Words of Wisdom:


Is There a Real Difference Between a Neurosis and a Psychosis

  • Date Submitted: 01/28/2010 06:29 AM
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A major part of clinical psychology is the diagnoses and treatment of mental disorders. This can often be difficult and controversial due to the fact that many of the disorders can be confused with others; there aren’t always clear guidelines in which to follow. An example of this confusion can be seen in the disorders Neurosis and Psychosis.

Neither neurosis nor psychoses appear as major categories in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-III). The main reason for this is that both categories were fairly broad and included a number of mental disorders with quite dissimilar symptoms. Consequently, mental health professionals did not always agree on the diagnosis for a particular patient.

Neurosis is a functional (Psychogenic) disorder consisting of a symptom or symptoms caused, though usually unknown to the patient, by a mental disorder. The four commonest are Anxiety State, Reactive Depression, Hysteria and Obsessive-Compulsive Neurosis.

We all know what it is to feel anxious. Anxiety becomes abnormal when it is out of all proportion to the cause, or when it continues long after the cause has been removed.

Patients with other mental illnesses often feel anxious from time to time, but the term anxiety neurosis is used to describe the illness in which anxiety is the main feature and the patient feels anxious all the time.

Reactive Depression is a form of depression where the cause is known i.e. marriage break-up or bereavement. Reactive depression can be classed as a neurosis as it is an exaggeration of the normal expected response to such situations.

In medical language the word Hysteria is used to mean that a symptom is beyond the patients control.

If I have to take an examination tomorrow and to get out of it I ring up and say that I cannot attend because I am going to the...


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