Psychosis and nervous breakdown – when self-control goes away

Health Tips

I have a friend. A beautiful, sweet girl, but very emotional and sensitive. At the slightest conflict at work, she rushes into tears, runs away from the office, curses everyone and everything. Somehow she deleted her page on social networks, and soon started a new one. “I had a psychosis then,” she explained. “Everyone got it. Everyone needs something, they learn to live and so on. They don’t have enough nerves.”

After reading this story, I thought. A person makes psychiatric diagnoses for himself, and even recovers from them on his own in such a short period. That doesn’t happen. Let’s figure it out.

How is psychosis different from a nervous breakdown?

The terms “psychosis” and “nervous breakdown/affective reaction” are often confused.

We often hear: “I freaked out”, “crazy takes”, which means that the person could not restrain himself. In fact, it is a sudden outburst of anger hysteria, which is typical for a mentally healthy person. These problems can be corrected both by the person himself and by the psychologist.

Psychosis – a more complex and serious condition that is treated by a psychiatrist. Under it is understood mental disorder, a vivid violation of mental activity, a disorder in the perception of the real world (attention, memory, thinking) and disorganization of behavior.

Psychoses include schizophrenia, paranoid, manic, depressive, hypochondriacal, and alcoholic psychoses. To fully clarify, let’s decipher these diseases.

At schizophrenia, a person has crazy ideas, auditory and visual hallucinations, a decrease in will, apathy (is silent, freezes in strange poses), a disorder of thinking, perception (cannot solve a simple problem), poor chaotic speech.

At paranoid disorder a person is convinced that aliens, sorcerers, snipers, thieves, etc. influence or follow him. Suspiciousness actively develops (up to delusional thoughts) and ideas that are overvalued for a person, also of a delusional nature, are formed.

At manic psychosis there is an inadequately elevated mood, an increase in sexuality, falling in love with everyone around, a delusional reassessment of oneself (“I am the savior of the world”), motor excitation (from aimless neutral activity to aggressiveness, search for conflicts with others).

depressive psychosison the contrary, is characterized by a reduced mood, appetite (up to self-torture – anorexia), decreased sex drive, desire for suicide, a decrease in self-esteem to the level of delusional ideas.

Often manic and depressive psychoses can alternate each other.

As we can see, the term “psychosis” refers to a number of mental disorders with which a psychiatrist works.

Outbursts of anger, aggression, tantrums, persecution mania are also characteristic of a mentally healthy person. Under the influence of stress, the resources of the human psyche are depleted, and all this results in nervous breakdown.

Such a person is able to recognize a nervous breakdown in himself, after an affect, he may experience repentance, seeks to make amends. For example, if he was rude in a fit of rage. In addition, he seeks to deal with affective outbursts.

Fighting a nervous breakdown is possible. To begin with, you need to track nine signs:

  1. excessive irritability;
  2. chronic fatigue;
  3. it seems that there are only enemies around;
  4. constant self-criticism;
  5. other people’s requests cause anger;
  6. seemingly innocent words of others, spoken to you, suddenly began to offend you;
  7. disorders of the digestive tract, headaches;
  8. excessive suspicion, persecution mania;
  9. depression, constant insomnia.

If there was a nervous breakdown: what to do

  1. If the contradiction between the desired and the actual has reached its climax, and a nervous breakdown has occurred, the best way is to go through the situation. Shouldn’t be driven emotions inside, otherwise they will be expressed in psychosomatic diseases. You need to throw out your emotions and discharge.
  2. After you have released negative energy, switch your attention – wash your face, drink water, open the window.
  3. If possible, sleep, it will help restore strength.

If another person has a nervous breakdown, what should I do?


With the help of aggressive behavior, the human body tries to get rid of high tension. In a situation of affect (if aggression is not on you):

  1. remove strangers from the room;
  2. let the person “let off steam” – shout, beat the pillow, scatter things;
  3. assign work related to physical activity;
  4. always demonstrate a benevolent attitude, your participation. Do not blame him: “Well, you always behave like this”, “Can’t you not yell?”. It is worth saying about his feelings: “You are very angry now, I understand how unpleasant it is for you. We can come up with something together”;
  5. after the person has released steam, offer him to wash, drink water. This method is especially good for children.

nervous trembling

Sometimes it appears in a person who has just suffered an extreme situation (accident, attack by a criminal, was a participant in a conflict or other terrible incident). Thanks to trembling, the body relieves accumulated stress. This trembling cannot be stopped, otherwise it will cause muscle pain, and in the future it will turn into psychosomatic diseases. Trembling occurs immediately after the incident or after some time, the whole body or its individual parts tremble. For example, a person cannot hold a pen in his hands, open a lock, light a cigarette. In such a situation, you need:

  1. Strengthen the trembling so that it passes faster. Take the victim by the shoulders and shake for 15 seconds. At this time, talk to him so that he does not take your actions for aggression.
  2. After it disappears, let the victim rest, you can put to sleep.


It can last from several minutes to hours. In it we can observe theatrical poses, many motor actions, high activity, fast emotionally rich speech, sobs and screams. What to do?

  1. Remove strangers, stay alone with the person (if it’s safe).
  2. Surprise the victim – pour water over, slap, drop a heavy object (with a crash), scatter papers from the table, you can even shout sharply.
  3. Guide the victim in short phrases and in a confident tone: “Wash yourself,” “Drink some water,” “Come here.”
  4. After a tantrum, a person experiences a breakdown. Make sure that he rested, if possible, put him to bed.

As we can see, nervous breakdowns take away the lion’s share of energy, harm communication (spoil relations between close people, pose a threat to business, develop human conflict).

How to prevent a nervous breakdown?

1. Switch

If you feel that a nervous breakdown is close, and soon you will break firewood, you should switch to something else. The stronger your voltage, the more powerful the switch should be. Pour yourself some tea, look at yourself in the mirror, go to another room, wash your face.

If the tension is high, you can pinch yourself hard, drop something unbreakable, crumple paper. In some offices, I saw drawings on the wall with the inscription “Leaf of Anger. In a fit of rage, crumple up and throw into a corner.

2. Get rid of negative emotions.

Negative emotions (resentment, anger, guilt) should not accumulate in the soul, otherwise they break out from there in the form of diseases. Try to get rid of at least some of these emotions in advance – don’t communicate with people who are unpleasant unnecessarily, destroy photos where you don’t like yourself and where there are people who cause negativity.

Also get rid of things that evoke negativity. Just like you take out the trash. You can get rid of anger with sports,yoga, massage, hard physical work around the house / cottage. Resentment is cured by forgiveness, and guilt is cured by apology.

3. Use defense mechanisms

According to Freud, we have defense mechanisms that help fight negative energy, turning it into a positive channel. These mechanisms include humor and creativity. When we laugh at our fears, fears, failures, unpleasant situations, it immediately becomes easier, we just have to look at the subject from the other side. With the help of creativity, writers, poets and artists have long been freed, for example, from sadness.

Try drawing your anger, your fears, or your entire mood. And now what can be done to make the picture more kind? Make a collage on the topic: how does resentment arise and what to do with it? If you feel sad, remember such a word as altruism. Help someone who is worse off than you – a grandmother whom everyone has forgotten, a mother of many children who has little time to do, collect things with her friends and take them to an orphanage, there are a lot of options.

4. Remember to rest

For daily rest, 5-10 minutes are always useful. relaxation during the whole day. Always give yourself some time to relax after work (changing activities, playing sports, walking, reading pleasant literature, bath, massage, doing what you love). On weekends, reward yourself (and family) with field trips, longer walks, sports and cultural activities.

Psychologist Olga VOSTochnaya

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