People improve their self-defense through behaving or thinking in certain ways. People enhance their self-defense through strategies, which help them distance themselves from a complete comprehension of horrible feelings, way of thinking, and behaviors (Freud 8). Anna Freud formulated human defense mechanisms based on anxiety and ego.
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According to Anna Freud, people minimize feelings of anxiety through reducing tensions in their lives (Plotnik and Haig 437). Anxiety is characterized by aversive internal state, which individuals try to evade. People use defense strategies in minimizing nervousness. Defense mechanisms may be mentally healthy. In addition, they may also be maladaptive.
However, minimizing tension is largely the objective of using defense mechanisms (Plotnik and Haig 437). There are various defensive mechanisms developed by Freud. The defensive mechanisms are applicable in helping people deal with anxiety situations, which may be detrimental to their health.
The occurrence of nervousness triggers peoples’ defense mechanisms. All defense mechanisms share two general characteristics. They operate unconsciously. They can also distort or misrepresent reality. The alteration of perceived reality lowers anxiety thus minimizing the psychological tension felt by individuals (Plotnik and Haig 437). Repression is a primary defense mechanism that occurs consciously or unconsciously.
It is significant in preventing unsuitable ID desires from developing into behaviors as well as negating undesirable thoughts from gaining consciousness. In addition, it prevents the memory from regenerating mistakes people made. Notably, people repress things according to their cultural anticipations and specific ego expansion (Hergenhahn 553).
Denial is a strategy people use in cases where the level of anxiety is high. People develop more severe aspect of memory repression to deal with the anxiety. This enables people to deny that psychologically damaging scenarios never occurred (Plotnik and Haig 437).
Denial becomes challenging as people age because they develop more comprehension to the concept of objective reality. Notably, everyone applies repression and denial mechanisms.
Projection entails the reduction of anxiety through attributing oneself repressing thoughts to others. The individual projects their anxiety causing situations to others in order to minimize its impact. The strategy involves employing the non-anxiety aggravating feelings (Plotnik and Haig 437). Rationalization operates as an after event strategy of dealing with anxiety.
It enables people to identify realistic reasons for unacceptable actions. For example, the feelings that one develops that it is better they withhold their tax revenue because the government is likely to use it in purchasing dangerous weapons. Furthermore, the strategy helps people protect their logic of self-esteem. The strategy is directly linked to self-serving partiality (Plotnik and Haig 437).
Intellectualization entails the strategy where people think about occurrences in cold, inflexible, and coherent terms. The mechanisms allow people to disengage from the emotive aspects of their problems by concentrating on facts. It safeguards against anxiety through the repression of emotions linked to a situation (Plotnik and Haig 437). The strategy allows for the conscious scrutiny on non-anxiety provoking details of a situation.
Regression emanates from elevated stress levels. It entails the adoption of a child like strategies for problem solving instead of the appropriate methods applicable for mature people. The strategy involves mature people attempting to evoke some childhood contentment approaches (Burger 76).
Displacement involves altering anticipated targets predominantly when they are frightening. Displaced aggression helps people in comprehending displacement. It has applied as a stress management mechanism to other people.
Burger, Jerry M. Personality. Australia: Wadsworth Cengage Learning, 2011. Print.
Freud, Anna. The Ego and the Mechanisms of Defense. London: Karnac Books, 1993. Print.
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Hergenhahn, BR. An Introduction to the History of Psychology. Australia: Wadsworth Cengage Learning, 2009. Print.
Plotnik, Rod, and Haig Kouyoumjian. Introduction to Psychology. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth/Cengage Learning, 2011. Print.