Neuroses: types, diagnosis and treatment

Written by: Dr. Ramon Martí Montraveta
Published: | Updated: 18/11/2018
Edited by: Top Doctors®

A neurotic disorder is not a disease in the biological or neurological sense of the term. It is a psychiatric concept that refers to a specific problem of the human being, an existential dilemma that is linked to the fact of how we relate to ourselves and how we face life being aware of our limitations and our own death.

Being a species endowed with symbolic thought, we are traversed by characteristics that only we, the humans, are peculiar to us: desire, the capacity for choice, the perception of transcendence, being in search of something always beyond, and these same Characteristics can sometimes be accompanied by a certain despair and an expression of suffering in the form of anxiety or emotional distress. When these symptomatic manifestations produce difficulties in adapting to the environment, maintaining healthy relationships or an inability to lead a satisfactory life, it is when we speak of neurotic disorder.

Neurosis: Defocused Interpretation

These neurotic disorders are linked to the fact of living existence from an unfocused interpretation of oneself and this same interpretation, often persistent, generates anguish and discomfort.These people are frustrated and easily blamed, over-concerned, never fully prepared, who postpone their decisions and see themselves as the most harmful.

The popular idea that we have of it are the characters of the films of Woody Allen, those eccentric and hypochondriacs, obsessed in excess by things and situations before which we could all be identified: the sex, the disease, the death and the anguish to find A meaning to life.

The neurosis refers to a pattern of repetitive behavior that usually produces mismatched relationships with the other, with their surroundings and with themselves.A certain desperation for not wanting to be oneself (and having to be), or a certain despair to want to be oneself, (and not to be able to be). All this can potentiate the appearance of symptoms of the spectrum of anxiety or depression.


Types of neurosis: Obsession, hysteria, phobia

Classical classification describes three types of neuroses: obsessive, hysterical, and phobic. Each one of them represents different ways of being placed before the existential vacuum that, often, can produce distress. They also represent different ways of doing with desire, decision making, uncertainty and the ever complex relationship with others.

Obsessive neurosis is structured around a desire prevented and impossible to realize, it has never just reached its goal, doubt and procasting are its insignia and everything must be under control.

Hysterical neurosis is based on an unsatisfied desire, no matter what you choose, the feeling of loss will always persist, the better will always be what you do not have and your decisions always lead you to choose what you do not want, or what you do suffer. Somatic symptoms are common.

Phobic neurosis will avoid contact with what you want or like, fear will direct your life and anxiety will encourage evasive and avoidant behavior.

These personality structures, whether phobic, hysterical or obsessive, respond to a very wide range, from their most mundane and everyday forms to their most morbid modes, and may present acute symptomatic manifestations, from severe distress crises to different forms Of depression and somatization.


Diagnosis and treatment of neuroses

In order to diagnose this type of condition, it is essential to take into account the life history of the subject in order to locate the causes of origin of his defocused reading pattern and thus be able to establish a treatment that takes into account its uniqueness and its history .The underlying treatment of neurosis is psychological but, according to its level of severity, a combined treatment of psychotherapy and pharmacological treatment may be necessary.

Psychotherapy is aimed at changing the wrong cognitions and the unfocused interpretation that the subject has built upon himself.

Pharmacological treatment plays a role in appeasing the acute symptoms, when they exceed the threshold of personal suffering, and as cutting off fires, since acute symptoms act as enhancers of neurotic interpretations.

Neurosis helps us remember that the treatment of emotional distress should not only address the suppression of acute symptoms, but must take into account the personality structure that is the cause of these.

*Translated with Google translator. We apologize for any imperfection

By Dr. Ramon Martí Montraveta

Dr. Ramon Marti, a psychiatrist with over 25 years of medical experience, is a specialist in psychotherapeutic and pharmacological treatments combined both children and adults.
Expert in the treatment of various forms of depression and anxiety, personality disorders, obsessive and psychotic and behavioral disorders in childhood and adolescence.
Private practice in Barcelona and Girona.


*Translated with Google translator. We apologize for any imperfection

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