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Psycology » Psychiatry and psychotherapy » Neurosis: Part I » Small emotional disorders

It is a broad term used to describe disorders that are frequently encountered in general practice, while psychiatrists rarely have to deal with them (see: Goldberg, Huxley 1980). If differentiated neurotic syndromes are often described in the psychiatric literature, is about emotional states such small bit of information. One of the best descriptions was Goldberg et al. (1976) based on the study of 88 patients observed by general practitioners in Philadelphia. As shown in Table. 6.3, these authors found that the most frequent were complaints of anxiety and worry, but almost as common depression and despondency. Most of these complaints are presented almost simultaneously, and to establish which of them should be considered the primary, it is impossible.


Table 6.3. Relative frequency of 12 typical symptoms in 88 patients with a diagnosis of mental disorders, delivered by general practitioners * Anxiety and Depression anxiety and despondency 82 + 71 + 71 Fatigue Somatic symptoms ** 52 Sleep Disorders 50 38 Irritability Excessive concern about the functioning of the body 27 Depressive thoughts, inability to concentrate 21

Obsessions and compulsive urges Phobias 19 11 6 * Table depersonalization played by Goldberg et al. (1976).

Only ** provoked, exacerbated by, or supported by psychological factors. + Composition of patients with complaints of depression and despair and with complaints of fatigue does not fully coincide.


Almost half of the patients present somatic symptoms, and about one in four showed excessive concerns about the functioning of the body. Some of these somatic symptoms are autonomic symptoms of anxiety, but it is not clear why these and other physical sensations so often concentrated anxiety sufferers when they go to the doctor. Maybe sometimes patients tend to emphasize somatic complaints, believing that it will be perceived more sympathetically than emotional complaints plan. Some obviously also want to seek an assurance that a doctor examine them carefully in search of physical illness, before taking them to psychological symptoms.

Patients surveyed by Goldberg et al. (1976), typically also complained of sleep disorders, especially the difficulty in falling asleep at night, and anxiety. (Complaints about the early wake-up suggest that this condition may not be a neurosis, and the initial stage of depression requiring treatment with antidepressants). Approximately one fifth of patients reported having obsessive thoughts and compulsive weak motives. Distinct phobic symptoms were less common, though ill-defined phobia, of course, are very common among people with normal mentality. Complaints of fatigue and irritability were also frequent (see Table. 6.3), and in many cases, they were accompanied by difficulty concentrating and loss of ability to enjoy. As already mentioned, in the last group of precisely these symptoms seen as neurasthenia.
The most typical for patients with minor neurotic disorders somatic complaints following types. Complaints related to the digestive system include the feeling of abdominal discomfort or bloating, and excessive concern about the consequences of eating certain foods that can cause indigestion and flatulence. Additionally, you can complain about poor appetite, nausea, epigastric pain, weight loss, or difficulty in swallowing, as well as discomfort in the left iliac region. Complaints related to the cardiovascular system include palpitations, precordial discomfort and anxiety regarding possible heart disease. Other complaints include pain in the neck, shoulders and back. Headaches are usually described as having a compression compression, as a constant dull or throbbing pain. Localization of pain may be different. With all of these symptoms need to conduct a thorough examination of the patient for signs of physical illness before to conclude that they belong to a small neurotic disorders. In different cultures, as well as in the same society at different periods of the nature of such complaints is different. Direct interested readers to content Dejerine, Gauckler (1913), dedicated to physical symptoms of neurotic patients in France in the beginning of the century, and to Ndetei, Muhangi (1979), who described the complaints of physical symptoms common in Africans with low mental disorders.

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