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Is Your Ego Getting In The Way?

Freud's personality theory (1923) saw the psyche structured into three parts, the id, the ego and the superego, all developing at different stages in our lives. These are systems, not parts of the brain, or in any way physical. According to Freud's psychoanalytic theory, the id is the primitive and instinctual part of the mind that contains sexual and aggressive drives and hidden memories, the superego operates as a moral conscience, and the ego is the realistic part that mediates between the desires of the id and the superego.

The id is driven by the pleasure principle, which strives for immediate gratification of all desires, wants, and needs. If these needs are not satisfied immediately, the result is a state of anxiety or tension. For example, an increase in hunger or thirst should produce an immediate attempt to eat or drink.

The ego deals with reality, trying to meet the desires of the id in a way that is socially acceptable in the world. The ego is that part of the id which has been modified by the direct influence of the external world, representing reason and common sense. It mediates between the conscious and the unconscious and is responsible for reality testing and a sense of personal identity and consequences of an action.

The superego develops last and is based on morals and judgments about right and wrong. Even though the superego and the ego may reach the same decision about something, the superego's reason for that decision is based more on moral values, while the ego's decision is based more on what others will think or what the consequences of an action could be on the individual.

When talking about the id, the ego, and the superego, it is important to remember that these are not three separate entities with clearly defined boundaries. These aspects are dynamic and always interacting to influence an individual's overall personality and behavior. Was there a time in your life where all three are happy and in harmony?

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