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Video:What Is Ego Anxiety?

with Dr. Jean Leahy

According to Freud, ego anxiety is the result of the various parts of the psyche acting in conflict with one another. This video from About.com will further explain the concept of ego anxiety.See Transcript

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Transcript:What Is Ego Anxiety?

My name is Dr. Jean Leahy. I'm a clinical psychologist in private practice in Chicago, and I'm here today with About.com, and we're going to talk about ego anxiety.

Psyche Made of Id, Ego and Super Ego

Sigmund Freud was an Austrian neurologist who developed the structural model of the psyche. This is a three part model comprised of the id, the ego, and the super ego. The id is the wish state: wishes, needs, and their unconscious. The ego state is often called living by the reality principle, when you think about the needs of others. And the super ego is often referred to as the moral state. How do I feel about my behavior and consequences as a person?

Neurotic and Reality Anxiety

The individual has to negotiate between these three feelings. Id feelings, ego feelings, and super ego. When they are in conflict, we can feel anxiety, and Freud referred to that as ego anxiety. Freud believed there were three types of ego anxiety: Neurotic, Reality, and Moral. Neurotic anxiety comes from the id. The individual worries that the id's impulses, wishes, and needs are going to get out of control, and they are going to act in an inappropriate way. The second anxiety is reality anxiety, and that is specific to certain situations. For example, walking in the forest and coming upon a tiger. Of course that anxiety is warranted, and people are going to do their best to avoid that sort of situation.

Moral Anxiety

The third ego anxiety is moral anxiety, and that is when we do not feel good about ourselves or our behavior. Disappointing ourselves that we did not behave in a way that we want to behave or that we treated someone unfairly. Anxiety comes from a conflict from the id, ego, and super ego and we try very hard to avoid that.

To learn more about ego anxiety, visit us on the web at About.com.

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