Neuroticisms

Neuroticism is one of the main personality traits referring to a person`s tendency to experience negative emotions, such as anxiety, sadness, irritability and worry.

Since its introduction in the 1960s, the definition of the term neuroticism has undergone various conceptualizations. In general, it refers to the relatively stable tendency to view the world and one`s own life negatively and to respond with negative emotions to threatening experiences, frustration or loss. Despite the difficulty in conceptualizing neuroticism, there seems to be a consensus that the main characteristic would be the tendency to experience negative emotions. These negative emotions have included irritability, fear, sadness, anxiety, worry, hostility, alterations in self-awareness, and feelings of vulnerability and uncontrollability.

People with a high level of neuroticism tend to be more likely to experience negative emotions intensely and more frequently compared to those with a low level of neuroticism. They may be more susceptible to stress, anxiety and depression. In addition, they may have a greater emotional reaction to challenges and adverse situations in everyday life.

On the other hand, people with low neuroticism tend to be more emotionally stable, are more resistant to stress, and tend to maintain a calmer and more optimistic attitude even in the face of difficult situations.

It is important to note that neuroticism is not considered intrinsically negative. All personality traits, including neuroticism, exist on a spectrum and may have advantages in certain situations. For example, people with a moderate level of neuroticism may be aware of potential problems and take steps to address them. However, when neuroticism is at extremely high levels, it can interfere with a person`s quality of life and daily functioning.

Neuroticism is influenced by a combination of genetic, biological, environmental and life experience factors. Among the biological factors we can find that differences in the activity of the limbic system and the amygdala, areas of the brain related to emotions, can influence neurotic tendencies. In turn, traumatic events, family difficulties, bullying, cultural values or social norms, among others, may contribute to the development of emotional and cognitive patterns associated with neuroticism.

Number of observed variants

13.5 million variants

Number of risk loci

85 loci

Genes analyzed

ACVR2A AGBL1 ARNTL ARPP21 BBX C11orf58 CCDC68 CDH2 CELF4 CENPW CLUH CRHR1 CSF3R CSMD1 CTTNBP2 DCAF5 DHX15 DLC1 DRD2 ELAVL2 EMX2 FBXL17 FBXO21 FBXO31 FOXP2 GATA4 GGT7 GLIS3 GRM3 GRM5 GRM8 GTF2IRD1 KIRREL3 KLHL1 KLHL29 LINGO1 LINGO2 MAD1L1 MEF2C MMS22L MSRA MTCH2 MYO1H NCAM1 NR4A2 OAZ2 PAX6 PCCB PCDH9 PHF2 PIK3C3 PLCL2 POU5F2 PRAG1 PRKCA PRSS51 PTCH1 PTPRD PVALEF RBFOX1 RGS6 SEMA6D SETD1A SIM1 SORCS3 SPRING1 SQOR STK24 TAOK3 TCF4 TEF TENM3 TLR4 TMEM106B TMEM114 VEPH1 VRK2 VWC2L XKR6 YLPM1 ZDHHC5 ZNF507 ZNF648 ZNF804A

Bibliography

García A.M., Sánchez-Meca J., et al . Neuroticism and suicidal thoughts: a meta-analytic study. Rev. Esp. Salud Publica vol.92 Madrid 2018 Epub 16-Aug-2018

Widiger T.A. et Oltmanns J.R . Neuroticism is a fundamental domain of personality with enormous public health implications. World Psychiatry. 2017 Jun; 16(2): 144-145.

Luciano M., Hagenaars S.P., et al . Association analysis in over 329,000 individuals identifies 116 independent variants influencing neuroticism. Nature Genetics, 18 Dec 2017, 50(1):6-11.

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