Neurosis is one of the diseases of personality. And we know different types of neurosis disorders. It is usually not serious and the associated behavioral disorders are often minor. Relatively benign psychiatric diseases, neuroses are nevertheless serious because of their chronic nature. Those who suffer from it are well aware of it and can see their daily life ruined by these disorders.
The term was coined by William Cullen in 1769 in reference to psychic disorders caused by a disorder in general of the nervous system, inconvenienced at different levels or the suffering of the individual.
Neurosis defines a clinical setting characterized in particular by emotional instability, the tendency to depression, high anxiety as well as excessive rumination and feelings of guilt. People with neuroticism are factories with ongoing concerns, but very sensitive profiles can still respond correctly to psychological therapies.
In a word, it is very possible that the term neurosis reminds many people of old memories, of the time when Sigmund Freud concentrated some of his work on psychoneurosis. This is a very classic psychological dimension, discovered in 1769 by the Scottish doctor William Cullen, at a time when we were trying to classify under one label all the disorders that distorted what was considered a rational thought.
For Sigmund Freud and psychoanalytic schools in the twentieth century, neurosis is a term that has come to indicate a psychological pathogenesis resulting from the removal or repression of instincts, instincts, and desires, the content of which does not occur at the conscious level, but under the form of an unconscious conflict (…), and whose satisfaction is still necessary, on pain of the appearance in time and in the sphere of consciousness of mental disorders and behavior more or less serious.
Who can be touched by neurosis? Each individual may be faced with different types of neurosis disorders. However, some individuals are more so than others. This susceptibility for all types of neurosis disorders depends on their past, their history, their relationship, their personality, etc.
What is neurosis? How to describe neurosis and its characteristics? What are the different types of neurosis disorders? What are the causes and symptoms of neurosis? How to diagnose and treat neurosis? In short, this article, lets you know everything about neuroses.
I – Definition of Neurosis
The origin of the neurosis is often related to a more or less recent trauma that has impacted the psychological state of the person. The patient is fully aware of these disorders and is not at all “disconnected” from reality.
The psychological disorders associated with neurosis are generally emotional. The subject, however, is aware, quite accurately, of the psychological malaise he is facing. This awareness allows him especially to seek the cause of this suffering and thus to take charge of this evil more effectively.
*** Neurosis throughout history
We now have several mechanisms to better understand the trait of neuroticism and offer a therapeutic approach appropriate to each person. However, a few years ago the neurosis was only a “knot bag”, there we included anyone with any psychological alteration, no matter how small.
Hippocrates, in his time, had already laid the foundations of this condition when he spoke of the melancholy temperament. According to him, these were people suffering from chronically disrupted “body fluids”. In a way, and for thousands of years, we have considered that these more anxious, nervous, with a tendency to depression or excessive worry behavioral patterns, correspond to people not only condemned not to control their lives but also to sabotage that of others.
The word neurotic has a negative designation in itself, something we should correct. As a result, mental health professionals have been forced to ban the term neurosis in order to generate a broader, logical and integrative therapeutic (and social) approach in response to a condition that is itself manageable.
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In the book Self-Analysis, Karen Horney discusses the driving forces in the neuroses, the several stages of psychoanalytic understanding, the analyst’s and the patient’s share in the psychoanalytic process, occasional and methodical self-analysis, and the realistic expectations of undertaking self-analysis.
II – Description and Characteristics of Different Types of Neurosis Disorders
Each type of neurosis disorders, according to Freudian theory, should be the basis of an unresolved conflict concerning the sexual sphere. According to Freud, the experience of psychological suffering is not in itself a problem, but it becomes when this suffering:
– finds its origin at the beginning;
– lasted excessively over time;
– deeply affects the behavior of the person;
– compromises his ability to work;
– compromises his emotional-sexual relations;
– compromises certain important physiological and psychological functions.
When you take these characteristics, the suffering becomes a psychological problem, which indicates the presence of a neurosis.
However, when talking about the characteristics of various types of neurosis disorders, we must note at first sight that neuroticism enters a spectrum. In other words, some will present a higher score in this psychological dimension and others that will present only a few traits. Thus, and although most of us have the idea that neurosis is essentially emotional instability, we can say that it hides more complex and interesting roots at the same time.
To better understand this psychological condition, we can refer to a curious story told by Paul Watzlawick about neurosis with the story of the hammer. Imagine, for example, that our neighbor needs a hammer to hang a picture and wants to ask us for it. However, this man is somewhat pessimistic and begins to think that we will not lend him and imagine not one, but dozens of situations more and more convoluted where the answer is always the same, negative.
In the end, he ends up accumulating so much frustration and anger, that he comes knocking on our door to tell us, simply, “that we can keep our damn hammer”. It is clear that in the face of such behavior we would remain speechless and even half-frightened. However, before coming to the conclusion that our neighbor is “not doing well”, it is necessary to know a little more about this reality. Let’s see some features.
– These are profiles characterized by high negativism, by catastrophic thoughts
– The continued feeling of sadness and helplessness
– Apathy, frequent tiredness
– Emotional highs and lows
– Periods of social isolation
– Complex affective and family relationships, coexistence with “neurotic” people are usually very complicated
– Often, neuroticism is confused with obsessive-compulsive disorder
– Somatization disorders (muscular pains, cutaneous affections …)
While acknowledging the weight of the erotic moment this generator of impulses, for Carl Gustav Jung neurosis “is not only an attempt individual solution (unsuccessful) of a general problem” identifying as the final result of a comparison between conflict instincts intrinsic individual and the environment and the time in which he lives.
According to evolutionary psychology, healthy people have multiple personalities or behaviors that we tend to assume automatically only whenever a certain situation occurs again. “The neurosis is characterized by the uniqueness of the personality, repetitive and obligatory”, which therefore does not adapt to different situations, but still it remains equal.
Neurosis differs from other forms of psychopathology, like psychosis, because the patient does not lose contact with reality as it occurs for example by delusions and hallucinations. Neuroses can lead, depending on the structural and functional differences of each patient (due to personal experience), to various psychopathological manifestations, hysteria, and others.
III – What Are the Different Types of Neurosis Disorders?
We can quote the next types of neurosis disorders:
– panic disorder;
– chronic anxiety, which associates an anxiety state over the long term (more than three months);
– anxiety neurosis, directly or indirectly related to acute or chronic anxiety;
– phobic neurosis, relative to a state of ill-being faced with a situation or a phobic element;
– hysterical neurosis, related to a hysterical psychological and physical state;
– obsessional neurosis.
IV – Causes and Symptoms of Neurosis
Go from causes, going through the factors to then expose the symptoms.
*** The causes of neurosis
There is not only one cause of neurosis but a combination of factors.
Genetics can play a role in this type of pathology. Indeed, genes inherited from parents can lead to psychological damage associated with neurosis. Nevertheless, research concerning the genes involved must be carried out.
A deficiency in neurotransmitters (chemical messengers allowing the transmission of signals in the brain) can also be the source of neurosis.
Anomalies in brain development have also been identified in the development of such pathology. The parts of the cerebral cortex most often affected by these disorders are the amygdala, the hippocampus or the orbitofrontal cortex.
The social and family environment of the patient may also play a negative role in this context. Especially in the context of sexual abuse, chronic exposure to distressing situations, distress (especially in children), abandonment of parents, mental disorders, etc.
*** Risk factors of neurosis
The neurotic state may concern each and every one. However, a predominance of the risk of developing a neurosis is visible in “more sensitive” individuals with anxious, depressive or stressed tendencies.
*** The symptoms of neurosis
A set of clinical signs and symptoms may be associated with a neurotic state. Among these we can mention:
– emotional instability: sadness, nervousness, shame, panic, loneliness, etc. ;
– a disturbed perception of things: questioning one’s personality, perception of non-existent voices, hallucinations, etc. ;
– compulsive behavior: need to hurt oneself, doing things irresponsibly, using drugs, etc. ;
– unstable social relations: harassment of a member of his entourage, threatening or even violent behavior towards his entourage, etc. ;
V – Diagnose and Treat Neurosis
It is advisable to get closer to your doctor from the observation of the first symptoms associated with the disease.
In the diagnosis of a neurotic state, the doctor will refer the patient to specialists in the psychological state (psychologist, psychiatrist, etc.)
The social dialogue and the elocution of these symptoms, to the people of his close entourage, are advised during the observation of clinical signs.
The therapeutic follow-up of these psychological conditions refers to group psychotherapy, organized by professionals in psychology (psychologists, psychiatrist, psychotherapist, nurse, etc.).
If the diagnosed symptoms are severe, hospitalization may be prescribed. Nevertheless, this case remains rare.
Drug treatment is rare in this type of psychological disorder. Moreover, it can be related to that of depression, anxiety disorders or bipolar disorders.
As a Conclusion on Types of Neurosis Disorders
The first thing we need to take into account about neurosis is that in a certain way, we can all present at one time or another a behavior characterized by excessive worry, rumination, susceptibility … According to historians, individuals such as Newton and Charles Darwin had very sensitive, unstable, whimsical and always worried profiles. However, there was something big in them, something that allowed them to channel all this mental energy on the right track.
Therefore, before considering neurosis as something purely pathological, we must understand that it is enough to offer the person tools to better manage his emotional world in order to perceive the appropriate changes. The real problem with the neurotic profile is that we face a patient unable to cope with his daily life, someone, trapped in his fears and worries, in the solitude of his home without daring to interact, work, lead a life functional.
Neurosis is treated by psychotherapy, one of the most advisable being cognitive-behavioral therapy. Thus, as we pointed out above, the response to this type of psychological treatment is generally very good. When the person manages to regain his emotions by applying proper management techniques, most of the features mentioned above lose their intensity until they disappear.