Neuroses are mental illnesses that cause distress in sufferers. In addition, neuroses can interfere with these individuals’ abilities to function normally. Though the term neuroses is no longer used formally within the medical community, it is still a common umbrella term used for mental illnesses such as anxiety, pyromania, obsessive-compulsive disorder, hysteria, and phobias.
One of the common neuroses is anxiety. A person suffering from anxiety may experience feelings of apprehension, worry, and fear. Physical symptoms are also common with this form of neurosis, including nausea, palpitations, chest pains, and shortness of breath. The person may also experience elevated blood pressure and heart rate, sweating, pale skin, dilated pupils, and trembling. While some anxiety is normal in certain situations, such as when sad, angry, or afraid of a specific situation, those with this form of neurosis may experience anxiety for no known reason or for reasons that should not normally trigger that type of response.
Pyromania is another of the common neuroses. A person suffering from pyromania is fixated on fire and the act of purposely starting fires. A pyromaniac is not the same as an arsonist, as a person suffering from pyromania gains a sense of happiness from fires, whereas an arsonist may set fire for revenge or for personal gain. In general, there are no other symptoms associated with this type of neurosis.
Another of the common neuroses is obsessive-compulsive disorder. Individuals with obsessive-compulsive disorder generally suffer from intrusive, repetitive, and disturbing thoughts. In an attempt to rid themselves of these thoughts, they engage in certain rituals or tasks. This leads to a cycle of thoughts and behaviors over which the person feels he or she has little or no control.
Hysteria is another of the common neuroses. A person suffering from hysteria experiences substantial feelings of fear or other emotions that he or she cannot seem to handle. Often, the fear is focused on an imagined illness or other problem of a specific body part. The person may lose all self-control as a result of the consuming fear.
Phobias are also neuroses. Phobias are characterized by strong fears of specific objects, people, situations, or activities. Individuals with phobias experience unreasonable fear of the object, which can interfere with normal life function.