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Psycology » Psychiatry and psychotherapy » Neurosis: Part I » Epidemiology of neuroses

Neurotic disorders can occur at three levels: as individual symptoms as small as neurotic disorders and specific neurotic syndromes. Certain symptoms may occur from time to time and in some people with normal mentality. For a small neurotic disorder (otherwise emotionally upset small) number of neurotic symptoms occur simultaneously without predominance of any one; such disorder is often seen in general practice. When specific neurotic syndromes dominated by a single type of symptoms, such disorders are more common in psychiatric practice.


To determine the frequency of occurrence of the disorder in each of the above levels were used epidemiologic methods. In such studies, it is important to use standardized methods of observation. So, if you just apply to general practitioners with a request to report how often small emotional disorders in their patients, the difference between the estimates provided by individual experts, will be very high up to nine times (Shepherd et al. 1966). As the objective data, this variation is mostly not reflect real differences in the frequency of occurrence. Rather, it is associated with unequal ability of doctors to detect such disorders and possible options in diagnostic practice, especially in cases where the emotional and somatic symptoms appear odtsovremenno. All family physicians are more likely to diagnose emotional disorder in women, middle-aged, as well as in divorced and widowed (Goldberg, Huxley 1980).
At the first level, epidemiological studies indicate that Individual neurotic symptoms Extremely common in the general population, for example, in New York, 815 people out of every thousand residents report having any neurotic symptoms (Srole et al. 1962). Estimates of the frequency of small neurotic disorders show large fluctuations. Thus, the probabilities of their occurrence throughout life (per 1000 population of the respective category) varies from 18 for men and 27 for women according to a study conducted in Denmark Fremming (1951), to 79 for men and 165 for women according to the results obtained Sweden Hagnell (1966). Indicators annual incidence vary to a greater extent (see: Carey et al. 1980). On the other hand, neurosis, probably account for about two-thirds of all psychiatric cases encountered in general practice (Shepherd et al. 1966). For chronic neurosis incidence is higher in the first half of life, they are much higher than the recovery to 35 years (Shepherd, Gruenberg 1957). According to popular belief, small tsaibolee frequent symptoms of neurotic disorders are anxiety, depression, irritability, insomnia and fatigue. (See: Goldberg, Huxley 1980 review of the data).
Prevalence Individual neurotic syndromes In the next chapter, which describes these disorders. At this stage, it should be noted the relative frequency of occurrence of certain syndromes: anxiety disorders and mild depression condition usually found more than hysteria or obsessional neurosis, a mild form of depression is particularly common among women (see, for example, Bille, Juel-Nielsen 1968). Neurotic patients contingent includes two categories of patients: some of them are experiencing a short-term response to stress, others suffer from chronic disorders. Although it is impossible to draw a clear distinction between these types of patients, it appears that among the newly diagnosed small neurotic disorder about two-thirds recover for a period not exceeding six months (Goldberg, Blackwell 1970; Hagnell 1970), and only about 4% suffer at least three years (Hagnell 1970). (Question of the forecast will be discussed later.)
No wonder that in developing countries to evaluate the incidence and prevalence of neuroses even harder. Some published research papers suggest that the indicators from there, compared with similar data accumulated in Britain and the United States. However, in developing countries is much less sick refers to general practitioners and into psychiatric hospitals (see: German 1972obzor, as well as German, Agua 1969 description of the research group of African students).

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