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Men's Health-The Bottom Line!
Sigmund Freud's "Beyond The Pleasure Principle," first published in Germany in 1920 is an essay marking a major turning point in his theoretical approach. Previously, Freud attributed most human behavior to the sexual instinct (eros or libido). With this essay, he went "beyond" the simple pleasure principle, developing his theory of "drives" with the addition of "death drives"-Thanatos (thanatos was a daemon personification of death, he was a minor figure in Greek mythology, often referred to, but rarely appeared in person).
The essay describes humans as struggling between two opposing drives, Eros, which produces creativity, harmony, sexual connection, reproduction, and self-preservation; Thanatos, which brings destruction, repetition, aggression, compulsion, and self-destruction.
Emotional and Mental Illness:
The distortion of human emotions and actions, the borderline between what is distorted and what is normal is not fixed by science; it varies from society to society, rapidly changing constantly. Overtly disturbed behavior is easy to recognize, but psychological disorders (of lesser degrees of severity) were accepted as normal. The mentally ill person, as victims of a broad range of psychological disorders, are usually unable to end the trouble by a mere act of will or the decision to "do right." Many are frightened and angered that their failures or dissatisfactions may be the products of an emotional illness.
There are no generally accepted definitions the professional can offer to guide the layperson as to the precise meanings of "normal" or "abnormal," "emotionally healthy," or "emotionally Ill." When Freud was asked what a normal person should be able to do, he replied:"he should be able to love and work."
Normal: the normal person "should" be able to play, see people/things around him/her without distortion, to live freely from pain, and to obtain and maintain a good deal of satisfaction from life.
Abnormal: the emotionally and mentally ill person may:
(Emotional and Mental Illness, Better Homes & Gardens/Family Medical Guide, edited by Donald G. Cooley (1973); Wikipedia (Freud & Thanatos).