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A neurosis, in psychoanalytic theory, is a emotional malfunction supposedly caused by emotions from past experience overwhelming or interfering with present experience. For example, someone mauled (or even barked at loudly) by a dog when a toddler may have a phobia or overwhelming fear of dogs.

There are many different specific neuroses and many of them are named: hysteria, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and an endless variety of phobias.

Everyone has some neurotic symptoms and defense mechanisms[?] which more or less successfully deal with anxiety. Deployment of defense mechanisms which result in difficulties in living are termed neurosis and are treated by psychoanalysis or other counseling or psychiatric techniques including drugs.

The word neurosis is derived from the Greek neuron (nerve) and osis (diseased or abnormal condition).

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