According to Slate, research shows that we’re getting more neurotic every year. Adults assessed on neurotic traits in 1993 scored higher than those polled in 1963. This isn’t particularly surprising given the increase in stress, the decrease in free time, and the high number of obligations most people have in contemporary times. How we cope with these life stressors, however, can make or break our success as well as our day to day happiness level.
Neurotic habits are ritualistic patterns of behavior that humans establish in order to relieve anxiety and create a predictable sense of security. If engaged in over a long time period, however, these habits can become dysfunctional and maladaptive.
So what are some of these behavioral defenses that many “normal” people exhibit in order to cope with anxiety?
Habits That Trigger Neurosis
Dependency upon alcohol or other substances: stress, over time, can trigger people to adopt a “balm” of sorts to soothe their insecurities and give them a predictable crutch to escape from emotional pressures. Unfortunately, if indulged in daily, this habit can become self-destructive and cause more depression and anxiety, and lead to loss of relationships, health, and even employment.
Binging and purging: bulimia and anorexia are two of the most well-known of neurotic disorders. In a world of insecurity and pressure to be perfect, these behaviors give the sufferer a feeling of control. When these unhealthy habits turn into daily rituals, however, they can have tragic health consequences. Bulimia and anorexia account for the highest rate of fatalities due to mental disorders.