Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Acronyms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
1. the act or process of ceasing to function, or the resulting condition.
2. an often sudden collapse in health, physical or mental.
3. loss of self-control.
nervous breakdown a nonspecific, popular name for any type of mental disorder that interferes with the affected individual's normal activities, often implying a severe episode of sudden onset.
ner·vous break·down(ner'vŭs brāk'down),
Nonmedical term for an emotional or mental illness; often a euphemism for a psychiatric disorder.
A collapse in mental health, such as the onset of a severe mood disorder, that precludes normal functioning and may require hospitalization. Not in clinical use.
nervous breakdownPsychiatry A dated term that encompasses anxiety, panic and depressive disorders Psychology A popular term for being mentally overwhelmed by circumstance and accumulated acute stressors
ner·vous break·down(nĕr'vŭs brāk'down)
Nonmedical but very common term for an emotional or mental illness; often a colloquialism for a psychiatric disorder.