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Defense mechanism

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Defense mechanism

Defense mechanisms are the behaviors people use to separate themselves from unpleasant events, actions, or thoughts. These are unconscious strategies whereby people protect themselves from anxious thoughts or feelings

Defense mechanisms are the behaviors people use to separate themselves from unpleasant events, actions, or thoughts. These are unconscious strategies whereby people protect themselves from anxious thoughts or feelings

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Defense mechanism

  1. 1. DEFENSE MECHANISM PRESENSTED BY: MS. MONIKA KANWAR M.Sc. (N) [MENTAL HEALTH NURSING]
  2. 2. INTRODUCTION • Defense Mechanism is also known as Adjustment mechanism, Ego Defense mechanism or Mental Defense Mechanism. • Defense Mechanism are the Psychological strategies which helps a person to cope with reality and to maintain psychological balance or peace. • Sigmund Freud in 1904 used this term “defence mechanism” to refer to the unconscious process that defends or protects a person against anxiety, shame, loss of self esteem, conflict or unacceptable feelings. • According to Freud, when Id is in serious conflict with ego and superego, the individual suffer from tension or anxiety.
  3. 3. CONTD…. • Defense mechanism enables a person to resolve conflict and reduce the stress and anxiety. • Usually all defense mechanisms are operated at unconscious level. • Most of defense mechanisms are self-deceptive (blunder) in nature. • When these defense mechanisms are used moderately, are harmless but excessive and persistent defense use is harmful. In 1936, Anna Freud enumerated the ten defense mechanisms that appear in the works of her father, Sigmund Freud: repression, regression, reaction formation, isolation, undoing, projection, introjections, turning against one's own person, reversal into the opposite, and sublimation or displacement.
  4. 4. CONTD….
  5. 5. DEFINITION Defence mechanism is a pattern of adjustment through which an individual relieves anxiety caused by an uncomfortable situation that threaten self-esteem. OR Defense mechanisms are the techniques or mechanisms used by an individual to handle tension or reduce anxiety or resolve conflicts. OR Defense mechanisms refer to unconscious processes that defend a person against anxiety.
  6. 6. CLASSIFICATION • The list of defense mechanisms are huge & there is no theoretical consensus on exact number. Classifying defense mechanisms according to some of their properties (like underlying mechanisms, similarities or connection with personality) has been attempted. • Different theorists have different categorizations & conceptualization of defense mechanisms. • These defense mechanisms are classified according to its results- - Positive defense mechanism/ Healthy / Successful - Negative defense mechanism/ Unhealthy/ Unsuccessful
  7. 7. CONTD…. POSITIVE DEFENCE MECHANISM 1. Repression 2. Rationalization 3. Intellectualization 4. Compensation 5. Substitution 6. Sublimation 7. Undoing 8. Identification 9. Transference 10. Introjection
  8. 8. CONTD…. NEGATIVE DEFENCE MECHANISM 1. Regression 2. Negativism 3. Displacement 4. Denial 5. Conversion 6. Suppression 7. Fantasy 8. Projection 9. Fixation 10. Reaction formation 11. Dissociation 12. Acting out
  9. 9. POSITIVE DEFENCE MECHANISM 1. REPRESSION: • According to Freud, repression refers to the process by which an individual’s unacceptable, painful memories and feelings splits in to unconscious layer of mind. • EXAMPLE:-  A man is jealous of his good friend’s success but is unaware of his feeling of jealousy.  A child may got punishment from his mother for bad behavior but he didn't remember this afterwards. So these memories may goes into unconscious mind without awareness.
  10. 10. CONTD…. 2. RATIONALIZATION: • It is a defence mechanism in which an individual justifies his failures and socially unacceptable feelings and behaviors by making excuses or formulate logical reasons/socially approved reasons. • EXAMPLE:  A husband does not enjoy the company of wife outside the home and usually leave his wife at home. He gives logic that his wife is social shy.  A girl fails to get admission for the nursing course may point out a number of difficulties of nursing profession.
  11. 11. CONTD…. 3. INTELLECTUALIZATION: • Intellectualization is an attempt to avoid expressing actual emotions associated with a stressful situation by using the intellectual processes of logic, reasoning and analysis. • EXAMPLE:  During a car accident, a person immediately call to ambulance and try to control the bleeding instead of showing emotional reaction.
  12. 12. CONTD…. 4. COMPENSATION: • Compensation is a pattern when individual makes an attempt to make up for a deficiency by directing his energies to another aspect of one’s personality in which no deficiency exists. • EXAMPLE:  A student who fails in his studies may compensate by becoming the college champion in athletics.  A plain girl, who cannot compete with her more beautiful sisters, may compensate by studying hard and come 1st in her class.
  13. 13. CONTD…. 5. SUBSTITUTION: • It is a mechanism by which tension or anxiety is reduced by replacing the unachievable goal with achievable goal. • EXAMPLE:  A student who has not been able to get admission to the MBBS course may try to substitute it with a course of physiotherapy or nursing.  A person aspire to become a national level cricket player and not selected. He may substitute this goal by being a coach at college level.
  14. 14. CONTD…. 6. SUBLIMATION: • It is a mechanism that causes channelization of instinctual drives from socially unacceptable desires into acceptable form. • EXAMPLE:  An unmarried women interested in children may give expression to her repressed maternal urge by engaging herself in orphanages work.
  15. 15. CONTD…. 7. UNDOING: • Undoing is the act symbolically cancelling or reversing out a previous act which is unacceptable. • Consciously doing something to counteract or wrong doing. • EXAMPLE:  A daughter shout at her father as there is no petrol in the car and is getting late for office, brings a favorite film for her father to watch. This is an example of undoing her behavior of shouting and then bringing a film.
  16. 16. CONTD…. 8. IDENTIFICATION: • Through this process, an individual attempts to increase self worth by acquiring certain attributes and characteristics of another individual one who he/she admires. It plays a large part in the development of personality. • In this individual feels personal satisfaction in the success and achievement of other group or person • EXAMPLE  The young son of a famous civil rights worker adopts his father’s attitudes and behavior with the intent of pursuing similar aspirations.  An illiterate father often takes his son’s higher education as his own achievement.
  17. 17. CONTD…. 9. TRANSFERENCE: • In transference, the image of one person is unconsciously identified with that of another. • Redirection of feelings or expectations from one person to another. • EXAMPLE:-  A patient who is fond of his daughter finds the nurse of the same age and height as his daughter. So he transfer his positive emotions to the nurse as his daughter.  It is also possible that if he dislikes his daughter he transfers his negative emotions to the nurse by being rude, abusive, or aggressive without any cause.
  18. 18. CONTD…. 10. INTROJECTION: • In introjections the values and characteristics of significant persons are incorporated in one’s personality. • EXAMPLE:  A women who likes to live in a simple way introjects in her the sophisticated way of living likes her husband.
  19. 19. NEGATIVE DEFENCE MECHANISM 1. REGRESSION: • Regression means an immature way of responding to a stress or go backwards. • An individual does less mature form of behavior when faced with difficulties, where he finds less conflict hence less anxiety. • EXAMPLE:  Nurse makes an error in giving medication and starts crying.  A person who is depressed may withdraw to his or her room, curl up in a fetal position on the bed.
  20. 20. CONTD…. 2. NEGATIVISM: • It is a mechanism in which individuals react to frustrating situations by becoming negative. This means they refuse to attack the problem instead they become stubborn. They do opposite of what should be done. • EXAMPLE: The children who are discouraged or pampered too much become like that.
  21. 21. CONTD…. 3. DISPLACEMENT: • In this defence mechanism, an unconsciously emotional feeling is transferred to person or object who are less dangerous than those who initially aroused the emotion. • Discharging pent up feelings from higher threatening object to less threatening objects. • EXAMPLE:  A person who is angry with his boss but cannot show it for fear of losing the job, may fight with his wife on return from the office.
  22. 22. CONTD…. 4. DENIAL: • It is a pattern or mechanism of refusal to accept or believe of something that is very unpleasant to us. • It protect the individual from shock of reality. • Denial is quite harmless if practiced in moderation but can lead to serious difficulties in health and life style if practiced in excess. • EXAMPLE:  When some very near and dear one die in the family. Some people say no, he is still alive.  A patient may come to know that he is diagnosed with cancer and nor ready to accept reality.
  23. 23. CONTD…. 5. CONVERSION: • In this pattern of defence mechanism, strong emotional conflicts which are not expressed are converted into physical symptoms. • EXAMPLE:-  A student nurse, who is very anxious about her examination, may develop a headache.
  24. 24. CONTD…. 6. SUPPRESSION: • Suppression is the voluntary/conscious blocking of unpleasant feelings and experiences from one’s awareness to avoid discomfort and anxiety. • EXAMPLE:  Student consciously decides not to think about her insult in examinations hall so that she can study effectively.  A patient may refuse to consider his difficulties by saying that he does not want to talk about it.
  25. 25. CONTD…. 7. FANTASY: • Fantasy is used to gratify frustrated desires by imaginary achievements and wishful thinking. • The tendency of day dreaming is most common during adolescence. • EXAMPLE:  A young boy who could not help his ailing father due to shortage of money, day dreams that he has got lot of money from lottery ticket and his father, mother and family members has best of the facilities for everything.
  26. 26. CONTD…. 8. PROJECTION: • Unconsciously or consciously blaming someone else for one’s difficulties. • Fails to learn to take personal responsibility. • EXAMPLE:  A surgeon who did mistake in operation may insist that it happened because theatre nurse and ward boy did their task badly.  A businessperson who values punctuality is late for a meeting and states , “sorry I’m late. My assistant forgot to remind me of the time.
  27. 27. CONTD…. 9. FIXATION: • Fixation refers to the point in the individual’s development, at which certain aspects of the emotional development do not advance. • EXAMPLE:-  Thumb sucking continuous till adult age.  An unmarried, middle aged man still depends on his mother to provide his basic needs.
  28. 28. CONTD…. 10. REACTION FORMATION: • In this defence mechanism the unacceptable real feelings are repressed and acceptable opposite feelings are expressed. • It is defined as unconscious transformation of unacceptable impulse into exactly opposite attitudes, impulse, feelings or behaviors. • EXAMPLE:  Women who actually dislike her mother in law hide her feelings by being always nice to her.
  29. 29. CONTD…. 11. DISSOCIATION: • Individual separate out the memory, things that they don’t want to or can’t deal with. If used excessively it can become a full blown dissociative disorder which is very intense type of disorder, • EXAMPLE:  A woman finds herself engaging in Bulimic eating behaviors in a subconscious attempt to escape feelings of shame.
  30. 30. CONTD…. 12. ACTING OUT: • It is a pattern of performing an extreme behavior in order to express thoughts or feelings the person feels incapable of expressing. • Instead of saying, “I am angry with you”, “a person acts out by throwing a book or any object at the person, or punch a hole through a wall. • When a person acts out, it can act as a pleasure release, or often helps the individual feel calmer and peaceful once again. • EXAMPLE: A child’s temper tantrum is a form of acting out when he/ she doesn't get his/ her way. Self- injury may also be a form of acting out.
  31. 31. CLASSIFICATION George Eman Valliant’s (1977) categorized defense mechanism on a continuum related to their psychoanalytical developmental level LEVEL I: Pathological Defenses LEVEL II: Immature Defenses LEVEL III: Neurotic Defenses LEVEL IV: Mature Defenses
  32. 32. CONTD…. LEVEL I: PATHOLOGICAL DEFENSE MECAHNISM: • Pathological defense mechanism helps the person to rearrange external experiences to remove the need to cope with reality. • People who use pathological defense mechanism shows irrational/unsound behavior. • Excessive use of pathological defense mechanism may result into psychotic disorders.
  33. 33. CONTD….
  34. 34. CONTD…. PROJECTION DELUSIONAL PROJECTION: Develop false belief where person blame other that someone or closed one wants to kill him/her or is cheating. E.g.: Person blames that someone (friends, partner or family member) wants to kill me EXTREME PROJECTION: Self-deficiency was perceived as a deficiency in another individual. E.g.: A surgeon who did mistake in operation may insist that it happened because theatre nurse and ward boy did their task badly.
  35. 35. CONTD…. LEVEL II: IMMATURE DEFENSE MECAHNISM: • Immature Mechanism helps the person to lessen their distress and anxiety provoked by threatening people or reality. • Excessive use of such defense are socially undesirable and person is labeled as immature. • These defenses are often seen severe depression and personality disorders. DEFENSE MECAHNISM AND MEANING EXAMPLE Idealization: Unconsciously perceiving another individual as having more positive qualities then he/she may actually have One always accept his/her boss more ideal and praise him/her all the time
  36. 36. CONTD….
  37. 37. CONTD…. LEVEL III: NEUROTIC DEFENSE MECAHNISM: • Neurotic Defense Mechanism provide short term advantage in coping, but can often cause long-term Problems in relationships, work and in enjoying life when used as one’s primary defense of coping. DEFENSE MECAHNISM AND MEANING EXAMPLE Compartmentalization: Lesser form of dissociation, wherein parts of oneself are separated from awareness of other parts and behaving as if one had separate sets of values A honest person who cheats on his/her income tax return at one side and criticize corruption in government department
  38. 38. CONTD….
  39. 39. CONTD….
  40. 40. CONTD…. DEFENSE MECAHNISM AND MEANING EXAMPLE Isolation: In this there is an unconscious separation of an unacceptable act or idea from its memory. Wife describing the murder of her husband with graphic details with no emotional response Rationalization: It is a defence mechanism in which an individual justifies his failures and socially unacceptable feelings and behaviors by making excuses or formulate logical reasons / socially approved reasons. A husband does not enjoy the company of wife outside the home and usually leave his wife at home. He gives logic that his wife is social shy.
  41. 41. CONTD…. LEVEL IV: MATURE DEFENSE MECAHNISM: • Mature Defense Mechanisms are used by the emotionally healthy individuals. • The use of these defenses enhance the pleasure and feelings of control among subjects. DEFENSE MECAHNISM AND MEANING EXAMPLE Introjection: In introjections the values and characteristics of significant persons are incorporated in one’s personality. A women who likes to live in a simple way introjects in her the sophisticated way of living likes her husband.
  42. 42. CONTD….
  43. 43. CONTD….
  44. 44. CONTD…. DEFENSE MECAHNISM AND MEANING EXAMPLE Compensation: Compensation is a pattern when individual makes an attempt to make up for a deficiency by directing his energies to another aspect of one’s personality in which no deficiency exists. A student who fails in his studies may compensate by becoming the college champion in athletics. Assertiveness: Stand up for own or other people’s rights in a calm and positive way, without being aggressive, or passively accepting “wrong” A person say no to his/her boss for his/her unreasonable demands without being aggressive.

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