social icons graphic

Neurosis and Psychosis is There a Difference

Neurosis and Psychosis is There a Difference

Today I thought we could look at the difference between neurosis and psychosis. This is a common question for many newly qualified psychotherapists.

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’.

It is quite important for the psychotherapist in practice to know the differences between these conditions as neurosis is commonly treated with psychotherapy and psychosis generally needs a multi professional approach to help assist clients with this.

Recent Posts