How does a relationship work?

Mrs. Jankowski, what is meant by neurosis in psychology?

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The term neurosis is scientifically controversial: medicine decided to use the term “mental disorders”. Colloquially, a neurotic is a person who is anxious, shy, insecure, or has a personality disorder. So it is synonymous with various mental disorders, but also personality disorder or used as a term for someone who appears shy, anxious and “eccentric” to others.

How does this personality disorder manifest in a relationship?

In a relationship, the neurosis usually expresses itself through the behavior of the affected partner, how he behaves or behaves towards his partner. You’ll probably notice that he’s weird, quirky, or very emotional, exaggerating, caring, or very obsessive. However, there are various personality disorders that one must distinguish between.

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And which one are they?

Some patients behave somewhat cranky, and most have paranoid thinking or are slightly schizophrenic. Another group often behaves in dramatic, emotional, or moody ways. The third group of sufferers of severe anxiety often have compulsive habits.

How does neurosis occur in the first place?

Neurosis usually begins in childhood and adolescence. On the one hand, there are biological and genetic factors, and on the other hand there are social and psychological factors that play a role in its development. Affected people often did not have good relationships experiences in their childhood, and over time this was repeatedly confirmed.

What do you feel validated?

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When you see yourself as a worthless person, you treat others this way too. Others get angry about this because they don’t assume that you feel worthless and then subconsciously underestimate you. This creates a kind of vicious circle that you cannot get out of.

Do you have an example?

Suppose a co-worker serves coffee to an infected person. As an insecure person, the person in question does not dare to say they would like a coffee and hesitantly replies something like, “If you don’t mind, I’ll have one, but you can also make it yourself” rather than confidently saying, “Yes, of course!” ” The colleague becomes insecure and, due to hesitation and counter-presentation, does not know what to do and asks emotionally: “Should I make coffee now or not?” As a result, those affected feel misunderstood and devalued and assert that they are seemingly worthless because others do not react to them positively, but rather react with discomfort.

Sandra Jankowski is a qualified psychiatrist and non-medical practitioner of psychotherapy. At her clinic in Eichwalde near Berlin, she offers, among other things, marital therapy, coaching, and relaxation training.

You just mentioned the different personality types. How does this affect the relationship?

Most of the time, people with a personality disorder have a desire or drive for recognition, appreciation, or independence. However, they experience time and time again that these impulses do not work in the relationship. However, they are basically causing by their own behavior that they are not getting what they really need. They don’t even notice that they’re manipulating.

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In which way?

For example, if someone is anxious, they can abuse others and “unintentionally” influence their actions. As a partner, you either adapt to the personality disorder or realize that something is wrong. However, it takes a lot of self-confidence and good experience in relationships and relationships to avoid picking up such habits from your partner.

Are there any indications that your partner has neurosis?

You feel very upset and often feel that something is wrong. If there are consistent arguments in the partnership, this can of course also be a sign. Other criteria are that the corresponding patterns of behavior or ways of thinking are consistent in many situations, that the person suffers from them or that certain areas of one’s life are restricted.

At the beginning of a relationship, you probably don’t understand it or reveal everything, right?

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exactly. Some try to represent a different picture. For example, in the case of narcissistic personality disorder, it would be the case that someone presents themselves as being particularly successful in order to gain attention and admiration. At some point, the partner becomes upset and the person in question begins to manipulate their partner, consciously or unconsciously. He tries to get the recognition and appreciation that his partner cannot give him permanently. It’s a vicious cycle.

And how do you deal with that in a partnership?

It is important to give your partner love, appreciation, and appreciation, but also clearly define your boundaries. When influencers notice that their partner loves and appreciates them and gives them space, they can learn this on their own and grow as a result. Sometimes it is also associated with personality types. An eccentric partner, for example, can get used to an anxious partner and become more conservative in the future and vice versa.

How can treatment support this?

As a partner you cannot play the role of a therapist. Therefore, in the case of significant disabilities, it makes sense to encourage those affected to seek treatment so that they can be helped. Individual therapy is usually preferred to couple therapy. In individual therapy, the person involved can, for example, work through negative bonding experiences and learn positive alternative behaviour. Sometimes I think it makes more sense if the couple also does therapy together. This way, as a partner, you can better understand why and why the other person reacts in this way.

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Psychologist Sandra Jankowski and her practice of counseling, coaching and therapy can be accessed through www.zeuthen-psychotherapie.de

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