Neurasthenia is a mental disorder that is a form of neurosis.
Expressed in mental disorders caused by prolonged mental or physical overstrain. The most common pathology occurs in people 20-45 years old, and women are more susceptible to this deviation than men.
Neurasthenia can result from prolonged physical overwork, emotional upheaval, frequent conflicts, stress, and other factors. Chronic intoxication and somatic disorders can also serve as causes of this condition.
What it is?
Astheno-neurotic syndrome, or neurasthenia - a disorder belonging to the group of neuroses. This illness is characterized by rapid fatigability, irritability, and inability to prolonged physical or mental work. For the first time, the pathology was described by an American doctor Georg Bird in 1869.
Often, neurasthenia develops on the background of a combination of mental trauma with physiological limitations or excessive exercise. Lack of sleep, lack of necessary rest and other factors weaken the body, in one of the first the nervous system suffers.
Frequent relapses of infectious diseases or endocrine disorders, malnutrition or prolonged / persistent intoxication can also lead to the development of neurasthenia. It can develop with alcohol abuse, excessive smoking, etc.
Neurasthenia develops, as a rule, under the influence of not one, but several factors at once. The most common are biological causes and, above all, genetics.
Thus, patients who have a family history of mental disorders or neurotic abnormalities are more likely to develop neurasthenia.
In addition, the emphasis is also on the complications of the gestational period, infectious diseases, difficult labor, and injuries of the infant, which have been carried along the birth canal. Another biological factor predisposing to the development of this deviation is the anomaly of the development and functioning of the nervous system.
Premorbid personality traits form the psychological basis for the development of neurasthenia. They can occur due to psychological traumas suffered by a person still in childhood.
Extremely negative impact on human health neurasthenia, which developed due to a long stay in traumatic situations. A sudden manifestation of pathology is noted in the event that the powerful stress experienced by the patient was caused by actual and important events for him.
Asthenic syndrome can be a consequence of exposure and social factors. A significant role in this case is given to the family climate, the conditions for the upbringing and development of the person as a person. Also important is the circle of communication of the patient, his hobbies and interests, the degree of satisfaction with their achievements and undertakings.
The most common sign of neurasthenia is cephalgia (headache). It has a diffuse character and occurs, as a rule, in the afternoon, towards evening. The patient complains of a feeling of pressure in the upper part of the head. Such squeezing was called the "neurasthenic helmet".
No less common complaint of patients with neurasthenia is an attack of dizziness. This state is accompanied by a feeling of rotation in the head, but the surrounding objects are not involved in this process. Often the attack of vertigo is manifested with a strong physical or mental stress.
Symptoms of neurasthenia can manifest in the form of cardiovascular disorders. In this case, the ailments will be expressed:
- feeling of increased heartbeat;
- the occurrence of pressing or stabbing heart pain;
- congestion or paleness of the skin.
These symptoms may appear even with a slight agitation, for example, during a lively conversation.
Neurasthenia may be accompanied by bouts of heartburn, belching with an unpleasant odor, nausea, loss of appetite. In parallel, there may be other symptoms in the form of a feeling of heaviness in the abdomen, disorders of the chair, flatulence.
Possible manifestation of disorders of the urinary system. Even with little agitation, the patient may suffer from frequent urination.
When neurasthenia suffers and the sexual sphere. Thus, in men during an attack, premature ejaculation is observed, as a result of which the duration of sexual intercourse is significantly reduced. This, in turn, can lead to the development of complexes and the emergence of dissatisfaction with oneself.
Neurasthenia is divided into 3 forms.
This is the initial stage and the mildest form of the disease. Manifested by irritability, increased excitability. The patient experiences a feeling of irritation even at the slightest noise, conversations, any sounds, and even with the ordinary movement of a crowd of people. In such a state, a neurasthenic can easily get out of himself, yell at relatives or colleagues, insult.
Along with these symptoms, a decrease in performance is observed. This happens because of a decrease in concentration, inability to concentrate, absent-mindedness and inability to start a new business, or to finish already begun from the point where it was discontinued. This happens because of the overvoltage of attention, with which the patient simply cannot cope.
Thus, it turns out the "vicious circle". A person is distracted from engaging in external factors, and when he feels that he can continue the work he has begun, the situation repeats again. As a result, a significant investment of time occurs, but the productivity of labor is significantly reduced.
At this stage, there are sleep disorders. The neurasthenic has difficulty falling asleep, often wakes up in the middle of the night, suffers from nightmarish dreams associated with the worries and worries experienced during the day.
As a result, the morning awakening is accompanied by a feeling of weakness, fatigue, and "turbidity" in the head. These ailments are only in the late afternoon.
In addition, patients often complain of cephalgia, memory loss, general malaise, weakness in the whole body, discomfort in different parts of the body. At this stage, the so-called "neurotic helmet" syndrome occurs.
The second stage of neurasthenia is intermediate.
At this time, the so-called irritable weakness appears. It manifests itself in the form of increased excitability, accompanied by irritability and rapid fatigue, as well as a general depletion of the body.
Even insignificant trifles can cause an outbreak of anger or increased excitability in a patient, which, however, quickly subsides. For increased excitability is characterized by the appearance of tearfulness, which had not previously been seen in a patient, or impatience.
The patient begins to react sharply to loud noises, noise, bright light. He can not fully control his emotions, so often "breaks" on others.
In parallel, there is a violation of active attention. The patient complains of distraction, forgetfulness. Emotional lability is manifested by flashes of aggression and agitation, alternating with moments of complete depression. With severe neurasthenia, patients experience the so-called exhaustion depression: they become dark, lethargic, and lethargic.
This disease is always accompanied by sleep disturbances: difficulty falling asleep, nightmares, insomnia at night and fatigue, sleepiness at night. Patients often complain of headaches, palpitations, loss of or complete loss of appetite. In addition, patients suffer from bouts of heartburn, belching, a feeling of heaviness in the stomach. Possible violation of sexual function.
The stage of irritable weakness often develops in choleric patients, as well as in individuals with a balanced and strong type of nervous system. This is due to the fact that recovery in the treatment of neurasthenia at the hyperstenic stage did not come, and the person is still surrounded by a painful environment.
At the last stage of neurasthenia, general weakness and exhaustion of the body appear quite clearly. A person is tormented by fatigue, drowsiness, he becomes lethargic and apathetic. Patients are not able to force themselves to do the work begun, they are broken, and very worried about their somatic disorders.
Against the background of depression, there is a constant massive asthenia. The person is constantly sullen, anxious, and loses interest in former hobbies. In this case, we are not talking about anguish or anxiety, and the patient's bad mood is purely neurotic. It is literally riddled with asthenia, and is accompanied by mood swings and tearfulness. Quite often, patients are obsessed with their inner feelings, they have hypochondria complaints. During the treatment of patients, sleep is getting better, and this is where the process of full recovery from a neurological disease begins.
As the pathology progresses, the attacks of ailments and psycho-emotional disorders become more frequent and aggravated. When the depressions become deeper, they will gradually begin to approach the cyclothymic level. Even the old researchers and authors of scientific papers noted that the patients may occasionally develop neurasthenia. This is indicated by the latest data obtained during clinical trials. They confirm that untreated neurasthenic depression can eventually develop into cyclotime.
To make a diagnosis, you need to contact a neurologist. The disease is detected through careful history taking based on the clinical manifestations of the patient’s pathology. During diagnosis, it is important to exclude the presence of somatic, infectious or chronic diseases in the patient, which may be accompanied by neurasthenia.
Neurasthenia can develop against the background of a tumor lesion of the brain, its inflammatory pathologies or neuroinfection. To exclude such a possibility, a CT scan or MRI of the head is performed. For an accurate diagnosis, it is important to assess cerebral blood flow. For this purpose, it is advisable to conduct rheoencephalography.
The lack of timely treatment for neurasthenia can be fraught with the occurrence of prolonged depressive psychosis, which is extremely difficult to therapy, and require long-term. A jump in the level of adrenaline in the body adversely affects the work of all organs and systems. However, with adequate and timely treatment, this deviation can be stopped relatively quickly.
The question of treatment should be dealt with exclusively by a qualified neurologist. He can refer the patient for additional consultations with other medical specialists.
The approach to therapy in such a complex disease as neurasthenia should be complex. Alas, not all patients take this pathology seriously, having decided that it is possible to get rid of it with the help of "grandmother's" methods. Or, even worse, patients believe that neurasthenia will pass by itself.
However, this pathology is no less dangerous than the diseases affecting various internal organs. And the therapeutic approach to it must be responsible. And it can only provide a qualified specialist.
Even if the doctor allows you to conduct treatment on an outpatient basis, you will have to strictly comply with all of his prescriptions. Modern medicine recommends treating neurasthenia in several ways:
- By normalizing the daily routine. Throughout the course of therapy, the patient should avoid any facts that could lead to a new outbreak of neurasthenia. Walking in the fresh air, healthy, full sleep, proper nutrition - all these aspects play a huge role in the treatment of neurasthenia. If therapy is carried out on an outpatient basis, it is important for the patient to conduct it at home, taking hospital leave or leave for a while.
- With the help of tonic medications: vitamin-mineral complexes, herbal tonic drinks, etc.
- Through the use of tranquilizers. As a rule, when neurasthenia is resorted to the appointment of Elenium, Diazepam, Fenotropil, etc.
- With the help of physiotherapy. All procedures should promote relaxation, therefore, with neurasthenia, it is advisable to conduct massages, electrosleep, aromatherapy, etc.
In addition to the main therapeutic techniques described above, the patient needs constant support from loved ones. It is necessary in any case, regardless of the reasons for the development of neurasthenia.
Neurasthenia in children
Not less common ailment is neurasthenia among children and adolescents. This is explained by the fact that the children's body is not yet fully formed, and the immune system is not strengthened. But neurasthenia is a reversible pathological process that, with timely and proper treatment, will not have any negative impact on the development of the child’s body and the formation of the child as a person.
The most common cause of neurasthenia in children is the psychotrauma they received at an early age. The lack of proper care or the necessary parental attention also plays an important role in the development of this disease. In boys, neurasthenia often manifests itself during school years, against the background of various ups and downs, rifts and various psycho-emotional upheavals. As for girls, they are exposed to this disease, mainly at an older age.
The development of pathology is often associated with the incorrect approach of parents to the upbringing of children. The imposition of subjective points of view, high demands, coercion, moral pressure - all these factors adversely affect the psyche of the child. Also, children are very acutely experiencing divorce proceedings of parents, quarrels and tragedies in the family (loss of relatives, etc.).
In some children, the development of neurasthenia occurs against the background of congenital features of the psyche and acquired character traits. Transferred severe diseases are also quite capable of causing the occurrence of asthenic syndrome.
Of great importance is the behavior of women during pregnancy. It is important to avoid stress and experiences in order to protect the future baby from nervous system disorders after birth.
Small children suffering from neurasthenia are unable to cope with any difficulties. The only way out of a difficult situation for them is crying. They are difficult to adapt in kindergarten and school. Moreover, modern school curricula are designed in such a way that children are very tired, morally and psychologically overworked. Therefore, a task that is easily tolerated by a healthy child is poorly solved by a neurotic.
Children with neurasthenia are very scattered. They can not fully focus on household chores, so they have to spend a lot of time on them.
It is very difficult for small neurasthenics to make friends, as constant sweating and dermatographic manifestations make a repulsive effect on other children. Also of particular difficulty for such children are additional classes, visits to clubs, sports clubs, etc.
Depending on the type of asthenic syndrome, the child may be choleric excited, or sluggish, apathetic, sluggish. In addition to the main symptoms, children with neurasthenia can be harassed by various fears, phobias, fears. Some patients had a negative reaction to chemicals or various foods.
Small neurasthenics are strongly closed in themselves, they avoid communication not only with their peers, but also with adults. Selfishness, emotional incontinence is often traced in their actions.
Neurasthenia must be able to be distinguished from hysteria, in which children also become very capricious, literally intolerable. But many parents blame the child’s bad behavior and capriciousness on neurasthenia, not accepting the fact that they themselves are to blame. Bad manners and asthenic syndrome - the concepts are completely different.
Quite often, sympathetic and fatigue cause disorders in the gastrointestinal tract, poor sleep and appetite. In case of scares, there may be cases of night urination. Along with hysteria, there is a possibility of failure of the biorhythms of the child.
Not a single person is immune from the development of neurasthenia, since stresses, overwork, and psycho-emotional upheavals occur in everyone’s life. However, the risk of its occurrence can be reduced if:
- drastically review the lifestyle and make the necessary adjustments to it;
- avoid stress, psycho-emotional disorders, moral traumas;
- regulate the intensity of physical activity performed;
- alternate mental and physical labor;
- eat well;
- to strengthen the immune system;
- set aside time for the sport.
Special attention needs working day planning. It is necessary to be able to keep a certain period of time in reserve, to solve unforeseen situations, as this will help to avoid stress. We must not forget that productive work is possible only after a full sleep and rest. You should not limit yourself to this, no matter how much work you had to do. You will see for yourself that after a good holiday, even the largest amount of work will be completed much faster and easier.
Neurasthenia is the easiest type of neurosis, therefore it has very positive predictions. Early treatment and elimination of the negative effects of stress and emotional stress helps to completely get rid of this disorder.
If time does not respond to alarming symptoms, the disease will go into a chronic stage. Of course, it is not dangerous for the life of a neurasthenic, however, the frequent falling into deep depressions will certainly leave a negative mark on the psychological state of the neurasthenic.