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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I wonder what is meant when someone uses the word defense in a general context, like "your defenses run amok" or something similar.

Defense against what?
Against feelings?
Like for instance I feel inferior and that is why I drive a porsche to feel superior? Porsche=defense?

Or I get angry at the slightest provocation to cover the feeling that I fear of being controlled by others? Anger=defense?

What is a defense in general?
 
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I wonder what is meant when someone uses the word defense in a general context, like "your defenses run amok" or something similar.

Defense against what?
Against feelings?
Like for instance I feel inferior and that is why I drive a porsche to feel superior? Porsche=defense?

Or I get angry at the slightest provocation to cover the feeling that I fear of being controlled by others? Anger=defense?

What is a defense in general?
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Sorry this took so long. I read it at work yesterday, but didn't have it in me to tackle it in the middle of the work day, lol...

Okay. It's complicated. The term "psychological defense" has a very specific meaning to psychoanalysts and when I use it, that is the meaning that I intend.

A psychological defense is any action of the mind that is UNconsciously trying to 'protect' the person from some highly disturbing/threatening thought or feeling. To stay with your Porsche analogy, chances are that if some fellow was having a mid-life crisis and ran out to buy a Porsche, he would on some very conscious level know precisely what he was doing. So that is not an example of a psychological defense.

If however, that same 50 yr. old fellow while driving his Porsche, kept having thoughts about going back to school, getting a new degree and changing jobs mid-life, he might think "well, sure I am only 50 and I'm free to do anything I want!" But.....his desire might really be a defense against his own fear of death. He might be UNconsiously aware that most of his life choices up to now are set in stone and that he is entering the second half of life and will one day be deader than a door nail.

Out of abject terror at having to really THINK about his own mortality, he might develop a sudden interest in a new career - because his mind, to avoid death anxiety, would be trying to convince him that it's never too late, he has all the time in the world and a 55 yr. old with a new degree is just the same as a 22 yr. old graduate.

He'd be deluding himself somehow...fooling himself. The "fooling oneself" quality is what makes the action/thought a defense.

We create defenses like "denial" or "partial blindness" or "fears" or "mood changes" to get us to do something in order to avoid looking at fears of death, fears of our more powerful desires, fears of losing control, etc. We fool ourselves, believing something is about ONE thing when in truth we are doing it for another reason (to avoid some disturbing piece of reality).

That said, anybody can use the word "defense" and most people do not use it to mean "unconscious" process. But technically, that's what it means.

Peace,
Janine
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Sorry this took so long. I read it at work yesterday, but didn't have it in me to tackle it in the middle of the work day, lol...

Okay. It's complicated. The term "psychological defense" has a very specific meaning to psychoanalysts and when I use it, that is the meaning that I intend.

A psychological defense is any action of the mind that is UNconsciously trying to 'protect' the person from some highly disturbing/threatening thought or feeling. To stay with your Porsche analogy, chances are that if some fellow was having a mid-life crisis and ran out to buy a Porsche, he would on some very conscious level know precisely what he was doing. So that is not an example of a psychological defense.

If however, that same 50 yr. old fellow while driving his Porsche, kept having thoughts about going back to school, getting a new degree and changing jobs mid-life, he might think "well, sure I am only 50 and I'm free to do anything I want!" But.....his desire might really be a defense against his own fear of death. He might be UNconsiously aware that most of his life choices up to now are set in stone and that he is entering the second half of life and will one day be deader than a door nail.

Out of abject terror at having to really THINK about his own mortality, he might develop a sudden interest in a new career - because his mind, to avoid death anxiety, would be trying to convince him that it's never too late, he has all the time in the world and a 55 yr. old with a new degree is just the same as a 22 yr. old graduate.

He'd be deluding himself somehow...fooling himself. The "fooling oneself" quality is what makes the action/thought a defense.

We create defenses like "denial" or "partial blindness" or "fears" or "mood changes" to get us to do something in order to avoid looking at fears of death, fears of our more powerful desires, fears of losing control, etc. We fool ourselves, believing something is about ONE thing when in truth we are doing it for another reason (to avoid some disturbing piece of reality).

That said, anybody can use the word "defense" and most people do not use it to mean "unconscious" process. But technically, that's what it means.

Peace,
Janine
 

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Ironic your analogy of the guy searching for a new job, since I have just been scouring the net looking for a new career entirely. I work from home and spend far too much time on my own and feel that I would benefit from getting 'out there'. I'm looking to get some sort of job that gives me more self satisfaction, something Im really interested in and give me a boost of self esteem. I thought it was a constructive step, but after reading your post Janine I'm a bit worried! I've no doubt in my mind that this is some quarter life crisis, but at 25, Im not panicking about death or that its too late, Im seeing at as an opportunity to find out what I really want from my life. I have always thought about things I'd like to do but realised the other day, I never actually try and find out about doing them. I just imagine that one day I will get round to it.

Do you think I'm trying to act out the fantasy of an ideal job? is trying out something completely new just fueling the fantasy? I have been bored of my job for a long time now, well before my dp. I realise that all jobs have crap sides to them, and I know that a great job isn't going to make me a 'better' person, I wouldnt expect it to, I just want to feel like Im doing something more worthwhile.
The conundrums I create for myself after reading other's posts are terrible. I lose sight of the fact that everybody is different and that what applies to some may not apply to me. :?
 

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Ironic your analogy of the guy searching for a new job, since I have just been scouring the net looking for a new career entirely. I work from home and spend far too much time on my own and feel that I would benefit from getting 'out there'. I'm looking to get some sort of job that gives me more self satisfaction, something Im really interested in and give me a boost of self esteem. I thought it was a constructive step, but after reading your post Janine I'm a bit worried! I've no doubt in my mind that this is some quarter life crisis, but at 25, Im not panicking about death or that its too late, Im seeing at as an opportunity to find out what I really want from my life. I have always thought about things I'd like to do but realised the other day, I never actually try and find out about doing them. I just imagine that one day I will get round to it.

Do you think I'm trying to act out the fantasy of an ideal job? is trying out something completely new just fueling the fantasy? I have been bored of my job for a long time now, well before my dp. I realise that all jobs have crap sides to them, and I know that a great job isn't going to make me a 'better' person, I wouldnt expect it to, I just want to feel like Im doing something more worthwhile.
The conundrums I create for myself after reading other's posts are terrible. I lose sight of the fact that everybody is different and that what applies to some may not apply to me. :?
 

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I?ve just thought some more on this job/defence thing and wonder what Janine's thoughts are on this

I was never one of those kids who wanted to be a pilot (for example), and then followed that course to completion. I was always interested in so many different fields and never narrowed my interests. I have a passion for so many things. My career at the moment, I chose to be in, I decided I wanted to run my own business producing floorplans and photography for estate agents (or should I say Real Estate) and followed a path for that for the past 3 years and am kind of doing it (at least ? Im self employed, not quite a ?company? as such). My problem is, I have a very low boredom threshold for jobs, especially if I am not stimulated. I find myself lured by ideas of doing something else, especially now as I have realised that being your own boss is too much like hard work. I discussed this with my Dad and I said there a few things that I keep thinking I?d like to do and he said that I?d never know unless I tried. But I guess the truth is, I am just going to get bored of those in time. How come everybody else can do it? I feel like a jack of all trades and master of none and I can?t believe that at 25 years of age, I have no idea, or rather too many ideas about what to do in life. This is a big symptom of ADD apparently?which I am beginning to think I may have, since I am currently sat amongst a pile of paper so high and wide I can?t see the desk I?m sat at?.

I am feeling like I want to BE SOMEONE. Does this have anything to do with narcissism/low self esteem which I gather sit alongside each other?
 

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I?ve just thought some more on this job/defence thing and wonder what Janine's thoughts are on this

I was never one of those kids who wanted to be a pilot (for example), and then followed that course to completion. I was always interested in so many different fields and never narrowed my interests. I have a passion for so many things. My career at the moment, I chose to be in, I decided I wanted to run my own business producing floorplans and photography for estate agents (or should I say Real Estate) and followed a path for that for the past 3 years and am kind of doing it (at least ? Im self employed, not quite a ?company? as such). My problem is, I have a very low boredom threshold for jobs, especially if I am not stimulated. I find myself lured by ideas of doing something else, especially now as I have realised that being your own boss is too much like hard work. I discussed this with my Dad and I said there a few things that I keep thinking I?d like to do and he said that I?d never know unless I tried. But I guess the truth is, I am just going to get bored of those in time. How come everybody else can do it? I feel like a jack of all trades and master of none and I can?t believe that at 25 years of age, I have no idea, or rather too many ideas about what to do in life. This is a big symptom of ADD apparently?which I am beginning to think I may have, since I am currently sat amongst a pile of paper so high and wide I can?t see the desk I?m sat at?.

I am feeling like I want to BE SOMEONE. Does this have anything to do with narcissism/low self esteem which I gather sit alongside each other?
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Yep, you answered yourself in your second post, lol..that's basically what I was going to say. I was even going to hazard a wild guess about your history, to ask if you were the Guy with All Potential who never quite got around to doing anything to completion.

It is a narcissisitc defense (but that is VERy complicated and really not what you immediately think of as "narcissism" i.e., self love, etc. In reality, it has much more to do with LOW self-esteem, a living inside one's own imagination more than in the reality of life, and a horrible fear, often unconscious, of ever really depending on external reality).

We are the folks who are often genius intellects, but can't stand "to learn." We feel we should KNOW already and the process of not knowing and learning slowly and gathering knowledge, building something, etc, is almost an insult to our grand self-image. We "can't be bothered." So....we often hit middle age with nothing to show for life.

I was also going to say re your first post up there that no, I do not think you are using a defense, etc. re your job search. But....it sure sounds like you are using the defense of Over-Intellectualizing/obsessing to keep yourself from actually having to GET the job, lol...

Peace,
Janine
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Yep, you answered yourself in your second post, lol..that's basically what I was going to say. I was even going to hazard a wild guess about your history, to ask if you were the Guy with All Potential who never quite got around to doing anything to completion.

It is a narcissisitc defense (but that is VERy complicated and really not what you immediately think of as "narcissism" i.e., self love, etc. In reality, it has much more to do with LOW self-esteem, a living inside one's own imagination more than in the reality of life, and a horrible fear, often unconscious, of ever really depending on external reality).

We are the folks who are often genius intellects, but can't stand "to learn." We feel we should KNOW already and the process of not knowing and learning slowly and gathering knowledge, building something, etc, is almost an insult to our grand self-image. We "can't be bothered." So....we often hit middle age with nothing to show for life.

I was also going to say re your first post up there that no, I do not think you are using a defense, etc. re your job search. But....it sure sounds like you are using the defense of Over-Intellectualizing/obsessing to keep yourself from actually having to GET the job, lol...

Peace,
Janine
 

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You're so right - except I was the 'Gal' who had all potential but too damn lazy to get on with it. I look through the job papers expecting some highly paid job to leap out at me, but reality is that you've got to start lower down the scale. Guess that's why I ended up being self employed- instantly Managing Director! (Unfortunately, there's no one else in the company to appreciate me...)

Ironically, most of my interests (except the one about singing on Broadway) revolve around the mind/body/animals. I would quite like to be some sort of therapist but after looking into, I realised that I would indeed have to go way back, to not even earning but learning, and whilst that doesn't put me off, I couldnt afford to. Really interests me and who better to counsel a nut than a nut :lol:
 

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You're so right - except I was the 'Gal' who had all potential but too damn lazy to get on with it. I look through the job papers expecting some highly paid job to leap out at me, but reality is that you've got to start lower down the scale. Guess that's why I ended up being self employed- instantly Managing Director! (Unfortunately, there's no one else in the company to appreciate me...)

Ironically, most of my interests (except the one about singing on Broadway) revolve around the mind/body/animals. I would quite like to be some sort of therapist but after looking into, I realised that I would indeed have to go way back, to not even earning but learning, and whilst that doesn't put me off, I couldnt afford to. Really interests me and who better to counsel a nut than a nut :lol:
 
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I'm so SORRY! LOL....for some reason I assumed you were a fellow.

APOLOGIES!

And yes, a nut makes a very good nut-counselor. Look at MY track record.

grins,
J
p.s. I just adore your little "overdosed" kitten in that photo. Makes me smile everytime I see it.
 
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I'm so SORRY! LOL....for some reason I assumed you were a fellow.

APOLOGIES!

And yes, a nut makes a very good nut-counselor. Look at MY track record.

grins,
J
p.s. I just adore your little "overdosed" kitten in that photo. Makes me smile everytime I see it.
 

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I have just realised that of course, you wouldn't connect my real name (in the emails I have sent to you, following the fun we had getting your e-books down the phone line to me) to my screen name. How weird, that never occurred to me.
 

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I have just realised that of course, you wouldn't connect my real name (in the emails I have sent to you, following the fun we had getting your e-books down the phone line to me) to my screen name. How weird, that never occurred to me.
 

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Anyway, what kind of guy would have an icon of a cute little kitty?
Having said that, I did talk about my boyfriend and 'singing on broadway'...
 

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Anyway, what kind of guy would have an icon of a cute little kitty?
Having said that, I did talk about my boyfriend and 'singing on broadway'...
 
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
What I do not understand is that the word "defense" always has a negative atmosphere around it, as if the defense was something that is or causes the problem or problems in general.

Taking the porsche analogy: If said guy tries to get away from the fear of death fantasizing about going back to school, isn't it better to fool oneself that it is never too late(in fact it is really never too late) than to deal with the fear ?

Besides I do not believe that such fears are unconscious, I bet most of the people actually going through a crisis do know what exactly bothers them. What is the deal then exposing to the fear? Even if said guy does know that he fears death or that his whole life was for nothing so far, it is better to cover the horrible realisation.

I mean, the fear does not go away just admitting it. One still suffers. So if the guy in the analogy does not have the option of fantasizing or actually going back to school, he has to find another 'defense' against his personal truth, maybe going after young girls instead of studying. I mean I don't see what it is good for. Maybe he prevents a serious depression with his 'defense'.

I mean why withdraw into one's shell bothering about life, drowning in depression because one cannot act against it?
Better go back to school and try to distract oneself (?).

Janine, please comment on this post, I really want to know what you think about it cause I am and have been confused about 'defenses' for a long time and I still do not understand why it is always used as if it was something negative.
 
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
What I do not understand is that the word "defense" always has a negative atmosphere around it, as if the defense was something that is or causes the problem or problems in general.

Taking the porsche analogy: If said guy tries to get away from the fear of death fantasizing about going back to school, isn't it better to fool oneself that it is never too late(in fact it is really never too late) than to deal with the fear ?

Besides I do not believe that such fears are unconscious, I bet most of the people actually going through a crisis do know what exactly bothers them. What is the deal then exposing to the fear? Even if said guy does know that he fears death or that his whole life was for nothing so far, it is better to cover the horrible realisation.

I mean, the fear does not go away just admitting it. One still suffers. So if the guy in the analogy does not have the option of fantasizing or actually going back to school, he has to find another 'defense' against his personal truth, maybe going after young girls instead of studying. I mean I don't see what it is good for. Maybe he prevents a serious depression with his 'defense'.

I mean why withdraw into one's shell bothering about life, drowning in depression because one cannot act against it?
Better go back to school and try to distract oneself (?).

Janine, please comment on this post, I really want to know what you think about it cause I am and have been confused about 'defenses' for a long time and I still do not understand why it is always used as if it was something negative.
 
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