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Psycology » Psychiatry and psychotherapy » Neurosis: Part I » Terminology

Readers first embarking on the study of neuroses, can lead to some substitution vention terms such as neurosis, functional nervous disease, neurotic character, psychoneurosis and pathological emotional reaction. Term Neurosis In 1772 was used Edinburg doctor Cullen (Cullen) to denote states arising from generalized damage to the nervous system, which, as it seemed at the time, was not caused by either a localized disease or febrile illness. In other words, under the neuroses meant nervous system disorders, somatic reasons which could not be detected. This term, therefore, covered state like migraine, which now fall within the purview of Neurology (see Tike 1892), as well as those disorders and is now considered to be the neuroses. Thus, in this sense was neurosis synonym Functional nervous disease, Lasted until the 1930s. Freud did not take a look at the neurosis as a disorder of unknown etiology. He believed (and this view was quite common among doctors at the time) that many forms of neurosis have clear psychological reasons. So he called them Psychoneurosis, Including this group hysteria hysteria with anxiety disorders (approximately corresponding to the modern concept of agoraphobia) and obsessional neurosis. First, anxiety disorders did not belong to the psychoneuroses, but later they came here, so that the term has become synonymous with psychoneurosis neurosis. Trying to establish the causes of psychoneuroses, Freud concluded that the origins of many of them lie in the processes that determine the development of personality. This reasoning led to the term Neurotic character, Denotes the identity of the nature of which is clearly similar to that envisaged in neuroses, despite the fact that currently neurotic symptoms such person may be omitted. The term is confusing and is not recommended for consumption. Among clinicians not only psychoanalysts noticed a clear correlation between neurosis and personality. Some German psychiatrists, especially Jaspers and Schneider, considered a neurosis as stress response occurs in people with an abnormal personality. If we accept this point of view, there is no need to represent neuroses as separate disease entities, just enough to describe a person who has the appropriate reaction occurs. In connection with this approach was introduced (instead of neurosis) term Pathological emotional reaction. As will be shown, to some extent justified to treat neurosis as a specific type of personality reaction to stress. However, the relationship between personality type and the type of reaction is far from unambiguous. Thus, when the individual developing type obsessional resulting stress response anxiety or depressive disorder not less likely than obsessional disorders. Conversely hysteria can occur in the absence of human hysterical personality traits.


Must clearly distinguish between the individual neurotic symptoms, such as anxiety or obsession, and neurotic syndromes, such as anxiety or obsessive-compulsive disorder. Individual neurotic symptoms occur in many mental disorders, but the syndrome is a one of a kind combination of symptoms. This difference can be seen quite clearly by the example of the basic neurotic syndromes of anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, as well as conversion and dissociative disorders. Not so easy to solve the problem with respect to hypochondria and depersonalization, some psychiatrists believe that they only arise as symptoms of other psychiatric syndromes and that there is no primary or hypochondriacal depersonalization disorder. On p.65 noted that the U.S. classification system DSM-III, the term neurosis is no longer used. A role, as already indicated, was played by the fact that the term was widely used by psychoanalysts and so some psychiatrists now associate it with psychoanalytic etiological theories. Authors DSM-III did not want to take these theories and, therefore, prefer to abandon the term neurosis. However, as already mentioned, this term used long before Freud developed his theory, and modern authors would cost to keep the word, but to apply it in a historically correct sense, namely to refer violations of a certain type, not etiology. For details on these controversial issues are discussed in Gelder (1986a).

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