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What is a neurotic personality?

A person with a neurotic personality exhibits characteristics of excessive worry and anxiety over normal life events. Symptoms of a neurotic personality may include:
  • depression
  • unrealistic fears
  • obsessions
  • repetitive, compulsive behaviors
  • irritability
  • feeling tense
  • low self-esteem

Neuroticism can occur on a continuum. Some experts speculate that being mildly neurotic may actually have some health benefits by causing people to think twice about engaging in risky or potentially unhealthy behavior. On the other hand, people with high neuroticism are known to be more likely to smoke, drink, use drugs, and engage in unsafe sex. If the symptoms and traits associated with having a neurotic personality begin to interfere with normal, everyday functioning, treatment -- including therapy/counseling and possibly anti-anxiety medicines -- may be recommended. 

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.