Neurosis and Human Growth
Ocean County College
Running Head: neurosis and Human Growth 2
Karen Horney specifically talks about the neurotic’s way of living in Neurosis and Human Growth. Giving us an understanding on the differences between how a neurotic thinks, feels, and does, between a healthier individual. Karen Horney leads the reader through the Neurotic’s life starting with self –fulfillment and ending with love and relationships. She leads you into grasping “self-understanding” and the understanding of humans and their relationships. Self-actualization and the “idealized” self is something we strive towards daily, and could eventually lead into break downs if not reached by our time frame.
Keywords: Neurotic, neurosis, self-understanding, idealized
Running head: Neurosis and Human Growth3
Neurosis and Human Growth
Neurosis and Human Growth, written by psychologist Karen Horney in the year 1991, is a compilation of ideas and information regarding the neurotic brain, personal gain, and the steps to achieving a main goal; complete happiness. Karen Horney guides you through the process and explains the neurotic brain in a way in which one can relate. Horney identifies neurosis as a coping mechanism that is a larger part in life. The need for power, affection, the need for social prestige, and the need for independence are all stressed relatively in the reading. Arguing the effects that anxiety has on an individual who is searching for social and inner gratification can be detrimental to the influence that is involved. Questioning some of Freud’s ideas, she incorporates both of his influence to the psychological world, and his experiments into her theories and ideas, however, based on some of her childhood experiences, Horney also develops her own theories of personality that differed from Freud’s. No matter what environment a child grows up in, he will eventually manage to cope with others and acquire some life skills. However, there are greater forces of him which cannot be learned or taught to develop. There are things, such as thoughts, wishes, feelings, and interests which will grow inside of him and will be the base for self-realization. “If he can thus grow with others, in love and in friction, he will also grow in accordance with his real self.” (Horney, 1991)
Running head: Neurosis and Human Growth 4
With the right environment only will he be able to reach his full potential. There are some instances in which the individual is not able to make the connection or develop a feeling of belonging. The compulsive behavior of a drive is shown in the reactions to frustrations. The more important a subject, the more compelling the need to obtain the goal is and the more intense the reactions to frustrations become. The search for glory is always the most powerful drive, although may not be always visible. It can act as a demonic obsession, like a frightful monster swallowing the individual who created it, and so the frustration must be severe. Panic, depression, despair, and anger towards one self or others are reactions to what is conceived as failure.
“The Neurotic” as Horney calls it, may be capable of leading a normal life and maintain the appearance as being such, but he is living two separate lives. The neurotic craves special attention; anything short of such is an unfamiliar. “Whatever he feels, thinks, or does, ought not to carry any adverse consequences.” (Horney, 1991) It is up to others to see that his problems do not bother him, and not up to him to do something to fix his problems. When talking about a demanding person we tend to think of those demands made upon someone else. Such as people who always feel they are right, feel entitled to never be undermined or criticized, doubted, or questioned.
Neurotic claims are concerned with the world outside. He...