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Signs You’re Living With Neuroticism

by Louise W. Rice

Do you tend to be emotional? Do you stress out over the slightest challenges and obstacles? Are you constantly in a bad mood, maybe even living with a mental illness such as depression or anxiety?

If so, you may be highly neurotic.

However, I’m not using the term “neurotic” in a colloquial way. Neuroticism is a personality trait, not a disorder, and doesn’t mean that something is wrong with you.

Many people are unaware that they are highly neurotic and go throughout their lives wondering why they are wired so differently. This article will help you determine if you are highly neurotic by explaining what neuroticism is and pointing out some common behaviors and signs of this trait.

What Is Neuroticism?

According to Psychology Today, neuroticism is a personality trait that shows the “tendency toward anxiety, depression, self-doubt, and other negative feelings.” It is not an illness or psychological disorder; it is a personality trait that describes how well we handle day-to-day life without becoming overwhelmed or overly emotional.

Like other personality traits, neuroticism is a spectrum. Those who are highly neurotic tend to be consumed by negative emotions and deal with wild mood swings. Conversely, those who are low on the neurotic scale tend to have more emotional stability.

However, simply being emotional does not necessarily mean you are neurotic. Highly neurotic people are consumed by their mood swings and negative thoughts. They have difficulty navigating each day without feeling anxious, depressed, or irritable. They are more likely to turn slight challenges into melodramas and become emotional at the tiniest inconveniences.

Common Signs of Neuroticism

Life can be hell for those who are highly neurotic. Painful emotions and negative thoughts may constantly consume them, affecting their relationships, work, and health. Their inner turmoil makes them consistently irritable and moody.

If you think that you might be highly neurotic, check to see if you exhibit these common signs and behaviors:

  • Easily stressed
  • Burnout often
  • Constant complaining
  • Frequent mood swings
  • Overcome by negative emotions
  • Constantly worried or anxious
  • Easily disturbed
  • Difficulty controlling emotions
  • Constant irritability
  • View minor problems as overwhelming
  • View normal situations as threatening
  • Frequent negative self-talk

As you can see, highly neurotic people constantly suffer from their thoughts and emotions. It’s hard for them to remain optimistic, happy, or calm when they are overwhelmed by sadness and anxiety.

Because of this, neurotic people are often diagnosed with one or a few mental illnesses. In fact, according to one study published in Clinical Psychology Review, neuroticism often predicts if someone is going to be diagnosed with a mental illness or psychological distress. Common diagnoses include:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety disorders
  • PTSD
  • Panic disorder
  • Phobias
  • Antisocial personality disorder

How to Cope With Neuroticism

Since neuroticism is a personality trait, it may feel like you’re stuck being like this forever. However, the good news is that there are many ways to manage your emotions and cope with neuroticism.

Some great tools and strategies that are known to help highly neurotic people include:

  • Therapy
  • Medication (when prescribed by a medical professional)
  • Mindfulness
  • Meditation
  • Exercise
  • A balanced, healthy diet

All of these options can help you balance your moods swings and deal with your negative emotions. Therapy and mindfulness, in particular, are known to significantly reduce neuroticism by helping you question your beliefs, thoughts, and negative self-talk.


Neuroticism itself does not mean you live with a disorder. Being highly neurotic means that you have a much harder time adjusting to life’s challenges and stresses. Though living with constant worry and negative emotions can be painful, it does not mean something is wrong with you.

However, with some lifestyle changes and moderate treatment to manage your thoughts and emotions, you can go on to live a normal and fulfilling life full of positive experiences and feelings.

Marie MiguelAuthor Bio: Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health-related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with BetterHelp.com. With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.

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