Someone described me as “neurotic” yesterday. I don’t know them, but they’d read one of my blogs and remarked to a friend that “she sounds a bit neurotic.”
I got a bit agitated about being called neurotic – ah, the irony – so I did a bit of research to see if I fitted the bill.
The Urban Dictionary describes neurotic as …
Someone with extreme mood swings. A constant worrier. A paranoid personality. Someone who often suffers from extreme stress. Someone who can’t cope in a social setting.Neurotic is not to be confused with psychotic. [Ed’s note: thank god for that]
Well, I AM a worrier and I DO suffer from stress … but I’m not sure the definition really cover me.
The Free Dictionary describes it as ..
A person prone to excessive anxiety and emotional upset.
Yeah, kinda … sorta …
And then I turned to popular culture, as I always do.
“Neurotic” is a rather over-used term to describe women these days, which is ironic considering the person who really defines it is a man – Woody Allen.
As Salon notes, Allen “has become one of the most prodigious and celebrated directors of all time. And certainly the most neurotic. His dialogue, his characters, his acting – Woody Allen makes it hard to imagine what the word “neurotic” even meant before he came along.”
The neuroses are entwined in his scripts and interviews. He spouts stuff like …
“To love is to suffer. To avoid suffering, one must not love. But, then one suffers from not loving. Therefore, to love is to suffer, not to love is to suffer, to suffer is to suffer. To be happy is to love, to be happy, then, is to suffer, but suffering makes one unhappy, therefore, to be unhappy one must love, or love to suffer, or suffer from too much happiness — I hope you’re getting this down.” – from Love and Death
“I feel that life is divided into the horrible and the miserable. That’s the two categories. The horrible are like, I don’t know, terminal cases, you know, and blind people, crippled. I don’t know how they get through life. It’s amazing to me. And the miserable is everyone else. So you should be thankful that you’re miserable, because that’s very lucky, to be miserable. ” – from Annie Hall
“I can’t express anger. That’s one of the problems I have. I grow a tumor instead.” – from Manhattan
“Life is full of misery, loneliness, and suffering – and it’s all over much too soon.”
“My one regret in life is that I am not someone else.”
“It’s just gossip, you know. Gossip is the new pornography.” – from Manhattan
OK, the last one doesn’t have neurotic overtones, it just appeals to me because of my weekly mag history … but if Woody Allen = neurotic, then those quotes are making me a little nervous.
I’ve got a fair lash of that stuff running through my veins. Though fortunately not the desire to marry my partner’s adopted child.
Onwards … time to do a pop psychology test … Psychologist World provides a handy “Find out if you’re neurotic with our free test” reference on its site.
I completed it and the result was …
Your Score: 73.75%
Hmmmm. That seems rather high.
Maybe I should start writing screenplays. At least I’d make money from my neuroses then.
Song of the day: Tracy Chapman “Fast car” (just because listening to it is the antithesis of neurotic, its like a soothing wave washing over you)