Neurosis Quotes

Quotes tagged as "neurosis" (showing 1-30 of 59)
Sylvia Plath
“If neurotic is wanting two mutually exclusive things at one and the same time, then I'm neurotic as hell. I'll be flying back and forth between one mutually exclusive thing and another for the rest of my days.”
Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

Bertrand Russell
“One of the symptoms of an approaching nervous breakdown is the belief that one’s work is terribly important.”
Bertrand Russell, The Conquest of Happiness

Sigmund Freud
“In so doing, the idea forces itself upon him that religion is comparable to a childhood neurosis, and he is optimistic enough to suppose that mankind will surmount this neurotic phase, just as so many children grow out of their similar neurosis.”
Sigmund Freud, The Future of an Illusion

Sigmund Freud
“Religion is an attempt to get control over the sensory world, in which we are placed, by means of the wish-world, which we have developed inside us as a result of biological and psychological necessities. But it cannot achieve its end. Its doctrines carry with them the stamp of the times in which they originated, the ignorant childhood days of the human race. Its consolations deserve no trust. Experience teaches us that the world is not a nursery. The ethical commands, to which religion seeks to lend its weight, require some other foundations instead, for human society cannot do without them, and it is dangerous to link up obedience to them with religious belief. If one attempts to assign to religion its place in man’s evolution, it seems not so much to be a lasting acquisition, as a parallel to the neurosis which the civilized individual must pass through on his way from childhood to maturity.”
Sigmund Freud , Moses and Monotheism

Sigmund Freud
“Neurotics complain of their illness, but they make the most of it, and when it comes to taking it away from them they will defend it like a lioness her young.”
Sigmund Freud

Robert Musil
“One must conform to the baseness of an age or become neurotic.”
Robert Musil

Evelyn Waugh
“...for in that city [New York] there is neurosis in the air which the inhabitants mistake for energy.”
Evelyn Waugh, Brideshead Revisited: The Sacred and Profane Memories of Captain Charles Ryder

“A psychologist said to me, there are only two important questions you have to ask yourself. What do you really feel? And, what do you really want? If you can answer those two, you probably can leave your neuroses behind you.”
Harold Ramis

Tiffany Madison
“While writing is like a joyful release, editing is a prison where the bars are my former intentions and the abusive warden my own neuroticism.”
Tiffany Madison

Tom Robbins
“Normality is the Great Neurosis of civilization.”
Tom Robbins, Even Cowgirls Get the Blues

Alexander Lowen
“The cases described in this section (The Fear of Being) may seem extreme, but I have become convinced that they are not as uncommon as one would think. Beneath the seemingly rational exterior of our lives is a fear of insanity. We dare not question the values by which we live or rebel against the roles we play for fear of putting our sanity into doubt. We are like the inmates of a mental institution who must accept its inhumanity and insensitivity as caring and knowledgeableness if they hope to be regarded as sane enough to leave. The question who is sane and who is crazy was the theme of the novel One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest. The question, what is sanity? was clearly asked in the play Equus.
The idea that much of what we do is insane and that if we want to be sane, we must let ourselves go crazy has been strongly advanced by R.D. Laing. In the preface to the Pelican edition of his book The Divided Self, Laing writes: "In the context of our present pervasive madness that we call normality, sanity, freedom, all of our frames of reference are ambiguous and equivocal." And in the same preface: "Thus I would wish to emphasize that our 'normal' 'adjusted' state is too often the abdication of ecstasy, the betrayal of our true potentialities; that many of us are only too successful in acquiring a false self to adapt to false realities."
Wilhelm Reich had a somewhat similar view of present-day human behavior. Thus Reich says, "Homo normalis blocks off entirely the perception of basic orgonotic functioning by means of rigid armoring; in the schizophrenic, on the other hand, the armoring practically breaks down and thus the biosystem is flooded with deep experiences from the biophysical core with which it cannot cope." The "deep experiences" to which Reich refers are the pleasurable streaming sensations associated with intense excitation that is mainly sexual in nature. The schizophrenic cannot cope with these sensations because his body is too contracted to tolerate the charge. Unable to "block" the excitation or reduce it as a neurotic can, and unable to "stand" the charge, the schizophrenic is literally "driven crazy."
But the neurotic does not escape so easily either. He avoids insanity by blocking the excitation, that is, by reducing it to a point where there is no danger of explosion, or bursting. In effect the neurotic undergoes a psychological castration. However, the potential for explosive release is still present in his body, although it is rigidly guarded as if it were a bomb. The neurotic is on guard against himself, terrified to let go of his defenses and allow his feelings free expression. Having become, as Reich calls him, "homo normalis," having bartered his freedom and ecstasy for the security of being "well adjusted," he sees the alternative as "crazy." And in a sense he is right. Without going "crazy," without becoming "mad," so mad that he could kill, it is impossible to give up the defenses that protect him in the same way that a mental institution protects its inmates from self-destruction and the destruction of others.”
Alexander Lowen, Fear of Life

Sigmund Freud
“A transference neurosis corresponds to a conflict between ego and id, a narcissistic neurosis corresponds to that between between ego and super-ego, and a psychosis to that between ego and outer world.”
Sigmund Freud, General Psychological Theory

Sigmund Freud
“Neurosis is the result of a conflict between the ego and its id, whereas psychosis is the analogous outcome of a similar disturbance in the relation between the ego and its environment (outer world).”
Sigmund Freud, General Psychological Theory

Renata Adler
“Being neurotic seemed to be a kind of wild card, an all-purpose explanation.”
Renata Adler, Speedboat

“Just this past summer, I took online courses in introductory logic and law through civilization. Often the weight of history, with its facts heaped upon facts requiring complex chains of inference to sort through – I mean complex for someone with the soft brain of a tomato merchant; for me the premises are obvious and the conclusions dire and inescapable – threatened to crush me, and I was ultimately forced to abandon the whole undertaking. By way of recovery, I spent the rest of the summer immersed in a Freudian meditation on some choice tabloids. The mysterious lives of celebrities make for challenging induction. The reasoning process involves navigating many gaps in our knowledge of them. What is certain is that under the iceberg of glitz and glamor lie neurotic, depraved individuals with bizarre habits and hobbies, people who think they’re above the law.”
Benson Bruno, A Story That Talks about Talking Is Like Chatter to Chattering Teeth, and Every Set of Dentures Can Attest to the Fact That No..

Judith Lewis Herman
“It was Freud's ambition to discover the cause of hysteria, the archetypal female neurosis of his time. In his early investigations, he gained the trust and confidence of many women, who revealed their troubles to him.Time after time, Freud's patients, women from prosperous, conventional families, unburdened painful memories of childhood sexual encounters with men they had trusted: family friends, relatives, and fathers. Freud initially believed his patients and recognized the significance of their confessions. In 1896, with the publication of two works, The Aetiology of Hysteria and Studies on Hysteria, he announced that he had solved the mystery of the female neurosis. At the origin of every case of hysteria, Freud asserted, was a childhood sexual trauma.
But Freud was never comfortable with this discovery, because of what it implied about the behavior of respectable family men. If his patients' reports were true, incest was not a rare abuse, confined to the poor and the mentally defective, but was endemic to the patriarchal family. Recognizing the implicit challenge to patriarchal values, Freud refused to identify fathers publicly as sexual aggressors. Though in his private correspondence he cited "seduction by the father" as the "essential point" in hysteria, he was never able to bring himself to make this statement in public. Scrupulously honest and courageous in other respects, Freud falsified his incest cases. In The Aetiology of Hysteria, Freud implausibly identified governessss, nurses, maids, and children of both sexes as the offenders. In Studies in Hysteria, he managed to name an uncle as the seducer in two cases. Many years later, Freud acknowledged that the "uncles" who had molested Rosaslia and Katharina were in fact their fathers. Though he had shown little reluctance to shock prudish sensibilities in other matters, Freud claimed that "discretion" had led him to suppress this essential information.
Even though Freud had gone to such lengths to avoid publicly inculpating fathers, he remained so distressed by his seduction theory that within a year he repudiated it entirely. He concluded that his patients' numerous reports of sexual abuse were untrue. This conclusion was based not on any new evidence from patients, but rather on Freud's own growing unwillingness to believe that licentious behavior on the part of fathers could be so widespread. His correspondence of the period revealed that he was particularly troubled by awareness of his own incestuous wishes toward his daughter, and by suspicions of his father, who had died recently.
p9-10”
Judith Lewis Herman, Father-Daughter Incest: With a New Afterword

Karen Horney
“Also the natural sexual functions of establishing an intimate human contact frequently assume greater proportions. This is a well known fact about detached people for whom sexuality may be the only bridge to others, but it is not restricted to being an obvious substitute for human closeness. It shows also in the haste with which people may rush into sexual relations, without giving themselves a chance to find out whether they have anything in common or a chance to develop a liking and understanding. It is possible of course that an emotional relatedness may evolve later on. But more often than not it does not do so because usually the initial rush itself is a sign of their being too inhibited to develop a good human relationship.”
Karen Horney, Neurosis and Human Growth: The Struggle Towards Self-Realization

Henry Miller
“[...]as Sylvester says, a man who has never been afflicted with a neurosis does not know the meaning of suffering.”
Henry Miller, Tropic of Cancer

Rollo May
“But in neurotic anxiety, two conditions are necessary: (1) the threat must be to a vital value; and (2) the threat must be present in juxtaposition with another threat so that the individual cannot avoid one threat without being confronted by another. In patterns of neurotic anxiety, the values held essential to the individual's existence as a personality are in contradiction with each other.”
Rollo May, The Meaning of Anxiety

Karen Horney
“It is naturally a sign of inner liberation when a patient can squarely recognize his difficulties and take them with a grain of humor. But some patients at the beginning of analysis make incessant jokes about themselves, or exaggerate their difficulties in so dramatic a way that they will appear funny, while they are at the same time absurdly sensitive to any criticism. In these instances humor is used to take the sting out of an otherwise unbearable shame.”
Karen Horney, Neurosis and Human Growth: The Struggle Towards Self-Realization

Sigmund Freud
“We can postulate that there must be diseases founded on a conflict between ego and super-ego. Analysis gives us the right to infer that melancholia is the model of this group, and then we should put in a claim for the name of "narcissistic psychoneuroses" for these disorders.”
Sigmund Freud, General Psychological Theory

Karen Horney
“The declining of responsibility for the self can also be hidden behind a pseudo-objectivity. A patient may make astute observations about himself and give a fairly accurate report of what he dislikes in himself. On the surface it seems as though he is perceptive and honest about himself. But "he" may be merely the intelligent observer of a fellow who is inhibited, fearful, or arrogantly demanding. Hence, since he is not responsible for the fellow he observes, the hurt to his pride is cushioned—all the moreso because the flashlight of his pride is focused on his faculty for keen observations.”
Karen Horney, Neurosis and Human Growth: The Struggle Towards Self-Realization

Chris Kraus
“Why is female vulnerability still only acceptable when it's neuroticised and personal; when it feeds back on itself? Why do people still not get it when we handle vulnerability like philosophy, at some remove?”
Chris Kraus, I Love Dick

Karen Horney
“The tenacity with which the neurotic adheres to any attitude is a sure indication that the attitude fulfills functions which seem indispensable in the framework of his neurosis.”
Karen Horney, Neurosis and Human Growth: The Struggle Towards Self-Realization

Karen Horney
“The pride in intellect, or rather in the supremacy of the mind, is not restricted to those engaged in intellectual pursuits but is a regular occurrence in all neurosis.”
Karen Horney, Neurosis and Human Growth: The Struggle Towards Self-Realization

Karen Horney
“[Neurotic] pride is both so vulnerable and so precious that it also must be protected in the future. The neurotic may build an elaborate system of avoidances in the hope of circumventing future hurts. This too is a process that goes on automatically. He is not aware of wanting to avoid an activity because it might hurt his pride. He just avoids it, often without even being aware that he is. The process pertains to activities, to associations with people, and it may put a check on realistic strivings and efforts. If it is widespread it can actually cripple a person's life. He does not embark on any serious pursuits commensurate with his gifts lest he fail to be a brilliant success. He would like to write or to paint and does not dare to start. He does not dare to approach girls lest they reject him. [...] He withdraws from social contacts lest he be self-conscious. So, according to his economic status, he either does nothing worthwhile or sticks to a mediocre job and restricts his expenses rigidly. In more than one way he lives beneath his means. In the long run this makes it necessary for him to withdraw farther from others, because he cannot face the fact of lagging behind his age group and therefore shuns comparisons or questions from anybody about his work. In order to endure life he must now entrench himself more firmly in his private fantasy-world. But, since all these measures are more a camouflage than a remedy for his pride, he may start to cultivate his neuroses because the neurosis with a capital N then becomes a precious alibi for the lack of accomplishment.”
Karen Horney, Neurosis and Human Growth: The Struggle Towards Self-Realization

Mark Epstein
“We do not have to cure every neurosis, we just have to learn how not to be caught by them.
This is a difficult process because of how restricted our capacities for attention usually are. We do not suspend our judgments easily, nor do we generally have access to our childhood capacity for curiosity and exploration. Our attentional resources are hijacked early in our lives by our need to manage the intrusive or ignoring familial environments in which we are immersed. As a result, many of us end up in unreal states, stuck in our heads, unaware of our bodies, and unaware of being unaware.”
Mark Epstein

Jack Kerouac
“He [William S Burroughs] has no patience for my kind of neurosis, I know... But since then I've been facing my nature full in the face and the result is a purge.”
Jack Kerouac, Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg: The Letters

Philip Roth
“The experience of psychoanalysis was probably more useful to me as a writer than as a neurotic, although there may be a false distinction there.”
Philip Roth

“Dissociative disorders (DDs) were first recognized as official psychiatric disorders in 1980 with the publication of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Third Edition (DSM III) in 1980. Prior to this, the related symptoms were listed under ‘hysterical neuroses’ in the second edition of the DSM.[1,2] Interestingly, all of the current DDs that have been described were discovered prior to 1900 but decades passed with little study or research of this spectrum of psychiatric pathology.”
Julie P. Gentile

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