Ego: The conscious portion of the personality structure which serves to mediate between the demands of the primitive instinctual drives, (the id), of internalized parental and social prohibitions or the conscience, (the superego), and of reality.Psychosomatic Medicine: A system of medicine which aims at discovering the exact nature of the relationship between the emotions and bodily function, affirming the principle that the mind and body are one.Existentialism: Philosophy based on the analysis of the individual's existence in the world which holds that human existence cannot be completely described in scientific terms. Existentialism also stresses the freedom and responsibility of the individual as well as the uniqueness of religious and ethical experiences and the analysis of subjective phenomena such as anxiety, guilt, and suffering. (APA, Thesaurus of Psychological Index Terms, 8th ed.)Psychology, Clinical: The branch of psychology concerned with psychological methods of recognizing and treating behavior disorders.Life: The state that distinguishes organisms from inorganic matter, manifested by growth, metabolism, reproduction, and adaptation. It includes the course of existence, the sum of experiences, the mode of existing, or the fact of being. Over the centuries inquiries into the nature of life have crossed the boundaries from philosophy to biology, forensic medicine, anthropology, etc., in creative as well as scientific literature. (Random House Unabridged Dictionary, 2d ed; Dr. James H. Cassedy, NLM History of Medicine Division)Personality Development: Growth of habitual patterns of behavior in childhood and adolescence.Defense Mechanisms: Unconscious process used by an individual or a group of individuals in order to cope with impulses, feelings or ideas which are not acceptable at their conscious level; various types include reaction formation, projection and self reversal.Latency Period (Psychology): The period from about 5 to 7 years to adolescence when there is an apparent cessation of psychosexual development.
Ego (religion)Zbigniew J. LipowskiJim RohnEastern philosophy in clinical psychology: Eastern philosophy in clinical psychology refers to the influence of Eastern philosophies on the practice of clinical psychology based on the idea that East and West are false dichotomies. Travel and trade along the Silk Road brought ancient texts and mind practices deep into the West.
(1/101) Platelet monoamine oxidase activity, ego strength, and neuroticism in soldiers with combat-related current posttraumatic stress disorder.
AIM: To assess possible differences in platelet monoamino oxidase-B (MAO-B) activity, ego strength, and neuroticism in combat-experienced soldiers with or without current posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). METHOD: The soldiers with current PTSD (N=36) and a control group of 34 healthy soldiers were matched in combat experience, time passed between combat experience and the study, demographic variables (age, marital status, education), and smoking status. Platelet MAO-B was assayed fluorometrically, ego strength was measured by the Croatian version of the Ego Identity Scale, and neuroticism by the N-scale from Eysenck's EPQ-R questionnaire. RESULTS: Soldiers with combat-related current PTSD had lower platelet MAO-B activity than the control group (9.1+/-3.9 vs. 11.9+/-4.0; p<0.05), as well as lower ego-strength (86.3+/-8.3 vs. 108.6+/-13.4; p<0.05) and higher neuroticism (23.5+/-13.2 vs. 5. 9+/-4.7; p<0.05). There was no association of ego strength or neuroticism with platelet MAO-B activity. CONCLUSION: Ego identity strength and emotional stability are associated with successful coping with combat trauma. The involvement of platelet MAO-B activity in biological basis of ego strength and neuroticism could not be demonstrated. (+info)
(2/101) A unitary theory of stigmatisation: pursuit of self-interest and routes to destigmatisation.
BACKGROUND: Stigmatisation is of increasing importance in relation to racism, ageism and sexism but also as an impediment to treating patients. AIMS: To develop a theoretical foundation to help comprehend the core meaning of stigmatisation and to guide practical anti-stigmatisation measures. METHOD: Personal reflection; re-interpretation of stigmatisation and reformulation of the relevant concepts. RESULTS: Emergence of a unitary theory of stigmatisation. CONCLUSIONS: Based on the structure of stigmatisation one could explore six levels of intervention in anti-stigmatisation campaigns: the cognitive level - educational intervention; the affective level - psychological intervention; the discrimination level - legislative intervention; the denial level - linguistic intervention; the economic origin - political intervention; the evolutionary origin - intellectual and cultural intervention. As destigmatisation has to challenge fundamental human tendencies, anti-stigmatisation campaigns have to be continuous, non-stop, open-ended projects aiming at keeping alive thought processes that moderate and humanise the pursuit of self-interest and the urge to survive in a competitive world. (+info)
(3/101) Social ties and mental health.
It is generally agreed that social ties play a beneficial role in the maintenance of psychological well-being. In this targeted review, we highlight four sets of insights that emerge from the literature on social ties and mental health outcomes (defined as stress reactions, psychological well-being, and psychological distress, including depressive symptoms and anxiety). First, the pathways by which social networks and social supports influence mental health can be described by two alternative (although not mutually exclusive) causal models-the main effect model and the stress-buffering model. Second, the protective effects of social ties on mental health are not uniform across groups in society. Gender differences in support derived from social network participation may partly account for the higher prevalence of psychological distress among women compared to men. Social connections may paradoxically increase levels of mental illness symptoms among women with low resources, especially if such connections entail role strain associated with obligations to provide social support to others. Third, egocentric networks are nested within a broader structure of social relationships. The notion of social capital embraces the embeddedness of individual social ties within the broader social structure. Fourth, despite some successes reported in social support interventions to enhance mental health, further work is needed to deepen our understanding of the design, timing, and dose of interventions that work, as well as the characteristics of individuals who benefit the most. (+info)
(4/101) Psychological distress in the 5-year period after predictive testing for Huntington's disease.
The paper reports on a 5-year longitudinal study on psychological distress after predictive testing for Huntington's disease (HD) and on correlates of post-test distress. Psychometric tests and questionnaires were used. The tested persons were invited to participate in the follow-up study; the uptake rate was 75% (24 carriers, 33 non-carriers). Three time points were included: baseline, 1 year and 5 years post-test. Five years after the test, mean distress scores of both carriers and non-carriers were within the normal range. Carriers did not differ from non-carriers with regard to mean general distress. Compared to non-carriers, however, carriers had significantly less positive feelings (P<0.001) and were more consciously avoiding HD-related situations and thoughts (P<0.01). These findings reflect the carriers' conscious and unconscious attempt to escape from pessimism and to minimise negative consequences of the test result. Psychological distress 5 years post-test was significantly associated with ego-strength (P<0.05 to P<0.001). Except for intrusion and avoidance, distress was also associated with test motivation (P<0.05 to P<0.01). Compared with baseline level, mean depression, general and specific anxiety had significantly decreased 1 year and 5 years post-test (P<0.05 to 0.01). This evolution was independent of the test result. However, based on test motivation, a subgroup of tested persons having long lasting psychological distress could be identified, also irrespective of test result. Persons who asked the test to get rid of the uncertainty, without being able to specify implications for substantial life areas, had more psychological distress before and after the test than those who wanted the test for specific reasons (P<0.001 to P<0.0001). Moreover, the pattern of post-test anxiety differed over time, depending on the test motivation (P<0.05). The findings suggest that pre- and post-test counselling should pay special attention to persons with lower ego-strength and with an unspecified test motivation, because they are at higher risk for long-term psychological distress, independently of the test result. (+info)
(5/101) Re-examining thought insertion. Semi-structured literature review and conceptual analysis.
BACKGROUND: Thought insertion is commonly regarded as diagnostic of schizophrenia. Little is known of its aetiology or pathophysiology. AIMS: To examine the definition and application of thought insertion in psychiatric and allied literatures. METHOD: A semi-structured literature review and conceptual analysis. RESULTS: When 'narrowly' defined, thought insertion is reliably identified but not specific to schizophrenia. There is a range of related phenomena ('alienated', 'influenced', 'made' and 'passivity' thinking), less consistently defined but also not specific to schizophrenia. Whether thought insertion is solely an abnormal belief (or may also be an experience) is open to question. Nevertheless, the symptom has been used to explain schizophrenia, predict dangerousness and advance theories of 'normal' agency. Most applications have been subject to critique. CONCLUSIONS: Despite its widespread occurrence and diagnostic application, thought insertion is an ill-understood and under researched symptom of psychosis. Its pathophysiology remains obscure. (+info)
(6/101) The life mission theory II. The structure of the life purpose and the ego.
Pursuing your life mission is often very difficult, and many frustrations are experienced along the way. Major failures to bring out our potential can cause us considerable emotional pain. When this pain is unbearable, we are induced to shift from one intention and talent to another that better allows us to adapt and survive. Thus, we become set on a course that brings out a secondary or tertiary talent instead of the primary talent. This talent displacement may be expressed as a loss of our true nature or true self. The new purpose in life now functions as the core of a new personality: the ego. The ego has a structure similar to that of the true self. It is anchored in a talent and it draws on subtalents. But the person who is centered in his or her ego is not as powerful or talented as the person he or she originally was, living the primary purpose of life. This is because the original personality (the true self or "higher self") is still there, active and alive, behind the ego. Symptoms, disorders, and diseases may be explained by the loss of energy, joy in life, and intuitive competence because of inner conflicts, which may be alleviated or cured in the salutogenetic process of Antonovsky that helps patients find their sense of coherence or their primary purpose in life. Many cases of reduced ability to function, physically as well as psychologically, socially or sexually, can also be explained and alleviated in this way. When a person discovers his true talent and begins to use it with dedication, privately as well as professionally, his life will flourish and he may overcome even serious disease and great adversity in life. The salutogenetic process can also be called personal development or "quality of life as medicine". It is important to note that the plan for personal development laid out by this theory is a plan not for the elimination of the ego, but for its cultivation. An existentially sound person still has a mental ego of course, but it is centered on the optimal verbal expression of the life mission. Such an ego is not in conflict with one's true self, but supports the life and wholeness of the person, although in an invisible and seamless way. The more developed the person, the more talents are taken into use. So although the core of existence remains the same throughout life, the healthy person continues to grow. As the number of talents we can call on is unlimited, the journey ends only at death. Understanding the concept of the ego, it is very easy for the physician to motivate the patient to go through a lot of difficulties in order to grow and develop, and when the patient fully understands the concept of the ego and the true self (higher self), the patient gets a strong feeling of direction in personal development, and a motivation to fight the internal obstacles for quality of life, health, and the ability to function. (+info)
(7/101) The life mission theory V. Theory of the anti-self (the shadow) or the evil side of man.
According to the life mission theory, the essence of man is his purpose of life, which comes into existence at conception. This first purpose is always positive and in support of life. This is not in accordance with the everyday experience that man also engages in evil enterprises born out of destructive intentions. This paper presents a theory about the evil side of man, called the "anti-self" (the shadow), because it mirrors the self and its purpose of life. The core of the anti-self is an evil and destructive intention opposite to the intention behind the life mission. The evil side of man arises when, as the life mission theory proclaims, man is denying his good, basic intention to avoid existential pain. The present theory of the anti-self claims that all the negative decisions accumulated throughout the personal history, sum up to a negative or dark anti-self, as complex, multifaceted, and complete as the self. All the negative decisions taken through personal history build this solid, negative, existential structure. The anti-self, or shadow as Carl Gustav Jung used to call it, is a precise reflection of man's basically good and constructive nature. When mapped, it seems that for most or even for all the many fine talents of man, there is a corresponding evil intention and talent in the person's anti-self. As man is as evil as he is good, he can only realize his good nature and constructive talents by making ethical choices. Ethics therefore seem to be of major importance to every patient or person engaged in the noble project of personal growth. Understanding the nature and structure of the evil side of man seems mandatory to every physician or therapist offering existential therapy to his patient. The theory of anti-self makes it possible to treat patients with destructive behavioral patterns, who want to be good deep in their heart, by helping them let go of their evil intentions. The anti-self also seems to explain the enigma of why human beings often commit suicide. Integrating the shadow often leads to dramatic, subjective experiences of ubiquitous light in an "unpersonal" form, of enlightenment, or of meeting light and consciousness in a personal, universal form, known as G-d. (+info)
(8/101) Medial prefrontal activity predicts memory for self.
The ability to remember the past depends on cognitive operations that are recruited when information is initially encountered. In the current experiment, we investigated neural processes that subserve the memorability of a fundamental class of social information: self-knowledge. Participants evaluated the extent to which a series of personality characteristics were self-descriptive. Brain activation was measured using event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and contrasted based on: (i) whether each word was later remembered or forgotten; and (ii) whether or not each item was judged to be self-relevant. Results revealed that activity in medial prefrontal cortex predicted both subsequent memory performance and judgements of self-relevance. These findings extend current understanding of the nature and functioning of human memory. (+info)