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Common Assignment

725 words - 3 pages

According to Ms. M, when she was a child her mother was very resolute and strong-willed. Despite Ms. M’s disability, her mother expected her to do things just like other children, and was intolerant of any excuses made by Ms. M in regard to her physical state. Ms. M described her mother’s behavior as insensitive at times. She reported her mother would often be disparaging and ridiculing towards her when she would act out her frustrations that arose from being pushed too hard. Ms. M expressed that although it was difficult for her as a child, she is now appreciative of her mother’s harsh and determined parenting because she believes that without her mother’s resolve and convictions, she would not be successful today.
Due to her experiencing of her mother as insensitive, ridiculing, and disparaging we can understand that she would have an aggressive drive towards her mother for making her feel bad about herself. Freud described a type of anxiety known as signal anxiety. This type of anxiety is produced by a danger situation, or via the anticipation of danger. Signal anxiety is produced by the ego, and it serves to activate the forces at the command of the ego to meet or avoid the impending traumatic situation, which would result should the id be allowed to act on the aggressive drive (also known as id’s wish-fulfillment) (CITE). Freud identified four primary danger situations. They include loss of object, loss of object’s love, castration anxiety, and guilt (CITE). Of these danger situations, the most relevant one for Ms. M is that of castration anxiety. Castration anxiety, in a metaphorical sense, refers to the fear of being degraded or made insignificant. It is usually an irrational fear where an individual will go to great lengths to save their pride and/or perceives trivial things as being degrading making their anxiety restrictive and sometimes damaging (CITE). To defend against these dangers, the ego employs defense mechanisms, which are unconscious and automatic ways of responding to external stresses and emotional conflict (Cabaniss, 2011). Ego defense mechanisms are psychological strategies brought into play by the unconscious mind to manipulate, deny, or distort reality in order to defend against feelings of anxiety, and unacceptable impulses (CITE). So for...

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