I am almost one hundred percent sure that most people suffer from some sort of neurosis. I think we are all a little neurotic about something and it’s usually not enough to cause so much distress that we end up needing professional help.

Neurosis, as best describe to me by a former professor in layman’s term is an unusual or rather extreme response to a normal stress inducing event. For example, it’s normal to be nervous about a job interview, but it is not normal to be so nervous that you decide not to show up or make yourself sick so you can’t show up or purposely sabotage things to the point where you are unable to go to the interview consciously or subconsciously.

Normal neurosis is usually overcome, especially when it has to be. Someone who has a fear of public speaking will usually speak in front of a group if they had to. Or someone who is very shy, will usually attend a party, even if they don’t mingle with many new people.

Neurosis that is abnormal leads to illnesses such as depression, chronic anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, phobias and in it’s extreme forms, personality disorders such as borderline personality disorder and obsessive-compulsive personality disorder.

Normal neurosis can usually be combated by either changing ones thoughts about the anxiety provoking event or dealing with the event in a healthy way using stress reducing activities such as relaxation techniques (breathing exercises, etc.).

I think it is important to understand yourself and your reactions to different events so that you know when you are experiencing normal anxiety and when you are being neurotic. If you get asked to dance at a party and you don’t want to, that’s normal. If you want to, but you’re nervous, yet you dance anyway, that’s normal. If you want to, but you’re nervous so you don’t… well that is a little neurotic, but nothing to worry about. If you avoid the party all together out of fear of someone asking you to dance, well, that’s a more serious form of neurosis that in it’s extreme could turn into things such as generalized anxiety disorder.

I myself am a little neurotic about more things than I probably know, but each time I discover one of  my neurosis, I try to analyze it, pick it apart and combat it with healthy behavior so that it does not own me.