Neuroses include obsessive thoughts, phobias and compulsive acts but do not include hallucinations. Therefore neurotic disorders are relatively mild dysfunctions and neurotics remain within the social norms. Evaluation of severity of the mental conditions depends on the norms of the society. Where a given obsession is wide-spread its neurotic character remains hidden. For instance, atheists such as Freud treat religion as an obsessional neurosis while believers do not share his view but deem the atheistic disposition abnormal. Whether an obsession is considered an aberration depends on its prevalence. Whether a neurosis exists is a matter of consensus of opinion. Thus the definition for neurosis is provisional.
The list of recognized neuroses is long.[i] Neurotic symptoms include general uneasiness or anxiety, sadness or depression, anger, irritability, mental confusion, low sense of self-worth, repetition of thoughts, obsessions, unpleasant or disturbing thoughts, habitual fantasizing, negativity, cynicism, dependency, aggressiveness, perfectionism, phobic avoidance, schizoid isolation, and various socio-culturally inappropriate behaviours. It is easy to see that any of these anxiety disorders is well exploited by one or more professions including psychology.
Society normally tolerates and even encourages various neuroses. In practice, the different social branches are specialized in the utilization of a different neurosis. Often one’s neurosis is a sufficient factor for one’s integration in a circle where such peculiar neurosis prevails.