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Neurosis: Symptoms, Causes, Types and Treatment

Neurosis, also known as psychoneurosis or psychoneuroses in the plural, is a mental illness that causes suffering and functional impairment to the patient. Anxiety, depression, or other feelings of misery or suffering that are out of proportion to the circumstances of a person’s life are a few common symptoms of neuroses. They may affect a person’s ability to operate in nearly any aspect of his life, including relationships and external activities.   

What is anxiety neurosis?  

Anxiety neurosis was the name given to a group of mental diseases marked by excessive anxiety. Anxiety is described as a sensation of worry or fear about the possibility of something unpleasant occurring.  

A ‘neurotic’ individual is someone who has an exaggerated anxiety-led response to a specific scenario. In neurotic individuals, the response is often amplified and extremely out of proportion to what the situation requires.  

What are the symptoms of neurosis?  

If one is unsure whether they have neurosis, consider whether they have ever had any of the following symptoms or traits:    

  • Anxiety and trepidation for no fathomable reason 
  • Worry and guilt in excess  
  • A proclivity towards negative emotions and reactions  
  • Anger and irritability  
  • Self-consciousness and low self-esteem  
  • Very poor reaction to stress.  
  • Everyday circumstances are interpreted as dangerous.  
  • Depression  
  • Instability of emotions  

Here are some things to look out for if neurosis is suspected in a friend or family member.   

  • Constantly seeking reassurance  
  • In relationships, being too reliant on others or extremely co-dependent  
  • Bringing their discontent or tension to attention constantly  
  • Conflicts with others as a result of a lack of emotional fortitude or resiliency  
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) which can be characterized by perfectionist tendencies or an obsession with getting things in just the way the patient wishes them to be.  

Of course, these signs do not always indicate that a loved one is neurotic. However, if their behaviour has become a pattern over time and is distressing them, they are advised to get help from a mental health expert.  

What are the causes of neurosis?  

One of the psychogenic reasons for neurotic disorders is the failure to respond to environmental stimuli, which creates stress. A low-stress tolerance and a high susceptibility to even those things that do not generate a pathological reaction from the psyche in stronger people could be the primary cause of an inadequate reaction.  

A strong external stimulation, which even people with a “strong psyche” find difficult to cope with, is the second cause of psychogenic neurosis. Such irritants include chronic stress at work, disputes at home, household troubles, health problems, loss of loved ones, financial issues, and so on. Overwork, insufficient rest, and an inability to relax all contribute to the development of neurosis.  

Neurotic diseases are caused by a disruption in the metabolism of neurotransmitters, hormones, vitamins, and other biologically active chemicals necessary for the regular functioning of the central nervous system.

What are the types of neurosis?  

Neurosis comes in many forms, some of which are given below:  

  1. Anxiety neurosis: Panic attacks, severe anxiety and worry, and physical symptoms such as tremors and perspiration are all indications of anxiety neurosis.  
  2. Depressive neurosis: This type of neurosis is marked by persistent and deep sadness, as well as a loss of interest in previously pleasurable activities.  
  3. Obsessive-compulsive neurosis: It is characterized by intrusive thoughts, behaviors, or mental acts that are repeated in a pattern.  
  4. War or combat neurosis: This type of neurosis is characterized by extreme stress and an inability to function in daily life following traumatic occurrences. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is another name for this ailment.  

How can neurosis be treated?  

Medications  

A doctor or psychiatrist can prescribe the right medications to help manage the symptoms of anxiety, depression, and other disorders. Medications function by altering the chemistry of the brain, to prevent neurotic behavior.  

The following are some of the most commonly given drugs for mental diseases linked to neuroticism:  

  • Anti-anxiety drugs operate by reducing anxiety and its symptoms, such as nervousness and restlessness. The fast-acting benzodiazepine, for example, is widely recommended, but people can develop a tolerance to it.  
  • Antidepressants such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) can be used to treat depression symptoms.  

Psychotherapy  

Various types of oral therapy, including cognitive-behavioral therapy, can assist a person in addressing negative thought patterns and working to improve unhealthy coping mechanisms. It can also help identify a person’s neurotic behaviors and how those behaviors are interfering with other issues the patient is dealing with.  

Conclusion  

Neurosis or Neuroticism is a personality trait, not a mental illness. Obsessive thinking and anxiety are common symptoms. However, it can sometimes lead to the development of mental diseases such as anxiety disorder. You can’t cure it, but you can lessen neurotic behaviors by understanding and regulating your triggers and building good coping mechanisms for the same. 

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