Saturday, November 20, 2010

Look! I wrote the book on crazy!

Reading the chapter on personality in my psych textbook. It's pretty interesting I think. I actually prefer the chapters about anatomy of the brain and eyeball but learning about people is useful too I suppose. Presently I am making notecards of the eight Psychoanalytic Ego Defense Mechanisms. Defense mechanisms, if you want the definition are "the unconscious mental operations that deny or distort reality in order to reduce anxiety levels." It's hilarious actually- I use just about every single DM discussed in this chapter. Want me to prove it?

Repression- When I was fourteen there was this kid who sat next to me in my computer class and he'd touch himself and ask me to narrate dirty scenarios for him to imagine while he did so. I have repressed this memory because it was horrifying and the only reason I remember it is because my mom reminds me about it every so often. She thinks it's why I don't have a boyfriend.

Denial- I refuse to believe that I use this defense mechanism :)

Displacement- I actually don't really use this one... displacement is when a dangerous or unacceptable impulse is repressed, and then directed at a safer substitute target. Kind of like bullies. A lot of bullies bully other innocent people because they themselves are being bullied at home. I guess maybe I take stuff out on Rachel once in a while... but if I feel like I'm experiencing "dangerous" or "unacceptable impulses" I usually just try to be alone.

Intellectualization- I use this one ALL THE FUCKING TIME. Like after a period of not being on my meds and getting really depressed and obsessive compulsive, I tend to focus on what is happening in my brain chemistry as opposed to what I'm actually feeling. No prozac means I don't receive my selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, and since serotonin affects mood, sleep, and eating patterns I will most likely be thrown off accordingly.

Projection- Similar to displacement, I don't really use it. It's when an impulse is repressed and then attributed or projected on to other people.

Rationalization- Another one I use all the time. Like, if I restrict at work I tell myself it's not technically restriction because I'm at work and literally don't have the time to eat. Lots of people don't have time to eat so it's okay for me to skip an exchange or two.... right?

Reaction Formation: This is a scary one. An anxiety-arousing behavior is repressed, and its energy finds release in an exaggerated expression of the opposite behavior. Like, a mother who harbors feelings of resentment toward her child represses them and become overprotective of the child. Weird right? I can't think of anything I do like this.

Sublimation: A repressed impulse is released in the form of a socially acceptable or even admired behavior. Hmm... I guess sometimes I sublimate my anxiety or self-loathing through cleaning or studying.

I love defense mechanisms. They're so fun!

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