Neurosis

Neuroses, like all illnesses, are symptoms of maladjustment.  Because of some obstacle – a constitutional weakness or defect, wrong education, bad experiences, an unsuitable attitude, etc. – one shrinks from the difficulties which life brings and thus finds oneself back in the world of the infant.  The unconscious compensates this regression by producing symbols which, when understood objectively, that is, by means of comparative research, reactivate general ideas that underlie all such natural systems of thought.  In this way a change of attitude is brought about which bridges the dissociation between man as he is and man as he ought to be.[1] 

A neurosis is a relative dissociation, a conflict between the ego and a resistant force based upon unconscious contents. 

Neurosis' occur when unconscious contents are so powerfully charged that they break past the threshold of consciousness and take control of the psyche

The conscious, unable to understand the symbolism and source of the neurosis’ voice, needs to ‘listen and observe’ in order to understand the causality of the neurosis in order to ‘cure (dissolve) it’.  

Neuroses are generally seen as the negative resultant circumstances of psychological problems, but in actuality they are also opportunities to be positively viewed since they are just as purposive as the complexes.

"Neuroses are psychological crises due to a state of disunity with oneself, or more formally, a mild dissociation of the personality due to the activation of complexes."[2]

Like the immune system going into ‘fever mode’, it is the unconscious taking charge to purge a source of “dis-ease”[3].  It forcefully shakes us out of our apathy and forces us to deal with festering situations that we would otherwise not deal with due to laziness and our natural tendency to resist acknowledging that which we don’t like.  A neurosis serves as a warning that our personality requires an increase in focal consciousness. 

To ‘cure’ a neurosis, the unconscious area (of thought) must be illuminated by consciousness and brought into the conscious field.  The longer the repression stays within the field of unconsciousness the more psychically virulent it becomes and the harder it is to deal with as one grows old.

The neurotic has the soul of a child who bears ill with arbitrary restrictions whose meaning he does not see; he tries to make this morality his own, but falls into disunity with himself: one side of him wants to suppress, the other longs to be free – and this struggle goes by the name of neurosis.  2EoAP 25

… This is where those perilous aberrations begin, the first of which is the attempt to dominate everything by the intellect. 

In a healthy psyche thinking is in harmony with feeling so that logic and reason can work together in a constructive way with the emotional side of an individual.  By overly encapsulating one’s self with one function we severely limit our potential.  Einstein (INTP) was an example of this.  His mind was one-sidedly thinking oriented and most likely this imbalance can explain why he sabotaged many of his familial relationships (i.e. because of his inabilities in dealing with his feelings). 

The more the critical reason dominates, the more impoverished life becomes; but the more of the unconscious, and the more of myth we are capable of making conscious, the more of life we integrate.  Overvalued reason has this in common with political absolutism: under its dominion the individual is pauperized.  MDR 302

“For what should it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?”

                                                          Matt 16:26 & Mark 8:36

 Hysteria is, in my view, by far the most frequent neurosis of the extraverted type.  The hallmark of classic hysteria is an exaggerated rapport with persons in the immediate environment and an adjustment to surrounding conditions that amounts to imitation.  A constant tendency to make himself interesting and to produce an impression is a basic feature of the hysteric. 

What neurotics are ignorant of is, There is something preventing them from knowing what is causing their misery”

                                              Intro to Freud - pg 95

 Regarding taking medication

“... we have been taught by all too many mistakes that organic medicine fails completely in the treatment of neuroses, while psychic methods cure them”.[6]

I have frequently seen people become neurotic when they content themselves with inadequate or wrong answers to life.

 … As for a totally rational approach to life, that is, as experience shows, impossible, especially when a person is by nature as unreasonable as a neurotic.   MDR 166

They keep him on the run with restlessness, vague apprehensions, psychological complications, an insatiable need for pills, alcohol, tobacco, food, and above all, a large array of Neurosis.  (JUNG 1964:82)

RE REPRESSION - “Repression is not only a factor in the etiology of many neuroses, it also determines contents of the personal shadow, since the ego generally represses material that would disturb peace of mind”   (Jung Lexicon  Repression – page 118)

“In every primitive tribe, “ writes Dr. Geza Roheim, “we find the medicine man in the centre of society and it is easy to show that the medicine man is either a neurotic or a psychotic or at least that his art is based on the same mechanisms as a neurosis or a psychosis.”   1000 faces, page 84

When a neurosis breaks out in an adult, the fantasy world of childhood reappears …  THE UNDISCOVERED SELF – PG.

 … If they are enabled to develop into more spacious personalities, the neurosis generally disappears. 

 … For that reason the idea of development was always of the highest importance to me.  MDR 140

These victims of the psychic dichotomy of our time are merely optional neurotics; their apparent morbidity drops away the moment the gulf between the ego and the unconscious is closed.  MDR 144

People who know nothing about nature are of course neurotic, for they are not adapted to reality. 

…  They are too naïve, like children, and it is necessary to tell them the facts of life, so to speak – to make it plain to them that they are human beings like all others.  Not that such enlightenment will cure neurotics; they can only regain their health when they climb up out of the mud of the commonplace.  But they are only too fond of lingering in what they have earlier repressed.  MDR 166

… neurosis…  When an individual is full of anxieties and fears in a situation that is not fearful, these are not real anxieties.  They are imagined punishments from invisible parental disciplinarians for prohibited desires that the individual has secretly enjoyed.  P2B 50

Now, when there have been an excessive number of frustrations, of prohibited desires, there is an irresistible down-pull in the psyche; that is to say, there is too much going on down below, and the individual may become incapable of action up in the conscious world.  If the unconscious content piles up tremendously, you can have what is called a psychosis: the individual loses contact with the outside world altogether.  P2B 50

A psychology of consciousness can, to be sure, content itself with material drawn from personal life, but as soon as we wish to explain a neurosis we require an anamnesis which reaches deeper than the knowledge of consciousness.  MDR 206

When in treating a case of neurosis, we try to supplement the inadequate attitude (or adaptedness) of the conscious mind by adding to it contents of the unconscious, our aim is to create a wider personality whose centre of gravity does not necessarily coincide with the ego, but which, on the contrary, as the patient’s insights increase, may even thwart his ego-tendencies. Like a magnet, the new centre attracts to itself that which is proper to it, the “signs of the Father,” i.e., everything that pertains to the original and unalterable character of the individual ground-plan. Aion 190

Neurosis is intimately bound up with the problem of our time and really represents an unsuccessful attempt on the part of the individual to solve the general problem of his own person. 

Neurosis is self-division.  In most people the cause of the division is that the conscious mind wants to hang on to its moral ideal, while the unconscious strives after its – in the contemporary sense – unmoral ideal which the conscious mind tried to deny.  2EoAP 20

   I myself have long discarded any uniform theory of neurosis, except for a few quite general points like dissociation, conflict, complex, regression, abaissement du niveau mental, which belong as it were to the stock-in-trade of neurosis.  In other words, every neurosis is characterized by dissociation and conflict, contains complexes, and shows traces of regression and abaissement.  These principles are not, in my experience, reversible.  But even in the very common phenomenon of repression the antinomial principle is already at work, since the principle “The chief mechanism of neurosis lies in repression” must be reversed because instead of repression we often find its exact opposite, the drawing away of a content, its subtraction or abduction, which corresponds to the “loss of soul” so frequently observed among primitives.  “Loss of soul” is not due to repression but is clearly a species of seizure, and is therefore explained as sorcery.  These pheneomena, originally belonging to the realm of magic, hae not by any means died out in so-called civilized people.  TDoP 114

People should know that not only the neurotic, but everybody, naturally prefers (so long as he lacks insight) never to seek the causes of any inconvenience in himself, but to push them as far away from himself as possible in space and time.  Otherwise he would run the risk of having to make a change for the better.   Compared with this odious risk it seems infinitely more advantageous either to put the blame on to somebody else, or, if the fault lies undeniably with oneself, at least to assume that it somehow arose of its own accord in early infancy.  One cannot of course quite remember how, but if one could remember, then the entire neurosis would vanish on the spot.  The efforts to remember give the appearance of strenuous activity, and furthermore have the advantage of being a beautiful red herring.  TDoP 111

Neuroses are still – very unjustly – counted as mild illnesses, mainly because their nature is not tangible and of the bod.  People do not “die” of a neurosis – as if every bodily illness had a fatal outcome!  But it is entirely forgotten that, unlike bodily illnesses, neuroses may be extremely deleterious in their psychic and social consequences, often worse than psychoses, which generally lead to the social isolation of the sufferer and thus render him innocuous.  An anchylosed knee, an amputated foot, a long-drawn-out phthisis, are in every respect preferable to a severe neurosis. 

It forces us to extend the term “illness” beyond the idea of an individual body whose functions are disturbed, and to look upon the neurotic persona as a sick system of social relationships.   TPOP 24

   In all clear cases of neurosis a certain re-education and regeneration of personality are essential, for we are dealing with a misdevelopment that generally goes far back into the individual’s childhood.   TPoP 27

 

 


[1] `The Philosophical Tree` CW 13, par. 473 (Jung Lexicon – page 89 – Neurosis)

[2] Don’t’ know what to write for this one???

[3] See Dis-ease, page 170?

[4] (that he wished not to identify himself with and will thus suppress the opposing thought {if it was not illuminated and disempowered by the conscious})

[5] A neurosis can be defined as a mild disorder or anxiety.  Psychosis is a complete disorder or anxiety

[6] MODERN MAN IN SEARCH OF A SOUL – PAGE 223

[7] The Nature of Things (with David Suzuki).  Jim Van Os – Dutch researcher University of  Maastricht

[8] BW – On the Phychogenesis of Schizophrenia – page 397 – par. 506-7