A neurosis, in psychoanalytic theory, is an ineffectual coping strategy that Sigmund Freud suggested was caused by emotions from past experience overwhelming or interfering with present experience. For example, someone attacked by a dog as a toddler may have a phobia or overwhelming fear of dogs. In Carl Jung's theory of analytical psychology a neurosis results form the conflict of two psychic contents, one of which must be unconscious.
The word 'neurosis' is derived from two Greek words: neuron (nerve) and osis (diseased or abnormal condition).
Everyone has some neurotic symptoms and defense mechanisms which may help them to successfully deal with anxiety. Defense mechanisms which result in difficulties in living are termed neuroses and are treated by psychoanalysis, counselling or psychiatric techniques.
Neurosis, also known as psychoneurosis or neurotic disorder, is a "catch all" term that refers to any mental imbalance that causes distress, but, unlike a psychosis or some personality disorders, does not prevent rational thought or an individual's ability to function in daily life.
It is particularly associated with the discipline/school of psychoanalysis, which is not to be confused with psychology or psychiatry.
Neurotic tendencies are common and may manifest themselves as depression, acute or chronic anxiety, obsessive-compulsive tendencies, phobias, and even personality disorders, such as borderline personality disorder or obsessive-compulsive personality disorder.
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