Borderline neuro-psychological disorders, among which
neurosis takes up a large percent, convincingly place first among psychological
diseases. According to the World Health Organization, about 10% of the
population of industrialized countries suffer from neuroses and their number
has multiplied by 24 in the in the last 65 years. In Russia, 20-25 people per
1000 are ill with neuroses. These are only the recorded illnesses, and most
likely can be considered only the tip of the iceberg.
Neuroses, like an epidemic, are spreading everywhere. It is known that 30 to
65% of the visitors to general practitioners are people with neurotic symptoms.
A sad joke is circulating among specialists studying this pathology: instead of
asking if a person suffers from neurosis, one must ask: "from which particular
form of neurosis do you suffer."
The problems associated with the origin of neuroses have come under active
review in the last ten years. The attitude towards this disease, as a light
disturbance of the mental functions, is noticeably changing. The principle of
functionality (simple reversibility) is not supported by modern clinical
practice. According to published data, recovery from neuroses occurs in less
than half the cases. It has been determined that only 10% of those ill recover
in the first three years of the illness. Often, these sufferings last for years
and even decades.
In accordance with the determination accepted in Russia, neurosis is a
psychogenic (arising in the nerves), as a rule, conflictogenic (resulting from
a conflict with oneself or others), neuro-mental disorder, which results from
the disruption of particularly meaningful life relationships of the person. In
simpler terms, neurosis develops when a person cannot find an appropriate
answer to a difficult situation, solve an important psychological situation or
bear some tragedy, depending on different conditions.
The symptoms of neurological failures are well known:
- Decline in mood,
- Feeling of inner discomfort
- Loss of appetite.
- Obsession, aggressiveness,
viciousness and so on, can appear.
All these symptoms are accompanied by general feeling of illness,
uncomfortable physical sensations. The display of neuroses can generally be
called a steady loss of spiritual peace. A person with a neurosis criticizes
himself clearly, is burdened by his condition, but cannot do anything with
In addition to this, conditions exist that clinically resemble neuroses, but
develop in their own way. There are determined to be neuro-like and result from
different somatic (physical) illnesses, infectious processes, arteriosclerosis
of the brain’s vessels and other pathological processes. Besides this, the
neuro-like clinical picture can often contain persons with a bad personality or
serious defects in upbringing.
The term "neurosis" has become firmly entrenched in our life and
can be unfamiliar only to an infant. Emphasis is placed on school-age and
pension-age neuroses; neuroses of achievement and loneliness; somatogenic and
ecological, as well as many other varieties of this illness. The so-called
noogenic neuroses are connected with the loss or lack of the meaning of life in
a person, conflict of values. Data shows that about every fifth neurotic
occurrence has a noogenic origin; in actuality, it appears that nearly every
neurosis has spiritual roots. But lets put everything in order.
The original concept of "neurosis" was suggested in 1776 by the
Scottish doctor Cullen, and, since then, discussion concerning the essence of
this disease, the roots of its origin and the formulative mechanisms, have not
become less vital. This, of course, does not mean that neuroses did not exist
before Cullen; their appearance, like the appearance of any disease, occurred
as a result of man’s original sin. The description of neuroses can be found in
the most ancient written sources of humanity. For example, in the papyruses of
Kahun (ca. 1900 BC) and Ebers (ca. 1700 BC) there are facts about the sickly
states of women, which resemble clinical hysterical neurosis.
It is difficult to find another concept in medicine that is written up by
different scientific schools so often and even contradictorily. Neurotic
reactions, which can occur in a person following difficult crises, conflicts,
somatic illnesses or life disorders, are greatly varied. Their symptoms are
reflected in a person’s personality, particularly his character — therein lies
the polarity of views on this problem.
Return to the first page