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pl. neuroses [neuro- + -sis]
1. In traditional, e.g., Freudian, psychiatry, an unconscious conflict that produces anxiety and other symptoms and leads to maladaptive use of defense mechanisms.
2. An unpleasant or maladaptive psychological disorder that may affect personality, mood, or certain limited aspects of behavior but that does not distract the affected individual from carrying out most activities of daily living.
3. A term formerly used to describe anxiety disorders, phobias, obsessions and compulsions, or somatoform disorders.
SYN: SEE: neurotic disorder; SEE: psychoneurosis
Psychotherapy, cognitive therapy, behavioral therapy, family therapy, minor tranquilizers, and/or sedatives may be used.
Many neuroses are chronic and debilitating; others are minor, manageable, or adaptive. Treatment may be difficult in some cases.