Encyclopedia of Family Health - Vol. 3

By David B. Jacoby; Robert M. Youngson | Go to book overview

Complexes and compulsions

Questions and Answers

Is avoiding the cracks in the
sidewalk always an example of
compulsive behavior?

In children it’s more of a game,
but if the child believes too
strongly that something terrible
will happen if he or she steps on
the cracks, the resulting anxiety
may cause the game to become a
compulsion. In adults it is a fairly
harmless compulsion.

Do short men always have an
inferiority complex?

By no means. But they may tend
more than tall men to have this
complex because they get pushed
around more, especially when they
are young. It would also be true to
say that small men with a natural
tendency toward anxiety are
more likely to have an inferiority
complex than others who are
both taller and more relaxed in
disposition. But a tall man can
also have an inferiority complex.

Are children of one-parent
families likely to have a complex?

Not particularly. Of course, since
one-parent families are often
under greater stress than two-
parent families, the children can
be more susceptible to complexes.
Such families, however have more
practice at coping successfully with
stress, and children will be better
at growing out of complexes.

How can I stop overeating? Is
overeating compulsive behavior?

Overeating may be due not to a
compulsion but to an upset
metabolism. If this is not so, your
behavior may be a compulsion, or
it may be a displacement activity
in which you compensate for
feeling insecure, unloved, or
neglected. A doctor, and perhaps
a specialist, will help determine
the best treatment.

What exactly is a complex or a compulsion? And what should a person do
if he or she suffers from one? Because complexes and compulsions are
generally caused by anxiety, the solution is to relieve the cause of the worry
.

In psychology, a complex is a set of memories and emotions that are strongly linked together (see Psychology). They are often frightening, and they have their origin in childhood, when the world seemed fearsome. If they last into adulthood, they may produce compulsive behavior. This is an attempt to relieve the buildup of anxiety that is the result of the complex; thus the words “complex” and “compulsion” are often linked (see Anxiety). Excessive hand washing is a common example of compulsive behavior, which can become a problem in its own right. The psychiatrist Carl Jung called his psychoanalytical approach the “psychology of complexes.” He regarded a complex as a set of ideas containing strong and perhaps frightening emotions that may be repressed and thus barely remembered. A mother complex, for example, is one in which a boy becomes overwhelmed by the fear of a dominating mother and cannot form relationships in adulthood with women he sees as overbearing. However, the misery produced by these problems can be lessened. Compulsions can be removed, and complexes can be treated by psychotherapy. Psychiatry has given names to a large number of these bundles of associated memories, beliefs, attitudes, and acts, many of which have passed into everyday use (see Psychiatry).


Oedipus complex

Almost everyone, for example, has heard of the Oedipus complex, regarded by Sigmund Freud and his followers as a young boy’s wish for some form of sexual relationship with his mother and the consequent wish to kill his father out of jealousy. Freud was of the opinion that every male child has this complex for some period during infancy and that it needed to be resolved (grown out of) before further adult emotional development could take place. The castration complex, according to Freud, follows the Oedipus complex. It represents the young boy’s fear that his father

A person with cm inferiority complex may not trust friends to stick to arrangements.

-397-

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Encyclopedia of Family Health - Vol. 3
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Contents *
  • Bronchitis 294
  • Brucellosis 297
  • Bruises 298
  • Bunions 299
  • Burn Center 301
  • Burns 303
  • Burping 306
  • Bursitis 307
  • Calcium 310
  • Cancer 312
  • Capillaries 318
  • Cardiac Massage 320
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome 322
  • Cartilage 324
  • Cataracts 326
  • Celiac Disease 329
  • Cells and Chromosomes 330
  • Cellular Telephones 333
  • Cerebral Palsy 335
  • Cervix and Cervical Smears 337
  • Cesarean Birth 340
  • Chat Room 343
  • Chelation Therapy 345
  • Chest 347
  • Chicken Pox 349
  • Child Abuse 351
  • Child Development 354
  • Chinese Medicine 358
  • Chiropractic 362
  • Cholera 365
  • Cholesterol 366
  • Chorionic Villus Sampling 367
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome 369
  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease 370
  • Circulatory System 372
  • Circumcision 374
  • Cirrhosis 375
  • Cleft Palate 376
  • Cloning 377
  • Clubfoot 379
  • Cocaine and Crack 380
  • Cold Sores 382
  • Colon and Colitis 383
  • Colonic Irrigation 384
  • Colonoscopy 386
  • Color Blindness 388
  • Color Therapy 390
  • Colostomy 392
  • Coma 394
  • Common Cold 396
  • Complexes and Compulsions 397
  • Conception 399
  • Congenital Disorders 401
  • Conjunctivitis 403
  • Constipation 404
  • Contact Lenses 406
  • Contraception 407
  • Convalescence 412
  • Convulsions 413
  • Coordination 414
  • Cornea 416
  • Corns 417
  • Coronary Arteries and Thrombosis 419
  • Cosmetics 422
  • Cosmetic Surgery 424
  • Coughing 426
  • Cough Syrup 427
  • Counseling 428
  • Index 431
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