A "Nervous Breakdown" is a popular term - it is not a clinical term - that is often used to describe a mental disorder that a person experiences. It is used for a number of reasons, including: to hide a diagnosis; to avoid the stigma of a diagnosis; not understanding the reasons for certain loss of function (such as not seeing a doctor, but having symptoms); and not accepting a diagnosis among others.
There are many disorders that can fit within the criteria of "Nervous Breakdown", but those that most commonly occur are those related to:
The Disorder that is mimics the most directly however is Major Depressive Disorder (Depression).
On the historical note, the reason the term "Nervous Breakdown" came into being was that people preferred to have a physical (Nerves) illness as opposed to a psychological or psychiatric illness.
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