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About neurosis or nervousness (Plural neuroses)

Mental disturbances that do not alter the sense of reality in any significant degree, are commonly called neurosis. A neurotic person can have a lot of unpleasant fantasies of an unrealistic kind, and these can cause a lot of unpleasant symptoms like anxiety, panic , anger or depressive feelings, and they can cause significant bahavioural impairments. The person will however allways be able to tell what is the reality when asked.

A common basic mechanism of neuroses is as follows: The person imagines that some real object or situation is dangerous even though this is not true to any significant degree, or that some unrealistic danger will occur at some place, some time or some situation. The person knows that the danger imagined is not realistic, but the imagination works in his mind as if so was true. The imagination causes faer or downright panic and bodily symptoms caused directly by the fear. The person may then act in several ways to avoid the imagined dangerous situation, or several bodily reactions can occur to alleviate the unpleasant fear. Depending how the person acts, several kind of neuroses can occur with different symptomatology. Common symptoms by neurosis are the following.

Symptoms of neuroses

- A common symptoms are fear of special persons, objects or situations that there is no reason to have, or the fear is exaggerated when the situation ordinarily should give a lesser degree of fear.

- The person may have frequent fantacies about dangerous situations and fantacies telling that these situations can occur at any actual moment. Often there is a slight probablity that such a situation can occur, but in the fantacies the probability of the situation is axaggerated or the person can even be sure in his fantacies that the situation is about to happpen. The fantacies are often coupled by the exagerated tendency to feel fear and to panic.

- The neurotic person will often have a strong tendency to worry. Usually there is some reason to worry, but the worry is exaggerated.

- The fair and panic reactions will ofte make the person avoid activities that otherwise would be positive or profitable for him and can significantly imapair him in his job, his freetime and in his dealing with other persons.

- Sometimes the patient feels a general anxiety hithout having a clear notion of specific objects or situation that he has fears.

- Often a patient can have compulsive impulses to act in a special way, often a ritualistic way. That is, he feels something in himself commands him to do a specific thing, or sometimes not to do a specific thing. The impulses can tell him to do some special acts a number of times each day or occur in specific situations. The neurotic person will often do as the impulses tell him. Sometimes the impulses will tell him to do dangerous acts, acts that distroy valuable objects or acts that spoil valuable opportunities. In these cases the suffering person will often do the act if the harm is litttle. If the harm is graet, however, he will usually resist the impulse to do the act, but the decicion of not doing it will cause conciderable anxiety or mental discomfort for some thime after. These impusles are often connected with anxiety of something or anxiety that something terrible will happen if he does not act in that way.

- A common symptom of neuroses are muscular tensions, both tensions in voluntary muscles and in muscular components of inner organs or the blood circulation. The heart can react by an exagerated activity and the blood vesels can constrict. These reactions can be nearly permannt, but will typically occur in specific situations, especially situations that also cause anxiety, or worry. The tension and other bodily reactions can becone chronic and can in some cases make a person seriously physically handicapped because of stiffness and impaired range of motion.

- A neurotic person will often have bodily pain and organic symptoms. Sometimes the symptoms can be so specific and so serious that they mimic a serious disease, but there is no organic signs of any disease. Such symptoms are producsed by a mental process. They can also be produced by bodily tensions caused by the neurosis.

- Another symptom of neurosis can be ritualistic habits, a restrictive way of life, or habits that are inappropriate for the wellbeing and prosperity of the person. The person can systmetically react in a stupid way in specific situations. These habitual properties are not necessarily connected to a consciouly felt anxiety.

- Neuroses are distingusihed from psychoses by the fact that the neurotic patient have not lost his sense for realities and understands that his tendensies are patological or inappropriate.

- Neuroses are often called mild diseases and pychoses often serious diseaes. These characteristics are not very good. A neurosis can be very serious and a psychosis can be of little seriousness. The seriousness depends upon how great part of the patient's life the condition controls.

The origine of neuroses

There are many theories about the origine of neuroses.

Sometimes the patient has experienced something very dangerous or very frightening and this experience has then imprinted a pattern of reactions that repeat itself in similar situations.

In other instances the neurosis is a learnt reaction, that is learnt by a bad kind of socialisation in the family and other parts of society.

A spescial kind of teories that has had and still has great influence are the psychodynamic teories about the origine of neuroses. These teories are strongly linked to psychodynamic therapies. You can read more about these theories down here.

Therapy for neuroses

Pharmacological products that alleviate tension and anxiety is a common used treatment for neuroses. These will help against the symptoms, and can give the patient opportunity to reajust his reactions so that the symptoms are less also after cessation of the drugs. But prolonged and intensive use of such drugs can generate dependency and give a problem that can be worse that the original neurosis.

Herbal drugs, especially combined with nutrients that are important for the nervous system can also alleviate symptoms and give the patient opportunity to settle to a better mood of reaction. Many of these drugs do not create dependency and can therefore be used safely over a longer period, for example valariana.

By cognitive pychoterapy, the patient learn specifically about the conditions that exaggerate his symptoms, and is made to think logically about the inadequacy of his reactions.

By desensibilisation therapy, the patient is purposefully made to go into situations that tend to trigger his symptoms, and is gradually trained to act in the opposite awy than the ways anxiety and other symptoms tend to make himn act.

By psychodynamic therapies, of which there are many, one ivestigates the original causes of the neurosis of the patient, the patient is during this investiagtion informed about these causes, and made to remember the occations when the causes were in action. This tend to make the neurosis go away or alleviate.

Most psychologists or pyschiatrists will use an approach where two or more of these therapy modes are combined.

About psycodynamics and psycotherapy

Pychotherapy is therapy against mental disorders and physical problems connected to mental disorers by menas of conversation with a therapeut. The conversation usually is repeated through several sessions through many weeks, months and even years.

There are many variants of psychotherapy. The different variants are intimately connected to some hypthesis or theory about the caise of nervous disorders and also sometimes the cause of psychoses.

Many theories and therapies have however in common that they regard unacceptable memories of experiences, unacceptable feelings or uneccaptable lusts to be causative of the disorer. Others regard the disorders to be learned inappropriate reactions.

Some theories emphecize experiences in the childhood, bit some regard experiences through the whole life to present to be important. Some theories even take into account experiences when the child still developed in the womb of the mother or experiences of the child duing the birth process.

Psychodynamic therapy

Unaxeptable feelings, impulses or knowledge as the fundamental of neurosis

These therapies are based on theories that the patient house uneccaptable or painful material in his mind. The material can be memories of earlier experiences that are painful. It can be fear for something that has the origine in prior experiences. It can be lusts, drives or tendencies that the individual do not accept or is forbidden.

Unaccepted impulses will often be of sexual kind or impulses of aggression. Painful memories that many theories emphesize much are memories of childhood sexual abuse or memories of violent activities seen by the child or exerted towards the child. In the last years memories of wartime activities has gained much recognition as origine of mental problems later in life. Such memories will also bring fear that something similar can happen again.

The reason why an individual do not accept material housed in his mind, will often be that the society has learned the individual not to accept it. Thus the psychodynamic theories also have a component of learning. But this component is seldome pointed at explicitely by psychodynamists.

Repression of unaxepted mental material

In orther to cope with the unpleasant of forbidden material, the patient represses it in several ways.

First and foremost the individual will close the access for the contious processes to the material.

Then the individual will create processes that also makes the individual avoid situations that can remaind him of the repressed material. These processes can for example create fear for everything that threatens to reveal agin the repressed material.

In spite of this the repressed material will also never disappear. It wil inevitably cause processes that create thoughts and feelings. In order to avoid thoughts and feelings that disguise the repressed material, the individual will distort these thoughts and feelings in several ways so that they will deal with another objects or other situations than those in the repressed material.

- For example can a person having repressed homosexual feelings create exagerated feelings towards women.

- A person feeling hostility towards some authority in the soicety or his own parents create hostility towards some individual or group of individuals that the society axepts hostility against or even create self-hate. These process of repression will also cripple the emotions and cognitive abilities in certain ways.

The psychodynamic therapy

The therapy can have the aim for the theraput of understanding experiences earlier in the life that have started inadequate habitual psychological reactions and then the aim of revealing these experiences for the patient and explaining the reactions for the patient. It also has the aim of revealing for the patient what kind of drives, lusts or tendencies that the patient do not accept and represses.

The theory holds that understanding of the origine and mechanisms of the symptoms will make it easier for the patient to get rid of the symptoms and give him ideas of more appropriate ways of reacting. The theory also holds that this understandig often will start a process where the symptoms dissapear automatically. This kind of psychotherapy is called psychodynamic therapy.

There are many variants of psychodynamic therapies that differs in the theories about what types of experiences that are most likely to cause inadequate reactions and thereby mental disorder symptoms and what kind of disorder the different kind of experiences cause.

However, many psychodynamic therapies take the stand that the society has the right to forbid certain kind of lusts, even if these lusts are natural and per se not pathological, and that repressive reactions against these lusts are necessary for making the humans interested in building and maintaining the society and culture. In accordance with that stand, many psychodynamic therapies will not aim at revealing all or the innermost reasons for a patients reaction, but stop the process of revelation at some point. Likewise the aim will often be not to take away the repression of forbidden or painful material, but rather channalize the repression into more adequate ways.

This stand of regarding prohibitions of natural impulses and repression of these as neccessary, make some psychodynamic therapists or authorities hold part of their theories secret for the general society. When they go out to explain their theories or therapies, they therefore often do it only partially and often also in a dishonest way.

Cognitive therapy

By cognitive therapy tha aim is not so much to reveal experiences that have caused the disorder. Instead the aim is to get the patient to understand how his thinking and reactions are inadequate and instruct the patient to think and react more adequately.

Behaviourist therapy and desesibilisation therapy

By this kind of therapy the patient is gradually trained to go into situations that cause anxiety or other unpleasant symptoms and when the patient gradually is vaned to being in those situations, the symptoms will gradually disappear. This kind of therapy is often combine with some kind of cognitive therapy.

Classical Freudianian psychonaalysis

This kind of psychotherapy is based on the wssuption that natural impulses like sexua impulses and aggressive impulses bring shame and anxiety. In order to alleviate the shameful and anxious feelings, the impulses are hided in the subconscious and the energy is diverted to other kinds of thoughts and impulses that are axepted. The thory is not very explicit about why such impulses bring shame and anxiety or otherwise are rejected, but the theory hints that the shameful and anxious feelings towards the impulses have been thought to the child by the society.

The anxiety originally connected to sexuality and own aggresivity is transformed to some other thing, or to something reminding of the originally unaxepted impulse or situation without the real situation in itself is remembered.

The impulses are transformed to lust, and often exagerated lust for other objects or activities. A person that had homosexual lusts can for example become exageratedly interested in women, but without this interest giving him much satisfaction so that he hunts for one woman after the other. For example can a person begin to overeat grossly and thereby get fat. He can become a hyperactive worker, or he can become exaggeratedly eager to do work for the good of the society.

Even though the original impulses are hidden, the patient will often have thoughts or do actions that somehow are analogous to the original impusles and thus symbolizes these.

Throgh a kind of conversation where the patient just lies and tells everything that komes into his mind, the therapeut listens and analyses what he hears to reveal hidden memories and impulses. The therapist especially listen to find thoughts that somehow symbolizes the hidden and unaxepted impulses.

Gradually the psychotherapist reveal to the patient what he uncovers. To some extend tha patioent himslef will also uncover the hidden impulses and experiences.

Freudianian psychoanalysis is very specific about what kind of impulses and happenings that cause mental problems. It is especially proccupied with a phenomenon called the Oedipus complex by boys and the corresponding Electra complex by girls.

The Oedipus complex is as situation whhere the male child is attracted to his mother sexually. This attraction is recognized by the father that gets jealous and hostile at his son. The boy gets ashamed of his love towards his mother and afraid of the reaction from the father. The sexual impulse is thus supressed and hidden in the sunconscious. His anxiety to his father is also suppressed and hidden.

But instead of the original impulse, shame, anxiety and memories, the child create new impulses towards some other activity and new anxiety to some other things. These new things, however, has some symbolic connection to the original situiation. The new impulses and the new anxiety are created because the psychological energy from the original impulses cannot be destroted. There is a corresponding theory for girls called the electra complex.

Gestalt therapy

Gestalt therapy is an area within the humanistic psychology and was founded by the German physician and psycho-analyst Frederick Perls, his wife, psychoanalyst Laura Perls, and philosopher Paul Goodman in the late 50th century and early 60th century in the United States.

The word Gestalt is German and can almost be translated as "a meaningful whole" or a complete pattern. Gestalt therapy is based, among other things on gestalt-pscychological theories and ideas from existential-phenomenological philosophy.

Basic ideas of Gestalt therapy is that every man himself is responsible for their decisions and actions within the constraints the environment provides. Another basic idea is that choises a person does at several stages in life will influence his feelings and reactions later in life.

Gestalt therapy has developed methods to raise the awareness of people about their own feelings, reactions and actions so that they clearly can recognize and see themselves and their choices.

Gestalt therapy is based on the belief that increased knowledge occur momentarily, in situations where client and therapist meet. It cannot be planned into the future, but will spontaneously appear in the work between client and therapist.

This creation of wider consciousness is created through conversation, experiments and role playing. The methods are also used for preparation of previously unfinished experiences (which is called the uncompleted gesture salts), for solution of crises, and in self-development. Gestalt therapy is an experience-oriented, process-oriented and experiential psychotherapy.

One of the most important tools in Gestalt therapy is the therapist himself. The therapist is not objective or neutral, but are even willing to go in meeting the client in a I - you confrontation. This means that it is important for the therapist to work on their own unfinished experiences to be available to the client needs in the situation that arises.

Gestalt therapy is said to be suitable for therapy of individuals, couples and groups, for self-development, for teaching and in for business management consulting work. Clients, students and course participants will even experience how they are meeting with others.

Gestaltterapeuter associated NGF can call themselves MNGF.

Primal therapy

The primal therapy was developed by the spychotherapist Arthur Janow after a session with a patient that sponranously began crying and wiping and revealed a very important vent in his childhood that determined his later nervous problems. The primal therapy has the basic theory that the society and the parents do not love the child as the child is naturally, but steadily tries to convert the child to some ideal defined by the society and steadily gives the child hints that it will not be loved as long as it is in his or her natural state and show his or her natural behaviour and lusts.

The theory behind primal therapy:

Primal therapy has as its theoretical base that parents do not love children as the beings they are. Furthermore this leads parents to deny children basic need and whish for love, deny the child fun and pleasure, deny basic physical needs, and also that it leads parents to force a child to become some other type of being than the natural child, even by punishment and painful actions.

At some point the child understands that he or she is not loved or accepted as he is, that his atempts satisfies his basic and profond emotional and physical needs are not tollerated. He understand that in order to survive and get at least some of his needs and some satisfaction, he must convert himself to something he is not naturally, to something that is not good for him to be, and suppress his temptation to fulfill what is the best for him. This understandig gives a great anxiety and sadness that makes the chid transform himself and become what is demanded of him. But the knowledge itself that he was not loved as a genuine and natural child, and of the pain caused by the parents, is so painful that the child hides this knowledge in his subconscious mind.

Still the unfulfilled needs and the knowledge of not being accepted will give pain, even though the knowledge is by now subconscious, and the energy connected to the needs will still exist. The person will therefore convert the energy so that he feels new false needs conforming to the norm of the parents and the society, and negative feelings will be converted to feelings accepted by the world around him.

But this distorted state will make the person mentally handicapped and it will cause painful mental and physical symptoms.

Also everything that reminds the person about his original self, the nont-acceptance by the parents and his original neeeds, will cause anxiety, compelling urge to do actions to avoid everything reminding him.

Also the fulfillment of the false needs will not give the person any real satisfaction, but often will bring him new problems and pain.

This state of being such a distorted person with all its consequences is what constitutes mental disease according to the theory.

The primal therapy has gradually been developed further and by now it holds that there can be several such primal events that determine a person's mental constitution. According to the contemporary version of the theory, the first event can even be the birth of the patient and other events in very early childhood.

The theory of primal therapy has a very strict definition of what a normal, that is non-distorted person is. Among other elements it stresses in a nearly hysterical way that a person free from mental disease is totally heterosexual without any sexual feelings towards own gender, whatsoever.

The elements in the theory has also be taken up by psychoterapist that are not themselves primal therpists but hold the explanation offered by primal therapy to be true for some patients or for some aspects of a patients problems. Also the concept "primal event" has been adopted in popular cultures or certain urban subcultures to explain strong happenings that profondly shape the mentality or life of a person, but the concept as understood in popular culture is much less rigid than that in primal therapy.

How primal therapy is performed:

By the primal therapy the person is deprived of sleep and given the opportunity to act out by cries and wiping and this process makes him remember the situation where he understood that he was not accepted qnd especially lets him reexperience the pain by this situastion. This reexperience is in itself therapeutic and makes the man or woman able to manipulate his psychological functions in a more appropriate way and also hopefully lets him regain some of his original natural state.

The therapy itself begins by letting the patient stay in some quiet place, for example a hotel room, several hours and over night without sleeping. Thereby the patient gets into a psychologically labile state where hidden material easily pops up and where the defence reaction against revelations of such material is reduced.

Right after this wake, in this exhausted state, the patient will go into a session with a therapeut at a primal therapy institute nearby. The therapeut urges the patient to express any thoughts that comes up, and any memory that pops up. He also urges the patient to give expression for his feeling regarding the material that pops up through cry, scream, physical agitation and whatever else reaction he feels compelled to.

Memories of painful events and of the pain itself will then pop up and those will then be reexperienced, and especially those events in childhood where the patient understood that he was not loved and accepted. The exhausted mental state after the wake will make meomories more easily well up from the unconscious levels. The revelations will make the patient cry, scream and agitate until he feels mentally cleaned and satisfied.

The revealing of some material with subsequent reactive outourst will trigger a cascade of release of even more material and reactions,that ends by the patient feeling mentally relaxed and cleansed.

This process of bringing hidden memories of key painful events in childhood into the conscious level, will cure mental diseases of a wide variety and associated bodily issues too, according to theory. The theory holds that one or a few of these sessions will completely cure the patient.

Good aspects and problems with primal thearpy:

The primal therapy gives a good general explanation for much of the mental sufferings of people in all countries. It also gives a good explanation why it is so easy for leaders of the society to lead people into mass movements that make both themselves and their surrounding humans suffer. But the classical primal therapy of Arthur Janow probably has a too narrow concept of what constitutes natural needs, and fall in the trap of equating the moralistic standards of the judeo-christian society as something natural, and feelings falling outside this standard, like for example homosexual feelings as false impulses having taken the place of what is regarded as genuin impulses in the person. Its stance against homosexual feelings is also contrary to the primary explanations of the therapy, since the society often will suppress such feelings and tendencies in a child that such feelings is also a part of the genuine person.

A sound person is bisexual, not heterosexual. Also a strict heterosexuality will always contain an element of self-hate, since the person you are most near at any time is of your own sex, namely yourself. Classical primal therapy can therefore enforce the mechanisms that suppress a the free expression of genuine natural sexual feelings and functions.

Also the theory ignores the fact that not only the parents, but also the society itself and the institutions of society give the patient the message of not being accepted as he is in the first place. Furthermore it ignores that parents often acts after orders or expectations from the society.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is nutritional in nature and should not be construed as medical advice. This notice is required by the Federal Food, Drug and cosmetic act.