If the ego is obliged to admit its weakness, it breaks out in anxiety regarding the outside world, moral anxiety regarding the superego, and neurotic anxiety regarding the strength of the passions in the id. (Freud 1933, p78).
Why do we need Ego defenses?
Memories banished to the unconscious, or unacceptable drives or urges do not disappear. They continue to exert a powerful influence on behavior. The forces, which try to keep painful or socially undesirable thoughts and memories out of the conscious mind, are termed defense mechanisms.
There is a perpetual battle between the wish (repressed into the id) and the defense mechanisms.
We use defense mechanisms to protect ourselves from feelings of anxiety or guilt, which arise because we feel threatened, or because our id or superego becomes too demanding. They are not under our conscious control, and are non-voluntaristic. With the ego, our unconscious will use one or more to protect us when we come up against a stressful situation in life. Ego-defense mechanisms are natural and normal. When they get out of proportion, neuroses develop, such as anxiety states, phobias, obsessions, or hysteria.
Examples of Defenses Mechanisms
There are a large number of defense mechanisms; the main ones are summarized below.
* Identification with the Aggressor
Anca Cercel N.D.