I can remember one of my relatives muttering this when I was young. (I think it was some great aunt.) At the time, I recall looking at the state she was in and feeling quite sure she deserved her "nervous breakdown", whatever that was. The conviction in her voice was so dire, I could not imagine anyone wanting her not to have it. My mother would just tell me when I inquired that these were things we just didn't discuss.
But often, at family reunions, I would be lurking around the cake table, and would hear her make her announcement once again. When I raised my eyebrows in concern, some other relative would look my way and nonchalantly say, "Pay her no never mind," as if she were touched in the head.
The older I get, I am reminded of that aggrieved relative and her one denied wish. Of course, looking back on it, unlike the old lady of my memory, she most likely was just a stressed out mother with teenage daughters pushing her to the brink not some doddering bat whose elevator didn't make it to the top floor anymore. Funny how life will change your perspective. Now, back to that nervous breakdown . . .