What is it?

Neurosis is a mental disorder that causes distress and deficit in functioning which is characterized by anxiety, depression, unhappiness or distress that are not in line with the person’s life. People who suffer from neurosis do not, usually, suffer from an impaired sense of reality. In 1980, the third publication of the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-III) removed the term neurosis. Neurotic behaviour is seen in disorders such as obsessive- compulsive, somatoform, anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. Neurotic thoughts and behaviors by definition are so extreme that they interfere with your personal, professional, and romantic lives.

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Additional names

This group contains additional names:
- Alexithymia
- Factitious Illness Not Elsewhere Classified and Not Otherwise Specified
- Dissociative Amnesia
- Hysteria
- Dissociative Fugue
- Somatization Disorder
- Dissociative Reaction
- Hypochondriasis
- Body dysmorphic disorder
- Somatoform Disorder
- Unspecified Nonpsychotic Mental Disorder
- Neurasthenia

Signs & symptoms

Neurosis may be defined as poor ability to adapt to one's environment. Symptoms may include anxiety, sadness or depression, anger, irritability, mental confusion, and low sense of self-worth. Behavioral symptoms such as phobic avoidance, vigilance, impulsive and compulsive acts and lethargy. Cognitive problems such as unpleasant or disturbing thoughts, repetition of thoughts and obsession.


Diagnosis of neurotic disorders is done in an interview with a psychologist or psychiatrist.


Treatment can include psychotherapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, relaxation exercises, such as deep breathing. Sometimes the treatment will be combined with psychoactive drugs.

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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