Differentiating between neurosis and psychosis
Psychopathology or mental illness is traditionally divided in two: neurotic and psychotic disorders. That is not to say there is no overlap. A person with a neurosis may suffer from a short-lived psychotic episode, and a person with psychosis may also suffer from anxiety neurosis. Neurosis is relatively common, we all have some element of this in our personalities, so it is more familiar to us. Psychosis is less common.
The difference between neurosis and psychosis is as follows:
The neurotic is in normal touch with his/her environment. This person will be painfully aware of the problem, not that it helps
The psychotic, on the other hand, is quite out of touch with his/her environment. This person loses touch with reality at least some of the time and is usually quite unaware that he/she is ill, despite suffering from acute symptoms.
The neuroses are disorders of ‘affect’ (emotion). The psychoses are disorders of ‘thought’.