In the branch of psychology that studies neurotic disorders there is one known as neurasthenia . This disease affects men and women alike and its main characteristic is inexplicable exhaustion after physical or mental effort and the decrease in the ability to perform regular day-to-day activities.

What is neurasthenia?

Neurasthenia is the term that is given in psychiatry to a neurotic disorder that manifests as an inexplicable exhaustion that occurs after physical or mental exertion. Its name comes from the words “neuro” (which refers to the nervous system and particularly the mind) and “asthenia” (which is a feeling of weakness or physical exhaustion).


Neurasthenia is also known by other names such as chronic asthenia, Da Costa syndrome, functional cardiovascular disease, soldier’s heart among others. This disorder decreases the ability to perform daily activities and if it lasts for a long time, it can lead to other disorders such as depression and anxiety.


It is often believed to have a hereditary nature or to be caused by a very strong emotional disturbance . The causes of neurasthenia can be very trivial, such as frequent conflict at work, severe fatigue at work, or the loss of a loved one.

Sometimes it can be the case of sexual neurasthenia characterized by sexual dysfunction.

Regardless of the causes of neurasthenia, it is important to take action early so that this disorder does not cause irreparable damage to health.

Phases of neurasthenia

  • The hypersthenic phase:  This phase is characterized by symptoms such as fatigue, sleep disturbance, irritability, and arousal state.
  • The irritable weakness phase:  In this phase a feeling of helplessness is generated that generates weakness and irritability that may be accompanied by spontaneous crying.
  • The hyposthenic phase:  This final stage of the disease takes time to appear and is characterized by a feeling of lethargy, apathy, passivity and a lack of interest with a desire to cry.

Diagnosis of neurasthenia

Neurasthenia can be diagnosed in people who experience exhaustion after minor mental or physical exertion, a feeling of discomfort combined with a state of depression and excitement.

This is accompanied by muscle aches, dizziness, sleep disturbances, and a lot of irritability.


The causes of neurasthenia have not yet been determined, however, like many disorders, they have a hereditary origin, or due to stressful work, age (between 20 and 55 years) and sex , in this case predominates in males.

Among the causes that could generate neurasthenia, the following have been determined:

  • An infectious agent, such as several of the viruses that exist, the Lyme disease agent, mycoplasmas, yeasts, and other fungi.
  • A toxic agent, such as mercury , particularly from dental amalgams, various organic solvents, herbicides, and various chemical compounds such as aspartame.
  • An immune dysfunction.
  • A hormonal dysfunction is the case of thyroid disorders that can cause symptoms of chronic fatigue.
  • Dysautonomia, which refers to the breakdown of the function of the autonomic nervous system.
  • Metabolism problems
  • Nutritional deficiencies or imbalance.
  • The Depression.
  • A generalized anxiety disorder.
  • An obsessive-compulsive disorder.
  • Lack of rest or sleep.

If any of these causes produces neurasthenia in an individual, it is necessary to quickly apply a treatment because if it is left for later it can generate serious mental problems.


Neurasthenia becomes evident with the following symptoms:

  • Physical exhaustion, feeling of progressive weakness after mental or physical activity .
  • Exhaustion and complaints when doing small physical activities.
  • Muscle pains.
  • Inability to relax
  • Vertigo.
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Tension headaches.
  • Anxious, depressed, or irritable moods.

Treatment of neurasthenia

The treatment is complex and the commitment of the patient is necessary to carry out this process .

The medicine conventional presents different ways to treat this disease among which may be mentioned the following:

  • The normalization routines. It is essential that the patient is well fed, has sleep and rest schedules, trips to the open air and be temporarily isolated from the work and educational environment.
  • Tranquilizer medication. Generally, the neurasthenia patient is assigned some drugs such as Elenium, Diazepam, Fenotropil, among others.
  • Formulas based on supplements, minerals, tonics, etc.
  • Physiotherapeutic massages. These promote relaxation.
  • Balance diet. A balanced diet helps the body to regenerate and control states of irritability.
  • Electrotherapy.

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