Glossary

The Basic Neurosis is a depth psychology site with a specific theme and purpose.

In the early days of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) and colleagues (notably Edmund Bergler) were onto something extraordinary that has not been recognized by mental health professionals to date.

This lost insight is related to the basic neurosis, a term coined by Edmund Bergler, assistant director of Freud’s Vienna clinic.

To understand what you read on Basic Neurosis, you should study the following:

Neurosis: A term coined by the Scottish doctor William Cullen in 1769 to describe disorders caused by a ‘general affection of the nervous system.’ The common class of consistent symptoms typically included in the use of neurosis may be anxiety, depression, worry, obsessive thinking and related conditions.

In the earlier (pre-1980) days of psychoanalysis and psychology, neurosis was used to classify common mental and emotional symptoms in order to distinguish them from mental illness (psychosis).

Basic Neurosis: This is the term coined by Edmund Bergler (1899-1962) to suggest a fundamental neurosis that caused all other neuroses. The basic neurosis is also referred to as psychic masochism and is

A keen understanding of the basic neurosis turns convention on its empty head and reframes every psychological issue we face. The paradigm of the basis neurosis is radically different than the tripe we’re used to. So much so that you may resist it with all your mental might!

Resistance to an idea doesn’t diminish its merit, however. Radical, innovative ideas are probably validated by resistance more than anything else.

Psychic Masochism: This term referred to the unconscious dynamic underlying Bergler’s basic neurosis. This dynamic is known as the pleasure-in-displeasure pattern. Psychic masochism could also be called mental masochism or emotional masochism.

Pleasure-in-Displeasure Pattern:

See basic neurosis and psychic masochism above.

This is the reason for the Basic Neurosis project – the big enchilada! The pleasure-in-displeasure pattern is a tendency, (learned in early childhood) to take a subtle, unconscious pleasure in mental or emotional pain, thus the masochistic association.

While this may seem preposterous to (everyone), it’s important to understand the originally intended meaning of ‘pleasure’. Unconscious pleasure may refer to:

• Pleasure (subtle delight)
• Familiarity
• Perceived safety
• Self-justification (knowing someone else is to blame)
• Sexual arousal
• Tolerance
Any state of being that is experienced as more comfortable than perceived alternatives

Common phrases that may indicate the presence of an unconscious pleasure-in-displeasure pattern:

• Getting in your own way
• Self-sabotage
• Stuck in a rut
• Stick with the devil  you know
• Same old story
• If I’ve told you once, I’ve told you a thousand times
• Same shit, different day
• I don’t get why I always
• It’s beyond frustrating
• How come you never
• Why do these people always
• I just don’t get it
• Comfortably numb
• Any phrase indicating a long-term yet avoidable issue that involves an internal state

Common personality characteristics and other symptoms that may indicate the presence of the pleasure-in-displeasure pattern:

• Perfectionism
• Martyrdom
• Weak boundaries
• Excessive shyness
• Rebelliousness
• Excessive worry
• Self-deprivation
• Emotional numbness (unavailability)
• Shallowness
• Dependency
• Self-deprecation
• Self-defeating behavior patterns
• Inner emptiness/lack of purpose
• Excessive confusion
• Lack of motivation or self-discipline
• People pleasing/approval seeking behavior
• Self-aggrandizement
• Controlling behavior

Common Phrases Used by the Host of Basic Neurosis

Fool’s paradise: When you’re in la-la land, blissfully headed off the rails in life but focused on having fun. Denial.

Home sweet pain: When you return to a familiar pain, often wondering why you have to keep dealing with it.

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