Terminology Question

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Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 4219
   Posted 12/2/2008 8:43 AM (GMT -6)   
I visit here from time to time because I do have some anxiety issues. I have relatives with much worse mental health issues. My mom has mentioned before that my aunt has had "nervous breakdowns." I read on here that someone else was hospitalized as a teen for a nervous breakdown. Excuse my ignorance but could someone explain what a nervous breakdown is? Does it come out of no where or is it because of untreated a/p? How does one differentiate it from a regular "attack?" Thanks!

Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 12/2/2008 9:04 AM (GMT -6)   
Good Morning Fitzy,

Nervous breakdown is a dated term referring to anxiety disorders that notably affect functionality.

A time of mental illness when a person cannot think clearly. It often happens after someone has been through a difficult or stressful time.

A severe or incapacitating emotional disorder which is most often linked to Major Depressive Disorder however many of the mental health disorders may be hospitalized for being incaptacitated by their mental disease.

Hope this helps.

Have a great day


Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 2721
   Posted 12/2/2008 9:38 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Fitzy,

Kitt has put that really well. You can suffer from panic attacks but not have a "nervous breakdown". That terminology (I'm not a professional - don't quote me!) was used more in the last century to describe many manifestations of mental disorder.

At that time there was not as much knowledge of the difference between severe mental disorders such as schizophrenia, and our modern understanding of depression, anxiety, OCD PTSD etc. It was the generalised term used for someone who needed to be admitted to hospital/institution for a mental health issue (also not a word used much then).

I hope I haven't confused you. Just wanted to add my 2c


Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 4219
   Posted 12/6/2008 6:27 PM (GMT -6)   
Makes a lot of sense. Thank you. So it is basically a general term used whenever someone is hospitalized for a mental health issue. Got it.

Elite Member

Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 24909
   Posted 12/7/2008 5:38 PM (GMT -6)   
Yes thats what it is basically
there is not really a "Nervous Breakdown" per say..........
It was a term used to describe mental incapacity..........
All systems down kinda thing
At least this has been what my doc has told me ...........

Good Question Fitzy and glad to see ya here as well as the CD forum
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