A word for a thing that someone can mentally struggle with, or has a quirk for, kind of like (but not) hubris.

I've seen it around, but only a few times, and I can't for the life of me think what it was! I think it had something to do with neuro? Not neurotic, though.

As in 'Alexis struggled with many (word)'.

Neuroses was the word I was looking for, thank you @stevesliva !

  • 1
    There could be many words that can fit in your example sentence. Please show us one situation where you would feel you are struggling with the word. What causes the struggle?
    – user140086
    Commented Dec 12, 2016 at 17:17
  • 2
    I leaned that in Arabic, the word jihad is much closer to this notion than to "war against the infidels" (though it has both senses, arising from the root sense of "struggle against the forces which tend to corrupt").
    – Dan Bron
    Commented Dec 12, 2016 at 17:51
  • Maybe, “inner demons”?
    – Jim
    Commented Dec 12, 2016 at 18:44
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    Perhaps you are looking for is neuroses, from the singular neurosis. A plain English synonym being might be hangups.
    – stevesliva
    Commented Dec 12, 2016 at 21:01
  • 1
    What does it mean to 'have a quirk for' something?
    – Spagirl
    Commented Dec 12, 2016 at 22:15

4 Answers 4


Perhaps you are looking for neuroses, from the singular neurosis. A plain English synonym being might be hangups.

neurosis - (in non-technical use) excessive and irrational anxiety or obsession

hang-up - An emotional problem or inhibition

(Oxford Dictionaries)


The word you could be thinking of may be, "dilemma," which is defined as "a situation in which a difficult choice has to be made between two or more alternatives, especially equally undesirable ones: the people often face the dilemma of feeding themselves or their cattle," by the New Oxford American Dictionary.


I'd say such a person is conflicted.

1.1 (as adjective conflicted) Having or showing confused and mutually inconsistent feelings:
‘he remains a little conflicted about Marlene’



I'd say:
fighting one's demons
also face/struggle with

When things are particularly rough, it may seem as if the demons are winning. But as long as you’re still living and breathing, you are the victor.
goodtherapy.org, How to face your demons

To me suggests a fight or struggle.

How do you fight/battle your inner demons?, Yahoo Answers

We like Batman - we understand him, we suffer with him. On the other hand, we want to be Superman. But they're conflicting philosophies. Let's bring them together in one movie and see how we, as an audience, wrestle with our inner demons.

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