Saturday, May 9, 2015

The Ego State of Mind

An ego is often associated with an aggressive person, high handed and arrogant although it can be the opposite. It is the part of the mind that mediates between the conscious and the unconscious and is responsible for reality testing and a sense of personal identity. Engineered through nature and nurture, it sets a person's sense of self-esteem or self-importance, the opinion that you have about yourself and how one reacts to issues: a part of the mind that senses and adapts to the real world, his world.

One fine example in recent weeks are no other than Malaysian IGP Khalid Abu Bakar. Apart from his remarkable body language, the IGP recently burst out that his decisions cannot be questioned. Responding to the many allegations that the IGP is being a “Barua” (lackey) to UMNO. Source: FMT, Azmin on ‘barua’ remark: It was a question, answer it! |        May 9, 2015

By Sigmund Freud

Sigmund Freud would have been a great Hollywood screenwriter. His "story" of personality is one of desire, power, control, and freedom. The plot is complex and the characters compete. Our personalities represent a drama of sorts, acted out in our minds. "You" are a product of how competing mental forces and structures interact. The ancient Greeks thought that all people were actors in the drama of the gods above. For Freud, we are simply actors in the drama of our minds, pushed by desire, pulled by conscience. Underneath the surface, our personalities represent the power struggles going on deep within us.

Three main players carry all of this drama out:
  • ·         Id: The seat of our impulses
  • ·         Ego: Negotiates with the id, pleases the superego
  • ·         Superego: Keeps us on the straight and narrow

Each of these characters has its own idea of what the outcome of the story should be. Their struggles are fuelled by powerful motives, and each one is out for itself.

The Id
So first let's start with the id. Now, this is basically the childish and impulsive part of you. So it's the part that kind of just does what it wants, and it wants things really intensely and doesn't really think about the consequences. And Freud describes this as operating basically on a pleasure principle, which essentially means kind of what it sounds like, which is that it's always seeking to try to increase pleasure and decrease pain.
Now, as an example of this, let's say you come home and you find to your delight that your roommate has baked a cake. 'Like, oh man, I want that cake that looks delicious.' Now let's say that you know your roommate's not going to be happy if you eat it, so first you eat a little piece of the corner and then you kind of have to cut yourself a slice so it doesn't look disgusting, and then soon enough you've eaten the whole thing; it's gone.
That is your id; that's all id. That's what your id aims to do in life. It wants you to eat whole cakes because it wants you to increase pleasure. Cakes are going to make you feel good - why not eat the whole thing? Now, what it also wants to do is decrease pain. So let's say you wake up the next morning and you think, 'Oh God, I just ate a whole cake. That's really bad, maybe I'll get some exercise.' I don't know, let's put him on a mountain - he's hiking. 'Alright, let's get some exercise!' No, your id says, 'That's not going to happen; that's going to hurt. We don't want to do that.' So if you're totally id driven, you'd basically eat the whole cake and then you would not go hiking the next day to burn off the calories. That's the pleasure principle.
The Superego
Now, what kind of controls this a little bit is the other part of your personality that's also unconscious, or mainly unconscious, and it's the superego. And the superego is basically the part of you that's super judgmental and moralizing. And what the superego is going to do is if you come home and you find the cake...
Now, if you had a really, really strong superego, you probably just wouldn't eat the cake at all. You know, you'd see it, you'd think it looks delicious, but you'd' say, 'No, it's my roommate's; I'm not going to eat this cake' because the superego is always trying to get you to behave in a socially appropriate way and it's not that socially appropriate to eat other people's baked goods; that's not something that we do.
But, let's say instead that you're still a little id driven, so you do... the same thing happens - you eat a little bit, you eat a little bit more, oh well, you might as well just eat it all. There it goes into your stomach. But in this case, if you've got some superego action, what it's going to do... it's going to make you feel... it's going to take... that cake it gone into your belly and it's been replaced with guilt. Your superego makes you feel really guilty when you do things that are not socially appropriate.
So guilt... so if you do something that's not socially appropriate, you get rewarded with guilt, and this keeps you in check. So maybe what you do, you know if you ate a whole cake, you'd certainly go jogging, but you'd also maybe apologize to your roommate. It gets you to do things that are good and right. And it controls our sense of right and wrong by... we felt bad when we do things that are wrong and we feel better when we do things that are right, and that's what the superego controls.
The Ego
Now, what the ego does is pretty related to the id and the superego. So the id and the superego... From what I've described before you can imagine their kind of always fighting. The id is trying to get you to do things like eat cake and you know not go jogging and the superego is basically trying to get you to be a good person; it's trying to get you to be an upstanding citizen. 'There I am; I'm high-fiving the world and I'm happy because I'm upstanding.' What the ego does is it basically mediates between the two.
The ego is a mediator between these two components of personality that is responsible for dealing with reality.
According to Freud, the ego develops from the id and ensures that the impulses of the id can be expressed in a manner acceptable in the real world.
The ego functions in both the conscious, preconscious, and unconscious mind.
The ego operates based on the reality principle, which strives to satisfy the id's desires in realistic and socially appropriate ways. The reality principle weighs the costs and benefits of an action before deciding to act upon or abandon impulses. In many cases, the id's impulses can be satisfied through a process of delayed gratification--the ego will eventually allow the behaviour, but only in the appropriate time and place.
The ego also discharges tension created by unmet impulses through the secondary process, in which the ego tries to find an object in the real world that matches the mental image created by the id's primary process.

What to Do in a Psychological Crisis
By Adam Cash

Part of the Psychology for Dummies Cheat Sheet

When someone is in a state of panic or extremely angry about something, it’s useful to have some basic ideas of how to help. You can use psychological first aid — a form of crisis intervention that consists of five easy steps.

Connect: Make psychological contact with the person in crisis.
Make eye contact and communicate a sense of caring. Use a calm voice. If you think the person may be dangerous, keep a safe distance and use non-threatening, nonverbal behaviour. (Don’t point at them or cross your arms, for example.)

Explore: Find out the who, what, when, why, where, and how of their current crisis.
Seek solutions: Help the individual generate his or her own solutions; only suggest solutions if he or she can’t come up with anything.

Take action: Assist the person in taking action based on the agreed-upon solution.
Follow up: Agree to a time or a place in the near future that you will check on the person to see if the crisis was resolved or if he or she needs further assistance.

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