Psychological Self-Help

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59
parts of the body. All these "shoulds" come from the superego part of
your personality. 
And so it is, according to Freud, that the savage beast within is
tamed by the ego and superego. And so it is that humans become
civilized. But, by the same taming, controlling mechanisms, we are
tormented. The superego makes demands that directly conflict with
the id; it generates guilt and shame when we do immoral things and
even when we have unacceptable urges or thoughts and maybe even
when we have unconscious urges. Freud called this "moral anxiety."
Much of our depression and low self-regard, perhaps our fear of
success and free-floating anxiety, may come from this source. 
Freud's notions of the mind have had a profound effect on how we
humans see ourselves. We will never be the same again. Few minds
have had such wide influence as Freud's. From anxious, tormented,
sick people (and from his own self-analysis), he conceived the mind as
a complex collection of dynamic, constantly struggling forces trying to
control one's life. There are three major parts of our personality: first,
the id, which includes the physical or sexual or love instincts and the
death or destructive instincts. The id wants to have all kinds of fun,
now! Also, it would like to destroy whatever got in its way. 
Second, the ego develops from the id. By using reason and contact
with the external world, the ego tries to satisfy the id's needs as much
as possible without alienating the sources of love. Of course, the ego
has to conceal many of its purposes; that is, they must be
accomplished secretly or unconsciously in a disguised form. This is
especially true after 5 or 6-years-of-age because the third force has
now come into being--the superego. 
The superego demands that we be good; otherwise, it causes us to
feel guilt, shame, and anxiety. The ego has the task of negotiating
between the id and the superego. Of course, they never agree. The
ego can find a few ways for the id to have a thrill and still avoid
chastisement from the superego. It isn't easy, but unconscious
manipulations, denial, fooling ourselves, irrational thinking, etc. help
one part of our personality deceive the other two parts. Furthermore,
the ego must rationally deal with the world, i.e. deal with questions
like: what am I capable of doing, what resources can I make use of,
how will other people react to my actions, how can I handle their
objections, etc., etc. Clearly this boiling cauldron of powerful,
unconscious, conflicting forces inside each of us would create stress,
right? 
Freud saw anxiety as a signal of danger. What danger? The threat
of these childhood memories and urges and fantasies coming into our
consciousness or actually being carried out. Events that happen to us
as adults might set off an old repressed urge or fear, such as losing
love. Immediately, we become anxious--often without knowing why.
To prevent anxiety, all of us develop massive defense mechanisms to
keep hidden the "true" causes of our childhood fears, urges, and
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