The life of modern humans has turned into a crazy race in which the winners are the fastest, the strongest, and not always the smartest. Not everyone can stand the constant tension.

Many people are beginning to suffer from stress. This stress gradually accumulates, and when there is no more room for it, the situation leads to a mental breakdown.

What is a mental breakdown?

The breakdown is actually the collapse of the psychological defense system. The defense from accumulated sick feeling, pain. This happens in such a way that it leads to the disintegration of normal psychological functioning.

Even if the condition improves, it is often followed by regression, ie, returning to lower levels of functioning. The breakdown is a destructive phenomenon.

It is something in the person that crashes, but nothing new is obtained. Many psychological crises can sometimes be a prelude to a qualitatively new and healthier state of the soul (for example, during good psychotherapy), but with a mental breakdown that is not the case.

The symptoms of a mental breakdown

How can you know that you or your loved ones are looming a mental breakdown? Psychologists point to 10 basic symptoms which will serve as a fairly reliable guide.

  1. You have chronic fatigue and weakness.
  2. Requests from colleagues or loved ones cause anger.
  3. People on the verge of a breakdown are prone to self-criticism. They blame themselves for accepting the situation.
  4. Excessive irritability is also inherent in people who are about to burst.
  5. If you have the impression that you surround yourself with enemies and you have nowhere to hide, it is very likely that you’ll have a mental breakdown.
  6. Words and actions that earlier did not draw any emotion, now are causing a painful reaction. Constantly you think that you are insulted and teased.
  7. The breakdown often indicates a severe headache and indigestion.
  8. Before a mental breakdown, people often suffer from insomnia and depression.
  9. The sense of helplessness, characteristic of the person in front of a mental breakdown, it is usually accompanied by excessive fear, and sometimes persecution complex.
  10. Due to problems with digestion, sometimes people lose weight.


The breakdown can occur either as a result of a strong stressful event or as a result of the accumulation of stress. It usually is just the last drop in the glass.

It is true that a mental breakdown may precede different signs or symptoms because the body signals that it is overloaded. The internal charge is too large and a person has to breakdown as a result of it.

The intensity of a mental breakdown

Most of us live with more or less tension and too stressful events – which triggers fractures in the soul and behavior. A mental breakdown can be lighter or heavier. If a mental breakdown is less dramatic and of shorter duration, a person can recover more quickly and completely.

However, a breakdown of high intensity can “break down the person to the ground”, and the result can be a transient psychotic state.

Two levels of mental events

It is important to distinguish between two levels of psychic events. One level is deeper and it represents the basic personality structure which is formed in the family.

Depending on the quality and integrity of the personality structure, people will be more vulnerable or less vulnerable to stress later in life.

The second level is the superficial concerns of our lives in adulthood, conflicts with friends, romantic partners, work colleagues, neighbors. One should not underestimate the level of mental events, but it is still a sphere of stress that trigger much deeper conflicts in the basic structure of our personality.


The right prevention and protection against breakdown lay in good and warm relations in the family. As the basis of personality is firmer, later stresses will not easily break the person.

Of course, it is good that you try to know how to live with less stress. And third, when a mental breakdown has occurred, a good combination of appropriate medication and psychotherapy is the treatment of choice.


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