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Tribute to a Word: Neurosis-Reply

Robert L. Spitzer, MD; Andrew E. Skodol, MD; Miriam Gibbon, MSW
Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1982;39(5):623-624. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1982.04290050087017.
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ABSTRACT

In Reply.  — Peter, oh Peter, your pain is so real, the word, neurosis, has great appeal. It tells you what the problem is not, neither psychosis nor organic rot. How comforting it is for you to know the cause of all mankind's woe. If only we could be so sure that untangled conflict led to cure. But other theories now abound, who's to tell which of them is sound? Bad mothering, of course, sure isn't good, but consider these paths to "patienthood": Could bad cognitions be the hex, instead of conflicts over sex? A transmitter lacking in your brain may lead to lots of psychic pain. Had your neurosis Bacillus been found. in DSM-III the term would abound. Have cheer, dear Peter, this isn't the end, neurosis can still be your comfoting friend. Use DSM-III for a diagnostic description, and neurosis to help your with your prescription.

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