Neuroses – functional disorders of higher nervous activity of psychogenic origin. The clinic of neurosis is very diverse and can include somatic neurotic disorders, autonomic disorders, various phobias, dysthymia, obsessions, compulsions, and emotional-mental problems.
Neuroses belong to the group of diseases that have a protracted course of percolation. This disease affects people who are characterized by persistent overwork, lack of sleep, feelings, grief, etc.
What is neurosis?
Neurosis is a combination of psychogenic, functional, reversible disorders that tend to last. Obsessive, asthenic or hysterical manifestations, as well as a temporary weakening of physical and mental performance, are characteristic of the clinical picture of neurosis. This disorder is also called psychoneurosis or neurotic disorder.
Neuroses in adults are characterized by a reversible and not very severe course, which distinguishes them, in particular, from psychosis. According to statistics, up to 20% of the adult population suffers from various neurotic disorders. The percentage may vary in different social groups.
The main mechanism of development is the disorder of brain activity, which normally provides for adaptation of a person. As a result, both somatic and mental disorders occur.
The term neurosis in medical terminology was introduced in 1776 by William Cullen, a doctor from Scotland.
Neuroses and neurotic states are considered as a multifactorial pathology. A large number of causes that act together and trigger a large complex of pathogenetic reactions leading to the pathology of the central and peripheral nervous system leads to their occurrence.
The cause of neurosis is the action of a psycho-traumatic factor or a psycho-traumatic situation.
- In the first case we are talking about a short-term, but strong negative impact on a person, for example, the death of a loved one.
- In the second case, a long-term, chronic impact of a negative factor is mentioned, for example, a domestic conflict situation. Speaking about the causes of neurosis, it is precisely the traumatic situations and, above all, family conflicts that are of great importance.
To date, emit:
- psychological factors in the development of neuroses, by which are meant the features and conditions of personal development, as well as upbringing, level of aspirations and relationships with society;
- biological factors, by which is meant the functional insufficiency of certain neurophysiological, as well as neurotransmitter systems, making patients susceptible to psychogenic influences
Equally often in all categories of patients, regardless of their place of residence, there is a psychoneurosis due to such tragic events as:
- death or loss of a loved one;
- severe illness in relatives or in the patient;
- divorce or separation from your loved one;
- dismissal from work, bankruptcy, business crash and so on.
Not quite right to talk about heredity in this situation. The development of neurosis is influenced by the environment in which a person grew and was raised. A child, looking at parents who are prone to hysteria, takes over their behavior and he himself puts his nervous system into injury.
According to the American Psychiatric Association, the frequency of neurosis in men ranges from 5 to 80 cases per 1000 population, while for women it varies from 4 to 160.
Kind of neurosis
Neurosis is a group of diseases that occur in a person due to the impact of mental trauma. As a rule, they are accompanied by a deterioration of human well-being, mood swings and manifestations of somato-vegetative manifestations.
Neurasthenia (nervous weakness or fatigue syndrome) is the most common form of neurosis. Occurs with prolonged nervous overstrain, chronic stress and other similar conditions that cause fatigue and "breakdown" of the protective mechanisms of the nervous system.
Neurasthenia is characterized by the following symptoms:
- increased irritability;
- high excitability;
- loss of ability to self-control and self-control;
- tearfulness and sensitivity;
- absent-mindedness, inability to concentrate;
- reduced ability to prolonged mental stress;
- loss of normal physical endurance;
- severe sleep disorders;
- loss of appetite;
- apathy and indifference to what is happening.
Vegetative manifestations of hysteria manifested in the form of spasms, persistent nausea, vomiting, fainting. Movement disorders are characteristic – tremors, tremors in the limbs, blepharospasm. Sensory disorders are expressed by impaired sensitivity in various parts of the body, pain, and hysterical deafness and blindness may develop.
Patients seek to attract the attention of relatives and doctors to their condition, they have extremely unstable emotions, their mood changes dramatically, they easily move from sobbing to wild laughter.
There are specific types of patients with a tendency to hysterical neurosis:
- Impressionable and sensitive;
- Self-suggestible and suggestible;
- With instability of mood;
- With a tendency to attract external attention.
Hysterical neurosis must be distinguished from somatic and mental illness. Similar symptoms occur in schizophrenia, CNS tumors, endocrinopathy, encephalopathy on the background of injuries.
The disease, which is characterized by the emergence of obsessive ideas and thoughts. Man overcome fears from which he can not get rid of. In such a state, often the patient manifests phobias (this form is also called phobic neurosis).
Symptoms of neurosis of this form are manifested as follows: a person feels fear, which manifests itself during repeated unpleasant incidents.
For example, if a patient faints in the street, then in the same place the next time he will be pursued by an obsessive fear. Over time, a person has a fear of death, incurable diseases, dangerous infections.
Depressive neurosis – develops against the background of protracted psychogenic or neurotic depression. The disorder is characterized by a deterioration in the quality of sleep, a loss of the ability to rejoice, and a poor chronic mood. The disease is accompanied by:
- heart rhythm disorders
- stomach problems
- sexual dysfunction.
Neurosis symptoms in adults
Neurosis is characterized by instability of mood, impulsive actions. The changeable mood affects all areas of the patient’s life. It affects interpersonal relationships, goal setting, self-esteem.
Patients have memory impairment, low concentration of attention, and high fatigue. A person gets tired not only from work, but also from his favorite activities. Intellectual activity becomes difficult. Due to absent-mindedness, the patient can make many mistakes, which causes new problems at work and at home.
Among the main signs of neurosis are:
- unreasonable emotional stress;
- increased fatigue;
- insomnia or constant desire to sleep;
- closure and obsession;
- lack of appetite or overeating;
- weakening of memory;
- headache (prolonged and suddenly appearing);
- dizziness and fainting;
- darkening of the eyes;
- pains in the heart, abdomen, muscles and joints;
- hand shake;
- frequent urination;
- excessive sweating (due to fear and nervousness);
- reduced potency;
- high or low self-esteem;
- uncertainty and inconsistency;
- incorrect prioritization.
In people suffering from neurosis, it is often noted:
- instability of mood;
- a feeling of insecurity and the correctness of the actions performed;
- overly pronounced emotional reaction to minor stresses (aggression, despair, etc.);
- increased touchiness and vulnerability;
- tearfulness and irritability;
- suspiciousness and exaggerated self-criticism;
- frequent manifestation of unwarranted anxiety and fear;
- contradictory desires and changes in the system of values;
- excessive obsession with the problem;
- increased mental fatigue;
- reduced ability to memorize and concentration;
- high degree of sensitivity to sound and light stimuli, reaction to slight temperature drops;
- sleep disorders
Signs of neurosis in women and men
Signs of neurosis in the fair sex have their own characteristics that should be specified. First of all, women are characterized by asthenic neurosis (neurasthenia), caused by irritability, loss of mental and physical ability, and also leads to problems in sexual life.
Men are characterized by the following types:
- Depressive – the symptoms of this type of neurosis are more often found in men, the reasons for its occurrence are the inability to realize oneself at work, the inability to adapt to dramatic changes in life, both personal and public.
- Male neurasthenia. It usually occurs on the background of overstrain, both physical and nervous, most often workaholics are subject to it.
Symptoms of menopausal neurosis, developing in both men and women, are increased emotional sensitivity and irritability beginning in the period from 45 to 55 years, decreased endurance, sleep disorders, common problems with the work of internal organs.
Neuroses are fundamentally reversible, functional diseases, without organic brain damage. But they often take a protracted course. This is due not so much to the most traumatic situation as to the peculiarities of a person’s character, his attitude to this situation, the level of the body’s adaptive capabilities and the psychological defense system.
Neuroses are divided into 3 stages, each of which has its own symptoms:
- The initial stage is characterized by increased excitability and irritability;
- The intermediate stage (hypersthenic) is characterized by increased nervous impulses from the peripheral nervous system;
- The final stage (hypostenic) is manifested by a decrease in mood, drowsiness, lethargy and apathy due to the strong severity of inhibition processes in the nervous system.
A longer course of neurotic disorder, a change in behavioral reactions, and the emergence of an assessment of one’s illness indicate the development of a neurotic state, that is, neurosis itself. Not stopped neurotic state for 6 months – 2 years leads to the formation of neurotic personality development.
So which doctor will help cure neurosis? This is done either by a psychologist or a psychotherapist. Accordingly, the main tool of treatment is psychotherapy (and hypnotherapy), most often complex.
The patient needs to learn to objectively look at the world around him, to realize his inadequacy in some issues.
Diagnosing neurosis is not an easy task, which is only possible for an experienced specialist. As mentioned above, the symptoms of neurosis appear differently in both women and men. It is also necessary to take into account that each person has his own character, his own personality traits, which can be confused with signs of other disorders. That is why the diagnosis should be done only by a doctor.
The disease is diagnosed using color methods:
- All colors take part in the technique, and the neurosis-like syndrome appears when choosing and repeating purple, gray, black and brown colors.
- Hysterical neurosis is characterized by the choice of only two colors: red and purple, which is 99% indicative of a patient’s low self-esteem.
To identify signs of a psychopathic nature, a special test is conducted – it allows you to detect the presence of chronic fatigue, anxiety, indecision, and insecurity in your own abilities. People with neuroses rarely set themselves long-term goals, do not believe in success, they often have complexes about their appearance, it is difficult for them to communicate with people.
There are many theories and methods of treatment of neurosis in adults. Therapy is carried out in two main areas – pharmacological and psychotherapeutic. The use of pharmacological therapy is carried out only in extremely severe forms of the disease. In many cases, it is sufficiently qualified psychotherapy.
In the absence of somatic pathologies, patients are always recommended to change their lifestyle, normalize work and rest, sleep at least 7-8 hours a day, eat right, give up bad habits, spend more time outdoors and avoid nervous overloads.
Unfortunately, very few people suffering from neurosis, are willing to work on themselves, to change something. Therefore, medications are widely used. They do not solve problems, but are designed only to relieve the sharpness of the emotional reaction to a traumatic situation. After them, it just becomes easier for the soul – for a while. Maybe then it is worth looking at the conflict (inside yourself, with others or with life) from a different angle and finally solve it.
With the help of psychotropic drugs eliminated tension, tremor, insomnia. Their appointment is permissible only for a short period of time.
When neurosis, as a rule, the following groups of drugs are used:
- tranquilizers – alprazolam, phenazepam.
- antidepressants – fluoxetine, sertraline.
- hypnotics – zopiclone, zolpidem.
Psychotherapy for neurosis
Currently, the main methods of treatment of all types of neurosis are psychotherapeutic techniques and hypnotherapy. During psychotherapy sessions, a person gets the opportunity to build a coherent picture of his personality, to establish cause-and-effect relationships, which gave rise to the emergence of neurotic reactions.
Treatments for neurosis include color therapy. The correct color for the brain is useful, as are the vitamins for the body.
- To extinguish anger, irritation – avoid the red color.
- At the time of the onset of a bad mood, exclude black, dark blue tones from your wardrobe, surround yourself with light and warm tones.
- Look at blue, greenish tones for stress relief. Replace the home wallpaper, pick the decor appropriate.
Before using any folk remedies for neurosis, we recommend that you consult your doctor.
- In case of restless sleep, general weakness, sick with neurasthenia, a teaspoon of verbena grass should be poured with a glass of boiling water, then pressed for an hour, taken in small sips during the day.
- Melissa tea – mix 10 g of tea leaves and grass leaves, pour 1 liter of boiling water, drink tea in the evening and before bedtime;
- Mint Pour 1 cup boiling water 1 tbsp. spoonful of mint. Let infuse for 40 minutes and strain. Drink a cup of warm broth in the morning on an empty stomach and in the evening before bedtime.
- Bath with valerian. Take 60 grams of root and boil for 15 minutes, leave to stand for 1 hour, strain and pour into the bathroom with hot water. Take 15 minutes.
The prognosis of neurosis depends on its type, stage of development and duration of the course, timeliness and adequacy of the psychological and medical assistance provided. In most cases, timely initiated therapy leads, if not to a cure, then to a significant improvement in the patient’s condition.
The long existence of neurosis is dangerously irreversible changes in the personality and risk of suicide.
Despite the fact that neurosis is treatable, it is still better to prevent than to treat it.
Prevention methods for adults:
- The best prevention in this case will be to normalize your emotional background as much as possible.
- Try to eliminate irritating factors or change your attitude towards them.
- Avoid overwork at work, normalize work and rest.
- It is very important to give yourself proper rest, eat right, sleep at least 7-8 hours a day, take daily walks, play sports.