Mental Disorders

When looking at the treatment of people with mental health issues there have been various methods tried, some having limited success and some having long term success, in this essay I shall discuss the three listed in the title along with the benefits and weaknesses of each. Psychodynamic Approach: The concept of the psychodynamic approach is to explain behaviour in terms of the forces that drive it. The best known example of this approach is Freud’s theory of personality, although there are many other psychodynamic theories based on Freud’s ideas. Sigmund Freud was the ï¬rst to challenge the view that mental disorders were caused by physical illness and proposed that psychological factors were responsible for the illness.

The psychodynamic approach highlights the importance of the unconscious mind and early childhood experiences. Psychodynamic psychologist’s attempt to deal with the mental health issues of their patients by incorporating these ideas and creating therapies using these ideas. The basic concept behind psychoanalysis is that a patient that suffers from mental health problems such as depression can address any regressed feelings thus, the patient gains insight of and can learn to work through their emotional baggage. It is a generalised concept that if the cause of the symptoms were tackled it would only be logical that the symptoms would then cease.

The Psychodynamic theory assumes the personality is split into three parts, the id (most primitive, instinctive part we have from birth), the ego (logical, balances out the id and superego) and the superego or moral part of our personality. These areas influence our behaviour as well as the defence mechanisms of the ego, and the psychosexual stages of development. Defence mechanisms are used by the ego to help balance out the id and superego to make sure the person isn’t overly impulsive and behaves in a socially acceptable way, without being overly self-conscious. If a person’s superego majorly outweighs the ego, the person may be depressed and not feel good enough for anything. If the person’s id outweighs, they are likely to be more aggressive and immoral as their superego doesn’t have much control.

Defence mechanisms such as repression put bad memories into the unconscious to try to get rid of the bad memory to help reach a balance, but depression can occur from this. Depression, anxiousness and aggressiveness are results of imbalances of the id and superego, and the defence mechanisms work to fight against the imbalance. Denial is another example of a defence mechanism and this is where we refuse to accept or admit something embarrassing which is occurring. The psychosexual stages of development oral, anal, phallic, latency and genital also affect personality as if someone experiences trauma, certain behaviours occur as a result of over tidiness at the anal stage.

This links back to the assumptions of the approach, where childhood experiences may have an effect on the adult personality. People who suffer trauma during the oral stage between 0-1 years old, where the id is developed can become excessively dependant on others and have psychological problems with food or drink e.g. bulimia or anorexia. Trauma during the anal stage between 1-3 years old, where the ego is developed can result in stubbornness and stinginess, whereas problems during the phallic stage between 3-6 years old, where the superego is developed can cause a weak superego with no guilt or shame, a strong superego can lead to excessive guilt or tendencies to be overly sexual.

Psychodynamic therapies:

The psychodynamic approach utilises psychoanalysis, dream analysis and free association as forms of therapies, with dream analysis the aim is to make unconscious material conscious. It has been used to treat mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety as well as provide an explanation for it. It links back to the main assumptions of the psychodynamic approach that our mind and behaviour is controlled mostly by our unconscious thoughts, and if a traumatic event is experienced memories may be repressed into the unconscious, possibly leading to mental health problems.

When looking at the treatment of people with mental health issues there have been various methods tried, some having limited success and some having long term success, in this essay I shall discuss the three listed in the title along …

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