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The 12 Most Common Defense Mechanisms

Stressed looking woman

A professor of mine had always believed that Freud was well beyond his years as he pioneered and influenced many of the topics we know and love at the moment. It can be said that he was the one who built the backbone of the understanding of the complexity of the human mind. And one of his most famous theories is the three components of our self – the id, the ego, and the superego.

This is the triad that manages the life, each with its own drives and motives. The id is like the primitive part of our brain, and it mostly controls the animalistic drives we have. It’s mostly the pleasure-seeking aspect of our psyche. The need for sex is a great example for a drive that is governed by the Id. The Superego serves as the moral compass of our selves. It acts as our conscience, a way to distinguish between right and wrong. Think of it as having our own Jiminy Cricket in our heads. Lastly, we have the Ego. The Ego is the keeper of peace among the two other parts of our personality, as well as in charge with interacting with the current surroundings.

Now that in itself is a difficult burden to handle! According to Freud, humans are hedonistic creatures (somewhat influenced by the id. But hey, nobody wants to be unhappy either), and for us to achieve that, we need to achieve homeostasis. Humans deeply clamor for consistency in life. And with the continuously heavy demands of life, sometimes the ego can’t take all the stress which is why the ego goes at great lengths to still keep balance, even sometimes to an extent that it becomes unhealthy if used too much. It’s usually deemed as ‘Ego Defense Mechanisms’, or more commonly, ‘Defense Mechanisms’. And here are the 12 most common.

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