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What are Some Common Neuroses?

By Shannon Kietzman
Updated May 17, 2024
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Neuroses are mental illnesses that cause distress in sufferers. In addition, neuroses can interfere with these individuals’ abilities to function normally. Though the term neuroses is no longer used formally within the medical community, it is still a common umbrella term used for mental illnesses such as anxiety, pyromania, obsessive-compulsive disorder, hysteria, and phobias.

One of the common neuroses is anxiety. A person suffering from anxiety may experience feelings of apprehension, worry, and fear. Physical symptoms are also common with this form of neurosis, including nausea, palpitations, chest pains, and shortness of breath. The person may also experience elevated blood pressure and heart rate, sweating, pale skin, dilated pupils, and trembling. While some anxiety is normal in certain situations, such as when sad, angry, or afraid of a specific situation, those with this form of neurosis may experience anxiety for no known reason or for reasons that should not normally trigger that type of response.

Pyromania is another of the common neuroses. A person suffering from pyromania is fixated on fire and the act of purposely starting fires. A pyromaniac is not the same as an arsonist, as a person suffering from pyromania gains a sense of happiness from fires, whereas an arsonist may set fire for revenge or for personal gain. In general, there are no other symptoms associated with this type of neurosis.

Another of the common neuroses is obsessive-compulsive disorder. Individuals with obsessive-compulsive disorder generally suffer from intrusive, repetitive, and disturbing thoughts. In an attempt to rid themselves of these thoughts, they engage in certain rituals or tasks. This leads to a cycle of thoughts and behaviors over which the person feels he or she has little or no control.

Hysteria is another of the common neuroses. A person suffering from hysteria experiences substantial feelings of fear or other emotions that he or she cannot seem to handle. Often, the fear is focused on an imagined illness or other problem of a specific body part. The person may lose all self-control as a result of the consuming fear.

Phobias are also neuroses. Phobias are characterized by strong fears of specific objects, people, situations, or activities. Individuals with phobias experience unreasonable fear of the object, which can interfere with normal life function.

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Discussion Comments
By GreenWeaver — On Feb 07, 2011

Sunny27- I agree and I want to add that too often we look for pharmaceutical drugs to cure our emotional distress when in reality we have to feel the pain in order to heal.

For example, a person suffering from overeating due to anxiety will have to explore what are the causes of anxiety and face them. These patients should not be given a pill to reduce their appetite so that they could lose weight or an anti anxiety drug so that they could limit the neurotic tendencies.

This patient will only heal when he acknowledges the source of pain or void in his life that leads him to food.

The same could be said of any other addiction. In order to treat addictive disorders you really have to understand what the void is in the person’s life that is causing the addiction because that is the only way to treat the anxiety.

With the addiction the patient soothes his anxiety with his choice of drug but this behavioral pattern is what needs to change because it is unhealthy.

We have to remember that pharmaceutical companies have potential financial windfalls when we buy into their drugs, but that may not be the best way to handle anxiety, but disorders like schizophrenia and manic depression are a different story.

By Sunny27 — On Feb 06, 2011

Icecream17 - I just wanted to say that psychodynamic therapy is really effective in treating anxiety and neuroses in general.

It makes the patient explore herself and recognize destructive relationship patterns. It focuses on the individual’s choices and why they made them. It empowers patients to seek alternative choices and alter their levels of anxiety.

The use of psychoanalytic theory by contrast refers more to the patient’s past childhood along with their unconscious thoughts that lead to the problematic feelings and behavior.

I feel that with the use of psychoanalytic therapy the patient is automatically doomed if they had a terrible childhood. This is the problem with this type of theory because it does not explain why people that had bad childhoods still developed a happy life free of anxiety and depression.

I think that psychodynamic therapy is more of a forward thinking treatment that offers the patient the hope of treating their mental disorders.

By icecream17 — On Feb 04, 2011

SurfNturf- I read recently that the neurotics or people suffering from constant anxiety actually suffer from the wrong balance of neurotransmitters that affect behavior and mood.

For example, the serotonin levels offers us feelings of happiness and fulfillment while the norepinephrine levels provide us with motivation and the dopamine levels provide us with pleasure.

People that suffer from anxiety have a total imbalance in these areas and medication, therapy, proper nutrition, and even exercise can alter these levels to adequate amounts.

Many mental and emotional disorders exist because of these types of problems which can be corrected with a holistic approach to treatment that includes cognitive behavorial therapy.

By surfNturf — On Feb 02, 2011

Anxiety neuroses is a constant debilitating fear that just never goes away. It is a fear of the future that causes panic in almost every situation.

There are medications available for people suffering from anxiety. Xanax and Valium are the most widely recognized medication for the treatment of anxiety. These medications are highly recommended for panic disorders because they take effect in only 30 minutes.

These medications are addictive and should only be used in the short term. There are some serious side effects regarding these medications and it is best to talk to your doctor to determine which medication is best for your condition.

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