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What is the difference between psychosis and neurosis?

What is the difference between psychosis and neurosis?


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Given such a sentence by a Test of English as a Foreign Language textbook,

Mental disorder include psychosis and neurosis.

I googled and found a page

In introduction, the pages says,

Psychosis and neurosis are terms used to describe mental conditions. Sometimes these words are used interchangeably to refer to the same condition.

Only what I clearly could deduct from the page is psychosis is brought about particularly by the use of alcohol and illicit use of drugs and their withdrawal.

Could anyone support me to distinguish these two symptoms more clearly ( and hopefully in a simpler way? )


Short answer
Psychosis can result in a loss of a sense of reality. Neurosis leaves the person suffering in contact with the here and now. Further, neurosis is an old term and was used as an umbrella term. Now its use has declined and rather more specific diagnoses are used.

Background
- Psychosis is according to Medicine Net:

[A] mental illness that markedly interferes with a person's capacity to meet life's everyday demands. [It is] a thought disorder in which reality testing is grossly impaired. Symptoms can include [hallucinations, such as] seeing, hearing, smelling, or tasting things that are not there; paranoia; and delusional thoughts. [… ] Psychosis can occur as a result of brain injury or disease, and is seen particularly in schizophrenia and bipolar disorders.

  • Neurosis is according to Indiana University:

[A] disturbing psychological disorders that still let the sufferer remain in contact with reality. This term plays a central role in Freudian psychoanalysis. In Freud's theory "neurosis" means "a personality or mental disturbance not due to any known neurological or organic dysfunction [brain or body problem]" (Reber, 1985). Freud used it as a label for a group of related symptoms of psychological problems that are distressing and painful. Unlike psychoses, which are psychological disorders that severely distort reality, neuroses leave physical, psychological and social reality intact. According to Freud, neuroses reflect poorly resolved unconscious emotional conflicts, which lead to psychological defense mechanisms that attempt to protect the person from consciously experiencing these conflicts but result in the observed behavioral and psychological symptoms.

Neurosis takes many different forms, including

  • anxiety disorders: excessive severe worrying.
  • phobias: abnormally intense fears with no objective cause.
  • obsessive-compulsive disorders: repetitive acts, such as repeatedly checking whether doors are locked, oven is turned off, etc.; repetitive handwashing and intense concern about "germs," etc.
  • hysterical disorder (not the everyday meaning of intense over-excitement), such as: conversion disorder: psychological problem showing up as a "physical" disorder that cannot be result from physical pathology (e.g., "glove anesthesia" is apparent lack of pain perception from the hand, which cannot happen as a result of damage to the nervous system). dissociation disorders: multiple personalities (real cases are much rarer than the "celebrety cases" that reflect the intense interest people have in this peculiar condition); depersonalization in which a person no longer feels "real" and feels that his/her experiences are not real, to the point of feeling an arm or a leg is abnormally small or not even a part of one's own body. Factitious disorders: physical symptoms, such as dizziness, rash, vomiting, fever, etc., and psychological symptoms, such as hallucinations and memory loss, that turn out to be under the sufferer's control.

Note that the term neurosis has fallen out of favor, and that the subtypes mentioned above are taking hold. In general, Freudian analysis has lost its hold on in psychiatry. Now neurosis is divided into finer pieces, like panic disorder, social anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder (source: NY Times)


Definition of Neurosis

Today, neurosis (plural: neuroses) is a class of functional mental disorders involving chronic distress but neither delusions nor hallucinations (Wikipedia).

As well as other theories, neuroses play a central role in Freudian psychoanalysis (whereby all of Freud's theories are considered by many to be pseudoscientific. More can be read in my answer to this in meta).

However, the term neurosis was coined by the Scottish doctor William Cullen in 1769 to refer to "disorders of sense and motion" caused by a "general affection of the nervous system." Cullen used the term to describe various nervous disorders and symptoms that could not be explained physiologically.

According to C. George Boeree, professor emeritus at Shippensburg University, the symptoms of neurosis as described today may involve:

… anxiety, sadness or depression, anger, irritability, mental confusion, low sense of self-worth, etc., behavioral symptoms such as phobic avoidance, vigilance, impulsive and compulsive acts, lethargy, etc., cognitive problems such as unpleasant or disturbing thoughts, repetition of thoughts and obsession, habitual fantasizing, negativity and cynicism, etc. Interpersonally, neurosis involves dependency, aggressiveness, perfectionism, schizoid isolation, socio-culturally inappropriate behaviors, etc. (Wikipedia & Boeree, 2002).

As for any declination of use for the term neurosis mentioned by @AliceD in his answer, although people are not generally labelled as suffering from a neurosis or even a psychosis, neurosis is as pointed out, an umbrella term for a range of mental health problems and is different to psychoses - another umbrella term.

In fact the current version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) talks of neurotic disposition and neuroticism within certain mental health problems, e.g.:

Behavioral inhibition and neurotic disposition (i.e., negative affectivity [neuroticism] and anxiety sensitivity) are closely associated with agoraphobia but are relevant to most anxiety disorders (phobic disorders, panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder). Anxiety sensitivity (the disposition to believe that symptoms of anxiety are harmful) is also characteristic of individuals with agoraphobia.

The terms neurosis and neurotic are also used in the ICD-10 (2016) Chapter V F40-48.

Definition of Psychosis

A psychosis (plural: psychoses), as mentioned before, is an unberella term for a range of mental health problems. A psychosis is an abnormal condition of the mind that results in difficulties telling what is real and what is not. Symptoms may include false beliefs and seeing or hearing things that others do not see or hear. Other symptoms may include incoherent speech and behavior that is inappropriate for the situation (Wikipedia & NIMH, n.d.).

From your research, you deduced that

psychosis is brought about particularly by the use of alcohol and illicit use of drugs and their withdrawal.

Use of alcohol and illicit use of drugs and their withdrawal does not only create psychoses, but can instead cause a neurotic mental health conditions such as anxiety or depression (American Addiction Centers).

Sometimes, mental health problems can cross the devide both ways between Neuroses and Psychoses.

Take for example below:


Table put together in my notes whilst training
* Although BPD, Bipolar Disorder and PTSD are generally neuroses, they can involve psychotic episodes in some cases.

Psychotic episodes in PTSD can involve flashbacks (the sense of being back at the traumatic event) through hallucinations affecting touch, taste, smell, sound and sight either affecting one of the senses or a combination of them. Bipolar clients (Mind, 2018) can experience visual or auditory hallucinations. Note: I have just noticed webpage linked to at Mind has been updated since I wrote my training notes and the link here is kept for completeness of information on Bipolar Disorder. Information on psychotic episodes can be found by clicking the bipolar moods and symptoms link on the page.

Psychotic symptoms can include:

  • delusions, such as paranoia
  • hallucinations, such as hearing voices

Not everyone with a diagnosis of bipolar disorder experiences psychosis, but some people do. It's more common during manic episodes, but can happen during depressive episodes too. These kinds of experiences can feel very real to you at the time, which may make it hard to understand other people's concerns about you.

(See our pages on psychosis for more information.)

References

Boeree, C. G. (2002). A Bio-Social Theory of Neurosis. Shippensburg University [Online]
Retreived from: http://webspace.ship.edu/cgboer/genpsyneurosis.html

Mind, 2018. Bipolar Disorder. [Online]
Retreieved from: http://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/types-of-mental-health-problems/bipolar-disorder

NIMH (n.d.). RAISE Questions and Answers. NIMH [Online]
Retreived from: https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/schizophrenia/raise/raise-questions-and-answers.shtml


A facial expression while in the state of neurosis

Neuroses refer to the class of mental conditions that involve some sort of unwanted emotional state. These include anxiety disorder, bipolar disorder, obsessive-compulsive personality disorder, social phobia and social anxiety, et al.

The theory of neurosis was developed in its modern application by Sigmund Freud and Carl-Gustav Jung in their studies on psychoanalysis in the first half of the 20th century. Nowadays, professional psychiatrists do not use the term, as it is too vague, and prefer to describe a particular mental condition associated with a particular neurosis in other, more specialized terms.

Psychotic transformations as represented by the famous character, Norman Bates (played by actor Anthony Perkins in the movie “Psycho”, directed by Alfred Hitchcock in 1969)

Psychosis in general describes a mental state of an individual in which he or she experiences hallucinations and delusions. Psychotic episodes do not necessarily imply that an individual is mentally sick, as they can happen to anyone. When we are stressed, tired, feel dizzy, we can see things that aren’t there. In the case of the disorders that have psychosis among their symptoms, like schizophrenia and manic depressive disorder, hallucinations are repetitive and persistent, and false beliefs are firm.


Difference Between Neuroses and Psychoses | Psychology

Neuroses also known as Psychoneuroses refer to minor mental disorders. They are characterised by inner struggles and certain mental and physical disturbances. Psychoneuroses include the milder abnormalities of the cognitive, conative and motor processes precipitated by conflicts, frustrations and other emotional stresses. These partially incapacitate the individual to meet the demands of life property and effectively.

Clinically, psychoneuroses implies a bodily disturbance without any structural or organic defect. These symptoms in-fact are the functions of certain mental disturbances the origin of which the patient is unable to understand but nevertheless, he realizes that something is wrong with him.

Psychoses are major personality disorders marked by gross emotional and mental disruptions. These diseases make the individual incapable of adequate self management and adjustment to society. While neuroses refer to mild mental disorder, Psychoses refer to insanity or madness.

The distinction between psychotics and neurotics in general are symptomatic, psychopathological and therapeutic :

1. Psychoses involve a change in the whole personality of the person in whom it appears, while in psychoneuroses only a part of the personality is affected. With the development of psychoneuroses, there is often no marked outer change of personality of any kind. As Meyer puts it, a psychoneuroses is a part reaction, while a psychoses is a total one.

2. In a psychoses, contact with reality is totally lost or changed. The reality contact practically remains intact in a psychoneurotic, though its value may be quantitatively changed. In-fact insight and reality have the same meaning for them as the rest of the community.

3. The changes in the reality values of the psychotic, psycho- pathologically is partly expressed through projection, for example, the strong belief that one is being constantly watched. Projection of this sort often based on a sense of guilt, subjective but unconscious, does not occur in the psychoneuroses.

4. Language, which is a means of communication, is the symbolizing function for social adaptation. In the psychoneuroses language as such is never disturbed, whereas in the psychoses language often undergoes gross distortion.

5. Some psychoses are primarily organic. Even in the functional psychoses organic factors enter into the aetiology. The psychoneuroses on the other hand are predominantly socially conditioned. Horney has therefore remarked “Psychoneurotic is the individual who deviates in his behaviour from the norms accepted by his culture because of anxiety and who feels lonely and inferior because of this deviation.”

6. In psychoanalytic theory the psychoses may be differentiated from the psychoneuroses in terms of the amount of ego and libido regression and in terms of the topographical location of the conflict. In psychoses therefore the libidinal regression goes as deep as the early anal period i.e., beyond the level of reality testing.

Psychoses may therefore be considered dynamically as a disorder in which the ego looses much of its contact with reality and is more concerned with the forces of the id.

The psychoneurotic on the contrary, suffers libidinal regression only to the phallic or late anal period as his conflict may be considered as a struggle between the forces of the id and the ego, in which the ego maintains its contact with expressed reality. The regression is only to the level of reality testing and so the neurotic retains insight and does not deny reality.

7. As regards aetiology Page says that in psychoneuroses the psychogenic factors and heredity are of considerable importance, where as neurophysiological and chemical factors are insignificant. On the other hand, in psychoses, heredity, toxic and neurological factors are the determining agents. Psychogenic factors as such may or may not be important.

8. So far as general behaviour is concerned, in the neurotic the speech and thought processes are coherent and logical. There are little or no delusions, hallucinations and confusion in case of psychoneurotic. On the contrary, in case of the psychotics speech and thought processes are incoherent, disorganized, bizarre and irrational. There is constant confusion. Delusion and hallucination are marked symptoms.

9. Neurotics are capable of self management, partial or completely self supporting, are rarely suicidal. They do not need hospitalization on the other hand psychotics are incapable of self management. They often attempt to commit suicide and need hospitalization or equivalent home care.

10. The personality of the neurotic undergoes little or no change from normal self. A neurotic has good insight. In case of a psychotic, on the other hand, there is radical change in personality, insight is partially or completely lost.

11. The psychotics and psychoneurotic also differ in treatment procedure.

Psychoneurotic respond favourably to psychotherapy, such as suggestion, psychoanalysis aid other forms of psychotherapy while the psychotics do not effectively respond to psychotherapy and treatment is mainly chemical and physiological.

12. As regards prognosis, the symptoms of psychoneurotic are transitory and outcome of treatment is usually favourable. The deterioration and mortality rate is quite less. On the other hand, in psychotics, the symptoms are relatively constant from day to day, outcome less favourable and cure temporary and death rate is high.

The following table represents the main differences between the psychotics and neurotics :

In-spite of these differences, the psychotics and neurotics cannot be separated by watertight compartments and there is no sharp break between behaviour which is to be called psychotic and the behaviour which is to be called neurotic.

In fact, there are many cases of mental illness where it is quite difficult to assess definitely whether it belongs to the psychotic or psychoneuroses group. In such cases the problem of border line psychotics and border line neurotics arise.

In-spite of everything, between a well developed psychoses on the one hand and a full-fledged psychoneuroses on the other hand there is a world of difference from the descriptive as well as from the therapeutic respect. Transitions also occur, so that a patient who reacts psycho-neurotically at one time may react psycho-neurotically at another.

Wishner (1961) believed that behavioural efficiency will be taken as a predictable correlate of psychopathology, with lower efficiency in severe pathologies. Being un-dimensional, the measure of efficiency places neuroses and psychoses on the same continuum.

But Lewis firmly established the point that they have little in common each being an independent entity with a different origin and outcome. Follow up studies indicate that only 4 to 1% of neurotics develop psychoses in later life.

However Henderson cites an example of case history of a patient who began with psychoneurotic anxiety symptoms and later on developed into a paranoid schizophrenic psychoses. But such transitions are the exceptions and not the rule.


How to differentiate between psychosis and neurosis

Psychosis and neurosis are two psychological terms that are often used incorrectly in contemporary society. It is not uncommon to hear a young person exclaim, “My mother is so neurotic! She just doesn’t know when to stop harping.” “Going all psychotic” is an equally familiar expression frequently used incorrectly to describe an individual’s out-of-control anger. Yet neither psychosis nor neurosis is simply a label to describe unreasonable behavior or parental nagging. They are real mental health conditions that are painful for those who struggle with them. Because of the misuse of these two terms, both conditions are often misunderstood by friends and family.

Exaggerated statements that randomly use diagnostic terms incorrectly add to the already challenging complexity of understanding the distinctions between their various symptoms involved in poor mental health. In reality, there is a vast difference between being neurotic and psychotic. In fact, many functional individuals have some form of mild neurosis. Psychosis is much more serious and those who are diagnosed as psychotic have a severe psychiatric disorder and may pose a danger to themselves or others.

“Psychosis” is a term that comes from the field of psychiatry. It is a state of mind in which an individual experiences a break with reality. It is not a mental illness by itself, but it a descriptor that is often applied to more severe forms of mental illness. A schizophrenic may experience psychotic episodes in which he hears and sees things that are not real. “Psychosis” can also be used to describe the mental state of an individual who experiences a severe drug reaction that causes auditory and visual hallucinations. The elderly sometimes experience psychosis as a part of mental illnesses like Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease.

Psychosis can be a temporary state of mind or a permanent feature of mental illness. Although society sometimes uses the word “psychotic” loosely, in the same way it might use the phrase “losing it,” it is not a term that should be applied to an individual just because he is extremely angry or unwilling to listen to reason. Psychosis is a serious form of psychological distress during which an individual is incapable of acting on his own behalf. Psychotic individuals are hospitalized and treated with antipsychotics to help control irrational thoughts and hallucinations that generally are a part of their mental status. In a court of law, psychosis can result in a ruling of incompetency and either temporary or permanent insanity.

“Neurosis” is a term that is being scrutinized closely by the current psychological community. Once believed to be a form of mental illness, it is now looked at as an unhealthy aspect of a certain spectrum of personalities. An individual who is commonly thought of as “neurotic” is best described as a personality type that has moved beyond its natural tendencies toward introspection and worry, into an obsessive thought process. When under a great deal of stress, a neurotic personality usually experiences symptoms of depression and/or anxiety. The term “neurotic” is rarely used in today’s psychological community. Individuals with significant neuroses are often diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder. In reality, almost everyone experiences some form of transient neurotic behavior, whether it be fixating about an upcoming routine medical screening or anxiously lying awake on the night before an airline flight.

Sigmund Freud, often viewed as the “father” of modern psychology, was the first to clarify the distinctions between “neurosis” and “psychosis.” He said that the vast majority of neurotics would continue to function fairly normally in spite of increased emotional discomfort from time to time. “Psychotics,” however, were regarded as individuals who were out of touch with reality and very emotionally disturbed. The field of modern psychology has adopted his definitions of these two mental states, but has further clarified them with a new understanding of how neurosis can be an unhealthy coping mechanism that emanates from a certain type of personality.

Is an individual psychotic or neurotic? Neither of these terms should be applied loosely and certainly not within the context of frustrations that arise out of dealing with difficult people. Before flippantly slapping either label on an acquaintance or co-worker, remember that while a majority of people will never experience a psychotic episode, most will, at some time, exhibit neurotic behavior. Real neurosis, however, is a pattern of behavior characterized by obsessive worry and anxiety that can be emotionally crippling. Neurotics need help learning how to handle their excessive fear and anxiety over everyday circumstances of life.


What is psychosis?

Psychosis is a medical symptom that affects mind. Typically, if one have had a psychotic episode they have lost some contact with reality. During psychosis, thoughts and perceptions become distrustful and disturbed. One may have trouble knowing what’s real and what’s not.

Psychosis is more common than one might think. About 100,000 young people in the United States experience psychosis each year . Psychosis itself is not an illness, rather it is linked to underlying mental conditions.

Those with psychotic disorders, such as schizophrenia, are more likely to have psychotic episodes (psychosis) , especially on a regular basis. Drugs, including cocaine, amphetamine, methamphetamine, LSD, and more, can also trigger psychosis. Despite these risk factors, anyone can have a psychotic episode.


Neurosis

Refer to the class of mental conditions that involve some sort of unwanted emotional state. These include anxiety disorder, bipolar disorder, obsessive-compulsive personality disorder, social phobia and social anxiety, et al.

The theory of neurosis was developed in its modern application by Sigmund Freud and Carl-Gustav Jung in their studies on psychoanalysis in the first half of the 20th century. Nowadays, professional psychiatrists do not use the term, as it is too vague, and prefer to describe a particular mental condition associated with a particular neurosis in other, more specialized terms.

(A facial expression while in the state of neurosis)

was a term for a class of functional mental disorders involving distress but neither delusions nor hallucinations . The term is no longer used by the professional psychiatric community in the United States, having been eliminated from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders in 1980 with the publication of DSM III .

Neurosis should not be mistaken for psychosis, which refers to a loss of touch with reality. Neither should it be mistaken for neuroticism, which is a fundamental personality trait according to psychological theory.


What is the difference between neurosis and psychosis ?

What is the difference between neurosis and psychosis? Let us start by defining neurosis and psychosis.

Neurosis

Neurosis is a broad term rarely used by therapists and psychologists these days. However, it does have some value to hypnotherapists. Broadly, neurosis can be said to be a mental problem in which the suffer is in touch with reality. Often this appears as a logical – emotional dissonance. This means the suffer can tell you that their behaviour is inappropriate but feel it is beyond their control. Typical examples would include

  • Phobia’s – in which the sufferer knows that the trigger for the phobia is not dangerous.
  • Obsessions – where the obsessed know that they are over focused but cannot break out of that.
  • Extreme Habits – the sufferer may be able to identify the habit as unpleasant, but they are unable to take control of it.
  • Twitches and ticks – where the afflicted cannot control the muscles involved but there is no identifiable physical problem.

With neurosis there is an implication that some life event or problem is influencing the problem. This may not always be true as a life event may have initiated the problem behaviour but it may now be a habit.

Neurosis is the most serious level of mental health issue a hypnotherapist may deal with. Psychosis (see below) are contraindicated for hypnotherapy.

Psychosis

is a general term used to describe any set of symptoms where the sufferer is thought to be out of touch with external reality. This may be due to any number of factors such as organic brain impairment or long term stress. Symptoms of psychosis include

If you have any concerns that a potential patient may be out of touch with reality refer them on to a doctor.


The Difference between Psychosis and Neurosis

A psychosis would seem to have clearly defined boundaries whereas the diagnosis of neurosis can tend to be quite subjective. A psychotic break tends to be clearly defined by the sudden onset of bizarre behavior, hallucinations, delusions, ideas of reference, and other blatant symptoms. A neurosis might be quite mild and increase in severity over time.

I stated above that a psychosis &ldquowould seem to have clearly defined boundaries.&rdquo That is because the individuals doing the diagnosing are human beings who can easily make mistakes.

In one study, a bunch of normal individuals, some of them graduate students, went into a hospital and described a single symptom that might suggest a psychosis. Every one of them was labeled schizophrenic and hospitalized. While in the hospital they acted completely normal and yet none of the professionals there recognized that they were in fact normal and not schizophrenic. It is said that we often see what we look for.

Diagnosing a neurosis is quite difficult because of its subjectivity. The symptoms vary from one person to another, although some common neuroses are defined. Also, neurotic behavior is on a continuum from barely noticeable to life-altering. Any mentally healthy individual might exhibit some signs of neuroses at various times in their life or have mild neurotic symptoms chronically.

One example of this continuum is obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). This was popularly displayed in the TV program &ldquoMonk.&rdquo Symptoms of OCD can include excessive cleanliness (excessive hand-washing, hyper vigilance against germs, etc.) and obsessive repetitive actions such as counting lines in the sidewalk or needing to do things in a specific order.

If most of us examine our own behavior, we may find that we have some mild symptoms of this behavior. I know one man who has to have all of his food on separate plates or must separate them on his plate so they don&rsquot touch each other.

I will feel the need to straighten a crooked picture in someone else&rsquos house. Sometimes I will arrange all of my bills so they are all facing the same way in my wallet.

A neurosis is an excessive focus on some aspect of one&rsquos life. A mild neurosis can be quite harmless. A neurosis becomes a problem when it interferes with the normal functioning of daily life. Phobias are a good example of a neurosis that can be in the normal range, being afraid of snakes or spiders but not excessively so. Or a phobia can prevent someone from leaving her house.

Worry and anxiety are common to all of us. If we truly have something to be anxious about, we&rsquore not necessarily neurotic. But when anxiety is chronic and we find ourselves being anxious about things that may never happen, we may have slipped into the neurotic range of behavior.

As mentioned above, psychosis may be a bit more subjective than most psychological professionals would like to think. When we look at it cross-culturally and across time, it is obvious that many of the practices of indigenous peoples would place them firmly in the psychotic range.

Ecstatic dancing, chanting, drumming, and the use of psychoactive drugs produced altered states of consciousness that included hallucinations, hearing voices, and even being possessed by spirits or gods.

Even today we have those who claim to communicate with the dead (and make a good living at it) and those who channel ascended masters or other spirits for the edification of their audiences. The cynic might claim that they are all fakes but for the most part they would not be identified as psychotic.

Psychosis is usually identified by a severe and dramatic change in behavior, the psychotic break. One young woman went to the dentist for surgery at age 16 and came out of the anesthetic psychotic. I knew her 16 years later and she was still in the mental health system.

Some breaks attract a lot of attention such as taking off all of your clothes in a public place. Others are more subtle like a man going on a shopping spree that ends up being way over the top. My mother was diagnosed with a nervous breakdown. This was a more polite way of talking about psychosis. Her symptoms were mostly crying all of the time and not being able to carry on with her normal life. She was given anti-psychotic drugs and shock treatment.

I have recently come to believe that she was misdiagnosed and today her symptoms would have been seen as post-partum depression. How many other women of her generation were diagnosed with a serious mental illness who were suffering from this relatively common experience?

Neuroses are fairly easily treated but the patient must have a willingness to change. Many are harmless enough and can be left alone without seriously affecting the individual&rsquos quality of life. Most neuroses are treated with some kind of talk therapy. The outcome will be determined by the skill of the therapist but mostly by the determination of the patient.

Some mental health professionals consider a psychosis as a chronic condition, which means they don&rsquot really believe it can be cured. Nevertheless, there is a huge industry of psychiatrists, psychologists, and other therapists and mental health workers who make their living working with this population.

The immediate treatment for the psychotic is drugs. After a first episode, some form of anti-psychotic will be prescribed. It is believed that this will dampen the symptoms and render the patient amenable to some form of talk therapy and/or group therapy.

Some victims of psychosis are able to live at home or even live on their own. When Ronald Reagan emptied the mental hospitals as governor of California, many of the mentally ill became homeless. Across the country, homelessness is still often the fate of the mentally ill. This includes many veterans with untreated post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

For most of those with schizophrenia and other serious mental disorders, treatment is not successful. The pattern for many of these sufferers is to leave the hospital, go into a halfway house or go back home, and get better. But as soon as they become well enough to try being on their own, they will often have a relapse, another psychotic break, and start the process all over again.

So neurosis and psychosis are quite different in their origins and consequences. Nevertheless, a serious neurosis can be as detrimental to a normal life as a psychosis.


Characteristics of the neurotic personality

There are circumstantial characteristics in this type of subjects, which allows us to pose the traits that define the neurotic personality, this type of character is an expression of intense internal conflicts , as it is subjected to a constant drive struggle, usually not able to harmonize their desires (often repressed), with what he thinks he should do or the society and culture in which he lives he demands to do. The great drama lies in not being able to identify with the ideal character of his own Self , he does not usually have a good self-image, or acceptance of himself, which generates anguish, anxiety , anger and frustration, He feels that it can not be carried out in several aspects that he desires, resorting to certain defense mechanisms, which are not so convenient.

Everyday situations can be overwhelming. So their social interactions are usually not the best, neither for themselves nor for others, they can often have poor impulse control, they tend to accumulate guilt and high disagreements. They suffer from excessive stress and worry and almost constantly , many refer to having catastrophic thoughts even when there are no real reasons that sustain these beliefs, so they may be prey to superstitious beliefs and repetitive behaviors or rituals to release a little anxiety and anxiety, but complicating their lives more, as they may result even maladaptive, such as having to wash their hands every time they touch something they perceive is not hygienic or when they shake a person’s hand.

From the psychological point of view, the somatic plane can be reached and vice versa, thus affecting the integral well-being of the person.

These topics are fascinating and very broad, so I will delimit some distinctions below.


12 Major Difference between Neuroses and Psychoses | Psychology

Neuroses also known as Psychoneuroses refer to minor mental disorders. They are characterized by inner struggles and certain mental and physical disturbances. Psychoneuroses include the milder abnormalities of the cognitive, co native and motor processes precipitated by conflicts, frustrations and other emotional stresses. These partially incapacitate the individual to meet the demands of life property and effectively.

Image Courtesy : newsinmind.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/bigstock-Altered-State-15143192.jpg

Clinically, psychoneuroses implies a bodily disturbance without any structural or organic defect These symptoms in fact are the functions of certain mental disturbances the origin of which the patient is unable to understand but nevertheless, he realizes that something is wrong with him.

Psychoses are major personality disorders marked by gross emotional and mental disruptions. These diseases make the individual incapable of adequate self management and adjustment to society.

While neuroses refer to mild mental disorder, Psychoses refer to insanity or madness.

The distinction between psychotics and neurotics in general are symptomatic, psychopathological and therapeutic.

1. Psychoses involve a change in the whole personality of the person in whom it appears, while in psychoneuroses only a part of the personality is affected. With the development of psychoneuroses, there is often no marked outer change of personality of any kind. As Meyer puts it, a psychoneuroses is a part reaction, while a psychoses is a total one.

2. In a psychoses, contact with reality is totally lost or changed. The reality contact practically remains intact in a psychoneurotic, though its value may be quantitatively changed. In fact insight and reality have the same meaning for them as the rest of the community.

3. The changes in the reality values of the psychotic, psycho- pathologically is partly expressed through projection, for example, the strong belief that one is being constantly watched. Projection of this sort often based on a sense of guilt, subjective but unconscious, does not occur in the psychoneuroses.

4. Language, which is a means of communication, is the symbolizing function for social adaptation. In the psychoneuroses language as such is never disturbed, whereas in the psychoses language often undergoes gross distortion.

5. Some psychoses are primarily organic. Even in the functional psychoses organic factors enter into the etiology. The psychoneuroses on the other hand are predominantly socially conditioned. Horney has therefore remarked “Psychoneurotic is the individual who deviates in his behaviour from the norms accepted by his culture because of anxiety and who feels lonely and inferior because of this deviation.”

6. In psychoanalytic theory the psychoses may be differentiated from the psychoneuroses in terms of the amount of ego and libido regression and in terms of the topographical location of the conflict. In psychoses therefore the libidinal regression goes as deep as the early anal period i.e., beyond the level of reality testing.

Psychoses may therefore be considered dynamically as a disorder in which the ego looses much of its contact with reality and is more concerned with the forces of the id. The psychoneurotic on the contrary, suffers libidinal regression only to the phallic or late anal period as his conflict may be considered as a struggle between the forces of the id and the ego, in which the ego maintains its contact with expressed reality. The regression is only to the level of reality testing and so the neurotic retains insight and does not deny reality.

7. As regards etiology Page says that in psychoneuroses the psychogenic factors and heredity are of considerable importance, where as neuro ­physiological and chemical factors are insignificant. On the other hand, in psychoses, heredity, toxic and neurological factors are the determining agents. Psychogenic factors as such may or may not be important.

8. So far as general behaviour is concerned, in the neurotic the speech and thought processes are coherent and logical. There are little or no delusions, hallucinations and confusion in case of psychoneurotic. On the contrary, in case of the psychotics speech and thought processes are incoherent, disorganised, bizzare and irrational. There is constant confusion. Delusion and hallucination are marked symptoms.

9. Neurotics are capable of self management, partial or completely self supporting, are rarely suicidal. They do not need hospitalisation on the other hand psychotics are incapable of self management. They often attempt to commit suicide and need hospitalization or equivalent home care.

10. The personality of the neurotic undergoes little or no change from normal self. A neurotic has good insight. In case of a psychotic, on the other hand, there is radical change in personality, insight is partially or completely lost.

11. The psychotics and psychoneurotic also differ in treatment procedure.

Psychoneurotic respond favourably to psychotherapy, such as suggestion, psychoanalysis and other forms of psychotherapy while the psychotics do not effectively respond to psychotherapy and treatment is mainly chemical and physiological.

12. As regards prognosis, the symptoms of psychoneurotics are transitory and outcome of treatment is usually favourable. The deterioration and mortality rate is quite less.

On the other hand, in psychotics, the symptoms are relatively constant from day to day, outcome less favourable and cure temporary and death rate is high.

In spite of these differences, the psychotics and neurotics cannot be separated by watertight compartments and there is no sharp break between behaviour which is to be called psychotic and the behaviour which is to be called neurotic.

In fact, there are many cases of mental illness where it is quite difficult to assess definitely whether it belongs to the psychotic or psychoneuroses group. In such cases the problem of border line psychotics and border line neurotics arise.

In-spite of everything, between well developed psychoses on the one hand and full-fledged psychoneuroses on the other hand there is a world of difference from the descriptive as well as from the therapeutic respect.

Transitions also occur, so that a patient who reacts psycho neurotically at one time may react psycho neurotically at another.

Wishner (1961) believed that behavioural efficiency will be taken as a predictable correlate of psychopathology, with lower efficiency in severe pathologies. Being undimensional, the measure of efficiency places neuroses and psychoses on the same continuum. But Lewis firmly established the point that they have little in common each being an independent entity with a different origin and outcome.

Follow up studies indicate that only 4 to 7% of neurotics develop psychoses in later life. However Henderson cites an example of case history of a patient who began with psychoneurotic anxiety symptoms and later on developed into paranoid schizophrenic psychoses. But such transitions are the exceptions and not the rule.


Watch the video: Difference Between Psychosis and Neurosis (May 2022).