The Anxiety Caused when a Mistake is Realized

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The Anxiety Caused when a Mistake is Realized Sigmund Freud believed himself to be a scientist. He believed that he was not a philosopher, just a scientific thinker. Freud carefully thought everything through and always backed up his views. Before any idea went into print, Freud worked hard to make sure that he covered his theories from all angles and that he himself could not disprove one of his theories. As a scientist, Sigmund believed that he must continue to test his theories. While continuing to investigate the workings on the human mind, Freud realized that his views of anxiety tended to contradict each other. In Freud's later years he takes the flipside of his initial view on anxiety. Why does this happen? Well, it is a complicated process in which the complete reversal of ideas seems to shock even Freud. In Freud's book The Interpretation of Dreams, he comes to the conclusion that anxiety arises from forced repression. "It is perfectly true that unconscious wishes always remain active. They represent paths which can always be traversed…Indeed it is a prominent feature of unconscious processes that they are indestructible." Since wishes remain active, Freud thought that repression of certain wishes in the id by the superego results in a level of nervousness and indecision in the ego, called anxiety. He believed that since the wish was being repressed, it fought harder to come to the surface causing an internal struggle, which heightened sensitivity to danger. However this early work on the source of anxiety was accomplished using only anxiety-dreams and seems rushed when compared to other topics in The Interpretation of Dreams. It becomes obvious that Freud rushed his initial thoughts on anxiety in his first book, when one reads Inhibitions, Symptoms, and Anxiety, one of Freud's later works. The book is full of new ideas, thoughts and research. Freud begins this book by delving into the source of neurotic symptoms. He says that symptoms are: "a sign of, and a substitute for, an instinctual satisfaction which has remained in abeyance; its is a consequence of the process of repression. Repression proceeds from the ego when the ego [which has been swayed by the superego] refuses to associate itself with an instinctual cathexis which has been aroused in the id." In order to understand this, one must first have knowledge of the id, ego, and superego.

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