Defence Mechanisms (The Rat Man Case)

Friday, January 21, 2011 Jo Hanniffy 0 Comments

Ratman case was written by Freud in 1907. He had been diagnosed by Freud suffered from Obssesional Neurosis.  Through a Psychoanalysis threatment Ratman strived to get back into his past life including his childhood, and Freud believed that they were, i.e. Ratman's past life, had given an impact to his illness.

Freud diognised that obssesional neurosis has typical symptoms as follows:

a. He/she has a compulsive acts and thoughts towards something: e.g. a compulsion to suicide in the Ratman case.

b. Obssesion about the past and future; relating both past and future for a sanction; organize everything or make plans about everything.

Similiary in the Little Hans case, Oedipal and Castration complex are also believed as the central of Obssesional neurosis causes. Oedipal and castration complex in childhood is a key of a person's behaviour in future.  

The unresolved of oedipal and castration on the Ratman's childhood led him to such impacts in his adult life -- commit to suicide (compulsive acts and thoughts), being obssesional with things, and fear with something -- the Ratman manipulate defense mechanisms to cover some of these impacts.

A defense mechanism was first coined by Freud and developed by his daughter Anna. Defence Mechanism used in Psychoanalysis terms as the unconsious thoughts and acts which believed derives from the conflict circulations of  id, ego, and superego.

There are numbers of defence mechanisms that used by The ratman:

Reaction formation 
Ratman affects of love towards his father: he loved his father, however, he also hated his father, and he hated for these two affects.

The latter affects first derived from his unresolved oedipal and castration complex during his childhood and  father's unsavoury to his relationship with the lady his very fond with.

His father punished him when he did sex misdemenour i.e. masturbation. According to him, his mother  told him that it happened when he was 3,5 year old.
These two events have impacted Ratman for hating his father but he could not oust this feeling as he also loves his father.

Undoing is one of mechanisms of defense, coined by Freud. The undoing defines as when a person undo  harm thing for another cause, e.g. Ratman took a stone away from the road in purpose to protect his lady, but then he put it back in the same place.

Patient usually likes to create ideas and keep them. Ratman's idea about 'do' and 'sanction'. His creation of ideas such a rule with its sanction, e.g. regarding to what Lieutenant had told him to pay back the money to the office man. 

Ratman created a conflict idea for himself on this order despite he knew what was really going on, but he kept the idea as he thought it something might happen with his father or his lady if he did not do it.

DBLN, 23.18-200111

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