Historically, the term neurosis was used to define a nervous disorder or disease of the nervous system without any identifiable anatomical lesion. Neuroses are different from psychoses, by the absence of profound personality disorders. In the former case, the person is totally aware of his condition, and cannot get rid of it despite his common will. Among neuroses, we must distinguish social phobia, a fear of a thing that is present (fear of spiders or arachnophobia, fear of large populated areas or agoraphobia, fear of confinement or claustrophobia), from anxiety neurosis, characterized by anxiety attacks, or more commonly known as obsessional neurosis obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Obsessional neurosis is a neurotic syndrome characterized mainly by obsessions that create certain daily rituals. OCD is a condition that affects adolescents or young adults.
A patient will have one or more obsessions against which he fights all the time and tries to alleviate with rites in a search for the magic answer.
Obsession is experienced as uncontrollable intrusive thoughts, generating anxiety that is typically of three types:
- phobic: constant fear of something, such as dirt or the occurrence of a disease;
- impulsive: fear of not being able to help perform an act contrary to one's morals;
- ideational: with the apparition of abnormal, repulsive thoughts.
Compulsion is a technique developed to fight against this obsession. It can consist of:
- a type of internal mental recitation, repeated over and over;
- endless repetition of checking things over (washing, storage, getting dressed) or unreasonable gestures.
Prior to this diagnosis, the practitioner must ensure that the patient does not suffer from any neurological problems that may be causing symptoms. In the case of the typical description by the patient of the above clinical signs, no other additional examination is usually required. Sometimes, however, brain imaging, MRI, or CT scan is performed.
Depending on the extent of the disorder, treatment with antidepressants and / or anxiolytics, may be prescribed. A psychotherapeutic care is frequently associated with this treatment.
Original article published by
. Translated by Jeff