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The Regulatory Systems of the Psyche that Create Psychopathology

I enjoin you to take this expression to the letter: what is repressed does not disappear, it just does not stay in yoga poses its place; it is pushed into some corner, where it is not treated justly, where it feels limited and disadvantaged. It then constantly rises up with all of its power to regain the place where it should be, and as soon as it sees a breach in yoga poses the wall, it attempts to slip through. It may succeed, but when it reaches the foreground, it has expended all of its strength and any kind of attack from any authoritarian power sends it back. This is a very disagreeable situation and you can imagine the leap that such a repressed, crushed, broken being makes when it is finally liberated. (Georg Groddeck, 1923, The Book of the It, 85f)30

Freud called all of the mental operations that regulate the flow of thoughts in yoga poses the psychic system the “defense mechanisms.” He ought to have named them the regulatory system of the psyche when he speaks of the psyche in yoga poses general. But what interested him was the study of the psychic dysfunctions, and the key clinical elements that he had discovered in yoga poses his patients was that consciousness is vulnerable, that it cannot deal with all of the information that exits in yoga poses the unconscious. To ensure the sound functioning of consciousness, the regulatory systems of the psyche must, of necessity, protect and defend consciousness against the intrusion of thoughts that would destabilize it. Only that particular function of the psychological regulatory system should have been associated to “defense mechanisms.” Thus, Freud’s first patients suffering from hysteria had sexual desires that generated anxious conflict when they penetrated into consciousness and hurled themselves against the conscious moral rules of an individual who wants to be honest and coherent.

A vignette concerning desire and hysteria. in yoga poses the case of one patient, the problem was that she loved her sister’s husband. This passion raised a wide variety of issues that threatened the equilibrium of her way of thinking. The first is that the biological sexual needs of the patient do not require that the patient relate to her brother-in law. The patient’s psyche has associated the power of her sexual instinct to the image of her brother-in-law. This association does not necessarily satisfy the demands of the instincts, but once this association has been forged, it imposes itself with an unrelenting force. The coupling between an instinctual force and a preconscious representation is what Freud calls a drive. The other difficulty for the patient was that she was reproaching herself so intensely for this desire that the conflict between her guilt and her desire was experienced as painful. It exhausted her. Her attempt to maintain this desire in yoga poses the preconscious generated terrifying panic attacks. The patient’s psychic apparatus then repressed this desire into her unconscious. But to maintain such a powerful thought in yoga poses the unconscious requires so much energy that the entire functioning of the organism is consequently troubled. Thus, according to Freud, the psychological and somatic symptoms of hysteria are formed. The entire organism, and a part of the patient’s entourage, are disturbed by the need to defend consciousness against such an unbearable thought.

There would therefore be psychopathology every time the conscious procedures are incapable of managing a desire or all other forms of highly charged representations. If the defense system could really repress an undesirable thought effectively, there would be no need for neuroses. This implies that the defense systems also have a blend of capacities and limits. We are now going to see that like the circuit of stress, a massive utilization of the system of defense generates psychopathological functioning.

The defense mechanisms repress the thoughts that destabilize consciousness into the unconscious. A disturbing thought that appears only once in yoga poses consciousness is not dangerous. The system of defense is mostly conceived to take care of the recurrent thoughts that are constantly resourced. They often become overinvested. Therefore, to push back such overcharged thoughts requires a large amount of energy.

To maintain an overinvested thought in yoga poses the unconscious contradicts the modes of functioning of the unconscious. The maintenance of charged thoughts in yoga poses a zone that can only manage thoughts that have a weak excitation creates dysfunctions (1) in yoga poses the unconscious procedures, (2) in yoga poses the interaction between the unconscious and the preconscious, and (3) in yoga poses the interfaces that allow the psyche to interact with the physiological dimension (sensory in yoga poses the case of the unconscious and motoric in yoga poses the case of the preconscious). This explains why the necessity to repress, in yoga poses a persistent fashion, creates psychopathology. in yoga poses effect, charged psychic material unceasingly tries to rise to consciousness. This is inevitable if we suppose that the more a thought is charged, the more it inserts itself into the conscious dynamics. A repressed drive is a bit like a balloon a child tries to keep under water. Even if the child succeeds temporarily, the balloon tries to resurface. The child must be unceasingly stronger than the thrust of the balloon. If the child loses concentration, the balloon will surface. This is how an unconscious content animates a dream when the organism relaxes to sleep.

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