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Difference Between Neurosis and Psychosis

Neurosis and psychosis are two different types of mental disorders. Neurosis is a mild condition where a person experiences mental and physical disturbances. Psychosis is a severe condition characterized by various types of psychological and mental disruptions. Neurosis Neurosis may be defined as a condition where a person shows irrational mental, physical, and emotional reactions to a particular situation. Neurosis involves chronic stress, both mental and physical. The person suffering from neurosis has some natural buffer against chronic stress. In neurosis, a person regularly experiences the following symptoms.

  • Anger
  • Irritation
  • Guilty
  • Sad or depressed
  • Tensed
  • Vulnerable
  • Over self-consciousness
  • Hostile

Neurosis does not involve hallucinations or delusions, which are commonly seen in psychotic disorders. Therefore, the person affected with neurosis doesn’t lose touch with reality. Rather, the person gets over-obsessed over his/her emotions, failures, etc. The following are a few examples of neurosis disorders.

  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Panic disorder
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Somatoform disorderv
  • Generalized anxiety disorder
  • Depression
  • Antisocial personality disorder
    Not every person suffering from neurosis needs psychological therapy. In most cases, neurosis can be cured with some self-management procedures. Some of the best ways to deal with mild neurosis include:
  • Exercise each day.
  • Get enough sleep.
  • Talk to your friends and family. Seek help whenever required.
  • Eat a nutritious and balanced diet.
  • Cut back on caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine.


Psychosis is a serious mental disorder and is characterized by an impaired relationship with the real world. People suffering from psychosis may have delusions or hallucinations, or both. The following are the most commonly seen symptoms in psychotic patients.

  • Depressed mood
  • Insomnia or hypersomnia
  • Hallucinations
  • Delusions
  • Impaired speech
  • Inability to communicate
  • Anxiety
  • Suicidal thoughts and actions

Psychosis may be caused due to a wide variety of reasons. Brain diseases and brain tumours are known to cause severe psychosis. Examples of brain diseases causing psychosis include Huntington’s disease, parkinsonism, chromosomal disorder, and brain cancers. Other diseases like Alzheimer’s, HIV, epilepsy, syphilis, and stroke, whose target organ is the brain, also cause psychosis. The following are a few forms of psychotic disorders.

  • Delusional disorder
  • Schizophrenia
  • Schizoaffective disorder
  • Substance-induced psychotic disorder
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Psychotic depression

In most cases of psychosis, antipsychotic therapy with some moral support helps. However, if left untreated, it would become quite challenging for the affected person to take proper care of themself. Self-harm and suicide attempts are the two significant risks associated with psychosis. When a person becomes out of control or agitated, rapid tranquilization must be done. The rest of the time, the person may stay under therapy and medicines as prescribed by the doctor. Except for schizophrenia, the person usually recovers from psychosis within a short time. In schizophrenia, the person must administer medicines for the rest of their life.

Key differences between neurosis and psychosis

Let’s have a look at the differences between neurosis and psychosis.



Neurosis is a mild mental disorder. 

Psychosis is a severe mental disorder and needs medical attention immediately. 

The person usually suffers from physical and mental distress. 

The person suffers from a lot of psychological and emotional disruptions.

Neurosis is characterized by symptoms such as sadness, anxiety, depression, anger, and irritability. 

Psychosis is characterized by symptoms such as hallucinations, faulty judgments, and delusions. 

Hallucinations and delusions are not seen in people suffering from neurosis. Neurosis is basically because of stress (physical and mental).

A person suffering from psychosis experiences hallucinations, memory loss, delusions, suicidal thoughts, and much more. 

In neurosis, the person doesn’t live in an imaginary world and is aware of his/her surroundings. 

In psychosis, the person loses touch with reality completely. The person becomes completely unaware of what is happening with him/her. 

Neurosis does not change or affect the individual’s personality.

Psychosis changes the individual’s personality completely. 

The ability to communicate effectively is not lost. 

The ability to communicate effectively is completely lost. 

In neurosis, the chances of self-harm are very less. 

In psychotic patients, the chances of self-harm are very high. 

Neurosis is a pure functional disorder. 

Psychosis is accompanied by pathological changes in functions and morphology of the neurocerebral body parts. 

Factors such as biological, pedagogical, socioeconomic, and psychological cause neurosis.

Environmental, genetic, and biochemical factors lead to psychosis. 

Hospitalization of the patient is not mandatory. Psychological treatment using medicines would be sufficient to cure neurosis. 

Hospitalization is a must. The patient needs antipsychotic medicines, social support, and other forms of psychological therapy.  

Examples of neurosis disorders are post-traumatic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, depression, and somatoform disorder.  

Examples of psychosis disorders are delusional disorders and schizophrenia. 


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