Emotional maladaptations resulting from unresolved mental conflicts
Psychoneurosis is the emotional maladaptation due to unresolved unconscious conflicts. This leads to disturbances in thought, feelings, attitudes, and behavior. There is little, if any, loss of contact with reality, but the patient's effectiveness in performing his or her usual responsibilities is handicapped.
Psychoneurosis is a major category in mental illness and is classified according to the symptoms that predominate. The patient usually recognizes that the altered thoughts and feelings are abnormal and indeed unwelcome. This is in contrast to the patient with a psychosis or character disorder.
- Anxiety reaction psychoneurosis: anxiety with apprehension out of proportion to any obvious external cause.
- Conversion reaction psychoneurosis: psychoneurosis in which unacceptable unconscious impulses are converted into hysterical somatic symptoms. Although the symptoms have a specific symbolic meaning to the patient, their interpretation is different in each individual.
- Depressive reaction psychoneurosis: psychoneurosis marked by depression out of proportion to any obvious cause.
- Dissociated reaction psychoneurosis: psychoneurosis characterized by dissociated behavior; such as, amnesia, fugue, sleepwalking, and dream states. It is important to differentiate this from schizophrenia.
- Obsessive-compulsive reaction psychoneurosis: psychoneukrosis consisting of persistent, repetitive impulses to perform certain acts or rituals; such as, handwashing, touching something, or counting.
- Phobic reaction psychoneurosis: an irrational fear of any of a variety of situations, persons, or objects.
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