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Ego defenses


Isolation of affect Separation of feelings from ideas and events.(Describing murder in graphic detail with no emotional response)
Acting out Unacceptable feelings and thoughts are expressed through actions.(Ex. Tantrums)
Dissociation Temporary, drastic change in personality, memory, consciousness, or motor behavior to avoid emotional stress. Extreme- Multiple personality disorder.
Denial Avoidance of awareness of some painful reality.(A common reaction in newly diagnosed with cancer)
Displacement Process whereby avoided ideas and feelings are transferred to some neutral person or object(vs.projection)
Fixation Partially remaining at a more childish level of development(vs.regression)
Identification Modeling behavior after another person who is more powerful.(Abused child identifies himself as an abuser).
Projection An unacceptable internal impulse is attributed to an external source.(A man who wants another woman thinks his wife is cheating on him)
Rationalization Proclaiming logical reasons for actions actually performed for other reasons, usually to avoid self-blame. (After getting fired, claiming that the job was not important anyway.)
Reaction Formation Process whereby a warded-off idea or feeling is replaced by an (unconsciously derived) emphasis on its opposite.(A pt with libidinous thoughts enters a monastery)
Repression Involuntary withholding of an idea or feeling from conscious awareness. (Not remembering a conflictual or traumatic experience; pressing bad thoughts into the the unconscious)
Regression Turning back the maturational clock and going back to earlier modes to deal with the world. (children under stress, bed wetting in a previously toilet-trained child when hospitalized)
Splitting Belief that people are either all good or all bad at different times due to intolerance of ambiguity. Seen in borderline personality disorder.
Altruism Guilty feelings alleviated by unsolicited generosity toward others. (Mafia Boss makes large donation to charity.)
Humor Appreciating the amusing nature of an anxiety-provoking or adverse situation.(Nervous medical student jokes about the Boards)
Sublimation Process whereby one replaces than unacceptable wish with a course of action that is similar to the wish but does not conflict with one's value system.(Teenager's aggression toward his father is redirected to perform well in sports.)
Suppression Voluntary withholding an idea or feeling from concious awareness(vs.repression)(Choosing not to think about the USMLE until the week of the exam)
Created by: davidallenf19



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