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Vegetative neurosis is a collective term for ailments resulting from mental problems. Today, vegetative neurosis is defined as cardiac neurosis, gastric neurosis or neurotic diarrhea. What are the symptoms of vegetative neurosis and how is it treated?

Vegetative neurosisis a common name for cardiac neurosis or gastric neurosis. Currently, it is believed that vegetative neurosis is when the symptoms of the neurosis do not disappear spontaneously within a few months (up to six months).

The earlier it is possible to diagnose vegetative neurosis and neutralize its source in the patient's psyche, the easier and more durable the return to mental balance is.


  1. What is a vegetative neurosis?
  2. Causes of vegetative neurosis
  3. Treatment of vegetative neurosis
  4. Psychotherapy in vegetative neurosis

What is a vegetative neurosis?

People suffering from vegetative neuroses are convinced that their body does not function properly. Due to the fear for their he alth, resulting from both the physical suffering they experience and the lack of clarity about the whole situation, they experience feelings of anxiety, depression, irritation, trouble sleeping at night and concentration during the day.

Physicalsymptoms of vegetative neurosiscan be different: throat tightness, dry mouth, frequent urination, profuse sweating (hot or cold), feeling of wandering pain.

The palpitations and pressure in the chest, typical of cardiac neurosis, and abdominal pain, diarrhea and vomiting, typical of gastric neurosis, are also characteristic.

Causes of vegetative neurosis

Explaining this phenomenon will bring closer a few words about the functioning of the nervous system, especially its central part - the brain. It has three functions:

  • is responsible for learning and analyzing reality, i.e. for thinking
  • is responsible for navigating the world and undertaking various activities, i.e. action
  • allows you to feel and experience emotions and connect them with the functioning of internal organs, endocrine glands and metabolism.

The part of the nervous system responsible for the latter function retains a certain independence from our will. This is called the autonomic or vegetative system. It's for histhe body reacts to various emotions, accelerating or slowing down the heartbeat, respiratory rate, the work of the stomach, intestines, bladder.

Thanks to the work of the vegetative system, blood vessels dilate or contract, tears flow from the eyes, sweat and saliva are released. In stress, when the body is on standby, the autonomic system mobilizes it to defend itself.

However, when the signals reaching him are ambiguous or last too long and there is no possibility of releasing tension or rest, the vegetative system cannot return to a state of equilibrium and begins to slip out of conscious control of our brain.

Treatment of vegetative neurosis

People suffering from vegetative neurosis are in a difficult situation. Not being aware of the emotions that put their autonomic system into a state of increased (though undirected) mobilization, they feel the effects of this process in the form of bodily ailments that are incomprehensible to them and to their surroundings.

When they report to the doctor, they have the impression that their suffering is being underestimated by him. In addition, they most often reject the offer to go to a psychologist.

They fear that their "real illness" has not been well recognized, or that it will probably develop as a result of repeated disturbances in the functioning of the body.

The vicious circle mechanism may then work - the ailments cause anxiety, which in turn intensify unpleasant sensations. This state will only break the anxiety reduction.

The possibilities of doctors who first seek help from people suffering from vegetative neurosis are quite limited. Most often, patients hear that they have been affected by neurosis and are given tranquillizers. After such a visit, they feel disappointed, and their ailments usually worsen, as if to confirm a disease not recognized by a doctor.

It also happens that the prescribed sedative pills, taken for too long, lead to addiction and additional trouble. This does not mean that you should completely give up pharmaceuticals. They help to live a normal life when suffering becomes very severe and makes everyday functioning difficult.

In recent years, to relieve neurotic symptoms, the new generation of mild antidepressants has been increasingly recommended. They can be taken longer and are not addictive, unlike the sedatives used in the past.

However, you have to be aware that even the most modern measures will not remove the causes of neurosis. And these are inherent in the individual approach to oneself and the environment, and in the ways of coping with difficulties.

The method that gives the greatest chances of curing a neurosis is psychotherapy. However, no responsible therapist can guarantee a patient's full or even faster recovery.

Psychotherapy in vegetative neurosis

Psychotherapy draws from medical experience, but is primarily based on psychological, philosophical and sociological knowledge.

The therapist must listen carefully to the patient, and if he finds neurosis, he should provide him with elementary information about the disease, answer questions and clarify doubts.

When asked about the consequences of repeated neurotic ailments, the patient may hear the answer that the probability of developing a somatic disease is the same as in he althy people, but under chronic stress.

"Why is my stomach hurting? Why did it start to hurt when I wasn't nervous at all? "- such questions are asked quite often. Patients' doubts are raised by the incomprehensible relationship between their mental problems and physical suffering.

However, the answer can only be given in a direct conversation. To break the vicious cycle of suffering and fear, you need to establish good contact with the suffering person and gain their trust. After that, the cooperation of both parties is necessary.

Psychotherapy requires much more systematicity, activity and commitment on the part of the patient than any other form of treatment. That is why not everyone decides on it.

In justified cases, psychotherapy can be combined with pharmacotherapy. However, this requires agreement between all those involved in the treatment. In practice, it is often not easy, but if it succeeds, it saves the patient a lot of unnecessary suffering.

Read also: OCD - causes, symptoms, treatment

Neurosis in children - symptoms, causes, treatment of anxiety disorders

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