Anxiety disorders are examples of neurosis. What is neurosis? Neurosis is usually defined as mental illness that is distressing but not resulting in serious loss of reality. Symptoms are stress-related but do not encompass what we would consider especially dangerous symptoms, such as hallucinations, delusions or other forms of psychosis. The symptoms of neurosis can be very difficult for a person to deal with alone. They can be frightening or upsetting. Some personality disorders are complicated by neurosis; in fact, the term "Borderline Personality Disorder" was apparently created in the 1930's when a psychoanalyst noticed that some of his patients seems to be on the "borderline" between neurosis and psychosis.
This simple diagram shows how the brain can incorrectly process information and create neuroses from it. As you can see, when information is processed normally, it is integrated into the brain correctly and the brain can move on from it. When it is not processed normally, the brain becomes stuck and it cannot move on. This creates symptoms such as anxiety, depression, OCD, PTSD, phobias, obsessive thoughts, agoraphobia, panic attacks and more.
We cannot pretend that traumatic experiences did not happen. They are still retained in our brains and they demand to be acknowledged. Sometimes we fear that the feelings attached to them will overwhelm us but even if we refuse to acknowledge them, they will come out whatever way they can. This is usually in the form of disruptive symptoms and over time these symptoms can become very debilitating if they are not addressed. When the root of these symptoms is addressed, they go away. They are a reminder from your mind that there are things you haven’t dealt with yet, and that you must do it soon.
Cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy and exposure therapy are all very helpful with anxiety-based disorders. If you are suffering, you don't have to! There is help for you.