“For indeed they would’ve believed in the Existence of a Supreme Deity; if they had witnessed the war between broken angels and vicious devils within me.”
As I begin with the articulative aspect of my hypothesis, the initial point of contemplation has managed to branch itself out to a certain number of variations that could prove to be needful as clarifications in to a further study of some rather complex functions embodied inside, perhaps the most sophisticatedly elegant creation in being; the human brain.
Take note, you will witness clever statements and facts whilst perusing this article. It’s quite alright if you are unable to catch up to speed and find yourself in a state of awe and bafflement somewhere along the way. It does not mean that I am smarter than you, it merely makes me different..in a smarter way.
Common functions of a basic defense mechanism
It is imperative to bear in mind that the sole purpose of the need to include this portion of the article is to elaborate the understanding of the reader on said subject matter. Instances listed below (most common but not limited to) were proposed by the father of psychology himself, Dr. Sigmund Freud in the late 1800s which later on were expanded by psychologists through decades of thorough research and can all be conveniently found around the web in a more detailed fashion with a little dabbling on your keyboard. You may skip this segment if you’re knowledgable enough already.
Without further ado:
|Name of Defense Mechanism||Description*||Example*|
|Repression||Burying a painful feeling or thought from your awareness though it may resurface in symbolic form. Sometimes considered a basis of other defense mechanisms.||You forget about your father’s funeral.|
|Denial||Not accepting reality because it is too painful.||You are arrested for drunk driving several times but don’t believe you have a problem with alcohol.|
|Regression||Reverting to an older, less mature way of handling stresses and feelings.||You and your roommate have gotten into an argument so you stomp off into another room and pout.|
|Projection||Attributing your own unacceptable thoughts or feelings to someone or something else.||You get really mad at your husband but scream that he’s the one mad at you.|
|Splitting||Everything in the world is seen as all good or all bad with nothing in between.||You think your best friend is absolutely worthless because he forgot a lunch date with you.|
|Isolation of affect||Attempting to avoid a painful thought or feeling by objectifying and emotionally detaching oneself from the feeling.||Acting aloof and indifferent towards someone when you really dislike that person.|
|Displacement||Channeling a feeling or thought from its actual source to something or someone else.||When you get mad at your sister, you break your drinking glass by throwing it against the wall.|
|Reaction Formation||Adopting beliefs, attitudes, and feelings contrary to what you really believe.||When you say you’re not angry but you are.|
|Rationalization||Justifying one’s behaviors and motivations by substituting “good”, acceptable reasons for these real motivations.||“I always study hard for tests and I know a lot of people who cheat so it’s not a big deal I cheated this time.”|
|Altruism||Handling your own pain by helping others.||After your wife dies, you keep yourself busy by volunteering at your church.|
|Humor||Focusing on funny aspects of a painful situation.||A person’s treatment for cancer makes him lose his hair so he makes jokes about being bald.|
|Sublimation||Redirecting unacceptable, instinctual drives into personally and socially acceptable channels.||Intense rage redirected in the form of participation in sports such as boxing or football.|
|Suppression||The effort to hide and control unacceptable thoughts or feelings.||You are attracted to someone but say that you don’t like the person at all.|
|Undoing||Trying to reverse or “undo” a thought or feeling by performing an action that signifies an opposite feeling than your original thought or feeling.||You have feelings of dislike for someone so you buy them a gift in hopes to alter it.|
* Certain grammatical amendments and spelling alterations were made where necessary. Very unprofessional mate. Very unprofessional.
Do we truly even need one?
Unless you wouldn’t mind going on a date with someone as morbidly ravishing as “Anxiety” wearing a bow tie, yes, you do. Our defense mechanism has been an integral part of our lives since childhood all through the phase of adolescence and ultimately death.
It adapts, it morphs itself to push back certain thoughts and feelings to our unconscious state of mind as it realises the traumatic harm it could cause to our mental health being ubiquitously involved in the conscious state of mind or expresses them out in ways that could relieve anxiety and anger.
But what happens, when it goes too far? What happens when a system built to protect an individual from mental traumas becomes so hyperactively engaged that instead of being defensive it ultimately loses all sense of rationality, logic, reasoning, consideration of oneself’s own well-being as well as those around them and throws itself in to means of aggression and violence over thoughts and constant delusions that have been entirely self created?
Hypothesis – Root of all mental disorders
The premise of this article must be fairly evident by now. The technique of Psychoanalysis founded once again by the world renowned Austrian physicist Dr. Sigmund Freud involves the resurfacing of an individual’s repressed emotions and thoughts from the unconscious to the conscious. This indicates that true repression is incredibly mythical; there will always be triggers that compel these supposedly forgotten emotions in to the light, and whensoever they do, our mind’s defense mechanism will be raging out loud.
Researches have shown sources of mental disorders to be widely vague and unknown. Some blame inheritance, others pour it all upon certain neuro-chemicals that are released in our brains. Noradrenaline and serotonin being the most commonly discussed.
When one understands that most, if not all personality/mental disorders could be easily linked to the hyperactivity of traits listed above and are nothing more than the ingenious work of our defense mechanism; true therapy can begin.
It could be as simple as being aware of the fact that your mind is a constant yap machine with loads of melodrama to indulge you in that you will always fail to quiet down; but you needn’t be a part of it either. Perceive it as growing up with stacks of vocabulary of a language you never chose to learn. It would be close to impossible to try and unlearn it now, but you have the absolute will not to speak it.
You will hear it.
You will be talked to using it.
But you can choose to merely be an observer of what comes your way without chiming in yourself.
Similarly, every time you have a raging impulse to project your feelings on to another fellow terrestrial, or even an inanimate object, or you desire to rationalise an act that in your conscience feels otherwise; take note that it is not you who has all these sudden cravings. Your mind is on the verge of throwing a tantrum again. That inner voice of yours that already has a cosmic amount of conclusions to derive from an event that seems familiar to an occurrence of the past is attempting to consume you. The choice to give it power to do so, however, is yours.
In one of the most remarkable books I’ve read over my aeons (over-poetised) written by Michael A. Singer titled “The Untethered Soul”, the author emphasises on defining a clear line between you as yourself, seated on an unwavering plane of consciousness and your thoughts hence establishing a subject-object relationship; with yourself as the subject of the objects (thoughts/emotions) you sense as we go on about our merry lives.
Imagine the beauty of externalising that voice as being nothing but a biological impulse triggered by your defense mechanism and scoffing at it when it tries to get the better of you. Imagine on being on that level of awareness when you’re in absolute harmony with all the pessimistic views that voice has on him, her, that or it. Imagine realising the benevolence you are gifted with once you break out of the mental prison you’ve been defining yourself with through all these years.
Imagine being unmangled.
Imagine the grand pleasure of liberation where you smile at the constant vortex your gloomy train of thoughts try to board you on from afar; observing, but never participating. You will begin to see that there are far better things, beguiling things to occupy your mind with and contemplate on; and then some more.
An absolute discreditation of inheritance and chemicals coursing through our brains to justify the unanticipated alterations to our personalities should not be a deduction too far-fetched now. Since we have comprehended the fundamental principal of the characteristics of a defense mechanism, a co-relation between the former and certain typical attributes that arise from conventional mental disorders is undeniable.
As ever, the most suitable way to obliterate smoke protruding from a log, is by extinguishing it’s flames.