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International Counselor, Leech Therapist, Master of Body, Mind and Spirit

LEECHES LEECH MEHDI LEECHES THERAPIST Nervous Breakdown: Theories and Causes by mehdi jaffari

Nervous Breakdown: Theories and Causes

Nervous breakdown, also known as mental breakdown, is really a non-clinical term used to refer to the sudden attack of a mental illness or disorder. Of course, the breakdown may appear sudden but the buildup actually takes much longer.

A nervous breakdown is actually a symptom of a mental disorder rather than a disorder itself. Thus, a nervous breakdown is a sign of an underlying problem. For this reason, a nervous breakdown is usually described in the vaguest of terms. Depending on the underlying medical condition, a nervous breakdown can refer to the simple inability to function normally or it can refer to the much more serious symptom of hearing voices and having visions – and these are, by no means, not the limit of the ways by which a nervous breakdown is manifested.

Theories on Nervous Breakdown

It is said that a nervous breakdown is mainly caused by extreme stress. The person who has a nervous breakdown is unable to cope with everything that needs his attention or everything that is causing him stress so he simply gives up.

Do all people experience a nervous breakdown? Everyone can succumb to a nervous breakdown. However, some people are more predisposed to the occurrence of a nervous breakdown than other people. The following are some of the general theories that can be used to gauge a person’s predisposition to a nervous breakdown.

Diathesis-Stress Model

A person’s genes may predispose him to anxiety disorder, depression or other disorders like them. Stressors or environmental factors are also primary influences in disorders that can lead to a nervous breakdown.

According to the diathesis-stress model, these two factors together can trigger a nervous breakdown. For instance, a person who has low serotonin and dopamine levels is much more likely to have a nervous breakdown than another person who has normal serotonin and dopamine levels. Extreme stress caused by the death of a loved one, divorce, the loss of job, etc. can then trigger a major depressive episode or any other disorder and, consequently, he suffers a nervous breakdown.

Biopsychosocial Model

This is another theory that can explain the occurrence of a nervous breakdown. In this model, a person experiences mental breakdown if his biological, psychological and social needs are neglected. The person feels isolated and perceives a distinct lack of love and support from other people, especially from those who are important to him. Consequently, he feels depressed, hopeless and anxious which may end up in total collapse or a nervous breakdown.

Pathological Explanation

There can also be a significant connection between the pathology of the brain and the occurrence of a nervous breakdown. Clinical depression, for instance, is a disorder that may be attributed to the abnormal supply of serotonin and epinephrine in the brain. These neurotransmitters play a crucial role in a person’s emotions and feelings of well being. The decrease in the supply of serotonin, epinephrine and dopamine can induce the onset of depression symptoms like fatigue, loss of interest and motivation, extreme sadness, and hopelessness. It is believed that when neurotransmitter levels remain consistently below normal levels, nervous breakdown can ensue.

Psychoanalytic Theory

Erik Erickson, the father of psychoanalytic theory, explains that a person who has unresolved internal and relational conflicts is at high risk for developing the disorders that can cause a nervous breakdown.

In the infant stage, the child should learn to trust his caregiver. In the event that the child experiences abuse, however, the child will find it difficult to trust not only his caregiver but other people as well. These trust issues, if left unresolved, can lead to graver problems in adulthood.

Specific Triggers of a Nervous Breakdown

A person may suffer a nervous breakdown because of one or a combination of the following specific triggers or stressors:

  • Long-term grief ( a person is unable to cope with the loss of a loved one especially a spouse or a child)
  • Personal problems (unwanted pregnancy, career stress, unresolved sexual identity, alcohol and drug abuse, chronic sleeping disorder, post-trauma or near-death experience)
  • Family Problems (divorce, separation, serious illness of a family member)
  • Financial and social problems (unemployment, homelessness, employment discrimination, poverty)
  • Loss of self-respect, self-confidence and trust
  • Medical illnesses (cancer, communicable diseases like AIDS or HIV, thyroid deficiencies and vitamin deficiencies as well as hormonal changes)
  • Substance abuse

A person who is experiencing any of the above mentioned ‘triggers’ is more likely to succumb to a nervous breakdown. Nevertheless, this is not to say that this person is certain to have a nervous breakdown. From the theories that have been discussed in the preceding section, it is clear that a nervous breakdown is not usually caused by a single factor or trigger. A nervous breakdown is usually a result of a combination of several factors. As a case in point, while some people who lose a loved one succumb to a nervous breakdown, some people do not have a nervous breakdown. One’s predisposition to a nervous breakdown is affected by various factors.

Complications of Nervous Breakdown

If a person having a nervous breakdown is not given the proper care and attention, his problem may become graver and other complications may set in. People who are having a nervous breakdown tend to shut themselves off. They will experience personal neglect (unable to eat, drink, bath or sleep) and medical problems like deep vein thrombosis (for catatonic patients) and malnutrition. In more serious cases, someone who is having a nervous breakdown can become a threat to himself (suicidal) or to others (aggression and violence).


The onset of a nervous breakdown is deemed to be sudden. Nevertheless, a person’s slide to a state of nervous breakdown does not happen overnight. A person usually has a nervous breakdown after he has ‘had enough’. This indicates that a person’s progression to a total collapse or nervous breakdown happens gradually. Thus, a person’s progression to the state of collapse can actually be arrested and prevented if those who love him are especially watchful and heed the signs.

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LEECHES LEECH MEHDI LEECHES THERAPIST Nervous Breakdown: Treatment and Medication by mehdi jaffari

Nervous Breakdown: Treatment and Medication

People suffering a nervous breakdown speak about their misery of pain and desperation in trying to understand what caused the downward spiral in loosing their ability to cope with life.  It’s a heartbreaking familiarity that always touched the core of Mehdi’s heart as he helped people in many different areas.

For more than 30 years, Mehdi’s knowledge and compassion for sufferers of a Nervous Breakdown has helped many people overcome the dark and desperate phase in their life.  Today, many people are able to enjoy transforming results through Mehdi’s ‘Tools For Life’ DVDs, where he incorporated essential life-changing tools, which are simple and easy to follow.

People can and do recover from nervous breakdowns.  Underlying conditions that may lead or have led to a nervous breakdown can be treated, therefore it’s important to know what different treatments are available.

When receiving medical treatment, an extensive assessment is required.  It’s important for a psychiatrist or  psychologist to determine the underlying cause of the breakdown. Once the cause is properly determined, a doctor can prescribe the appropriate treatment.


Therapy is one of the most common and effective forms of treatment for nervous breakdowns. The following are some of the therapeutic methods used.

Aromatherapy, Yoga and Massage Therapy

These are complementing therapeutic procedures that are used to help the patient relax. In aromatherapy, aromatic herbs are used to set the mood. In yoga, the patient is taught how to meditate or concentrate so he can put his mind at rest. In massage therapy, the body is subjected to a soothing massage so that tension would leave and the body could relax.

Nervous breakdowns are usually a result of extreme stress and chronic anxiety. Through the above mentioned therapeutic procedures, relaxation can be induced. The body and mind will be given relief from the ravages that constant agitation has wrought on them.


Medical professionals also use their most effective form of treatment – psychotherapy. This type of treatment is something that is commonly used among all types of psychological disorders. It doesn’t have negative side effects, and it has been proven effective in helping patients overcome underlying issues that have led to their breakdown.

Psychotherapy is an interpersonal and relational therapy that aims to help a patient deal with everyday problems. The goal of psychotherapy is to increase the person’s sense of well-being and to reduce the effect of past painful experiences on the present.

The forms of psychotherapy include:

Psychoanalysis. This type of psychotherapy is attributed to Sigmund Freud. Freud believed that a person’s past experiences – particularly those that occurred during a person’s childhood years – have a significant effect (positive or negative) on the person’s adult years. Freud, however, was more concerned with sexual patterns of behavior. He based his study in 5 stages of sexual development. If a need in a certain stage is not gratified, then the person will manifest certain fixation.

Psychoanalysis is useful in the treatment of patients suffering from nervous breakdown because childhood and past experiences may explain a person’s predisposition to the condition. Once the issues arising from past experiences are resolved, a person may have a better chance of adapting more effective stress-coping mechanisms and thus prevent another breakdown in the future.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. This type of psychotherapy is focused on constructing as well as reconstructing the cognitive and emotional maps of a person. Medical professionals use techniques to determine the person’s way of thinking, feeling and behaving. Oftentimes, they use the interview as a means of assessing the patient. Once the thinking, feeling and behaving patterns have been identified, the therapist will be able to help the patient get rid of those negative patterns that make him especially vulnerable to stress and the subsequent nervous breakdown.

Hypnotherapy. Hypnotherapy refers to hypnosis therapy. Hypnosis is used to accomplish several things. It can be used for helping the patient relax. It can also be used as a diagnostic procedure; the therapist may put the patient under hypnosis to discover why the patient thinks the way he does and what possible events may have triggered the breakdown. Hypnosis may also be used in ‘rewiring’ the brain – specifically the subconscious – so that the patient’s irrational perception or thinking patterns (even those that he takes for granted) may be corrected.

Expressive Therapy. This type of treatment is used by medical professionals to help the patient express their feelings in a more positive way. A patient can, for instance, use drama, music, writing, and other forms of art as their tools of expression. This treatment is very effective in cases where the patient tends to suppress what he is feeling or has no healthy outlet for his emotions.

Counseling. This is basic talk therapy. The counselor acts as a guide or advisor to the patient. He will become the patient’s sounding board; the patient will therefore be able to analyze his own thoughts, emotions and behavior without fearing any judgment. Through the counselor’s help, the patient will be able to spot whatever faulty thinking patterns he has and take steps to correct them.


People who have suffered a nervous breakdown may also be given medication. Typically, anti-depressants, anti-anxiety and other psychotropic medications are used in treating patients who are suffering from a nervous breakdown. These medications, however, are generally not meant for long-term and continued use. Some of them can be addictive while some have serious side effects.

Here are the following psychotropic medications prescribed in cases of nervous breakdown:

Anti-depressants – these medications are primarily used for treating depression. Anti-depressants include MAOIs (monoamine oxidase inhibitors), tricyclics and SSRIs (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors). These medications work in different ways and they vary in effectiveness. A person taking anti-depressants usually waits for weeks or months before they will feel the beneficial effects of these drugs. Caution is advised, however, for those who have a history of alcohol abuse.

Anxiolytics – these medications are mainly used for treating anxiety disorders. Anti-anxiety medications include benzodiazepines, barbiturates, hydroxyzine, and serotonin 1A antagonist. Some anti-anxiety medications can be extremely addictive so administration must be strictly supervised.

Anti-psychotics – these medications are used mainly in the treatment of serious nervous breakdowns and psychotic disorders like schizophrenia. These medications should not be used in patients who are suffering from a nervous breakdown until absolutely necessary; it has serious side effects like dystonia (muscle contraction in the neck), akathisia (uncontrolled movements of the hands), Parkinsonism (rigidity and tremors), hypotension, and seizures.

Mood Stabilizers – these medications are typically used for treating mood disorders like bipolar disorder (i.e. manic-depressive disorder). The most common form of mood stabilizers is Lithium Carbonate.

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LEECHES LEECH MEHDI LEECHES THERAPIST Mental and Physical Effects During Nervous Breakdown by mehdi jaffari

Mental and Physical Effects During Nervous Breakdown

Was there a moment in your life when you felt that time ran very fast? When the day was not enough to finish all the work that had to be done? If yes, then you are not a stranger to stress. This stress can pave the way for chronic anxiety. Persistent anxiety, on the other hand, can lead to a nervous breakdown.

Relationship between Stress and Nervous Breakdowns

Stress is part of our everyday life. Technically, it is a feeling engendered by any of the various stressors. Stress may be induced by another person, by an object that gives rise to anxiety, and by a dreaded situation. Anything that makes us feel threatened is a stressor and a source of stress.

The most common source of stress is work. Someone who has to deal with constant deadlines is usually stressed out. Lack of work when someone wishes and needs to be employed is also another cause of stress. Tragic events like the loss of a loved one or a natural calamity, moreover, can also lead to stress. Poverty is also a source of powerful stress; someone who has no money to provide for his and his family’s basic needs is subject to a lot of stress.

Everyone feels stress. However, the amount of stress experienced varies from one person to another. Different events carry varying degrees of stress. Getting stuck in traffic, for instance, may be deemed less stressful than being in the frontline in a war. The frequency of stress exposure, moreover, also varies from one person to another. Someone who works in a library, for instance, usually has less exposure to unremitting stress than someone who works in an oil drilling operation.

Everybody also has a mechanism for dealing with stress. However, personal mechanisms for coping with stress vary in effectiveness. Some people deal with stress more ably than other people.

Due to the differences in amount of stress experienced, the frequency of stress exposure and individual stress-coping mechanisms, stress affects people differently. For some people, stress may be no more than routine and stress may bring a bad day or two – no more, no less. In some people’s case, however, stress may have a very different effect. Some people who are unable to cope with a sudden, grave or constant stress may suddenly ‘snap’ and suffer from a nervous breakdown.

A nervous breakdown is therefore generally caused by stress; the source, frequency of exposure, and amount of stress that can bring on a nervous breakdown varies from one person to another. In any case, the effect is generally the same – the person who has a breakdown usually loses his control over his emotions, thoughts and behavior.

The Effects of Nervous Breakdowns

Nervous breakdowns lead to changes in the body, changes in the emotional and mental state, and deviations from normal behavior.

Physical Effects

During the course of nervous breakdown, the person experiences tremendous changes in his body. The effects of nervous breakdown in the body are really devastating.

Right before the onset of total collapse, the body is in a state of constant agitation. This state entails other physiological effects including dizziness or nausea, a tightness in the chest and shortness of breath, elevated blood pressure, increased heart rate, and hot flushes.

If this state of constant agitation is prolonged or left unchecked, nervous breakdown will occur. Specific body organs will be worn out. Thus, someone who has broken down typically feels very fatigued or exhausted. He feels depleted of energy so he has no inclination to move or do anything but sit or lie down in one place.

The nervous breakdown (actually the process leading to the actual breakdown) can also lead to heart disease; before total breakdown, the heart has been pumping blood at a faster rate than normal. When the body was trying to deal with the stress, a high blood pressure was required. Prolonged periods of high blood pressure can lead to arteriosclerosis or hardened arteries. Other complications of sustained high blood pressure are organ damage such as kidney damage, eye damage and brain damage, among other things.

Mental Effects

Technically speaking, nervous breakdown is a symptom of mental and anxiety disorders. For instance, a depression disorder may present itself through a nervous breakdown. A psychotic disorder may also do the same. Nevertheless, nervous breakdowns (especially the process leading up to the breakdown) also have their own effect on a person’s mental state.

The state of constant agitation, anxiety or distress that ultimately leads to a breakdown has negative effects on a person’s mental health. A person so afflicted will have difficulty focusing on work and other pressing concerns. He will also have difficulty in analyzing information and making decisions. He will also be unable to make sound decisions for his judgment will be impaired.

As a result of these, the problem that caused the stress and chronic anxiety may get worse. Due to the person’s inability to focus, make decisions and make sound judgment, he may lose his job, his family and the respect of other people. He will also become frustrated with himself, his self-esteem will suffer and he may become depressed or angry. He may try to suppress these feelings, and by so doing he will exacerbate the problem and accelerate his slide to total breakdown.

After total breakdown, a person will have no motivation to engage in all activities that he used to enjoy before his breakdown. Negative feelings like guilt, shame, frustration, and even terror will reign. He may even manifest psychotic symptoms. He may hear voices in his head and see things that other people cannot see.

Behavioral Effects

As a result of the changes in mental state, the person will also exhibit deviations from normal behavior. Someone who is normally peaceful may have temper tantrums and show excessive rage and aggression. He may become violent, suicidal and destructive. In some cases, a person may simply become catatonic and immobile. He may also exhibit changes in speech; he may stutter or talk incoherently.

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LEECHES LEECH MEHDI LEECHES THERAPIST Nervous Breakdowns by mehdi jaffari

Nervous Breakdowns

When some people hear the term ‘nervous breakdown’, they often think about madness or insanity, or associate the words to a stereotypical patient inside a mental institution. Some people on the other hand, associate a nervous breakdown with the loss of a will to live or the inabililty to function and perform daily activities, from losing the desire to eat, to taking a bath. Others equate a nervous breakdown to career burnout, where people suddenly ‘lose it’, effecting their drive and ability to perform at the office.


Mehdi is aware most people are unclear about exactly what a nervous breakdown entails, adding stigma to a sufferer’s feeling of isolation and loss of direction. 

After more than 30 years of experience understanding and successfully helping people to overcome a nervous breakdown, brought Mehdi to include essential life-changing skills in his ‘Tools For Life’ DVD, which are simple and easy to follow.  Mehdi knows the central root of all problems can be dealt with more effectively when a person first understands about themselves.

By the time most people seek help for a breakdown, everyday issues have become a struggle, making it difficult to process even the most simple thoughts.  It could be how you feel when you wake up in the morning, how to cope with the day ahead, a feeling of anxiousness facing work or taking care of the family and more importantly, the desperate feeling of not understanding yourself and why you’re feeling this way.  Many treatments can include the use of medications, which can cause dependency as well as side effects and doesn’t reach the root of the problem.

Please don’t feel all is lost, many people have experienced the same situations as yourself and have regained a happy, productive and successful life. 

Let’s look at things from a different perspective…….we all need a key to enter a house, petrol to drive a car, a passport to take us overseas, ingredients to cook food, money to pay bills – in other words, everything relates to a fundamental key or a tool, which Mehdi has included in his ‘Tools For Life’ dvd.

Visit the ‘Teaching DVDs’ page to learn more and read about Mehdi’s simple steps to regain your life.  The DVD package can be downloaded or received by post and includes his ‘Life, Love & Harmony’ DVD, a complimentary gift from Mehdi.

Take the step to reclaim your life.  If you have any questions, you can reach Mehdi by email on the ‘Contact Details’ page.

The Role of Stress

People often experience stressful situations in their lives. The body has a special coping mechanism which helps a person battle the effects of stress. The adrenal gland, which also has a role in managing fat, regulating blood pressure and regulating the sugar level in the body, is in charge of handling the stress that we encounter everyday. In particular, the adrenal gland secretes hormones that help the body prepare for its defense; the catecholamine like epinephrine and norepinephrine help restore the balance in the body.

But when someone is exposed to constant or continuous stress, the adrenal gland also becomes tired. The parts of the body crucial to the body�s defense also become tired. Consequently, a person who is constantly stressed out experiences fatigue; their adrenal gland’s ability to manage the body’s reaction to stress is also weakened. Thus, someone who is under constant stress eventually finds their resistance to stress is diminishing and the ability to cope with stress declining. The decline in the body�s ability to resist and defend against stress can ultimately lead to a nervous breakdown.

What Is a Nervous Breakdown?

Nervous breakdown, in actuality, is a catch-all phrase that is used by people to refer to all sorts of disorders (usually psychiatric or psychological). In other words, nervous breakdown is a general term and not a specific medical term with specific symptoms and causes. It is in fact just the layman�s term for various medical conditions that keep a person in a state of constant agitation and distress; these conditions are usually marked by a person�s lack of ability to function normally.

Technically speaking, a nervous breakdown is actually a symptom. People who suffer from major depression, for instance, will probably experience a nervous breakdown as a result of their depression. It is not a nerve disease. Rather, it is a state where a person who has had to deal with a lot of stress suddenly �snaps� and �loses it,� so to speak.

The Symptoms of Nervous Breakdown

Nervous breakdowns are therefore vague and manifested in many ways. People who are suffering from depression can have a nervous breakdown characterized by the inability to feel pleasure, inability to sleep or stay awake and, generally, inability to function normally.

A nervous breakdown may also be experienced by people who are suffering from psychosis or other mental disorders. Someone who has a nervous breakdown may find it hard to assimilate information and grasp reality. They may also have visual and aural hallucinations. Furthermore, violent tendencies may also manifest as a result.

A nervous breakdown can be devastating and frightening. If the warning signs are not recognized early, the repercussions can be serious. During a nervous breakdown, a person cannot fully comprehend reality. They can become extremely angry, confused and distressed and can easily become destructive � both to themselves and to other people.

A nervous breakdown is therefore a psychological crisis that occurs very suddenly. It also has physiological manifestations. Someone who is suffering from nervous breakdown suddenly experiences some of the following symptoms: muscle weakness, lightheadedness, intense craving for food (especially food that is rich in fat and salt content), insomnia, diarrhea, constipation, low sexual drive, and an irregular menstrual cycle.

Diagnosing Nervous Breakdown

Diagnosing a nervous breakdown is usually very difficult. First of all, diagnosis requires elimination of all other possible causes of the various manifestations of a nervous breakdown. Thus, a patient who may have a nervous breakdown has to undergo some tests. A comprehensive history must also be compiled, which requires the cooperation of the patient and the patient�s family.

For proper diagnosis of a person with nervous breakdown, the family member or friend should accompany the person to a medical institution where professional help is available. The medical professional will then proceed to perform a full physical examination, including lab tests to rule out physical causes. The doctor will then interview the patient and the family, and will perform a mental health assessment to determine the patient’s mental state.

Diagnosis also necessitates looking for the specific disorder that is causing the nervous breakdown or that is manifesting itself in a nervous breakdown. A nervous breakdown, as earlier mentioned, is not a true medical condition but rather a catch-all phrase that is used to refer to a broad range of psychiatric and psychological disorders. A patient who is having a nervous breakdown may be suffering from anxiety disorders, psychotic or manic disorders.

Determining the root cause of the nervous breakdown is required. The resolution of or the root problem will lead to the resolution of the manifested symptoms (of which nervous breakdown is one).


A nervous breakdown can last for several months or more if left untreated. Since a nervous breakdown makes a person lose their grasp on reality, they can become a danger to themselves and to others.

If you think your loved one is on the verge of a nervous breakdown, it is imperative that you immediately seek medical help. It is best that the cause of a possible nervous breakdown be immediately addressed so that a full nervous breakdown can be prevented. If you, on the other hand, are dealing with a lot of stress, you may be setting yourself up for a nervous breakdown. You should try to slow down and relax more before you become truly sick

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