Basic Anxiety: The Foundation of Neurosis

Neurosis is the inability to adapt, and the tendency related to the experience of excessive obsessive or negative behaviours and thoughts. The psychoanalytic theorist Karen Horney has developed the basic theory associated with neurosis. She said that neurosis is a result of the basic anxieties which is caused due to interpersonal relationships.

Theory of Horney

According to Horney, basic anxiety (and therefore neurosis) could develop from a variety of situations. She suggested that as kids, people often have experiences that contribute to neuroticism, including, excessive admiration, injustice and discrimination, isolation from other children, lack of respect for needs, and lack of guidance.

The theory of Horney proposed that strategies are used for coping with anxiety and be overused, which can cause to take upon appearance related to requirements. Based on the study, basic anxiety is a result of different situations. It is suggested that people are often experiencing problems that can contribute to Neuroticism, including admiration in its excessive form, discrimination or injustice, isolating behaviour from other children for lack of respect, lacking guidance, lacking warmth, overprotection, arguments between their parents and hostility in home, high responsibilities and unkept promises.

The basic neurotic needs can also result in individuals seeking acceptance and affirmation from others, resulting in antisocial behaviour. The individuals who are well adjusted to three of the strategies constantly shift their focus dependent on external or internal factors. It is said by Karen that neurotic people have to use more ways to cope with one another which can result in turmoil, conflicts, and also confusion. Neurotic needs affect behaviour due to anxiety.

The neurotic needs are due to anxieties resulting in different behaviour depending upon the conditions, individual requirements, and situations. The neurotic needs can cause the effects of neurosis behaviour, which is antisocial or aggressive, and stop people who have higher neurotic needs for prestige, power, and achievement. People who always crave approval or affection can change their behaviours to please others.

Concept of Neuroticism

Neuroticism is not considered a mental health diagnosis, but researchers have continued to investigate this aspect related to personality. The most popular concept and culture are often used for tinting some neurotic changes and behaviours as quirky. Neurosis plays a vital role in anxiety and mood problems which are detrimental to the individual's wedding. Recognizing the neurotic tendency can help understand people's behaviour and address the issues people can use to improve their overall mental Wellness and health.

If all people get engaged in neurosis, coping can be challenging. Being neurotic does not necessarily mean a person has to be anxious, unhappy, or depressed. Neuroticism is always linked with susceptibility to negative feelings or emotions and finding ways to manage and understand the emotions that need help. The “neurosis need” requires feelings of remuneration, stress, and internalization. Spending some time thinking about life can be a lot helpful in managing the tendency. Feeling negatively related to any situation can lead to engaging or somatic behaviours, which can motivate the person to reassess the entire situation.

Mindfulness for Relieving Anxiety

Mindfulness is the practice that comprises focusing on the present situation. If people practice mindfulness, they can become much more aware of their thoughts and feelings. Researchers have found that mindfulness is considered an approach that can be used to combat negative or neurotic thoughts that can contribute to anxieties, worries, and relationship problems.

Social support is essential to ensure the dimensional well-being of a person and is also helpful in dealing with such complex feelings or emotions. It is necessary to spend proper time working on strengthening the relationships by being aware of the neurotic changes like the need for approval, Affection, needs, and power which can also affect a person's relationship.

A professional or therapist can help towards a better understanding of Neuroticism and how it affects the person's behaviour. It is also essential to identify the changes in the negative patterns of thinking which would lead to the development of coping skills. It will help in tolerating the anxiety and distress in upper samples of strategies that can help people cope with neurosis, including reframing cognitive thoughts, social support, and mindfulness.

Therapy is an essential aspect of changing the negative patterns of thinking, which can also contribute to neurosis. Karen Horney strongly believed that the neuroses and personality of the person are also determined by the social and the environmental contexts rather than the biological or inborn aspects of the person. The field of psychoanalysis focuses on human psychology and the emotions underlying it.


It can be concluded that there are five ways to display neurosis or neurotic personalities, which deal with the idealized self or authentic self. People who are moving towards the development of compliant personalities are a person who is valued and loved. Tendency to suppress aggressive behaviours can lead to detachment from people. The basic anxieties in people can lead to feeling lost or helpless in the entire world. The neurotic trends could help them fulfil their requirement for acceptance and love to the four basics: submissiveness, Affection, withdrawal, or power.

For the development of work in neurosis, she has proposed the idea of the real self which is developed in the path of self-realization towards the healthy way. The possible or real self is made of the intrinsic potentials which can help in flourishing a person's behaviour dependent on the circumstances or situation. People require an excellent atmosphere for expressing and depicting their feelings to obtain their real selves.


Simply Easy Learning

Updated on: 13-Oct-2022


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