Health A-Z

Mental Breakdown

Clinical Definition

Mental breakdown is a term used to describe an acute psychiatric condition  precipitated by intense stressors. Mental breakdown is not defined by the American Psychiatric Association, but is a common euphemism used to describe a reactive psychiatric condition causing impaired concentration and normal functioning.

In Our Own Words

A mental breakdown is a psychiatric state in which a person cannot function normally. It is often due to a severe stressor, which causes extreme anxiety, despair or depression. Although mental breakdown is not a medical term, it is used by the layperson or public to define a sudden abnormal mental state. The cause of a mental breakdown could be any type of severe stress, which causes a person to feel emotionally overwhelmed and unable to function.

Symptoms and Side Effects

  • Depression
  • Loss of concentration
  • Anxiety
  • Inability to cope or function normally
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