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A neurosis, in psychoanalytic theory, is an ineffectual coping strategy that Sigmund Freud suggested was caused by emotions from past experience overwhelming or interfering with present experience. For example, someone attacked by a dog as a toddler may have a phobia or overwhelming fear of dogs.

The word 'neurosis' is derived from two Greek words: neuron (nerve) and osis (diseased or abnormal condition).

There are many different specific neuroses and many of them are named: pyromania, obsessive-compulsive disorder, anxiety neurosis, and an endless variety of phobias.

Everyone has some neurotic symptoms and defense mechanismss which more or less successfully deal with anxiety. Defence mechanisms which result in difficulties in living are termed neuroses and are treated by psychoanalysis, counselling or psychiatric techniques.

See Also

Neurosis is an experimental metal band from Oakland, California, USA; see Neurosis (band).