childhood help develop the superego. Basically, superego is individual’sconscience; the superego helps us decide whether an action is right or wrong. According to Freud, the interaction amongst the id, ego andsuperego occurs in the unconscious mind. The id is in search for pleasure, thesuperego tries for the perfection, thus the ego becomes a judge and works onreality principle. It is safe to say that all three components of personalityare in constantly fighting: the ego delays the satisfaction of the id wants andthe superego fights.
Furthermore, Freud develops an idea that the ego developsa series of defense mechanisms to deal with a conflict. According to him, anindividual uses a defense mechanism regularly to control his or her behaviorand personality. Some theories of defense mechanisms are: “The repression -burying a pain full memory into the unconscious mind, like it never happened; the projection – which creditto own unwanted feelings or ideas on another person; rationalization – makingup a reasonable excuse for unacceptable behavior and really believing it; suppression- forgetting a shocking event on purpose, putting it out of one’s mind andfocusing on something else; denial;- refusing to acknowledge something becauseit is so distressing; displacement – transferring feelings from one person orobject to another; identification – imitating someone who is admired andmodelling oneself on them; reaction formation – consciously substituting theopposite emotion for true feelings about someone/something.
” (Nolen Hoeksema)Freud believed that conflict is theprimary cause of human anxiety and unhappiness. The defense mechanisms helpus to deal with our inner conflict, when the defense mechanism does not respondproperly then people suffer from abnormal behavior.Out of all the defense mechanism, the repression is the mostimportant, according to Freud’s theory “when a person experiences aninstinctual impulse to behave in a manner which the super-ego deemsto be reprehensible than it is possible for the mind to push this impulse away,to repress it into the unconscious.
” (Beystehner) Ego settles in thereality with the demand of both id and super-ego. Since, ego avoids theinternal conflict and pain it is one of the dominant mechanism of all; Freud was a physician, although he saw the psychologicalgrowth based on the physical growth. According to Fraud there are five stagesof psychological development in unconscious mind. Freud believed that duringthe first five years of life, everyone goes through several developmentalstages which affects their personality, he called these periods psychosexualstages. During each stage, the pleasure-seeking impulses of the id focus on aparticular part of the body and derive pleasure from the activity that relatesto that area. Consequently, Freud called the first stage “oral stage” ofpsychosexual development. During the first 18 months, infants derive pleasurefrom nursing and sucking: they explore everything through their mouth.
Thesecond stage called anal stage, between the age of 18 months to 3 years, childrenhave their first experience of control in the form of their toilet training. Thethird stage is called phallic stage, from about age 3 to age 6, children focuson their genitals, they observe the differences between males and females andmay direct their awakening sexual impulses toward the parent of the oppositesex. It is at this stage that children have to resolve the Oedipus and Electracomplexes. A latency period follows the end of the phallic stage, during whichchildren become less concerned with their bodies and turn their attention tothe skills needed for coping with the environment.
The last stage, the genitalstage, occurs during adolescence, where young people begin to turn their sexualinterests toward others. Freud felt when the needs of each stage are not fulfilled, thenperson’s mind is stuck at that stage, he called it “fixation”, thus the person unconsciouslydevelops lasting effect on their personality. Example, a person who did nothave enough sucking pleasure might become fixated at the oral stage and as anadult, this person may be excessively dependent on others and may have eating,drinking and smoking obsession; The person fixated at the anal stage ofpsychosexual development may be abnormally concerned with cleanliness,orderliness, and saving; The person fixated at the phallic stage may havederivative of transgender or effeminate as an adult.Freud’s discovery of psychoanalysis changed the view of society;in regards of treating the mental illness. Before the invention of psychoanalysis,mental illness was considered disease of a brain. Since the study ofpsychoanalysis doctors started treating mental illness as psychological causesinstead of physical causes. In the field of psychology researchers had started searchingfor inner psychic conflicts and early childhood traumas.
According to Freud, hehimself had an Oedipal crisis, “child’s feelings of desire for his orher opposite-sex parent and jealousy and anger toward his or her same-sexparent,” and everyone could possibly mentally ill. Psychoanalysis has had anenormous impact on the practice of psychiatry, particularly within the UnitedStates. But then again, today the theory is observed by many medical and academicalprofessionals arguing that theory is almost entirely incorrect in its origin ofthe mind.
This judgment is based on the crucial test of psychoanalysis: whetherit really helps patients with behavioral or psychological problems. Theconsensus is that is does not. Psychoanalysis in its many varieties appears tohave little or no efficacy in treating mental illness. Besides all the controversy, Freudian Theory is important?In a field of psychology people still speak of him as a great figure in Westernthought. There are main two reasons, at first Freudian theory is purelypractical; historically mental illness affects a large part of the population,either they are suffering from it or they are connected because of their lovedonce. Thus, any curative theory may have had accepted widely as Freud’s.
Thesecond, most important, reason is the Freud forced people to think differently abouttheir behavior, “why they acted the way they did”. He created a whole new wayof understanding the behavior: after his study, one can justify their actions,by claiming their motives, desires, and beliefs were buried in the unconsciousmind; which they knew nothing about, but then those thoughts neverthelessdirectly controlled and motivated their conscious behavior.