Habits, qualities and and psychological symptoms that cause the patient severe difficulty, associated with unsuccessful attempts to change. Almost everybody has ‘neurotic’ traits to a certain extent. The symptoms of genuine neurosis are anxiety, compulsive neurosis, phobias, inferiority complex, conversions, insomnia and depersonalisa-tion. There may also be physical symptoms and causes or psychosomatic disorders. A neurosis can also show as a character disturbance, as in hysteria. The cause of a neurosis is usually in the patient’s youth; congenital traits, the situation in which someone was brought up and education are all factors affecting personality development from birth. Each phase of growing up has its own problems; ideally a child comes to terms with these before passing to the next phase, but almost everyone has some problems not entirely solved from