Meaning of Neurosis

What is Neurosis:

As a neurosis, a partial disorder of the functional aspects of an individual is known, mainly associated with emotional or psychological conflicts. Unlike psychosis, it is not accompanied by visible organic changes.

The term neurosis It was introduced by the Scottish physician Willian Cullen in 1769. The word, as such, comes from the Latin νεῦρον (neûron), which means ‘nerve’, and -σις (-sis), a prefix used in medicine to indicate ‘disease’.

In psychology, the term neurosis was used in reference to a disease of a nervous nature, characterized by the difficulties of adaptation presented by the individual to different situations.

Thus, mental disorders characterized by the presence of a high level of anguish and anxiety, with different non-psychotic manifestations, received the name of neurosis.

In these disorders, both the rational thinking and the individual's functioning were distorted, but without evidence of organic damage.

The individual, therefore, maintained the ability to work, study, and become emotionally involved with reality.

Thus, neurosis referred to a range of mental disorders, such as anxiety neurosis, obsessive-compulsive neurosis, phobic neurosis, hysterical neurosis, hypochondriacal neurosis, depressive neurosis, among others.

Currently, however, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the American Psychiatric Society prefer to opt for the more general term disorders, instead of neurosis.

See also Disorder.

Neurosis according to Sigmund Freud

For Sigmund Freud, neurosis manifests itself in individuals in the form of an enormous amount of anguish. The individual suffers and feels fear for their present and future, develops phobias and manias. All of this is accompanied by constant anxiety.

Symptoms of neurosis

General symptoms of neurosis include the following:

Depression: the individual presents a melancholic, sad mood; pessimistic thoughts of suffering and death abound in him.

Cyclothymia: it can be seen as a bipolar disorder, in which the individual has a high level of energy, activity, restlessness, irritability. It can be the product of drug addiction, specifically cocaine, and sleeping pills.

Phobias: intense fear of situations or objects that cause distress

Obsession: the individual has involuntary, meaningless and recurring thoughts. In addition, he presents obsessive, perfectionistic thoughts, and doubts his own actions.

Distortion in rational thinking: it occurs in those people who suffer from low self-esteem and are very demanding of themselves.

Celotype: it is characterized by compulsive jealousy. The individual looks for irrational acts that allow to obtain proof that he is being deceived.

Somatoform disorders: the individual affirms that he suffers from physical symptoms, such as pain, inflammation, weakness, injuries, among others, although the doctor cannot corroborate it.

Dissociative disorders: are all those pathological conditions that can lead to the individual suffering failures of memory, consciousness, identity or perception.

Personality disorders: personality abnormalities at the affective, motivational or social level.

Adaptive disorders: problems in the normal life of the person to be able to adapt to their lifestyle or environment.

Types of neurosis

Obsessive neurosis

Obsessive neurosis, also known as obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), is an anxiety disorder.

It is characterized by recurring and persistent thoughts, which lead the individual to experience restlessness, apprehension, fear or worry.

See also Obsession.

Hysterical neurosis

Hysterical neurosis is a condition that involves the loss of one or more bodily functions: blindness, paralysis, inability to speak, as well as other nervous system (neurological) symptoms that cannot be explained by a medical evaluation. It can be caused by a psychological conflict.

Depressive neurosis

Depressive neurosis is seen as a state of mind in which the individual shows a loss of interest or pleasure in all or almost all the activities that they practice in their daily life.

The individual who suffers from it feels a deep, prolonged and excessive sadness caused by some external circumstance.

Anguish neurosis

Anxiety neurosis is characterized by the presence of a constant fear whose motive is unknown.

This type of neurosis manifests itself in a moderate way, but can lead to states of deep anxiety, characterized by great tension.

Anxiety neurosis

Anxiety neurosis is characterized by a feeling of frustration and fear, and sometimes despair.

It manifests itself when the individual experiences difficulties in adapting to the different tests or situations that life presents.

Phobic neurosis

Phobic neurosis, also called anxiety hysteria by Freud, is characterized by the appearance in the individual of an irrational fear of certain people, objects, situations or acts.

Treatment of neurosis

The treatment of neurosis should be carried out under the supervision of doctors, psychologists and other specialists in the field.

Each neurosis can have its own treatment, which can be psychotherapy, group therapy, family, or individual.

Neurosis and psychosis

Neurosis and psychosis are different psychological disorders. Psychosis, for example, is a mental disorder of organic or emotional origin, in which the ability to think, communicate, interpret reality or behave appropriately can be considerably affected, and substantially interfere with the normal life of the individual.

Neurosis, on the other hand, supposes the presence of difficulties on the part of the individual to deal with certain situations, things or ideas. Unlike psychosis, neurosis has no organic origin.

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