Ego, Id and The superego

By M.Farouk Radwan, MSc.

Freud‘s Model of Personality

Most Probably you have heard before the terms Ego, id and superego. These terms are the three parts that Sigmund Freud used to construct his own model of personality.

Freud is the father of psychology even though i don't agree with most of his views. It is noteworthy to mention that this model has been criticized by many scholars. Its still important to have some background about in order to understand Ego defense mechanisms which are the mechanisms your subconscious mind uses in order to maintain your psychological balance.

The Id

Think of the Id as the part of you which is controlled by your childhood desires. When you want something with disregard to the pain it will cause others or when you insist on having something without regarding social conventions,ethics or morals then you are being controlled by your Id.

To make the long story short, the Id is the part of you that wants to fulfill your desires with disregard to everything else.

The Superego

The superego is the part of you that puts into consideration morals and ethics. It's the part of you that represses the id's impulses and that takes into consideration what's right and what's wrong.

For example, if your Id wants money then stealing would have been an option if the superego wasn't there.

The superego is the part that holds your values. If honesty was one of your important values then stealing money won't be an option.

The Ego

You may have noticed that the superego and the id have totally different functions. One of them wants to satisfy your needs with disregard to everything while the other wants you to respect your values.

Because of that there must be some kind of an intermediate agent that regulates the communication between those two conflicting parts and this is the role of the Ego. The ego’s job is to satisfy id’s needs without violating the superego’s morals.

Ego defense Mechanisms

The job of the Ego is really hard, its trying to find a compromise between two conflicting parts of yourself and that’s why it needs special tools to help it to achieve that goal.

The ego defense mechanisms are the mechanisms your mind uses when there is a conflict between your inner parts. For example, if you always wanted to be rich and managed to do it only to lose your money few months later then this will create a tremendous amount of frustration.

If this emotion was not handled properly it can endanger your mental health And here comes the role of the ego defense mechanisms, they help you cope with the situation in a healthy way in order to protect your mind.

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