childhood help develop the superego. Basically, superego is individual’s
conscience; the superego helps us decide whether an action is right or wrong.

According to Freud, the interaction amongst the id, ego and
superego occurs in the unconscious mind. The id is in search for pleasure, the
superego tries for the perfection, thus the ego becomes a judge and works on
reality principle. It is safe to say that all three components of personality
are in constantly fighting: the ego delays the satisfaction of the id wants and
the superego fights. Furthermore, Freud develops an idea that the ego develops
a series of defense mechanisms to deal with a conflict. According to him, an
individual uses a defense mechanism regularly to control his or her behavior
and personality. Some theories of defense mechanisms are:

 “The repression -burying a pain full memory in
to the unconscious mind, like it never happened; the projection – which credit
to own unwanted feelings or ideas on another person; rationalization – making
up a reasonable excuse for unacceptable behavior and really believing it; suppression
– forgetting a shocking event on purpose, putting it out of one’s mind and
focusing on something else; denial;- refusing to acknowledge something because
it is so distressing; displacement – transferring feelings from one person or
object to another; identification – imitating someone who is admired and
modelling oneself on them; reaction formation – consciously substituting the
opposite emotion for true feelings about someone/something.”  (Nolen Hoeksema)

Freud believed that conflict is the
primary cause of human anxiety and unhappiness. The defense mechanisms help
us to deal with our inner conflict, when the defense mechanism does not respond
properly then people suffer from abnormal behavior.

Out of all the defense mechanism, the repression is the most
important, according to Freud’s theory “when a person experiences an
instinctual impulse to behave in a manner which the super-ego deems
to be reprehensible than it is possible for the mind to push this impulse away,
to repress it into the unconscious.” (Beystehner) Ego settles in the
reality with the demand of both id and super-ego. Since, ego avoids the
internal conflict and pain it is one of the dominant mechanism of all;

Freud was a physician, although he saw the psychological
growth based on the physical growth. According to Fraud there are five stages
of psychological development in unconscious mind. Freud believed that during
the first five years of life, everyone goes through several developmental
stages which affects their personality, he called these periods psychosexual
stages. During each stage, the pleasure-seeking impulses of the id focus on a
particular part of the body and derive pleasure from the activity that relates
to that area.

Consequently, Freud called the first stage “oral stage” of
psychosexual development. During the first 18 months, infants derive pleasure
from nursing and sucking: they explore everything through their mouth. The
second stage called anal stage, between the age of 18 months to 3 years, children
have their first experience of control in the form of their toilet training. The
third stage is called phallic stage, from about age 3 to age 6, children focus
on their genitals, they observe the differences between males and females and
may direct their awakening sexual impulses toward the parent of the opposite
sex. It is at this stage that children have to resolve the Oedipus and Electra
complexes. A latency period follows the end of the phallic stage, during which
children become less concerned with their bodies and turn their attention to
the skills needed for coping with the environment. The last stage, the genital
stage, occurs during adolescence, where young people begin to turn their sexual
interests toward others.


Freud felt when the needs of each stage are not fulfilled, then
person’s mind is stuck at that stage, he called it “fixation”, thus the person unconsciously
develops lasting effect on their personality. Example, a person who did not
have enough sucking pleasure might become fixated at the oral stage and as an
adult, this person may be excessively dependent on others and may have eating,
drinking and smoking obsession; The person fixated at the anal stage of
psychosexual development may be abnormally concerned with cleanliness,
orderliness, and saving; The person fixated at the phallic stage may have
derivative 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 of
psychoanalysis doctors started treating mental illness as psychological causes
instead of physical causes. In the field of psychology researchers had started searching
for inner psychic conflicts and early childhood traumas. According to Freud, he
himself had an Oedipal crisis, “child’s feelings of desire for his or
her opposite-sex parent and jealousy and anger toward his or her same-sex
parent,” and everyone could possibly mentally ill. Psychoanalysis has had an
enormous impact on the practice of psychiatry, particularly within the United
States. But then again, today the theory is observed by many medical and academical
professionals arguing that theory is almost entirely incorrect in its origin of
the mind. This judgment is based on the crucial test of psychoanalysis: whether
it really helps patients with behavioral or psychological problems. The
consensus is that is does not. Psychoanalysis in its many varieties appears to
have 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 Western
thought. There are main two reasons, at first Freudian theory is purely
practical; historically mental illness affects a large part of the population,
either they are suffering from it or they are connected because of their loved
once. Thus, any curative theory may have had accepted widely as Freud’s. The
second, most important, reason is the Freud forced people to think differently about
their behavior, “why they acted the way they did”. He created a whole new way
of understanding the behavior: after his study, one can justify their actions,
by claiming their motives, desires, and beliefs were buried in the unconscious
mind; which they knew nothing about, but then those thoughts nevertheless
directly controlled and motivated their conscious behavior. 

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