Defense Mechanisms are defenses the ego uses to protect the self. The ego uses these defense mechanisms when there is conflict with the super ego and the id. According to psychoanalytic theory they are unconscious behaviors.
When we become anxious and overwhelmed the ego steps in with certain defenses to protect self. It is important to understand that these are not always good defenses. The majority of people use good strategies to overcome difficult situations.
There are four categories that these defense mechanisms are placed. They are: Pathological, Immature, Neurotic and Mature. Pathological mechanisms are ways the ego uses to escape reality. We often view these people as being insane and crazy. Immature mechanisms are most frequently seen in adolescents. When seen in adults we view them as immature and undesirable to be around, in children it is considered normal behavior. Neurotic mechanisms are common in adults. They give short term benefits but often cause long term damage. Mature mechanisms are found in emotionally strong adults. These mechanisms provide support in short term and long term situations.
There are a lot of different defense mechanisms and over the next couple of weeks we will be going over them. I hope that this will help us in our ability to better understand the reactions that our characters have to difficult situations.
What do you already know about defense mechanisms?
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