Id, Ego, Superego

Analysis of Social Phobia Case According to Structural Personality Theory (Id, Ego, Superego, Conflict, Anxiety)

BE, 45, (Female) works as a mathematics teacher at a school. B.E, who did not have any chronic diseases in the past, does not have any disease history other than Social Phobia. Since childhood, BE was very reluctant to speak in front of a crowded social circle, stand in front of others, and eat and do activities. In the interview, she informed that her mother and aunt had problems in the past, similar to what she saw in herself. Therefore, the client did not need to receive therapy support for many years, considering that her familial predisposition might be like this. When she started working in a public school, she went to a psychiatrist and was diagnosed with social phobia when she felt the desire to escape from the environment in which the students were the majority and felt that this situation was unbearable for her.

Structural Personality Theory


It reflects the primitive self of the individual. It constantly puts the wishes and desires of the person in the foreground, and has the function of meeting the inner impulses of the individual immediately, regardless of their unusual and irrational desires. He seeks instant pleasure and does it without thinking (İnanç, 2012).

According to Freud, since the first moment of a person’s life, the primitive structure consisting of the Id breaks away and forms the Ego and Supergo.

The id is the reality of instincts, internal reactions, psychic energy on demand. As a result of an external stimulus or an internal reaction, the id activates the organism to act and react in order to decrease the tension as soon as the stress level increases. After the indicated action or reaction, the blood pressure gradually decreases. This situation is called the Id’s Pleasure Principle (Kuzgun, 1988).

In this case, the MA essentially has a mission of the Id’s pursuit of pleasure, always operating on the principle of desire, and the immediate elimination of extraordinary and irrational pleasures and impulses at any level. The MA must act according to the Id in order to satisfy and satisfy the unreal and irrational impulsive desires.


Based on the environment in which the individual lives, the customs and the moral laws he has learned, he carefully controls the id’s desires regarding sexuality and aggression around the strict moral rules. It prevents unacceptable excessive demands and actions to meet demands. The superego enables the person to internalize the stimuli coming from the environment. Moral, high human value, tradition and social relations are related to the superego (İnanç, 2012).

Another issue that affects the superego is that the individual reaches positive or negative thoughts and creates a lifestyle according to the criteria approved by the leading elders of the ceremony (Özoğlu. 1982).

The positive or negative judgments of the individual are provided by the superego. In the case, B. E’s avoidance of the classroom and his unwillingness to enter the classroom, and considering this situation because of his love for education, he evaluated this behavior morally and said, “No matter what happens, you have to enter that classroom for your children. You can’t let them down!” thought and activating the ideal of raising students useful to society.


It represents the side of the person trying to balance between the Id and the Superego. The ego is the balancing, intelligent, prudent part of the individual. When the id and environmental values ​​contradict the rules, the environment punishes the person. If a solution cannot be found for the situation that creates confusion, the individual will not be happy with this situation. This creates conflict and anxiety. In the ego-level conflict of Id and Supergo, the individual does not want to enter the classroom and wants to be useful to children with the responsibility of being a teacher. This is torn between unstable emotions. When the ego cannot balance this situation, conflict occurs and when wrong conditions and value judgments are added to this situation, the level of anxiety increases (İnanç, 2012).

As the anxiety increases, the individual experiences more anxiety and tries to tolerate this anxiety and tries to meet his needs in order to discharge. If this situation can be controlled, defense mechanisms can be used properly. Id, who is in search of pleasure, wants to make him do what he says by stabilizing the tormenting Superego. The ego mediates against the instinctive impulses of the Id and the pressure of the Superego (Kozacıoğlu, 1995).

Here, he needs different defense systems in order to control the sadness and anxiety that these events will cause in the individual. In such reaction situations, the front vehicle that comes into play acquires an unhealthy feature that will increase adaptation (Geçtan. 1980. Corsini. 1973).

While the ego exerts effort according to the reality principle, it seeks to observe the Superego by acting punitively on the Id. It tries to find a middle ground between the instinctive defender of the id and the situations threatened by the superego, but uses its defense mechanisms against any tension that may arise.

He tries to balance the threats of the super ego. However, in response to the tension that will occur, it uses defense mechanisms by protecting itself against all negativities.


Defense Mechanisms Seen in the Case

  1. Catastrophizing: “When I speak in public, it will be obvious that I’m worried, I’m going to bullshit and everyone will make fun of me.

  2. Selective Perception: “Two of my students were not listening while I was teaching. They certainly did not like my lecture. If I was a good teacher, they would listen. I am incompetent.”

  3. Personalization: “The students were laughing among themselves while answering my student’s question in the lesson. They certainly laughed at my expression, my tone of voice, my appearance.”

  4. All or nothing thinking: “If I plan to make a presentation, I must either keep every word in my mind or cancel the presentation” (İnanç, 2012).

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