Basic psychology of human beings

Dr ES Rajendran, BHMS, M.D.(Hom)
Principal Vinayaka Misson Homoeopahic Medical College,Salem
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Psychology as a branch of Science emerged in the west with the studies of Sigmund Freud. He was born of Jewish parents at Freiberg in Moravia on May 6, 1856. His professional life was in Vienna. In early period Freud received education in classical literature and Philosophy. He translated one volume of the German edition of John Stuart Mill’s collected works. Having studied medicine, he started practice as a Neurologist in 1886. Later on, under the influence of Josef Breur, Freud turned to problems of Psychopathology and Psychology. He is the founder of psychoanalysis.  Till the advent of Freud, Psychology was not an advanced Science in the western world. But psychology was an integral part of Scientific and religious thoughts in the east, be it in India or in China.

The eastern way of inquiry was more or less intrinsic i.e. an inward journey to ones self to find the secretes of the man and universe. Therefore psychology of the east was an enquiry into the personal self of the human beings, where as Freud started an entirely different method of investigating the mind. He discovered the ways and means to reach the inner secrets of mind by observations and co-relations. Ultimately he formulated the methodsofpsychoanalysis as an effective tool to peel off the layers of secrets of human psyche.

In modern terms psychology is defined as the science of behavior in relation with the environment.
It includes the study of conscious, sub-conscious and unconscious behavior. The behavior of children, old age, mental patients and animals also comes under psychology.

What is behavior?
Behavior is only an expression.

What is mind or psyche?
Dynamic force from which the behavior arise must be I might be the mind or psyche
I find many times there are parallels between the problems of psychology and Homeopathy at their fundamental levels For e g The definition “totality is the outwardly reflected picture of the internal essence of the disease, that is, of the affection of vital force” is as hazy as the above said definition of mind.
In both the situations we realize that expressions are the evidence of the inner reality, which is the foundation of the expression. Here the known facts are based on some reasons of the unknown, which even now eludes human comprehension.

Methods to understand the psyche
1 Introspection: is the process of looking inward.
Limitations: It is not possible in mental patients. Many cannot explain the experience in all conditions; Memory defects hinders it. It is not possible in   children and animals. It is a private experience.
2. Observational Method: is the method of observing and studying. Eg:- Observation of school children.
Limitations : Presence of observer can change the pattern of behavior of the object. Experimenters bias / prejudice / attitude can also affect it.
3. Anecdotal Method: refers to the persona memorandum like stories, novels, diary, songs etc.
Limitations: Copying of others.
4. Developmental Method: is the analysis of developmental behavioral changes, both mental and physical.
5. Case History: is the study of the behavioral changes with the malady.
6. Experimental Method (Scientific Method): means to form a hypothesis and then study on it.
7. Testing Method: is used to find attitude, aptitude and prejudice; attention and concentration; intelligence and personality.

Psychoanalytical theory of Sigmund Freud
Freud’s concepts were based on following notions.
1. Biological processes are fundamentally related.
2. Satisfaction of instinctual need is the basis of personality development.
3. The chief source of motivation in personality development is sexual energy.
4. Human development largely depends on unconscious.
5. Personality development is sequential and consists of 5 critical stages.
6. Needs of society and the needs of the individual tend to come in to conflict with one another.
Freud said most of the human behavior is controlled by unconscious mind and the conscious mind is just like the tip an iceberg. For him ‘Dream Analysis” was the royal road to the unconscious. HO suggested tension; shame, hurt etc will be relieved by dream. He believed that everything is purposeful in unconscious mind.

Structure of Personality
Freud said personality is made up of three components. They are, Id, Ego and Super Ego.
Id: is the foundation of personality. It is present at birth and is the reservoir of whole psychic energy. Id has no objective reality. It possess the instincts like
Life instinct – Growth – Erros
Sex instinct – Reproduction
Death instinct – Self destruction – Tanatos
Id is the part of wishes, ambitions and desires. It acts on the basis of pleasure principle.
Ego: acts on the basis of reality principle. It helps the individual to balance with the society and acts as the executive part. It is the mediator between Id impulses and environmental realities.
Super Ego: develops after 3 years of age. It acts as the moral principle, Is the ‘Conscience’ and the ‘Internal Police Man.’ It inhibits the impulses of Id, especially the sexual urges.

A reasonably good level of knowledge in psychology is important for a Homeopathic physician to analyze and understand the patients in a better way.
As the only holistic system of medicine, which has ways and means to incorporate the mental and physical aspects of human beings with its therapeutics, Homeopathy naturally, have an upper hand in the treatment of wide variety of psychological problems. The method of drug proving in Homeopathy stands out unique in the world because this process brings out both physical and mental symptoms in healthy individuals. The fears, anxieties, phobias etc which is artificially produced during the drug proving is a clear evidence that homeopathic medicines are sensitizing some where in the human psyche.

Homeopathic medicines are capable of producing mental symptoms in healthy individuals and hence curing mental illness in patients.
Knowledge of psychology helps the physician to analyze the patient in many conditions. Homeopathy stands unique in the horizon of therapeutics due to its holistic percepts. Though the study of mind will give better insights about the problems of the patient, any attempt to explain all the problems of ill health in terms of psychic phenomena (for eg:- attempts to interpret every disease as a state of mind like delusions) will add more confusion to the therapeutic application and it deemed to fail without doubt.

Ultimately we have a conclusion that a homeopathic physician needs to be balanced in his knowledge and attitude. A balanced growth in relation to the investigations, diagnosis, philosophy, psychology and therapeutics seems to be most required in the process of growth of a maturing physician.

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