DSM-IV

A common idiom of distress among Latinos in the United States and Latin America. A number of other ethnic groups have related, though often somewhat distinctive, ideas of "nerves" (such as neura among Greeks in North America). Nervios refers both to a general state of vulnerability to stressful life experiences and to a syndrome brought on by difficult life circumstances. The term nervios include a wide range of symptoms of emotional distress, somatic disturbance, and inability to function. Common symptoms include headaches and "brain aches," irritability, stomach disturbances, sleep difficulties, nervousness, easy tearfulness, inability to concentrate, trembling, tingling sensations, and mareos (dizziness with occasional vertigo-like exacerbations). Nervios tends to be an ongoing problem, although variable in the degree of disability manifested. Nervios is a very broad syndrome that spans the range from cases free of a mental disorder to presentations resembling Adjustment, Anxiety, Depressive, Dissociative, Somatoform, or Psychotic Disorders. Differential diagnosis will depend on the constellation of symptoms experienced, the kind of social events that are associated with the onset and progress of nervios, and the level of disability experienced.

DSM-5

Nervios ("nerves") is a common idiom of distress among Latinos in the United States and Latin America. Nervios refers to a general state of vulnerability to stressful life experiences and to difficult life circumstances. The term nervios includes a wide range of symptoms of emotional distress, somatic disturbance, and inability to function. The most common symptoms attributed to nervios include headache and "brain aches" (occipital neck tension), irritability, stomach disturbances, sleep difficulties, nervousness, easy tearfulness, inability to concentrate, trembling, tingling sensations, and mareos (dizziness with occasional vertigo-like exacerbations). Nervios is a broad idiom of distress that spans the range of severity from cases with no mental disorder to presentations resembling adjustment, anxiety, depressive, dissociative, somatic symptom, or psychotic disorders. "Being nervous since childhood" appears to be more of a trait and may precede social anxiety disorder, while "being ill with nerves" is more related than other forms of nervios to psychiatric problems, especially dissociation and depression.

Related conditions in other cultural contexts

Nevra among Greeks in North America, nierbi among Sicilians in North America, and nerves among white in Appalachia and Newfoundland.

Related conditions in DSM-5

Major depressive disorder, persistent depressive disorder (dysthymia), generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, other specified or unspecified dissociative disorder, somatic symptom disorder, schizophrenia.

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