Daniel Kim posted an update 3 years, 4 months ago
Psychology during the 19th century was based mostly on speculative discussions and philosophical theories as opposed to empirical studies and scientific tests. Freud, a renowned psychologist concerned with mental illness, diverted from popular 19th century thought connecting mental illness with either a supernatural possession or a moral flaw in an individual. He transcribed his data based on extremely in depth personal experiences with his patients which resulted in multiple case studies on mental illness. He found that mental illness did not result from an external influence or possession, but rather from an aberration in the mind of mentally ill individuals. “Mentally ill individuals are not different types of people, but something has gone awry in the makeup of their minds.”
Freud was especially concerned with the dynamic relationship between these three parts of the mind (Id, Ego, Superego). Freud argued that the dynamic is driven by innate drives. The id is the impulsive (and unconscious) part of our psyche which responds directly and immediately to the instincts. The personality of the newborn child is all id and only later does it develop an ego and super-ego. The id engages in primary process thinking, which is primitive illogical, irrational, and fantasy oriented. The ego develops in order to mediate between the unrealistic id and the external real world. It is the decision making component of personality. Ideally the ego works by reason, whereas the id is chaotic and totally unreasonable. The superego’s function is to control the id’s impulses, especially those which society forbids, such as sex and aggression. It also has the function of persuading the ego to turn to moralistic goals rather than simply realistic ones and to strive for perfection. The superego consists of two systems: The conscience and the ideal self.