Difference between Neurosis and Psychosis

Difference between Neurosis and Psychosis

The Difference between Neurosis and Psychosis is given here. It is very common to confuse the terms neurosis and psychosis because by not understanding the topic or the concepts that define them, we can end up using them as synonyms when they are not.

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The term neurosis was proposed by the Scottish physician William Cullen in 1769 to refer to sensory and motor disorders associated with diseases of the nervous system. In clinical psychology, neurosis is a mental disorder that distorts rational thinking and normal functioning in a social, work, and family environment. In the general public, there is confusion about the term neurosis. On the one hand, it is usually applied as a symptom to a varied set of mental disorders in which there are maladaptive mechanisms linked to anxiety and on the other hand its popular use, referring to obsession, nervousness, and eccentricity, for which it has spread to fields not linked to mental illness.

This term is no longer used by scientific psychology and psychiatry, instead the term “Disorders” is used. According to a classic concept, it is a mental disorder without evidence of organic damage, it is characterized by a high level of anxiety and disruptive hypertrophy of the mechanisms that allow us to manage it. As a result, mechanisms such as repression, denial, projection, intellectualization, and displacement are generated that remain chronic and can be confused with personality disorders.


It is a general term used in psychiatry and psychoanalysis to refer to a mental state in which there is a loss of contact with reality. People who suffer from this problem are called psychotic. This term is often confused with the term psychopath, a personality disorder that is not related to psychosis. A person with psychosis experiences hallucinations and delusions, they may exhibit personality change and disorganized thinking. These symptoms are accompanied by strange or unusual behavior, difficulty interacting socially, and an inability to carry out activities of daily living. Elements of the nervous system can cause a psychotic reaction. Psychosis is recognized as an indicator of a more serious illness.

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Difference between Neurosis and Psychosis

  • A neurosis is a group of disorders linked to the inability of an individual to adapt to anxiety. The adaptive mechanisms that lead us to control anxiety overreach and cause what psychologists call neurosis.
  • Psychosis is a disorder characterized by alienation from reality, who suffers from it suffers from hallucinations and delusions.

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