Freud's Psychosexual Development in My Life and Health Promotion Strategies
Freud's Psychosexual Development in My Life and Health Promotion Strategies
Freud’s theory of psychosexual development has five stages which are prominent stages of development but certain things like my upbringing, culture and primary caregivers could affect certain stages. The stages are the oral, anus, phallic, and the genital. Exercising, reducing stress, smoking and eating are things that are affecting my health at this time and I will try and minimize my sendentary lifestyle and enhance my health promotion.
Freud’s theory of psychosocial development is centered on the effects of the sensitive to sexual, erotic stimulation. The erogenous zones are the mouth, anus and the genital region. A child cannot focus on the primary erogenous zone of the next stage without resolving the developmental conflict of the immediate one. (www.freudstheory.com). If a child progresses normally through these stages, resolving each conflict and moving on then a the little libido remaining in each stage of development, but if the child fixates at a particular stage the method of obtaining satisfaction which characterized the stage will dominate and affect his personality.(www.freudstheory.com)
The Influences of vital sectors of health promotion on my life differs from one person to another. Health promotion focuses on enhancing areas of life by promoting one’s optimal level of health and wellness. (Perry & Potter, 2004). Significant areas of health that I need to focus on changing are sedentary lifestyle such as smoking, eating better, exercising, and learning how to manage stress.
The Oral Stage
The oral stage begins at birth and to about 18 months. (PN 1010 Lecture notes, 2010). The focus of pleasure is the mouth. Freud believed that the infant found its greatest pleasure in sucking, especially the breast. In fact everything in a baby’s environment gets into contact with their mouth.
As a baby I loved sucking on things and had complete pleasure on sucking my mom’s breasts. I was breast fed until up to the age of 1 year old. After 1 if I didn’t have anything in my mouth like a bottle or soother I would suck my thumb. I was fixated at this stage because that’s all I did was suck my thumb until I was 5 years old. I was frustrated at this stage because my mum would sometimes refuse to breast feed me because it was too painful whereas I loved to be held and cared for by my mother. Sucking and biting were my favorite activities.
The Anal Stage
The anal stage lasts from about 18 months to three or four years old. (PN Lecture notes 2010). Toilet training is the child's obsession with the erogenous zone of the anus and with the retention or expulsion of the feces. This represents a classic conflict between the id which derives pleasure from expulsion of bodily wastes, and the ego and superego, which represent the practical and societal pressures to control the bodily functions. The child meets the conflict between the parent's demands and the child's desires and physical capabilities in one of two ways: Either he or she puts up a fight or simply refuses to go.
The child who wants to fight takes pleasure in excreting maliciously, perhaps just before or just after being placed on the toilet. (www.freudstheory.com). If the parents are too lenient and the child manages to derive pleasure and success from this expulsion, it will result in the formation of an anal expulsive character. This character is generally messy, disorganized, reckless, careless, and defiant. Conversely, a child may opt to retain feces, thereby spiting his parents while enjoying the pleasurable pressure of the built-up feces on his intestine. If this tactic succeeds and the child is overindulged, he will develop into an anal retentive character. This character is neat, precise, orderly, careful, stingy, withholding, obstinate, meticulous, and passive-aggressive. (www.freudstheory.com). The resolution of the anal stage, proper toilet training, permanently affects the individual propensities to possession and attitudes towards authority.
My mother was working a full time job so my primary caregiver was my father. My father said it was challenging trying to toilet train me because I had no control of myself as a child therefore he had no control of me trying to be potty trained. He would ask me if I had to go pee or poo and I would say “yes” and when he put me on the toilet he would let me sit there for a while and come back and check on me but I had not gone pee or poo. He said I would say yes all and never go but as soon as he put my diaper on I would go. I also never gave him any hints as when I had to go to the washroom. Finally at two and a half years old I started to comply with him and follow through with my actions and I was rewarded by him clapping his hand and saying good job. I loved when he did that because as far as I remembered I was always use to see my dad yell a lot and very strict. I was fully toilet trained by three years old and when I look back I saw myself as an anal expulsive character and I still have some of those traits which I am working on such as disorganized and messy.
The Phallic Stage
The phallic stage is the most crucial sexual conflict in Freud's model of development. In this stage, the child's erogenous zone is the genital region. As the child becomes more interested in his genitals, and in the genitals of others, conflict arises. The conflict, labeled the Oedipus complex (The Electra complex in women), involves the child's unconscious desire to possess the opposite-sexed parent and to eliminate the same-sexed one. (www.freudstheory.com)
In the young male, the Oedipus conflict stems from his natural love for his mother, a love which becomes sexual as his libidal energy transfers from the anal region to his genitals. Unfortunately for the boy, his father stands in the way of this love. The boy thereforefeels aggression and envy towards this and also feels fear that the father will strike back at him. As the boy has noticed that women, his mother in particular, have no penises, he is struck by a great fear that his father will remove his penis, too. The anxiety is aggravated by the outstrip his desire for his mother, so he represses the desire. threats and discipline he incurs when caught masturbating by his parents. This castration anxiety moreover, although the boy sees that though he cannot posses his mother, because his father does, he can posses her vicariously by identifying with his father and becoming as much like him as possible: this identification indoctrinates the boy into his appropriate sexual role in life. A lasting trace of the oedipal conflict is the superego, the voice of the father within the boy. By resolving his issue the boy passes into the latency period, a period of libidal dormancy. (www.freudstheory.com) On the Electra complex, Freud was more vague. The complex has its roots in the little girl's discovery that she, along with her mother and all other women, lack the penis which her father and other men posses. Her love for her father then becomes both erotic and envious, as she yearns for a penis of her own. She comes to blame her mother for her perceived castration, and is struck by penis envy, the apparent counterpart to the boy's attempt to posses her father vicariously. At the eventual resolution of the conflict, the girl passes into the latency period, though Freud implies that she always remains slightly fixated at the phallic stage.
Fixation at the phallic stage develops a phallic character, which is reckless, resolute, self-assured, excessively vain and proud. (www.freudstheory.com). The failure to resolve the conflict can also cause a person to be afraid or incapable of close love. Freud said that fixation could be a root cause of homosexuality. The resolution of the Electra complex is far less clear than the resolution of the Oedipus complex is in males. Freud stated that the resolution comes much later and is never truly complete. Just as the boy learned his sexual role by identifying with his father, so the girl learns her role by identifying with her mother.
I do not really agree with what Freud said about this stage because culture played a huge role with my upbringing. My father was my primary caregiver and therefore all that was implanted in my brain that was make sure nobody touches you private parts unless it was mommy or daddy. I always wanted to be with my mother more because my dad was too strict. I do agree that Freud said that failure to resolve the conflict can also cause a person to be afraid or incapable of close love. I am not afraid of close love but I do not know the meaning of love because my father never showed affection towards my mother or myself so when im in a relationship I do not know give all of me to them. I was also never penis envy and nor did I masturbate.
The latent stage
The resolution of the phallic stage leads to the latency period, which is not a psychosexual stage of development, but a period in which the sexual drive lies dormant. Freud saw latency as a period of unparalleled repression of sexual desires and erogenous impulses. During the latency period, children pour this repressed libidal energy into asexual pursuits such as school, athletics, and same-sex friendships. But soon puberty strikes and the genitals once again become a central focus of libidal energy. (PN 1010 lecture notes, 2010)
Puberty started for me in this stage not the genital stage. When I was 12 years old I was fully developed with breasts and had my first menstruation. I was never sexually active nor did I really pay attention to boys. I hung out with girls most of the time and I was a complete tomboy. When all my friends and I got together with boys I would always be looked at by the them because I was the only one that was fully developed. I hated it because I was always bugged in school and I had a nick name by the boys calling me big boobed nat. Other student in the class would also ask me questions like why do you keep on going to washroom often? I didn’t know what to reply. I really didn’t play doctor because I knew that other kids would bug me because I had the assets to be bugged. I did have a lot of energy so I spent most of my time playing sports.
The Genital Stage
In the genital stage, as the child's energy once again focuses on his genitals, interest turns to heterosexual relationships. The less energy the child has left invested in unresolved psychosexual developments, the greater his capacity will be to develop normal relationships with the opposite sex. If, however, he remains fixated, particularly on the phallic stage, his or her development will be troubled as he struggles with further repression and defenses.
I had already gone through puberty so at the genital stage I was more focused on trying to build relationships with the same sex and the opposite sex. I was really scared growing up trying to form relationship with men because my father told me that sex was for girls who didn’t respect themselves at a young age and you would grow up to be a slut on not a respectable person. It was so bad that even if I would watch a TV show or a movie and a couple were kissing he would make me change the channel. I think for my father growing up in India he still followed the Indian culture and culture where the girl should not have boyfriends until they finished university. He also believed girls should be virgins until they get married. I didn’t believe in what my father had said to me but I lived under his roof so I had to follow the rules. That’s why when I find myself in a relationship I am very shy and don’t really open myself up and at my age these things are normal.
Having a sendentary lifestyle has affected my health thought the last 5 years in my life. I was always sick growing up and as I grew older I found myself drinking and smoking a lot. I also found my self gaining weight since I have been in school and my stress level has increased so much that sometime it is really unmanageable that I do want to even get out of bed. After reassessing myself over the last couple weeks in school I said I am going to try a cut down on my smoking. That hasn’t worked out to well. Smoking is something I do really want to quit but in time I will. I have completely stopped drinking since I have been in school and I feel so much better and a lot healthier. Emotionally I really do not know how to handle stress very well and the first things I use to do was picking up a drink and now I just smoke a ciggerette. It might not be any better but emotionally and physically I feel a lot better. I promised myself after exams I will start to go to exercise classes two times a week and eat healthier. As for my stress I cannot avoid it I will have to try and deal with it and manage it.
In Conclusion I agreed with some of the stages in Freud’s psychosocial development whereas as I did not agree with the latency stage or the genital stage because there are many factors that influence a child’s upbringing like culture. I do believe that we do all go through these stages at all different times of our childhood. Health promotion is really important in my life and I will have to change certain things in my life so I could be a healthier individual.
1 .PN 1010 Lecture Notes. (2010) Freuds psychosexual development.
Burnaby: Vancouver Career College.
2. Freuds Psychosexual development Retrieved March 28, 2010 from