Sigmund Freud On Personality Disorders  

Sigmund Freud's opinion on personality disorders comes out very clearly from his theory -- stages of psychosexual development. According to this theory, psychosexual development followed a specific order and it can result in a person develop a healthy personality or a unhealthy personality.

Basically Freud believed that each person develops through stages which are based on specific erogenous zones. If each stage is not completed successfully, the child becomes fixated on that particular erogenous zone and when the child becomes an adult, he either over indulgences or under indulgences on that zone.

The stages of psychosexual development theory is the theory of Sigmund Freud on personality disorders and the stages are as follows:

  • Oral Stage: This stage starts from birth and last until 18 months. During this stage, the child derives oral pleasure through sucking and most the time the child is busy with oral activities. According to Freud, too much or too little indulgence can result in oral personality. A person with this personality tends to smoke excessively, drink alcohol, over eat or bite his nails. In terms of personality, people with oral personality are dependent too much on others, they are gullible and will always be followers and never leaders. However, this personality type may fight these urges and become pessimistic and be aggressive towards others.
  • Anal Stage: Begins from 18 months and lasts until the child is 3 years. Here the child derives pleasure from eliminating and retaining feces. Through the parents, the child learns to control anal pleasure. However, the effects of anal fixation results in being obsessed with cleanliness, perfection and control. But it is also known that anal personality types can become disorganized and extremely untidy.
  • Phallic Stage: Begins from 3 years and lasts until 6 years. Here the child switches the pleasure zone to the genitals. According to Freud, it is during this stage that the boy develops Oedipus complex and views his father as a rival for his mother's attention. Also, the boy becomes afraid that his father will punish him for his feelings towards the mother. This same fear drives the boy to identify with father and begins to mimic him rather than fighting him, and it this that helps the boy to develop masculine characteristics and helps to suppress the sexual feelings towards his mother. A fixation in this stage results in the boy being sexually deviant, confused about his sexual identity and weak.
  • Latency Stage: This stage begins at 6 years and last until the onset of puberty. During this stage all sexual urges are suppressed and children tend to play with other children of the same gender.
  • Genital Stage: Starts from puberty. This is the final stage of psychosexual development where the sexual needs reawaken. In this stage, due to past experiences, a child concentrate on the opposite sex and the main zone of pleasure is the genitals.

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