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Human
January 7, 2011
Avoid Stress: Dissemination of Neurosis Reaching Incredible Numbers
By Lena Badalyan
For JNews.am
Avoid Stress: Dissemination of Neurosis Reaching Incredible Numbers

For already 8 years, Lilit, 27, is ill with a disease called ‘nuerosis’ but she learnt about it only a few months ago when, finally, realized that her symptoms are not of a temporary character and need medical intervention.

“At first I got a prickling in my chest, my breathing worsened, hands trembled and the worst sense I had was the alarm. It seemed as if something bad was going to happen,” says Lilit.

Lilit didn’t pay attention to these symptoms occurred since 2002, assigning them to student years’ tension. But in 2005 when her cousin perished untimely, the symptoms became more acute, also insomnia appeared.   

“I was afraid of everything. It began to affect the relationship between me and the surrounding people. I couldn't communicate to anyone and was afraid of everything. I had become very excitable, and was crying and getting nervous over every little thing.”

The neurologist diagnosed acute neurosis and prescribed treatment to Lilit and at the same time noted that the most important condition for cure was calmness. “I should help myself to get cured,” says Lilit.

Specialists assure that in Armenia there are thousands of people who have symptoms of neurosis and do not even realize that they are ill.

“Today, according to approximate calculations, 35-45 percent of the population in Armenia has neurosis. Everyone gets sick independent of age,’’ says Tsolak Hakobyan, the chief psychotherapist of the RA Ministry of Health and the director of the Republican Clinic of Neurosis.  

According to Hakobyan the number of patients increases from year to year, but doctors do not have exact statistics since many do not apply to a physician.

“Our population is ashamed of applying to a psychiatrist or a psychologist for help, that is the reason that the patients come very late, with already grave psychological state. And if the neurosis is not cured soon, it evolves, becomes more complicated and different problems arise,” says the psychotherapist.

He says that many consider that a person is either healthy or mentally ill, and that there is no a middle state. “The neurosis is that very average state,” Hakobyan says.

Neuroses are caused by three main reasons - disruption of interpersonal relations, social or sexual problems. The complaints are different - weakness, unsettled sleep, various types of headaches, changeable mood without any reason, different alarms, suspiciousness, sticky ideas, irritability.   Disorders of different physical processes occur - pressure range fluctuates, cardiac work changes, the mouth gets dry, men encounter impotence, women - frigidity.                                    

Every century is characterized by its own neurosеs. At the end of the 20th century and at the beginning of the 21st century, in Armenia like in all over the world there are mainly three types of neurosis dominating: alarm, fear and depression. According to the psychotherapist all of the three types are very common in Armenia. The first among them is a non-addressed fear: when a person is afraid of something but doesn’t understand of what.

“Neurosis is always caused after emotional experience, when two egos of a person are in a conflict. When the conflict explodes, neurotic complaints arise,” Hakobyan notes.

The second type of neurosis is specific fears. There are about 400 specific fears: fear caused by closed areas, large areas, height, insects, animals, etc. And the depressive neurosis is characterized by sad mood, life becomes uninteresting.

According to the doctor the treatment must be correct, timely and justified.       

“The drug treatment plays a very small role. Psychological approach is the most important. The disease has real reasons causing the illness; it has factors coming from childhood and contributing to the reasons. It is necessary either to change the reason, or if it is impossible, to change the patient’s attitude towards that reason. Today, it is proven, that all the diseases are a consequence of stress. As a result of the treatment the person becomes firm against the stress and able to challenge the impulses of the outside world,” Hakobyan says.

Lena Badalyan studies at Georgian Institute of Public Affairs

Translated by Anahit Malkhasyan

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