You might have heard
this expression a number of times yet may not know what exactly
this means. If dust goes into our nose, we will immediately
sneeze. Often the sneezing is quite violent. The whole body
participates in the action. After all should we need all that
force and fury to throw away the dust? Yes, the body reacts this
way. In fact these are reflex responses of the body and they are
usually very forceful if not violent. The moment our body feels
that a foreign material has entered, it reacts strongly in such a
way as to oust it at the quickest possible manner.
Imagine that we happen
to take food that contained some poisonous substance. Will the
body go on thinking for days together as to whether the poison
should be thrown out or not? No. On the other hand the body
reacts immediately with all the force at hand. We develop severe
diaohrrea and vomiting. These body mechanisms are aimed at
survival and thus the social appropriateness of these reactions
are not taken care of. The body reacts instantaneously and does
not care for the society or other external norrms of behaviour.
It behaves as if the safety of the body is more important than
any thing else.
Well, now let us come to
the level of the mind and examine a similar situation. We may be
surprised to note that poison getting into the mind remains
beneath the mind for years together. Often there are no automatic
mechanisms like the reflex action to cleanse the mind. Not only
that poisons in the form of undesirable thoughts lie deep in the
mind and manifest as disorders. This is because we suppress them
if our mind feels that it is socially inappropriate to express.
If the suppression is strong and goes to the unconscious,
Psychologists call it as Repression. Suppressed and
repressed thoughts do not lie dormant in the mind forever. They
often try to come out. The threat of these surfacing creates
tension and anxiety to the person concerned. The reemergence of
these suppressed and repressed materials can also shape itself
into other disorders. In fact the celebrated Psychoanalyst
Sigmund Freud argued that our entire Neurotic, Psychotic and
Psychosomatic disorders are due to suppression and repression.
HOW TO OVER COME THESE?
discovered that Hypnosis, Psychoanalysis and Catharsis are the ways
through which we can overcome the difficulty. If the material has
already gone to the unconscious mind we may require Hypnosis or Psychoanalysis to bring it back to the
conscious mind and to externalise it. However, if the suppressed
material is still in the conscious mind we need Catharsis.
Catharsis is a technique through which we talk to a professional
Psychologist anything and every thing that comes to our mind. The
Psychologist tells us to express our thoughts as and when they
come to the mind without any inhibition. In the all-accepting
atmosphere of the clinic one would be able to express ones
thoughts which are forbidden by the society. As the free flow of
thoughts start we might experience emotional out bursts. It is
not uncommon for people to cry or show anger etc. during
Catharsis. A couple of good sessions of Catharsis makes the
person feel free from the disturbing thoughts and emotions, which
the person has suppressed early. Many people report a feeling of
unloading and relief immediately after a session of Catharsis.
Catharsis is a mental purging technique and is effectively used
by Psychologists. Many Psychologists use this technique as part
of Supportive Psychotherapy.