psychoneurosis

neurosis

[noo-roh-sis, nyoo-]

Mental and emotional disorder that affects only part of the personality, is accompanied by a less distorted perception of reality than in a psychosis, and is characterized by various physiological and mental disturbances (such as visceral symptoms and impaired concentration). The neuroses include anxiety attacks, certain forms of depression, hypochondriasis, hysterical reactions, obsessive-compulsive disorders, phobias, various sexual dysfunctions, and some tics. They have traditionally been thought to be based on emotional conflict in which a blocked impulse seeks expression in a disguised response or symptom. Behavioral psychologists regard them as learned, inappropriate responses to stress, which can be unlearned.

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