What is Neurosis? Causes, Kinds, Treatment

People feel anxious from time to time. You might get a knot in your stomach before a job interview. You might stress about financial problems. It is normal to worry about things.

But what if your worry doesn’t go away? Negative or obsessive thoughts take over your mind, as a result, you are unable to handle your everyday problems and situations. It is neurosis or neurotic behavior when the worry gets too much and causes an inability to function in life.

What is Neurosis?

Neurosis is a condition of emotional instability, irrational thinking, and inability to function. It is characterized by distress, anxiety, phobia, vigilance, lethargy, and other feelings of unhappiness, which can lead to social anxiety.

The line that divides neurotic behavior from normal behavior is the intensity of the emotions. Neurotic behaviors are extreme and interfere with your personal, professional, and romantic lives. However, the person having neurotic behavior doesn’t lose contact with reality.

What Are The Causes Of Neurosis?

According to Sigmund Freud, neurosis is a survival strategy caused by unpleasant experiences and repressed emotions. These emotions overload or interfere with current experience.

Carl Gustav Jung, according to him, neurosis is a clash of conscious and unconscious events in the mind. Also said as a conflict between two psychic happenings.

These theories confirm that neurosis is a disorder. It is discussed with the aim of finding the cause of and treating the condition.

What Are The Kinds Of Neurosis?

Anxious Neurosis: In this, a person experiences extreme anxiety, worry, panic attacks and physical symptoms such as tremors and sweating.

Depressive Neurosis: This type of neurosis causes a person to feel constant gloom, ongoing and profound depression. The person loses interest in activities he used to like.

Obsessive-Compulsive Neurosis: This consists of repeating intrusive thoughts, called compulsion, behaviors, or mental acts. Both, having compulsions and being completely deprived of them can cause more distress.

War or combat Neurosis: In this neurosis, a person has Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). PTSD involves excessive stress and the inability to function in everyday life. It happens after experiencing a traumatic event.


If you manage your anxiety and stress, it may help control your neurotic behaviors. If your anxiety is mild, these are some ways to lessen anxiety and stress:

Exercise: Twenty minutes of exercise or walking can decrease the level of anxiety. It is one of the best ways to help a person cope with stress.

Sharing Your Problems: Tell your family or people close to you about things that are bothering you. It can take the burden off your shoulders. You might find help and support from them.

Get Enough Sleep: Lack of sleep can increase anxiety and stress levels. Aim for at least eight hours of peaceful sleep every night. Put all the electronic devices away half an hour ago before going to bed.

No Alcohol And Caffeine: Addictions worsen anxiety. It’s better to drink water instead of strong coffee and alcohol.

Balanced Diet: What we eat highly affects our moods. Have healthy meals and snacks, they boost your energy. Eat on time and do not skip meals.

Think Positive: It is not easy to turn your thinking from negative to positive in a night but, with trying, you can replace negative thoughts with positive thoughts. Talk to yourself. Ask yourself if the things you feel worried about are as grim as you think?

Write A Journal: Write your thoughts down. Read them to track what triggers your anxiety. Look for better ways to handle it the next time.  If these measures do not help, or if you feel that anxiety is hampering your life, talk to your therapist.

What Is Neuroticism?

Other than Neurosis there is a term called neuroticism. Neuroticism is a personality type. In neuroticism, the person shows symptoms of neurosis as his traits. It is not a mental disorder.

A personality test can confirm that if a person has neuroticism or he is developing neurotic behavior.

A neurotic personality has little defense against stress. The person sees everyday situations worse than they are. Then blame themselves for extreme pessimism and negativity. The person might feel, hostile, irritable, sad, worried, self-conscious, and vulnerable.

People with a neurotic personality are more prone to have internalizing disorders (emotional or behavioral disorders) such as:

If you think you are developing neurotic behavior, please reach out and ask for help.

Neurosis Vs. Psychosis

Neurosis Psychosis
It’s a symptom of mild neuro-psychical disorders. Disorders that manifest themselves in specific clinical phenomena in the absence of psychical phenomena. It’s a severe mental state or a symptom identified by loss of contact with reality and social anxiety. It causes social maladaptation and ruin relationships with other people.
Neurosis doesn’t affect personality. Psychosis affects personality.
Contact with reality is not completely lost. In psychosis, contact with reality is completely lost.
Auditory or visual hallucinations and delusions are not present. Auditory, visual and more hallucinations and delusions are present.
The risk of self-harm is lower. The risk of self-harm or harming others is Higher.
Obsessive-compulsive disorders, Generalized anxiety disorder, Depression and Post-traumatic disorders are the few types of neurosis. Schizophrenia, Bipolar disorder, and Delusional disorders are types of psychosis.
Biological, socio-psychic climate, psychological, pedagogical, and socio-economic factors cause Neurosis. Psychosis is caused because of factors like genetic, biochemical and environmental.
Neurosis is treated with psychological therapies and medicines are also prescribed. Psychosis is treated by antipsychotic drugs (pills or liquid), psychotherapy and social support.

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