- “Neuroses” is a term used in many different ways related to abnormal psychological processes.
- Neuroticism has been used to describe a personality trait that does not impair everyday function.
*Neuroticism is one of the Big Five personality traits found in personality tests across a range of cultures. While neuroticism is not a diagnosis, or even a concern in an otherwise well-balanced personality, having it can feed into different mental and physical health problems.
Despite not qualifying as a diagnosis, psychologists and psychiatrists do not dismiss a personality that shows a heavy tilt towards neuroticism as unimportant for mental wellbeing. Dr. Benjamin B. Lahey, of the University of Chicago’s Departments of Health Studies and Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience, said in a 2009 manuscript:
“Although not widely appreciated, there is growing evidence that neuroticism is a psychological trait of profound public health significance. Neuroticism is a robust correlate and predictor of many different mental and physical disorders, comorbidity among them, and the frequency of mental and general health service use.”
Some define it as a tendency for quick arousal when stimulated and slow relaxation from arousal; others define it as emotional instability and negativity or maladjustment, in contrast to emotional stability and positivity, or good adjustment. Others yet define it as lack of self-control, poor ability to manage psychological stress…
Personality psychologists Robert McCrae and Paul Costa describe how people with high neuroticism levels cope with such stress:
“They may more frequently use inappropriate coping responses like hostile reactions and wishful thinking because they must deal more often with disruptive emotions. They may adopt irrational beliefs like self-blame because these beliefs are cognitively consistent with the negative feelings they experience. Neuroticism appears to include not only negative affect, but also the disturbed thoughts and behaviors that accompany emotional distress.” (McCrae and Costa, 1987). A number of factors, including age and gender, have been found to mediate neuroticism levels. Neuroticism scores have been found to gradually decrease as a person ages, as they become more comfortable with their life circumstances (Scollon and Diener, 2007). A study published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology, confirming the findings of previous surveys, found that the neuroticism levels of women are generally higher than those of men. However, as we grow older, this disparity between genders decreases — age advantage(Weisberg et al, 2011).
*Neuroses is an indication of the loss of equilibrium of different factors of personality. When the ego fails to maintain the equilibrium between the id and the super ego, symptoms of neuroses are observed. Thus the symptoms are the resultant of failure of ego functioning.
A neurotic person experiences emotional distress and unconscious conflict, which are manifested in various physical or mental illnesses. … Neurotic tendencies are common and may manifest themselves as acute or chronic anxiety, depression, an obsessive–compulsive disorder, a phobia, or personality disorders(NARCISSISM/HISTRIONISM).
Traits of Neuroses: neo Freudians
1. Inappropriate Attitude:
These people as Karen Horney has indicated have the neurotic drive for love. Some individuals develop attitudes which are called inappropriate because they want to have contact with any individual they meet.(ex. male narcissists who oblige the opposite sex to reciprocate their feelings and retaliate over rejection via smear campaign OR histrionics and narcs faking identities online as a disguise to harm others and cover up their tracks;They lack social graces, casually talking about salaries, intimacy, financial status etc.)
2. Demand for Approval is Insatiable:
The neurotic persons are never satisfied with the approval or love of others. The more they get, the more they want. If a neurotic avoids some people, he goes to the extreme level of hatred. Thus, their approval or disapproval is always extreme.(ex. narcissists who stalk and harass people via third party/flying monkeys such as bogus social media accounts, spouse, friends, family etc.)
3. Disproportionate Reaction to Frustration:
When the desires and wishes of a neurotic person are not satisfied, being overwhelmed by anxiety, he overreacts to it. Though a normal reaction to frustration is obvious, and hence welcomed, excessive reaction is a sign of neurotic personality.(narcissists in particular are hypersensitive thus showing exaggeration in everything such as: lying and making up stories about people of interest making them the hero of their version of the story or may withhold the truth of what has actually transpired to cover up their bad intentions)
4. Desire for Excessive Love and Affection:
Desire for excessive love and affection is a prominent characteristic of the psycho-neurotic which has been emphasized by Freud as well as Karen Horney. Such excessive need for love of the neurotic persons arises out of the need for security. A sense of insecurity and to get over the danger arising out of this compels them to seek for approval and disapproval from others.
But strangely enough, though the neurotic person expects affection, love and approval from others, he is not ready to give the same to others in return. This is because of his self centeredness. Even if, they demonstrate love and affection, it is only a means, a pretension to get affection from others(including married couples). The neurotic persons, in fact, have no genuine feeling for others.(ex. narcissists may pronounce their romantic intentions without personal commitment, they only commit because of societal pressure such as, settling down with a spouse)
5. Repressed Hostility:
In the neurotic personality there is a good deal of repressed hostility towards persons. In other words, neurotic persons show ambivalence attitude. They like and dislike as well as appreciate and criticize.Toxic people are fake, humble braggers and have low EQ(ex. narcissists are attracted to the same person they hate. Brought about by their own insecurities, thus causing them to become obsessed with people they are inferior to. most of the time, low profile personalities with high IQ and EQ,known to be kind and attractive)
6. Inferiority Complex:
Neurotics are vain people, suffering from inferiority complex. As a reaction and compensatory attitude to their feelings of inferiority, they develop a sense of superiority which is popularly known as vanity. An insecure neurotic gets a necessary feeling of security out of the sense of inferiority. However the excessive drive for vanity impoverishes the personality psychologically. (ex. histrionics and narcissists are both aesthetically vain in character, they love to show off, such as, oversharing activities and personal pics on social media; others may go to the extent of publishing irrelevant articles to show off — VANITY to its core)
7. Unusually Critical Attitude Towards Others:
Neurotic persons are always on the point of blaming, criticizing and- insulting others. They are unnecessarily highly critical of others. Their sort of blaming others may be regarded as a sort of defense.TOXIC PEOPLE are hypersentive and paranoid. They always take everything personal and offensive, even if not addressed to them so long as it bruises their frail ego(ex. attacking personal beliefs, lifestyle, spirituality, achievement, profession, talents and advocacy — PROJECTION of their insecurities)https://medium.com/@maejacoloaguilar/projection-or-opinion-unapologetically-me-quora-93fa5fdf991b
8. Common Tendency of Dissatisfaction:
Psycho neurotics have a common tendency of dissatisfaction. They are not satisfied with anything or anybody in this world, whatever may be the circumstances.They are always envious.(ex.cheating over their partners, over competitive;seeing others as rivals /competition secretly)
9. Tendency to Dominate Others:
Kardiner mentioned that a significant neurotic trend is to dominate others. Those persons who are the chronic invalids like the hysterics have this dominating spirit. With the escape from reality to illness, they try to get sympathy from others.( ex. histrionics exaggerating condition such as, depression, midlife crisis etc. — -depression is a common thing to a histrionic )
10. General Inhibition:
Finally, another character of neurotic person is general inhibition. He has no genuine emotion and feeling. Hence, during the onset of puberty, they have difficulty in managing themselves. They inhibit and deny the natural process of growth of the body. So usually they indulge and try to remain indifferent from the sexual world. ( ex. narcissists are apathetic and sexually inconsistent — -periods of sexual highs and lows)
Psychologists have found three general consequences of neuroses:
As commonly observed, most neurotics are persons who show tendency towards fatigue. At the slightest physical or mental exhaustion they seem to be tired which is definitely abnormal. The result of such fatigue creates physical or mental inefficiency. It interferes concentration in any work.
Neurotics usually complain of their mind wandering. They lack initiative and decisions. But once they make a decision they go on changing. They are not sure of themselves and hence are afraid of their decision.
A neurotic person feels more tired even after some rest or sleep. Thus when he wakes up in the morning, he feels ache and pain in the body, As the day progresses he feels better and better and towards the evening almost all fatigue disappears and he feels refreshed. This is in contrast to normal fatigue.
Every normal individual experiences tension some time or other. But a neurotic person is in a state of tension all the time. So he seems to be restless both physically and mentally. Along with tension there is also irritation and frustrations. Neurotics are chronically irritated without being able to overcome slightest frustration. Due to overloaded tension, he becomes confused and anxious all the while.
The tension and anxiety of a neurotic mainly disturbs his sleep. If anyone complains of disturbed sleep or insomnia without obvious reasons, one may take it as the first sign of neuroses. Without sound sleep there is more accumulation of physical and mental fatigue. This further adds to the increase of neurotic symptoms.
Dissatisfaction is chronic in case of neurotics and due to extreme dissatisfaction, all the while, they lose the capacity for enjoyment. The neurotic is at war with himself for constant dissatisfaction and complaining nature.
All the above consequences may prepare the ground for the development of neuroses. People may have neurotic tendencies but need not necessary be called neurotic unless these predisposing factors are precipitated by necessary precipitating factors.
Secondary Gains of Neuroses:
The primary purpose of neurotic disorder is reduction of tension and conflict through neurotic illness. The ego of the patient may try to gain advantage from the external world by creating pity to get sympathy and attention of others.These advantages are known as the secondary gains of the mental illness.
The secondary gains are different for different form of neurotic illness. For instance getting attention through dramatic acting out and at time deriving material advantages are characteristics of conversion hysteria.
In Phobia, there is regression to childhood when one gets protection from parents, relatives and neighbourhood.
In Psycho somatic illness psychic conflicts are denied by projecting them into the physical sphere.
(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neurosis;http://www.psychologydiscussion.net/abnormal-psychology/neuroses-characteristics-symptoms-and-consequences/2230; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neuroticism;https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/246608.php;https://www.psychologistworld.com/personality/neuroticism-personality-trait; google images)
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