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DEFENSE MECHANISM
DR V K SAHU
RESIDENT PSYCHIATRY
Scheme of Presentation
• Objective of presentation
• History
• Basic concepts
• Important properties
• Definition
• Purpos...
Objective of Presentation
• Identification and notation of defense mechanisms can be an
important part of the psychologica...
History
• The concept of defense first appeared in Sigmund Freud’s article
"The Neuro-Psychoses of defense" (1894) and was...
History
• In an appendix to Inhibitions, Symptoms, and Anxiety (1926), Freud
reverted to the old concept of defense. He al...
The tripartite model of the mind
• Freud
• Ego
• ID
• Superego
• The id is need gratifying and impulsive,
instinctual
• He...
Ego
• Ego is the mediator between the unconscious world of the Id
and Superego and the conscious world of reality
• The eg...
Ego Defenses
• If the signal anxiety cannot be defused it may overwhelm the
ego and allow the primitive primary process th...
Basic concept –Types of Anxiety
• Reality Anxiety: most basic form of anxiety ,typically based on fears of
real and possib...
Basic Concept
• According to Freud, anxiety is an unpleasant inner state that people seek
to avoid.
• When anxiety occurs,...
Important properties
• Freud discovered most of the defense mechanisms and
identified five of their important properties:
1 ...
Definition
• In Freudian psychoanalytic theory, defense mechanisms are
unconscious psychological strategies brought into p...
Purpose of Defense Mechanisms
• Allow individuals a period of respite to master changes in self-image that
cannot be immed...
Classification of defense mechanisms
• The list of defense mechanisms is huge and there is no theoretical
consensus on the...
Development by Anna Freud
• Normally there is an orderly sequence
as the child matures.
• Oral (0-18 months) - narcissisti...
Orderly Sequence of Development
• If significant trauma occurs the child may
have difficulty learning the mechanisms
that ...
Developmental Aspects
• The Id is the earliest component of the psychodynamic apparatus
• The infant is basically in a ple...
Vaillant’s Classification
Level I - Pathological Defenses
• The mechanisms on this level, when predominating, almost
alway...
Vaillant’s Classification
Level II - immature defenses
• These mechanisms are often present in adults and more commonly
pr...
Vaillant’s Classification
Level III - Neurotic defenses
• These mechanisms are considered neurotic, but fairly common in a...
Vaillant’s Classification
Level IV - Mature defenses:
• Commonly found among emotionally healthy adults & are considered
m...
Narcissistic Immature Neurotic Mature
Denial Acting out Displacement Altruism
Projection Regression Dissociation Humor
Dis...
Bond et al. (1983)
• Maladaptive action defense style: Inability to deal with impulses by
taking constructive action (with...
Perry and Copper (1985)
• Disavowal : disavow experiences, affects or impulses; projection, denial,
rationalization.
• Act...
American Psychiatric Association (1994)
• Defensive deregulation : failure of defensive regulation-leading to
pronounced b...
American Psychiatric Association (1994)
• Disavowal : keeping stressors out of awareness with or without a
misattribution ...
American Psychiatric Association (1994)
Mental inhibitions: keeps potentially threatening ideas or feelings out of
awarene...
Results of Mature Defenses
1) Excellent adjustment as an adult,
2) Happiness,
3) Job satisfaction,
4) Rich friendships,
5)...
Results of Immature Defenses:
1) Poor adjustment as an adult,
2) Higher divorce rates and marital discord
3) Poor friendsh...
Denial
• Denial is simply refusing to acknowledge that
an event has occurred.
• Denial is one of Freud's original defense
...
Denial
• Ego feels anxiety from perception of
strong external or internal danger it
can’t escape or deal with directly
Wha...
Displacement
• Displacement is the shifting of actions from a desired target to a substitute
target when there is some rea...
Displacement
• Displacements are often quite satisfactory and workable
mechanisms for releasing energy more safely.
• Exam...
Intellectualization
• Intellectualization is a 'flight into reason', where the
person avoids uncomfortable emotions by foc...
Projection
• When a person has uncomfortable thoughts or feelings, they may project
these onto other people, assigning the...
Projection
What you do:
• Attribute your own undesirable
impulses, feeling, or desires to another
person
Examples:
• “I ha...
Rationalization
• When something happens that we find
difficult to accept, then we will make up a
logical reason why it ha...
Rationalization
What you do:
• Make up excuses for inadequacies, failure,
or loss
Examples:
• A parent punishes a child an...
Reaction Formation
• Reaction Formation occurs when a person feels an urge to do or say
something and then actually does o...
Reaction-Formation
• Examples:
• A person who is angry with a colleague
actually ends up being particularly
courteous and ...
Regression
• Regression involves taking the position of a child in some
problematic situation, rather than acting in a mor...
Problems:
Does not solve the problem
People think you are immature
You are not learning to cope well
Repression
• Repression involves placing uncomfortable thoughts in
relatively inaccessible areas of the subconscious mind....
Repression
• Repression is not all bad. If all uncomfortable memories
were easily brought to mind we would be faced with a...
Acting out
• Performing an extreme behavior in order to
express thoughts or feelings the person feels
incapable of otherwi...
Dissociation
• Dissociation is when a person loses track of
time and/or person, and instead finds another
representation o...
Undoing
• Undoing is the attempt to take back an
unconscious behavior or thought that is
unacceptable or hurtful.
• A pers...
Hypochondriasis
• Exaggerating and overemphasizing an illness for the purpose of evasion
and regression. In hypochondriasi...
Idealization
 Valuing something more than it is worth/
attributing exaggerated positive qualities to
self or others
• You...
Fantasy
What is done:
• Dreaming, imagining instead of living in the present
world, because you don’t feel competent to ac...
Passive aggression
• Aggression towards others expressed indirectly or passively such as
using procrastination.
Somatization
• The transformation of negative feelings towards others into
negative feelings toward self, pain, illness, a...
Splitting
• A primitive defense. Negative and positive
impulses are split off and not integrated.
• Fundamental example: A...
Compensation
What you do:
• Develop or strengthen positive traits to make up
for limitations
• Distract attention from the...
Sublimation
• Transformation of unwanted impulses
into something less harmful.
• This can simply be a distracting
release ...
Sublimation
• Freud believed that the greatest
achievements in civilization were due
to the effective sublimation of our
s...
Anticipation
• Dealing with stressors by anticipating the
consequences and feelings associated
with possible future events...
Altruism
• Constructive service to
others that brings
pleasure and personal
satisfaction.
Humor
It’s okay if I lost a leg at
least I can dress up like a
pirate now
hahahahahhahahahahah
a
• Overt expression of ide...
Suppression
• Conscious decision to postpone
attention to an impulse or
conflict. Conscious set-up and
unconscious follow ...
• Distortion: A gross reshaping of external reality to meet internal
needs(including unrealistic megalomania beliefs, hall...
• Identification: The unconscious modeling of one's self upon
another person's character and behavior.
e.g. An insecure yo...
Measurement of Defense Mechanisms
• Defense Mechanism Test (Kragh, 1955)
• Defense Style Questionnaire (Bond et al, 1983)
...
Defense Mechanisms & Major Clinical Syndrome
Sr. no. Personality disorder Defense mechanisms
1 Cluster A Fantasy
Projectio...
SR.NO. Disorder Defense mechanisms
1 Anxiety Repression
2 Phobia Displacement
Regression
3 OCD Isolation of affect
Undoing...
• Anxiety: When repression proves to be inadequate, previously contained
primitive instinctual urges threaten to come to e...
• OCD :
Isolation of affect is responsible for the symptom of obsessional
thoughts, Undoing creates compulsive acts (a rit...
• Paranoid:
Reliance on the defense mechanism of projection characterizes
paranoid disorders. Regression is inherent in th...
TAKE HOME POINTS
• Defense mechanisms do not usually get rid of the problem.
• Even more extreme forms can be adaptive whe...
References
• CTP , 9th Edition
• Introduction to Psychology, Morgan and King
• Ego Defence Mechanism , George E Vaillant
“Flowers are restful to look at. They have neither emotions nor conflicts.”
Sigmund Freud
THANK YOU
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Defense mechanism

  1. 1. DEFENSE MECHANISM DR V K SAHU RESIDENT PSYCHIATRY
  2. 2. Scheme of Presentation • Objective of presentation • History • Basic concepts • Important properties • Definition • Purpose of defense mechanisms • Classification • Some important defense mechanisms • Measurement • Defense mechanisms and major clinical syndromes
  3. 3. Objective of Presentation • Identification and notation of defense mechanisms can be an important part of the psychological assessment and influence on the treatment process • Familiarisation with benefits and harms of defense mechanism.
  4. 4. History • The concept of defense first appeared in Sigmund Freud’s article "The Neuro-Psychoses of defense" (1894) and was next discussed in "Further Remarks on the Neuro-Psychoses of defense" (1896) and "The Aetiology of Hysteria" (1896). • For Freud, the concept of defense refers to the ego's attempts at psychic transformation in response to representations and affects that are painful, intolerable, or unacceptable. • He abandoned the concept of defense for a period in favor of the concept of repression. He then reintroduced it in "Neurotic Mechanisms in Jealousy, Paranoia and Homosexuality" (1922).
  5. 5. History • In an appendix to Inhibitions, Symptoms, and Anxiety (1926), Freud reverted to the old concept of defense. He also retained the word “repression” for special method of defense. • Freud's list of basic Defense Mechanisms includes: Denial, Displacement, Intellectualization, Projection, Rationalization, Reaction formation, Regression, Repression and Sublimition. • The first comprehensive study of defense mechanisms was reported by Anna Freud in her landmark work, The Ego and the Mechanisms of defense (1937).
  6. 6. The tripartite model of the mind • Freud • Ego • ID • Superego • The id is need gratifying and impulsive, instinctual • Hedonic drives for instance • Superego is roughly eq. to conscience • Determines that some needs are not consistent with an underlying view of one’s self (Ego ideal)
  7. 7. Ego • Ego is the mediator between the unconscious world of the Id and Superego and the conscious world of reality • The ego’s job is to mediate the struggle between the superego and id • When superego and id are in conflict the person experiences ‘signal anxiety’ • Ego must convert the signal anxiety to defuse it and make it less threatening.
  8. 8. Ego Defenses • If the signal anxiety cannot be defused it may overwhelm the ego and allow the primitive primary process thinking of the unconscious to become manifested in the conscious life of the person
  9. 9. Basic concept –Types of Anxiety • Reality Anxiety: most basic form of anxiety ,typically based on fears of real and possible events, such as being bitten by a dog or falling from a ladder. • Neurotic Anxiety: comes from an unconscious fear that the basic impulses of the ID will take control of the person, leading to eventual punishment. • Moral Anxiety: form of anxiety comes from a fear of violating values and moral codes, and appears as feelings of guilt or shame.
  10. 10. Basic Concept • According to Freud, anxiety is an unpleasant inner state that people seek to avoid. • When anxiety occurs, the mind first responds by an increase in problem- solving thinking, seeking rational ways of escaping the situation. • If this is not fruitful (and maybe anyway), ego has some tools it can use in its job as the mediator, tools that help defend the ego, these are called Ego Defense Mechanisms or Defenses. • They helped shield the ego from the conflicts created by the id, superego, and reality.
  11. 11. Important properties • Freud discovered most of the defense mechanisms and identified five of their important properties: 1 Defenses are a major means of managing instinct and affect. 2 They are unconscious. 3 They are discrete (from one another). 4 Although often the hallmarks of major psychiatric syndromes, defenses are dynamic and reversible. 5 They can be adaptive as well as pathological.
  12. 12. Definition • In Freudian psychoanalytic theory, defense mechanisms are unconscious psychological strategies brought into play by various entities to cope with reality and to maintain self-image. • White and Gilliland (1975) stated that the term mechanisms of defense refers to the various automatic, involuntary, and unconsciously instituted psychological activities by which the human being attempts to exclude unacceptable urges or impulses from awareness. • According to American Psychiatric Association (1994), “defense mechanisms are patterns of feelings, thoughts, or behaviors that are relatively involuntary. They arise in response to perceptions of psychic danger or conflict, to unexpected change in the internal or external environment, or in response to cognitive dissonance.”
  13. 13. Purpose of Defense Mechanisms • Allow individuals a period of respite to master changes in self-image that cannot be immediately integrated, as might result from puberty, an amputation, or a promotion (i.e., changes in reality). • Deflect or deny sudden increases in biological drives. Awareness of instinctual wishes is usually diminished; alternatively, antithetical wishes may be passionately adhered to. • Enable individuals to mitigate unresolved conflicts with important people, living or dead. • Keep anxiety, shame, and guilt within bearable limits during sudden conflicts with conscience and culture.
  14. 14. Classification of defense mechanisms • The list of defense mechanisms is huge and there is no theoretical consensus on the number of defense mechanisms. • Classifying defense mechanisms according to some of their properties (i.e. underlying mechanisms, similarities or connections with personality) has been attempted. Defenses employed by ego can be listed according to variety of classification:- Developmental by Anna Freud Valliant (1971) Bond et al. (1983) Perry and Copper (1985) American Psychiatric Association (1994)
  15. 15. Development by Anna Freud • Normally there is an orderly sequence as the child matures. • Oral (0-18 months) - narcissistic defenses (Projection, denial, distortion) • Anal (18months-3 years) - Identification, undoing, reaction formation, isolation, regression • Phallic / oedipal (3- 6 years) - Intellectualization • Latency (6 years to puberty) - Symbolization, sublimation
  16. 16. Orderly Sequence of Development • If significant trauma occurs the child may have difficulty learning the mechanisms that are normally learned at these times. • Fixated – uneven development of ego function which results in a part of the ego retaining more primitive or immature function • Repetition compulsion – replay of events related to significant traumas
  17. 17. Developmental Aspects • The Id is the earliest component of the psychodynamic apparatus • The infant is basically in a pleasure seeking mode of operating (sometimes this is confused with ‘sexuality’) • The infant also conceives of the world in a narcissistic fashion. Things exist only as they relate to him or her • At times the pleasure seeking runs into barriers in the outside world • This result in infants being confronted with reality • New skills and coping mechanisms develop
  18. 18. Vaillant’s Classification Level I - Pathological Defenses • The mechanisms on this level, when predominating, almost always are severely pathological. These defenses, in conjunction, permit one to effectively rearrange external experiences to eliminate the need to cope with reality. • The pathological users of these mechanisms frequently appear irrational or insane to others. These are the "psychotic" defenses, common in overt psychosis. However, they are found in dreams and throughout childhood as well. • e.g. psychotic denial, distortion.
  19. 19. Vaillant’s Classification Level II - immature defenses • These mechanisms are often present in adults and more commonly present in adolescents. • Lessen distress and anxiety provoked by threatening people or by uncomfortable reality. • People who excessively use such defenses are seen as socially undesirable in that they are immature, difficult to deal with and seriously out of touch with reality. • Overuse almost always leads to serious problems in a person's ability to cope effectively. • These defenses are often seen in severe depression and personality disorders.(e.g. fantasy, projection, passive aggression, acting out, dissociation)
  20. 20. Vaillant’s Classification Level III - Neurotic defenses • These mechanisms are considered neurotic, but fairly common in adults. • have short-term advantages in coping, but can often cause long-term problems in relationships, work and in enjoying life when used as one's primary style of coping with the world. • (e.g. intellectualization, reaction formation, somatization, displacement, repression)
  21. 21. Vaillant’s Classification Level IV - Mature defenses: • Commonly found among emotionally healthy adults & are considered mature, even though many have their origins in an immature stage of development. • They have been adapted through the years in order to optimize success in life and relationships. The use of these defenses enhances pleasure and feelings of control. • These defenses help us integrate conflicting emotions and thoughts, while still remaining effective. Those who use these mechanisms are usually considered virtuous. • e.g. humor, sublimation, suppression, altruism, anticipation.
  22. 22. Narcissistic Immature Neurotic Mature Denial Acting out Displacement Altruism Projection Regression Dissociation Humor Distortion Passive-aggressive behavior Reaction formation Sublimation Splitting Schizoid fantasy Repression Anticipation Somatization Isolation Suppression Introjection Rationalization Asceticism Hypochondriasis Sexualization Blocking Intellectualization
  23. 23. Bond et al. (1983) • Maladaptive action defense style: Inability to deal with impulses by taking constructive action (withdrawal, acting out, regression, inhibition, passive aggression, and projection). • Image-distorting defense style: Split the image of self and others into good & bad, strong & weak (splitting, primitive idealization, and omnipotence with devaluation). • Self-sacrificing defense style: perceive one self as kind and helpful to others (reaction formation and pseudo-altruism). • Adaptive defense style: Constructive type of mastery over conflicts (humor, suppression, and sublimation).
  24. 24. Perry and Copper (1985) • Disavowal : disavow experiences, affects or impulses; projection, denial, rationalization. • Action: releases feelings and impulses through actions ; acting out , passive aggression. • Borderline : distort self & others images; splitting and projective identification. • Narcissistic : serves to regulate self-esteem and mood; omnipotence, primitive idealization, devaluation. • Obsessional :neutralize affect without distorting external reality; isolation, intellectualization. • Mature: mastery over conflicts; humor, suppression, sublimation.
  25. 25. American Psychiatric Association (1994) • Defensive deregulation : failure of defensive regulation-leading to pronounced break with objective reality • delusional projection • psychotic denial • psychotic distortion • Action : deals with stressors by action or withdrawal • acting out • passive aggression • help-rejecting complaining • Major image-distorting : gross distortion of image of self or others • autistic fantasy • splitting
  26. 26. American Psychiatric Association (1994) • Disavowal : keeping stressors out of awareness with or without a misattribution of these to external cause • denial • projection • rationalization • Minor image-distorting : distortions in the image of the self or others • devaluation • idealization • omnipotence
  27. 27. American Psychiatric Association (1994) Mental inhibitions: keeps potentially threatening ideas or feelings out of awareness • displacement • reaction formation • repression • undoing High-adaptive: optimal adaptation in handling stressors • anticipation • altruism • humor • sublimation • suppression
  28. 28. Results of Mature Defenses 1) Excellent adjustment as an adult, 2) Happiness, 3) Job satisfaction, 4) Rich friendships, 5) Fewer medical hospitalizations over life, 6) Better overall health, 7) A lower incidence of mental illness.
  29. 29. Results of Immature Defenses: 1) Poor adjustment as an adult, 2) Higher divorce rates and marital discord 3) Poor friendship patterns, 4) Higher incidence of mental illness, 5) Greater number of sick leave days taken, 6) Poorer health generally
  30. 30. Denial • Denial is simply refusing to acknowledge that an event has occurred. • Denial is one of Freud's original defense mechanisms. It is considered one of the most primitive of the defense mechanisms because it is characteristic of early childhood development. It is a form of repression, where stressful thoughts are banned from memory. • Many people use denial in their everyday lives to avoid dealing with painful feelings or areas of their life they don’t wish to admit. Example: 1) Patient denies that his physician's diagnosis of cancer is correct and seeks a second opinion. 2) Alcoholics vigorously deny that they have a problem.
  31. 31. Denial • Ego feels anxiety from perception of strong external or internal danger it can’t escape or deal with directly What you do: • Tell yourself it is not happening • Tell yourself it is not your fault • Conscious denial
  32. 32. Displacement • Displacement is the shifting of actions from a desired target to a substitute target when there is some reason why the first target is not permitted or not available. • Where possible the second target will resemble the original target in some way. • It occurs when the Id wants to do something of which the Super ego does not permit. The Ego thus finds some other way of releasing the psychic energy of the Id. • Thus there is a transfer of energy from a repressed object to a more acceptable object.
  33. 33. Displacement • Displacements are often quite satisfactory and workable mechanisms for releasing energy more safely. • Examples A man wins the lottery. He turns to the person next to him and gives the person a big hug.
  34. 34. Intellectualization • Intellectualization is a 'flight into reason', where the person avoids uncomfortable emotions by focusing on facts and logic. The situation is treated as an interesting problem that engages the person on a rational basis, whilst the emotional aspects are completely ignored as being irrelevant. • Example : A person who is in heavily debt builds a complex spreadsheet of how long it would take to repay using different payment options and interest rates. • Intellectualization protects against anxiety by repressing the emotions connected with an event. It is also known as 'Isolation of affect' as the affective elements are removed from the situation.
  35. 35. Projection • When a person has uncomfortable thoughts or feelings, they may project these onto other people, assigning the thoughts or feelings that they need to repress to a convenient alternative target. • Neurotic projection is perceiving others as operating in ways one unconsciously finds objectionable in yourself. • Complementary projection is assuming that others do, think and feel in the same way as you. • It turns neurotic or moral anxiety into reality anxiety, which is easier to deal with.
  36. 36. Projection What you do: • Attribute your own undesirable impulses, feeling, or desires to another person Examples: • “I hate her” really means “I think she hates me” Problems: • Misperceive the other person’s motivations • Don’t deal with your own feelings • Overreaction
  37. 37. Rationalization • When something happens that we find difficult to accept, then we will make up a logical reason why it has happened. • When a person does something of which the moral super ego disapproves, then the ego seeks to defend itself by adding reasons that make the action acceptable to the super ego. Thus we are able to do something that is outside our values and get away with it without feeling too guilty.
  38. 38. Rationalization What you do: • Make up excuses for inadequacies, failure, or loss Examples: • A parent punishes a child and says that it is for the child's 'own good'. • A person evades paying taxes and then rationalizes it by talking about how the government wastes money (and how it is better for people to keep what they can). • If I had better teachers, I would have gotten higher grades. Problems: • Energy would be better spent on improving. • The truth catches up with you.
  39. 39. Reaction Formation • Reaction Formation occurs when a person feels an urge to do or say something and then actually does or says something that is effectively the opposite of what they really want. It also appears as a defense against a feared social punishment. • A common pattern in Reaction Formation is for the person to show ‘excessive behavior’. What you do: • In defense against the threatening impulse, express the opposite impulse. • Psychoanalysts believe that extreme patterns of Reaction Formation are found in paranoia and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), where the person becomes trapped in a cycle of repeating a behavior that they know (at least at a deep level) is somehow wrong.
  40. 40. Reaction-Formation • Examples: • A person who is angry with a colleague actually ends up being particularly courteous and friendly towards them. • Someone frightens you so you act super nice • Someone frightens you so you snub them • The sex offender becomes the great protector of society. Problems: • False persona
  41. 41. Regression • Regression involves taking the position of a child in some problematic situation, rather than acting in a more adult way. • (Return to earlier and more comfortable developmental level) • This is usually in response to stressful situations, with greater levels of stress potentially leading to more overt regressive acts. • Can be simple and harmless, such as a person who is sucking a pen (as a Freudian regression to oral fixation) • may be more dysfunctional, such as crying or using petulant arguments.
  42. 42. Problems: Does not solve the problem People think you are immature You are not learning to cope well
  43. 43. Repression • Repression involves placing uncomfortable thoughts in relatively inaccessible areas of the subconscious mind. Thus when things occur that we are unable to cope with now, we push them away, either planning to deal with them at another time or hoping that they will fade away on their own accord. • The level of 'forgetting' in repression can vary from a temporary abolition of uncomfortable thoughts to a high level of amnesia, where events that caused the anxiety are buried very deep. • A high level of repression can cause a high level of anxiety or dysfunction, although this may also be caused by the repression of one particularly traumatic incident.
  44. 44. Repression • Repression is not all bad. If all uncomfortable memories were easily brought to mind we would be faced with a non-stop pain of reliving them. • e.g. A child who is abused by a parent later has no recollection of the events, but has trouble forming relationships. • A man has a phobia of snakes but cannot remember the first time he was afraid of them. Problems: • Diverts needed energy • Blocks out stressful situations that could be worked out
  45. 45. Acting out • Performing an extreme behavior in order to express thoughts or feelings the person feels incapable of otherwise expressing. e.g. Instead of saying, “I’m angry with you,” a person who acts out may instead throw a book at the person, or punch a hole through a wall. • When a person acts out, it can act as a pressure release, and often helps the individual feel calmer and peaceful once again. • For instance, a child’s temper tantrum is a form of acting out when he or she doesn’t get his or her way with a parent. • Self-injury may also be a form of acting-out, expressing in physical pain what one cannot stand to feel emotionally.
  46. 46. Dissociation • Dissociation is when a person loses track of time and/or person, and instead finds another representation of their self in order to continue in the moment. • People who have a history of any kind of childhood abuse often suffer from some form of dissociation. • In extreme cases, dissociation can lead to a person believing they have multiple selves (“multiple personality disorder”). • People who use dissociation often have a disconnected view of themselves in their world. Time and their own self-image may not flow continuously, as it does for most people.
  47. 47. Undoing • Undoing is the attempt to take back an unconscious behavior or thought that is unacceptable or hurtful. • A person tries to 'undo' an unhealthy, destructive or otherwise threatening thought by engaging in contrary behavior. • By “undoing” the previous action, the person is attempting to counteract the damage done by the original comment, hoping the two will balance one another out. • Ex. A man gives her wife a bunch of roses after their argument last night
  48. 48. Hypochondriasis • Exaggerating and overemphasizing an illness for the purpose of evasion and regression. In hypochondriasis, responsibility can be avoided, guilt can be circumvented , and instinctual impulses are warded off. Because hypochondriacial impulse are ego-alien, the afflicated person experiences dysphoria and a sense of affliction.
  49. 49. Idealization  Valuing something more than it is worth/ attributing exaggerated positive qualities to self or others • Yourself (conceited) “I am so wonderful. Everyone has to like me.” • Others or possession (money, house, car) • “I need that new Coach purse! It will complete me!!!”
  50. 50. Fantasy What is done: • Dreaming, imagining instead of living in the present world, because you don’t feel competent to achieve. • Pretending Examples: • Wanting to look good and pretending to yourself that you are one of the movie stars you read about. • Making up stories about how successful you are, rather than working on your success. Problems: • You get stuck in the fantasy rather than using your talents to become successful.
  51. 51. Passive aggression • Aggression towards others expressed indirectly or passively such as using procrastination.
  52. 52. Somatization • The transformation of negative feelings towards others into negative feelings toward self, pain, illness, and anxiety.
  53. 53. Splitting • A primitive defense. Negative and positive impulses are split off and not integrated. • Fundamental example: An individual views other people as either innately good or innately evil, rather than a whole continuous being. • it can even be splitting of the ego when the patient is existentially insecure.
  54. 54. Compensation What you do: • Develop or strengthen positive traits to make up for limitations • Distract attention from the weaknesses Examples: • Weak in school, excellent in sports. • Class clown Problems: • Unbalanced • Incompetent in some areas
  55. 55. Sublimation • Transformation of unwanted impulses into something less harmful. • This can simply be a distracting release or may be a constructive and valuable piece of work. • Sublimation is probably the most useful and constructive of the defense mechanisms as it takes the energy of something that is potentially harmful and turns it to doing something good and useful.
  56. 56. Sublimation • Freud believed that the greatest achievements in civilization were due to the effective sublimation of our sexual and aggressive urges that are sourced in the Id and then channeled by the Ego as directed by the Super ego. • Example - A angry man does pushups to work off his temper.
  57. 57. Anticipation • Dealing with stressors by anticipating the consequences and feelings associated with possible future events and considering realistic solutions. • Ex: getting old –think ahead and plan your retirement wisely!
  58. 58. Altruism • Constructive service to others that brings pleasure and personal satisfaction.
  59. 59. Humor It’s okay if I lost a leg at least I can dress up like a pirate now hahahahahhahahahahah a • Overt expression of ideas and feelings (especially those that are unpleasant to focus on or too terrible to talk about) that gives pleasure to others. • The thoughts retain a portion of their innate distress, but they are "skirted round" by witticism.
  60. 60. Suppression • Conscious decision to postpone attention to an impulse or conflict. Conscious set-up and unconscious follow through. The suppressed content temporarily resides in the unconscious.
  61. 61. • Distortion: A gross reshaping of external reality to meet internal needs(including unrealistic megalomania beliefs, hallucinations, wish- fulfilling delusions)and using sustained feelings of delusional superiority and entitlement. • Isolation: Separation of feelings from ideas and event. e.g. describing a murder with graphic details with no emotional response.
  62. 62. • Identification: The unconscious modeling of one's self upon another person's character and behavior. e.g. An insecure young man joins a fraternity to boost his self- esteem. • Introjection: Identifying with some idea or object so deeply that it becomes a part of that person.
  63. 63. Measurement of Defense Mechanisms • Defense Mechanism Test (Kragh, 1955) • Defense Style Questionnaire (Bond et al, 1983) • Defense Mechanisms Rating Scale (Perry, 1989) • Clinical Vignette Method (Valliant, 1976) • Defense Mechanism Inventory (Gleser & Ihilevitch, 1969)
  64. 64. Defense Mechanisms & Major Clinical Syndrome Sr. no. Personality disorder Defense mechanisms 1 Cluster A Fantasy Projection 2 Cluster B Acting out Splitting Dissociation Devaluation 3 Cluster C Passive aggression Help rejecting complaining
  65. 65. SR.NO. Disorder Defense mechanisms 1 Anxiety Repression 2 Phobia Displacement Regression 3 OCD Isolation of affect Undoing Reaction formation 4 Depression Regression Turning of aggression against self 5 Mania Denial Projection Regression 6 Paranoid Projection Regression Rationalization 7 Schizophrenia Regression Projection Isolation of affect
  66. 66. • Anxiety: When repression proves to be inadequate, previously contained primitive instinctual urges threaten to come to expression and this threat creates the sense of apprehension characteristics of anxiety. • Phobia: Through the mechanism of displacement a phobia replaces anxiety. Regression is inherent as phobia involves return to primitive mode of thought through which child copes with his own threatening impulses. • Mania : Denial is the defense mechanism characteristic of mania. When denial is threatened patient may then resort to Projection - attributing his own anger to others. Regression- return to the magical thinking characteristic of a small child.
  67. 67. • OCD : Isolation of affect is responsible for the symptom of obsessional thoughts, Undoing creates compulsive acts (a ritual which magically undoes a forbidden unconscious impulse) and Reaction formation (development of attitudes opposite to the impulses being defended against) accounts for scrupulosity and other exaggerated characteristics of cleanliness. • Depression : In less severe form of depression, that is depression out of proportion to the reality of the loss, the loss produces regression and revives the intense sense of hopelessness and despair that a small child experiences. In extreme depression the effect of identification with the lost object and the use of the mechanism of turning aggression against the self.
  68. 68. • Paranoid: Reliance on the defense mechanism of projection characterizes paranoid disorders. Regression is inherent in the production of paranoid delusions. Rationalization is constant companion to projection – ability to give plausible and logical reasons for his irrational beliefs is monumental. • Schizophrenia : Regression- primitive characteristics of patients thought and behavior; return to infantile modes of mental functioning Projection- involved in the formation of delusions of persecution or influence Isolation of affect – is involved in the calm detached way patient thinks or speaks of frightening things
  69. 69. TAKE HOME POINTS • Defense mechanisms do not usually get rid of the problem. • Even more extreme forms can be adaptive when briefly activated under severe stress. • Defenses change over time. • Helping in adopting mature forms of psychological improves mental health & it can reduce reliance on mind-altering substances.
  70. 70. References • CTP , 9th Edition • Introduction to Psychology, Morgan and King • Ego Defence Mechanism , George E Vaillant
  71. 71. “Flowers are restful to look at. They have neither emotions nor conflicts.” Sigmund Freud
  72. 72. THANK YOU

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