What is a psychological problem?
So, a problem becomes a problem when a person wants to achieve some goal, but he fails. It can be said in another way. There is an individual, there is a desire (without desire, there is no problem), there is some kind of goal, either real or imagined, and some kind of obstacle, also real or imagined, that prevents the achievement of this goal.
Not all problems in human life are psychological. External life problems, such as economic, political, social, are solved by external means. For example, a girl, in order to improve her financial situation, moves from a small town to a big one and gets a high-paying job, before that she studied hard and well. In this case, the problem is solved! We see the work done on ourselves and see the result.
What is a psychological problem?
A psychological problem is the inability to satisfy one or another strong desire (attraction, need, motive), but the causes of the problem are in the human psyche, in his inner world.
For example, a woman wants to start a family, but a previous negative experience of relationships shouts to her that all men are dishonest, lie and betray. Therefore, it is very difficult to build healthy relationships.
In this case, the entire drama unfolds in the personality of the individual and it can only be solved by psychological means. For this, the woman from the example needs to change her belief about all men, which is an internal obstacle to achieving the goal. The difficulty lies in the fact that this belief is based on the traumatic experiences of the past, which gave her beliefs about the negative qualities of men. The psyche clings to this conviction, as it is afraid of pain, as if fixed on it. And if you manage to remove this fixation, release negative feelings, then the problem will be solved.
We can consider any psychological problem that a person faces as an emotional fixation on the achievement of an unattainable goal or on an obstacle that blocks adequate actions.
Until the problem is solved, the human psyche tries to adapt to its chronic suffering and uses a lot of tricks that help to adapt to the problem without solving it. Which, in turn, lead to distortions in the life of the emotional state.
How to adapt to a psychological problem
Here are some common ways to adapt to a psychological problem:
- Aggression is the most common reaction to the inability to satisfy a need (frustration). It can be aimed at a goal, oneself, strangers, at something that interferes with achieving the desired and only complicates the situation. Sometimes it is used as a method of reducing internal tension, and in the arsenal of a psychologist there are methods that provoke the client to release aggression in a safe manner.
- Repression (suppression) is the suppression of one’s desires and displacement of them into the subconscious. From a therapeutic point of view, this is not good, but in society, a person must suppress or at least restrain some impulses (aggressive, sexual …).
- Escapism is an escape from traumatic situations and situations that are associated with it. This behavior saves nerves, but does not solve the problem in any way and further leads to other problems.
- Regression is stress exploitation of childhood behavior. This helps to cope with a stressful situation, but also allows you to relieve yourself of responsibility for solving problems, since the child is not responsible for his actions.
- Rationalization is an attempt to justify or explain one’s behavior. Rationalization also helps to relieve oneself of responsibility for one’s own behavior and shift it onto other people, circumstances, etc. In this case, the behavior does not change and therefore the problem is not solved.
- Sublimation is the switching of activity from an activity where a person has failed to another, where there is a likelihood of achieving success, even an imaginary one. Often problems that cannot be solved in reality can be solved in fantasies and dreams. Sometimes sublimation is a source of creativity, but usually it leads to a waste of energy and takes away from personal growth.
- Projection is the transfer of one’s own unconscious motives of behavior to other people. For example, an aggressive person accuses the people around him of aggressive behavior towards him.
- Autism is the separation of the individual from communication and active life. This is a refusal to completely see how things are in real life and to do something.
All of the above methods of adaptation allow you to “change the situation without changing anything”, do not lead to a solution to the problem, but allow you to maintain a fixation on the problem that causes suffering and non-adaptive behavior.
Based on what has been written, we can conclude that people cannot always have such a high level of awareness that will allow them to control their passions, subordinating them to themselves for the good.
However, there are specialists (psychologists and psychotherapists) who have the necessary knowledge and a deeper understanding of mental processes, which give clients the opportunity to consider the problem from a completely non-everyday point of view and develop with them the correct system of behavior and response in a given, specific situation.