Symptoms of a Nervous Breakdown — A Lesson From Oprah Winfrey

Posted: June 16, 2014 in Shorts
Oprah Winfrey Nervous Breakdown

Many people today have what is known as “too many irons on the fire.” Our schedules include work, school, extracurricular activities, volunteer work, gym time, recreation, and the list goes on. It’s good to stay active, but there is a limit. This is something that Oprah Winfrey learned and corrected before it was too late.


One way in which all the stress can affect people is by a nervous breakdown. Yes, there is such an illness. And it can happen to anyone, not just celebrities. When too much stress is experienced, the mind can begin to break down and cause a form of mental illness. It can result in psychosis, or psychotic behavior that includes deviating from reality and affecting the personality. It can even lead to suicide.

What are the symptoms of a nervous breakdown?

  • Loss of interest in work, family and social life
  • Anxiety, panic attacks and thoughts of suicide
  • Significant changes in eating and sleeping patterns
  • Paranoia and alienation
  • Increased use of drugs and alcohol
  • Inability to function


What causes a nervous breakdown?

People who suffer from depression, bipolar, anxiety disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, or schizophrenia are more likely to develop this type of mental illnesses. But it can also occur as a result of a death in the family, such as a spouse, child or parent. It can be triggered by post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) even years after the event has occurred.

What can you do to avoid a nervous breakdown?

Nervous breakdowns can require a long recovery period, so preventing one from occurring is important. If you are experiencing any signs of a nervous breakdown, you are probably on emotional overload and need to consult with a mental health professional or therapist. They will most likely recommend that you make adjustments in your life. Oprah described her experience by saying “In the beginning, it was just sort of speeding and a kind of numbness and going from one thing to the next thing to the next thing,” Oprah says. “I remember thinking that if I don’t calm down I’m gonna be in serious trouble.”

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