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Nervous Exhaustion

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Nervous exhaustion, also known as burnout or mental breakdown is extreme mental and physical fatigue caused by excessive mental and physical stress. Although it is no longer considered a medical term, it is still used to refer to intense stress and an inability to cope with the challenges of life.


  • Nervous breakdown includes a wide variety of symptoms, which are physical, psychological and behavioral. These include:-
  • Symptoms of depression, such as hopelessness and suicidal or self- harm thoughts.
  • Symptoms of anxiety, such as high blood pressure, tense muscles, clammy hands, dizziness, upset stomach and trembling of body.
  • Insomnia
  • Hallucination
  • Extreme mood swings or unexplained anger.
  • Symptoms of panic attack, such as chest pain, getting detached from self and reality, intense fear and breathlessness.
  • Paranoia with belief of being watched or stalked by someone.
  • Memory of a traumatic event, which suggests undiagnosed post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
  • Withdrawal from family, friends and co-workers, which manifests as avoidance of social functions and engagements, eating and sleeping poorly, maintaining poor hygiene, avoiding going to work and isolating oneself in the home.


Nervous exhaustion occurs as a result of intense mental and physical stress. Some of the stressful influences include:-

  • Persistent work stress
  • A recent painful event such as the death of a close family member
  • Serious financial issues
  • Significant life change such as divorce
  • Poor sleep and inability to relax
  • Chronic medical condition.

Some risk factors predisposing a person to have nervous breakdown are:-

  • Personal history of anxiety disorders
  • Family history of anxiety disorders
  • Injury or illness that makes daily life problems challenging to handle


Certain changes in lifestyle help prevent a nervous breakdown and also help decrease the frequency and intensity of nervous breakdown. These include:-

  • Avoid drugs, alcohol and caffeine from the diet that creates stress on the body.
  • Include relaxation techniques like meditation in daily routine e.g., when feeling stressed or anxious, breathe deeply and count backward from 10.
  • Develop a sleep schedule and fix a time to go off to sleep and wake up. These help one to sleep well. One can also use means such as taking a warm bath, switching off electronic devices, or reading before going to bed. Try to get sleep for minimum six hours each night.
  • Exercise at least three times a week. This may include just walking for 30 minutes daily.
  • Reduce stress by techniques such as taking mini-breaks, making a daily to-do list and having an organized routine and environment.
  • Approach a therapist or attend counseling sessions to manage stress.


It is quite common to face various life stresses at one time or another. But if one is having difficulty in coping with daily life and carrying out daily tasks, it means one is not healthily dealing with stress. Since nervous exhaustion can be a sign of mental health disorder, it is important to take medical help as soon as possible. Homeopathic medicine for nervous system are safe, unlike harmful drugs. Best homeopathic medicine for nervous breakdown is the one most similar to disease manifestation. For this, a trained homeopathic physician elicits symptoms of a patient both from the mental and physical sphere.

Common nervous breakdown homeopathic medicines are:-

ACONITUM NAPELLUS– It is indicated for panic attacks that come on suddenly and are associated with a very strong fear, which may include even fear of death. There may be accompanying this, an increased thirst for cold water, shortness of breath, cold sweat or flushing of the face and strong palpitations. Such a state may be brought about by a shaking experience or even when a person is just beginning to come down with flu or cold.

ARGENTUM NITRICUM– It is indicated when there is anticipatory anxiety such as before exams or stage performance. The person tends to suffer from mental agitation and a feeling of hurriedness. On the physical plane, there is corresponding stomachache, belching, or a frequent urge for stools or urine. It is seen that patients requiring this medicine desire sweets a lot and also tend to have indigestion from eating sweets.

ARSENICUM ALBUM– People requiring this medicine have a morbid concern for their health, order and security. They are obsessive about neatness, small details and have a desperate need to be in control of everything. They tend to have panic attacks around midday or midnight, which are often accompanied by digestive or asthmatic complaints. They are also seen to desire water frequently but in sips only. Also, they may feel exhausted but are still restless and are found pacing, fidgeting and anxiously moving from place to place.

KALI PHOSPHORICUM– It is indicated in people who suffer from nervous exhaustion due to overwork or illness. They tend to be oversensitive and easily startled by ordinary sounds. Hearing or thinking about unpleasant events aggravates their anxiety. Eating, warmth and rest bring relief to them.

LYCOPODIUM CLAVATUM– It is indicated for people who tend to suffer from nervous exhaustion due to mental stress and have self-confidence lacking. Taking any responsibility creates anxiety due to fear of failure, although usually, once they start a task, they often do it well. They are self-conscious and feel uncomfortable in the presence of people they perceive as powerful and, on the other hand, maybe domineering towards those they feel less powerful than them. At the physical plane, people requiring this remedy tend to suffer from flatulence that aggravates around 4-8 pm. They also have a craving for sweet and warm things in general.

PHOSPHOROUS– People requiring this remedy are easily startled by thinking of almost anything. They are extroverts and need company. They are better by conversation or a back rub. They are very sympathetic to the sufferings of others to the point that they overextend themselves and may feel exhausted, spaced out, or even get ill. A strong desire for cold food and drink, even in winters, is another indication for this remedy.

PULSATILLA NIGRICANS– People requiring this remedy are emotionally dependent personalities. They tend to be clingy and have a constant need for support and comforting. They tend to be tearful, moody and whiny. They feel good in the fresh air and are better by gentle exercise. Getting warm or being in a stuffy room increases their anxiety. In females requiring this remedy, there is an aggravation of anxiety around the time of hormonal changes i.e., puberty, menstrual periods, or menopause.

GELSIMIUM SEMPERVIRENS– It is indicated when nervous exhaustion is due to anticipatory anxiety with an accompanying feeling of weakness, sleepiness, headache, trembling and difficulty to concentrate or recall.

SILICEA– It is indicated when the nervous breakdown is due to worry or overwork. Patients requiring this medicine have low stamina and come down with illnesses after working hard or under stress. They are very responsible, hardworking and give attention to tiny details, which makes their worries more challenging to handle.