Much has been said over the last century about the neurosis. Many have ventured to try to describe this label "tailor's box" in which they have gotten disorders that have little or nothing to do with the original construct.
The purpose of this article is to approach the concept of neurosis, describe it according to current taxonomies and give you the precise keys to learn to detect when a person is neurotic, as well as the main conditions he suffers.
New data about the characteristics of neurosis
The neurosis It refers to a misfit lifestyle characterized by:
- A neurotic nucleus constituted by a faulty evaluation of reality in threatening terms for the ego and, as a result, a tendency to avoid, rather than cope, stress and anguish through a series of defense mechanisms
- A neurotic paradox, referred to the tendency to maintain this lifestyle despite its maladaptive and autoderrotist nature.
The neurotic nucleus is a circular process in which the individual feels incapable, evaluates everyday problems as something threatening and tries to face the anguish with avoidance and other defenses. The end result is an autoderrostista lifestyle that blocks personal development and happiness. We can observe three facets in this conglomerate:
- Feelings of disability, insecurity and, as a consequence, anxiety; even in the face of success, for the fear that "the true lack of skill" is exposed (sort of Adler's inferiority complex).
- Avoidance instead of coping, in a lifestyle characterized by defense and avoidance.
- Autoderrotista behavior and personal development blockade which can also generate rigidity, self-centeredness, no concern for others (because of their problems they basically care about themselves), interference in interpersonal relationships, unhappiness, etc.
Despite their inefficiency, neurotics persist in this lifestyle, they use it in a pre-established way to face their life, this is the neurotic paradox.
The neurotic paradox
The explanation of the neurotic paradox may be in
- The immediate, short-term relief of distress that is obtained momentarily by avoidance
- Inappropriate perception and continues that certain life situations are threatening.
The individual always avoids, which does not allow the subject to discover which of these situations are really threatening and which ones he could handle.
Characteristics of the neurotics indicated by several authors are the little self-confidence (poor self-esteem and self-efficacy), poor control of will, high energy tension, propensity to guilt, rigidity, unhappiness, insecurity, easy fatigue.
Most common complaints of people suffering from neurosis
If we perform a factor analysis of the complaints common to neurotic patients five groups of symptoms appear:
- Somatizations. Symptoms of an organic type: pain, anesthesia, sensations of heat or cold, lumps in the throat, sweating, etc.
- Anxiety: fear, nervousness, tension, fear, etc.
- Depression: thoughts of suicide, sadness, loss of interest, hopelessness, crying, etc.
- Interpersonal sensitivity: easy to get angry or irritated, feelings of misunderstanding, mistrust, etc.
- Obsession-compulsion: repetitive review, perfectionism, slowness, indecision, etc.
The general neurotic syndrome
Neuroses are minor disorders where the reality judgment is not lostThey have a strong dimensional character (we can all place ourselves in a continuum of neuroticism) and their clinic is understandable, in the sense that neurotic symptoms are related to experiences that we have all experienced sometime.
Finally, although in the psychopathological classifications and in the current research the tendency is to specify to the maximum, some authors continue thinking about the existence and clinical utility of a general neurotic syndrome. They are based on data such as:
- High comorbidity of the symptoms and between the different neurotic disorders.
- The poor diagnostic stability, which changes frequently over time.
- The response to treatment It is similar between different diagnostic categories, including different branches (anxiety-depression).
This general neurotic syndrome is characterized by the presence of simultaneous symptoms of anxiety and depression. In addition, it is frequently associated with an underlying personality disorder (inhibited, dependent).
This syndrome can be applied well to clinical experience, where the patient does not usually have a stable and specific symptomatology of a specific disorder, but a conglomerate is general "neurotic" symptoms. In line with these ideas, the ICD-10 of the WHO created the classification category of “Mixed anxiety-depressive disorder”.
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