war neurosis

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Related to war neurosis: shell shock

war neu·ro·sis

(wōr nūr-ō'sis)
A stress condition or mental disorder induced by conditions existing in warfare.
See also: battle fatigue, posttraumatic stress disorder
Synonym(s): battle neurosis.
Medical Dictionary for the Health Professions and Nursing © Farlex 2012


(nu-ro'sis) plural.neuroses [? + osis, condition]
1. In traditional (e.g., Freudian) psychiatry, an unconscious conflict that produces anxiety and other symptoms and leads to maladaptive use of defense mechanisms.
2. An unpleasant or maladaptive psychological disorder that may affect personality, mood, or certain limited aspects of behavior but that does not distract the affected individual from carrying out most activities of daily living.
3. A term formerly used to describe anxiety disorders, phobias, obsessions and compulsions, or somatoform disorders. Synonym: psychoneurosis


Psychotherapy, cognitive therapy, behavioral therapy, family therapy, minor tranquilizers, and/or sedatives may be used.

Many neuroses are chronic and debilitating; others are minor, manageable, or adaptive. Treatment may be difficult in some cases.

anxiety neurosis

Anxiety disorder. See: effort syndrome

cardiac neurosis


compensation neurosis

A form of malingering that develops subsequent to an injury in the belief that financial or other forms of compensation can be obtained or will be continued by being ill. See: factitious disorder

compulsion neurosis


expectation neurosis

Anxiety disorder.

obsessional neurosis

Obsessive-compulsive disorder.

war neurosis

Post-traumatic stress disorder
Medical Dictionary, © 2009 Farlex and Partners
References in periodicals archive ?
Rivers continue his treatment of shell shock and war neurosis long after the war.
Rivers explains: "[I]n cases of war neurosis [...] the sufferers do not repress their painful thoughts, but brood over them constantly until their experience assumes vastly exaggerated and often distorted importance".
War neurosis showed Freud the way shell shock detonated down the dotted lines of a predisposition to neurosis or psychosis which always went back to conflict in the ego, in other words, to the earliest stages of traumatic developments.
Psychoanalysis owed its acceptance by the military and psychological or military psychological establishments worldwide to the highly publicized success of its treatment of war neurosis. This is why, ultimately, when the psychotherapies that had split psychoanalysis by World War I were reunited in 1933 under the leadership of Goring's cousin, Goring, who was an Adlerian therapist, psychoanalysis could not be excluded.
In it, the ego/superego relationship is modeled after the internal conflict between peace-ego and war-ego which Freud first discovered when he cracked open war neurosis, an uncovered structure that would double on contact down the whole dimension (or dementia) of internalization and technologization that goes with ego-libido.
What was only along for the drives when Freud opened his second system with the inside view of war neurosis got up there on center stage in the military-psychological theater of operations: the homosexual problem was soon at the top of an agenda of military psychological concerns.
The successful treatment of homosexuals was to be the second success scored by the intrapsychic view of conflict: the first had been the theory and therapy of war neurosis which psychoanalysis advanced for the First World War.
The Nazi hit list of therapeutic goals counted in addition to psychological warfare (which was on its own in the group-psychological register) a trio of overlapping targets: war neurosis (and war psychosis), infertility (or phantasmo-interchangeably, frigidity), and homosexuality.
(Already during World War I, Freud's sidekick Tausk was discovering inside war neurosis or, more precisely, war psychosis a readymade complex he named "melancholia-cum-paranoia" in which homosexuality and melancholia were cohabitants.)
Now that's naive, but that also means that the Nazi psychotherapists and by extension the Nazi military establishment were the first in the military-psychological complex to accept the fact of homosexuality, and this was because they were also the first to face what were for them the interchangeable facts of neurosis and war neurosis. They could admit all three because they were able to subscribe to the upbeat belief that everything could be cured.
It was felt, not only by Nazi proponents of the intrapsychic view, that unresolved homosexuality or a homosexual component or disposition inevitably contributed to the outbreak of war neurosis or, indeed, to the "perversion" of desertion, voluntary surrender, information leaking, and even outright espionage.