation.


If you need assistance with your mental health or health concerns, don't hesitate to contact Mobi Doctor. Our team of professionals is here to provide guidance and support to help you navigate your well-being effectively.


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