Defense Mechanisms Essay

2847 words - 12 pages

When Reality is Painful …

One day a man called Andrew Laeddis was back home from work discovering that his wife had killed his three children. She was mentally ill and he did not get her help though. Afterwards, Andrew murdered his wife for killing their children. As a result of being unable to accept that he had murdered his wife and the fact that she killed their children, Andrew unconsciously invented another self, created another story in which someone else had committed his own crime. Moreover he denied having any children to escape from the reality of being a murderer and being responsible for the death of his family. At the end, Andrew became mentally ill himself for refusing to ...view middle of the document...

These types include:
1. Denial
It is the refusal to accept reality, in which the person convinces himself that the problem does not exist or pretend that it did not happen at the first place. For example: when smokers deny that smoking is bad for their health because they just cannot face the fact that they cannot stop smoking.
2. Displacement
This one means placing your anger on an object or somebody. People often use this one when they cannot express their feelings to that person who made them angry but instead he places his anger on someone else who did nothing wrong. For example: a man angry at his boss and cannot express this anger for fear of losing his job so instead he comes home kicks any object or argue with his wife.
3. Sublimation
It is similar to displacement but the difference between them is that in Sublimation the person places his painful emotional into a constructive activity. Many artists like musicians and painters had painful lives but instead they had used art as a place to express their feelings.
4. Repression
It means pushing stressful thoughts, experiences or painful feelings into the unconscious mind. In this one the person pushes himself to forget but in fact he just stops thinking about the problem but its effects still exist in his life as it still occurs in his unconscious. For example: a man had a childhood problem so it affected him by having a problem in forming relationships.
5. Projection
It means when you unconsciously project your feelings or thoughts on someone else. For instance when you are mad at someone and then you think that he is the one that is mad at you or is trying to make you feel angry.
6. Regression
It is the reversion to an earlier stage of human development as a result of being exposed to a painful situation. For example: a teenager whom from fear kept on crying and reacting like a child.
7. Rationalization
It means making excuses to justify an unacceptable behavior to protect the ego from feeling guilty. For instance: a shopaholic woman justify buying more clothes to keep her good image among other people at job.
8. Humor
It means laughing at situations which are not funny. For example: when a man loses his job and then he jokes about it with his friends. So he transferred this painful reality into a joke to reduce the intensity of the situation.
9. Reaction Formation
This one means saying the exact opposite of what you feel because it is unacceptable or for fear of the consequences. For example when a man is angry at his boss at work but he unconsciously act like the opposite in order not to be fired.

10. Idealization
It is when the person makes something better than it is; therefore he disregards the bad aspects and focus on the good ones. For example: when someone enters in an unhealthy relationship and then he keeps convincing himself with the good qualities in the other person.
There are two common properties between these types; the first one is that...

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