What Is Neuroticism & Is It Linked With Mental Health Disorders?

Have you ever considered yourself as a “neurotic” person, or has it been suggested by others that you might be? Millions of people around the world have this personality trait, and it’s possible that it can have long-term consequences on one’s health and wellbeing. This article will discuss what it means, in the field of psychology, to be neurotic and its potential consequences.

Defining Neuroticism

The term neuroticism has been around forever, but today it’s primarily associated with the five personality traits in psychology that were coined in the 1980s.

Along with neuroticism, you have:

  • Openness
  • Conscientiousness
  • Extraversion
  • Agreeableness

In each of these categories, personalities are based on two opposite sides. For example, with the extraversion category, people can either lean towards being outgoing or, conversely, being more reserved.

In regards to neuroticism, people can be considered nervous and sensitive to feelings and emotions, or they may be more resilient towards their stressors and confident in their lives.

People who score high on the neurotic trait are much more likely to experience negative feelings and emotions, and this can affect their mood. As you continue to read, you’ll learn about some of the implications of this.

Neuroticism & Mental Health

Multiple studies show that those who have an inclination towards neuroticism are prone to several types of mental health disorders such as:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
  • Substance-Use Disorders
  • Bipolar Disorder

However, even if one doesn’t have one of these chronic issues, people with the neurotic personality trait can feel more self-conscious and self-critical, become easily angered or irritable, prone to sadness. This shows how people who lean towards neuroticism will tend to have negative affectivity, with or without a disorder.

Are There Benefits To Neuroticism?

Although neuroticism is associated with a lot of negativity, there is actually a lot of positivity that can come from having this personality trait.

For example, people who are “neurotic” can have a lot of self-awareness and empathy for others because they are familiar with how negative emotions can affect a person.

These experiences can help shape one’s sense of humor, even if it may be cynical at times, and it can also help them have expectations that are realistic and achievable for them.

Even though they won’t necessarily shoot for the stars with their goals, they are also less likely to take risks, and, in turn, this can help reduce the likelihood of disappointing themselves and even running into danger.

Overall, people who have this personality trait have a tendency to go about their lives as intelligently as they possibly can and can become lifelong friends to others because they have a strong awareness of human emotion.

Learn More About Neuroticism

If you are interested in reading more about personality traits, like neuroticism, BetterHelp has free resources that can help further your understanding of them as well as other topics related to psychology and mental health.

Additionally, suppose you believe that you may have an inclination towards being neurotic and you are struggling with any mental health disorders or some of the other issues that were brought up in this article. In that case, you are encouraged to reach out for support.

Regardless of whether you may or may not be more susceptible to emotional concerns, you can learn how to cope with the issues you can face and change the way you think by working with a professional who understands how to modify them through techniques like cognitive-behavioral therapy.

Even if you’re not “neurotic” as it relates to this topic, your mental health is important, and anyone can become depressed and anxious, so you’re not alone if you are struggling with any issue at this time. Therefore, you shouldn’t hesitate to connect to a therapist who can change your life, and BetterHelp makes it easy to do just that.


The word neurotic carries a negative connotation behind it, but hopefully, this article has shown you what it entails, not just in regards to its possible harmful mental health concerns but also the benefits that it can provide. Nonetheless, with the right strategies, people can reduce the adverse effects and harness the positive aspects of neuroticism instead and live happier, healthier, and more fulfilling lives.