Explaining bad nerves (+3 ways to cope)

In this brief article, we will be discussing bad nerves, symptoms of bad nerves, treatment of bad nerves and more information about bad nerves.

What do Bad Nerves mean?

The meaning of “Bad Nerves” used to be the term used for neurotic conditions, but now it is not used to describe situational depression, grief, or an emotional reaction to a specific stressor. In the current scenario, “Bad Nerves” may be used to mean emotional, personal and social problems which may also have persisted for years.

What are bad nerves as a psychological condition?

Bad nerves as a psychological condition are feelings that are quite similar to when you are nervous.

You can feel yourself getting some thoughts in your head that you might not be able to perform in a significant event such as a public speaking event. 

You may even feel the physical symptoms of nervousness too in bad nerves like having sweaty palms and your face may turn red all of the sudden.

You may have some physical symptoms of nervousness but this doesn’t mean you have an anxiety disorder. 

You can actually feel some signs akin to an anxiety disorder.

These anxiety disorders are generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, separation anxiety disorder, and panic disorder to name a few of these known psychological disorders. 

Having bad nerves that alert you that you are going to do your best will motivate you to do your best.

However, the presence of the severity of this psychological condition can make you dysfunctional and distressed in life if you don’t know how to manage such a condition.

Different forms of bad nerves as reported by afflicted patients

In a psychologist’s experience, bad nerves are actually a collection of factors that make nervousness.

These kinds of factors are quite rampant in people with this kind of psychological condition that makes them feel distressed and dysfunctional. 

These are the proposed diagnostic criteria of what constitutes bad nerves:

A persistent sense of tension and apprehension

Many people who have bad nerves are very anxious and have tense muscles in situations that make them fearful.

This means that these people are always at the edge of anxious apprehension where they constantly think that something bad is going to happen. 

There is the feeling that people would never be safe even if they are in a place considered to be safe such as malls or home.

In this case, these people are not easily relaxed thanks to their bad nerves condition. 

This constant anxious apprehension will make these people more likely to seek the presence of a threat and this symptom is rampant with anxiety in bad nerves.

You can learn more about anxiety symptoms by buying this book on this website.

Early and current experience of a traumatic, difficult or stressful upbringing

Patients who have bad nerves are more likely to report that they have an unhealthy upbringing in their childhood years.

This means that these children didn’t have the opportunity to have a good role model that they can follow in the younger years. 

Most of these patients with bad nerves are presenting with events that intimidate them greatly such as yelling and anger.

These experiences might be explained that their parents were also lacking in how to healthily cope with distressing situations. 

The history of these patients with bad nerves is filled with abuse and neglect in their lives.

It has also been found that these patients also have family members who have this psychological condition.

The existence of a time of chronic stress or struggle

In people who are suffering from bad nerves, they are more likely to have experienced traumatic events that have given them emotional numbness and emotional distress.

Military combat, abuse/assault, toxic marriage or relationship, environmental trauma such as earthquake, flood, etc., a chronic injury or other important social circumstance is usually determined. 

The afflicted person with bad nerves is always thinking that the traumatic event is still occurring even though it’s not at present.

Nevertheless, these people are too afraid of the traumatic events that they become fearful about other social situations that may trigger these traumatic experiences and they even stated that their lives changed due to the traumatic event. 

These significant changes are identified by the patient with bad nerves who states that they recall a time when they were still innocent to the world’s dangers but thanks to the traumatic event, they have become cold shells with no souls.

In this case, they constantly blame the occurrence of the traumatic event that has caused their psychological condition.

You can learn more about trauma by buying this book on this website.

Having a presenting mental health issue

Most people with bad nerves are more likely to have a comorbid psychiatric diagnosis.

The appearance of this psychological condition for a long time has been associated with having clinical depression. 

Comorbid psychological disorder can bring physical and psychological symptoms in the mix.

People with bad nerves have reported and complained that they have sleep and appetite problems, low energy levels, fretfulness, extreme worry, and bodily signs of stress and/or agitation like bowel or bladder difficulties, chest pain, muscle twitches, choking sensations, hand tremors, and a sense of being on-edge or wired.

Poor focus and attention only minimize the effects of the recovery process from these psychological disorders.

Some studies have pointed out that this may be the cause of bad nerves.

Low Self-Esteem

Like other medical conditions, people with bad nerves are more likely to label themselves as their psychological condition.

This is the same as people who are considered as having diabetes being called diabetic and people with this psychological condition are called having the bad case of the nerves.

People with bad nerves may see their emotional state as weak.

If there is a challenging situation thrown at them, they are less likely to feel the need to fight it with their inner strength.

This can lead to self-esteem which makes them believe that they shouldn’t expect something better in life.

These people with bad nerves are more likely to give up even when they only experienced a little failure.

The self-fulfilling prophecy of people with bad nerves has made them weak.

Although this can be caused by a comorbid depression or disturbing events in childhood.

These people with bad nerves should try to minimize their low self-esteem by buying this book on this website.

A vulnerable or distressing support system

Most people are inclined to seek out relationships to make them feel reassured about some situations in life.

However, people with bad nerves are less likely to report that they have people in their lives to comfort them.

Most of the time, the support of these people are those who have similar traumatic experiences as them.

That’s why people with bad nerves will only get more confused about what they could do in life being friends with these people.

Bad advice from these bad friends will only disturb people with bad nerves more than getting no advice at all.

When these afflicted people go to relatives who have been involved with a traumatic experience in their lives, these people are more likely to be more distressed. 

For instance, a person with bad nerves asks a family member on what to do with a distressing situation and they only respond to them to get drunk.

In this case, this is terrible advice.

Disabled or Dysfunctional Coping Skills and Strategies

People with bad nerves have been found to easily give up on distressing situations instead of looking for solutions.

This may be the cause of having horrible role models in childhood.

People with bad nerves are more likely to cope with stressful situations through unhealthy behaviours such as getting drunk.

If they find themselves broken up from a serious relationship, they will engage in risky sexual behaviours with random people.

In the presence of their poor social support, people with bad nerves are less likely to react in mature ways than most people.

This lack of problem-solving skills will only make solutions farther to reach due to the intensity of the wounds.

You can also learn how to enhance your problem-solving skills by buying this book on this website.

Having an active high-stress lifestyle

People with bad nerves have complained that they always encounter emotional distress in their regular lives.

These people have difficulties in finances, children, jobs spouses and ex-spouses, friends, extended family, medical problems, and life-in-general are reported.

One patient with bad nerves even reported that a dog has always bit him.

This constant struggle may also rise in these people’s tendency to engage in unhealthy behaviours such as impulsive driving and getting drunk to relieve stress. 

These people with bad nerves are less likely to be good parents since their high-stress can only debilitate their children.

This lack of problem-solving skills is only making their lives worse.

Unstable Friends

People with bad nerves are more likely to have emotionally distressed friends as mentioned before.

This support system will only worsen the struggles of people with this psychological condition.

These friends don’t act as a support system for people with bad nerves.

They only act like friends when they can get benefits from the afflicted person. 

When these friends are having emotional problems, they only burden their friend with bad nerves.

As you can see, this will only make the afflicted person be more stressed out than before. 

In this case, people with bad nerves will become helpless with this demeaning situation which will make them more ill than ever.

You can learn more about what these horrible friends can affect by buying this book here.

Different and common symptoms of bad nerves

Bad nerves are not a diagnosed psychological condition but this condition has been reported to cause distress in the person.

Also, this kind of condition can be manifested in different cultures and the severity is based on the culture the patient is in.

Although there are common symptoms and signs of people with bad nerves:

  • feeling anxious, tearful, depressed or persistently irritable
  • feeling hopeless, helpless and having low self-esteem
  • withdrawing or preventing normal social circumstances
  • calling in sick to work for several days in a set or being absent on important appointments
  • unmanaged sleep schedule, either sleeping too much or not enough
  • abnormal eating and hygiene, typically due to people forgetting or not being interested to eat or clean
  • Complications in concentrating or recalling the events of the day
  • feeling persistently emotionally drained and physically fatigued, typically without reason
  • loss of motivation and interest in stuff
  • being disabled to get pleasure or satisfaction from stuff that commonly brings happiness or fulfilment
  • unexplained overall aches and pains
  • Complications in getting along with or accepting other people
  • suicidal thoughts or thinking about hurting oneself
  • a loss of interest in sex and significant menstrual changes
  • walking or talking more slowly than usual
  •  chronic nightmares, disturbing flashbacks and fight-or-flight symptoms like racing heartbeat, sweating, and dry mouth when there is no threat or danger

In extreme cases of bad nerves, symptoms may also involve hallucinations, delusions, paranoia, and lack of insight.

Treatment and prevention of bad nerves as a psychological condition

Treatment for people with bad nerves would include having psychological intervention and lifestyle changes.

Here are a few guidelines on how to intervene with this kind of condition.

Identify with your Good and Bad Role Models

When your background has been associated with distressing upbringing which has abuse, neglect, domestic ferosity, drug or alcohol difficulties or mental instability in one or both parents, you need to know that you may have been given a poor or inefficient role and life model.

This is why you should try to read some self-help books about finding a good role model for you.

Some workshops may help your parents to get some new parenting styles that are effective and productive for children.

In some cases, people with bad nerves who have been brought by improper upbringing are more likely to have difficulties adjusting in real-life.

Study and Know Your Tolerance Level

In being a child in dysfunctional homes, your tolerance level as a person with bad nerves for abusive behaviour will be increased.

This means that you are more likely to see abusive behaviour as the common behaviour that you are used to. 

For instance, the parents of people with bad nerves who engage in alcohol when stressed will make their children do the same.

These afflicted people will also be more accepting to be abused by others or having a pessimistic view of others.  

People with bad nerves should try to seek the help of someone who is healthy and willing to open their eyes to the bad effects of abusive behaviour.

They should learn to rely on people who know more about what it means to have a healthy family than a dysfunctional one.

You can improve your decision-making skills by knowing what a healthy relationship looks like.

People with bad nerves shouldn’t be asking for advice from people who have a bad upbringing just like them.

Seek Therapy

Psychological intervention can also help us with solutions to our problems.

These interventions can come in different forms based on the psychological problem that will be treated.

Psychotherapy can help people with bad nerves improve their negative attitudes about life.

This psychological intervention can also help them deal with their traumatic events that have been imprinted in their minds.

Seek Medication

Before seeking psychotropic medications, we should be able to tell what our symptoms are.

This is to help psychiatrists understand the severity of your mental health problem and what needs to be done. 

Although bad nerves have been confused for anxiety and depression.

Also, there aren’t much psychotropic medications to treat anxiety. 

This is why you should tell your doctor about your severe symptoms such as feeling tearful to enhance and get the proper treatment.

Exercise Your Emotional Strategies

You need to find ways to improve your emotional strategies to become better at problem-solving.

The more you keep practising, the more you’ll see the benefits. 

You need to start reading self-help books that can teach you to manage your emotions.

Reading also allows you to meditate and minimize the psychological symptoms of bad nerves.

You need to learn these emotional strategies regularly if possible.

Disentangle Yourself From Dysfunctional Relationships

As mentioned before, people with bad nerves are attracted to people who have similar negative upbringing as they did.

This is why this afflicted person always feels disabled in this relationship. 

If they want to change their life for the better, these people with bad nerves should start finding friends who have been stable lifestyles.

These people are always the victims in bad relationships where they to do the bidding of the toxic friend. 

As a person with bad nerves, you shouldn’t feel remorse for this toxic friend because it might hurt you in the long-term.

Plan For the Long Haul

People with bad nerves should try making plans for their future. They can start by developing plans that can benefit their wellbeing. 

People with bad nerves should go to mental health intervention. They can try learning a new activity that can help them be more productive. 

This can help people with bad nerves have self-esteem. Also, long-term plans tend to become very successful.

Dislodge From Areas of Stress

People with bad nerves should try to find methods to minimize the stress in their lives.

They can do this by stopping the occurrence of negative behaviours such as drinking alcohol. 

People with bad nerves should try to plan to make better financial and social decisions.

They can also record things that they worry about and make an attainable plan. 

People with bad nerves can also minimize their unhealthy behaviours by not appearing in the bar even for a week.

Be Patient

People with bad nerves should be practising patience and determination which can create positive change in the long run.

This can help these people to be less likely to engage in unhealthy behaviours which only give short-term satisfaction.

Anything is possible for people with bad nerves if they have this attitude in life instead of being negative all the time.


In this brief article, we have discussed bad nerves, symptoms of bad nerves, treatment of bad nerves and more information about bad nerves.

If you have any questions about bad nerves, please let us know and the team will gladly answer your queries.

FAQs: bad nerves

What is a nervous breakdown?

A nervous breakdown is a condition where the person is experiencing a time of deep psychological distress.

This kind of psychological condition will make you dysfunction in your important activities in life.

You are also more likely to suffer a mental illness like depression during this kind of period. 

How long does a mental breakdown last?

A mental breakdown can last for hours or even several weeks depending on the severity of the distress felt by the individual.

This kind of psychological condition is not an official diagnosis but this condition has been present before a person experiences a psychological disorder. 

Are nerves the same as anxiety?

Nerves are not the same as anxiety since anxiety tends to be related to excessive fears and worries about many different situations or objects.

Nerves are only about being worried about something in the present moment.

In this case, anxiety is a severe form of nerves.

This is also more distressing than having the nerves.

Can anxiety cause nerves?

Anxiety cannot cause nerves. Stress and anxiety tend to create physical disorders if taken into extremities in patients.

However, bad nerves aren’t part of these causes that can be an outcome of these two mental health problems.

If anxiety and stress were found to cause a neurological disorder, these patients will not be diagnosed with this kind of condition.

Does drinking water help nerve pain?

Drinking water can help nerve pain.

This is because this can help affected bodies to re-fuel on what the nervous system needs.

You don’t have to endure the pain every day of your life when you drink water as a habit.

This can also help satiate your thirst needs unlike drinking coffee that may only serve to cause more harm than good.


MedicalNewsToday. What are the signs of a nervous breakdown?.

Mentalhealth Matters. What are Bad Nerves: Meaning, Types, and Treatment.

The Oaks. Just a Bad Case of the Nerves or Anxiety Disorder? Here’s How to Tell.

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