You might be tempted to say that neurotic and psychotic are synonyms for each other. The truth is that they are indeed both associated with the mental aspect, but they are quite different from each other. How so?
Although Scottish physician William Cullen coined the term neurosis in 1769, it was popularized by Sigmund Freud who used it to describe several nerve disorders which are different from psychosis but debilitating enough.
Today, a neurotic disorder is described as a mental imbalance that causes or results in distress. However, a neurotic condition doesn’t interfere with normal day-to-day functions. Instead, it creates the common symptoms usually associated with depression, anxiety or stress. It is also believed that a lot of people suffer from some form of neurosis.
Recently, it has been believed that there is a connection between neuroticism and creativity. Some even say being neurotic is a prerequisite for true genius, citing popular figures such as Woody Allen and Steve Jobs who are known for displaying nerviness.
An example of neurotic behavior can be someone showing symptoms such as trembling, excessive perspiration or vomiting when asked to speak in front of a large crowd when they themselves doesn’t like speaking in public. These may just be mild, but there are some who suffer more greatly with some displaying obsessive-compulsive tendencies.
This occurs when someone loses contact with reality. As such, they can have false beliefs about what is happening or have delusions about who someone is. They may also see are hear things that aren’t there. Psychosis happens as a result of a psychiatric illness like schizophrenia or it may be caused by a health condition, medication or drug use.
Someone suffering from a psychotic episode can hallucinate, become paranoid or experience a personality change. In short, psychosis is defined as a mental state which impairs thought, perception and judgment. It can even affect a person who has or does not have a mental disease.
A psychotic state is not permanent and behavior rarely involves violence. It’s also not the same as insane because a person described as such cannot be held accountable for their actions.
How Are They Different?
Basically, the main difference between neurotic and psychotic is how they affect mental health. For instance, almost anyone can display neurotic behavior and is linked to a developed personality On the other hand, someone showcasing psychotic behavior is doing so because of other influences (drug use, medication, etc). In some cases, a traumatic situation can lead to psychotic episodes. The best judge in distinguishing between neurotic and psychotic behavior is a psychiatrist or psychologist. Through their evaluation, they can suggest treatments and medications to make the person suffering feel better.
To put this simply, day to day functions are not affected when someone is suffering from a neurotic condition symptoms associated with depression, anxiety and stress are will be present. On the other hand, psychotic behavior can be triggered by external factors like drug use or medication.