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Personality Disorganisation - Adjustment And Maladjustment

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This article explains about the adjustment and the maladjustments made by people when they try to satisfy their needs and are unable to satisfy their needs. It also explains conflicts, defense mechanism,repressions etc.

Adjustment and maladjustment

People of all ages have needs which they try to satisfy when they are unable to satisfy their needs, they feel frustrated. Such situations call for adjustment. In most cases the human beings are able to adjust themselves successfully. Adjustment may be defined as the process by which a living organism maintainance a balance between its needs and desires and the circumstances that influence the satisfaction of its need.

Maladjustment is one's inability to adjust oneself to external and internal barriers. It is a process of behaving in a wrong way to the conflicting situations. So instead of solving the existing problems its leads to new problems.

Frustrations are caused due to the obstacles that come in the way of satisfying the need. These obstacles are of two types namely internal and external. The internal barriers are those concerning the individuals wants, desire, conflicts. The external barriers may be either physical or social. Physical are like distance, climate etc. Social may be unemployment or lack of friends.


Almost every day we experience some type of conflict or the other. Awaking in the morning with a severe cold, a person must decide weather to stay home or go to class, A more intensed conflict occurs when a women must decide between staying near home to care for her mother and marrying a man whose business would require that the couple travel constantly.
Conflicts are of four types:
1. Approach - approach conflict : Often we must choose between two equally attractive objects for example cotton or wool. The legendary donkey franked by equally enlising ( attractive) and equally distant is said to have starved in the midst of plenty.

2. Avodiance - avoidance conflict : In conflict of this type the alternatives are equally unattractive or repellent for example a conflict may arise when an individual has to choose between a very dangerous surgical operation and the possibilility of prolonged illness.

3. Approach - avoidance type : Sometimes an individual is simultaneously attracted to and repelled by a single goal object for example a person picks up the telephone receiver and begins to dial the number of someone he wants to ask a favour, but fearing he may insult the other person being turn down he quickly puts the receiver back to the hook.

4. Multiple approach avoidance type : Often we are confronted with several possibility for action each having several desirable and undesirable aspects in daily life there may be more than two alternatives each of which has both positive and negative features.

Defense mechanism

In response to stress individuals react in different ways often the reactions are unconscious, the reasons for which individuals do not know such reactions are called defense mechanism a turn used by freud.


It means an unconscious effort to keep out of one's mind unpleasant memories and unresolved it operates unconsciously repression. Repression was considered by freud to be the most primary mechanism it serves as a basis for other defense mechanisms.


It may be defined as hunting for arguments to justify as in doing what he want to do or believing what we want to believe. It is a mechanism by which we want to give a acceptable an apparently logical account of our behaviour which arouse anxiety the well known fable the fox, who finds " grapes are sour " after failing to reach the bunch is a good example of rationalization the technique is often employed to avert a conflict between an impulse and a moral sentiment for example a person gets of the bus without paying and tells himself that as he had to stand all the way the company is not really entitled to demand fare.


It is a mechanism which helps a person to enhance his feelings of prestige and importance by identifying himself with person or a group with accomplishments which is himself capable of thus many spectators in a game feel proud of accomplishments of club or a side they identify with although they cannot claim any share in the actual achievements. Many people frustrated in their lives talk proudly of the achievements of their friends and relatives, it is common for parents to identify themselves with their children and through the children they attempt to satisfy their own unfulfilled ambitions of father for example may have longed to be a doctor but has been enable to afford the training he is determined that this son shall have the career he has missed when son fulfilled the ambition of the father identifies himself with the son.

Reaction formation

When unacceptable need or wish is repressed on individual may sometimes develop an opposite behaviour persons who crusade against the use of alcohol in any form perhaps are struggling to control their own desires for engaging in such activities.


In a general sense, whenever an individual in accurately attributes his own personal feelings or defects to others, he is projective, children frequently project their thoughts and feelings believing that other feel just as they feel when a child is sad he may feel that his friend is sad too. Often a student places blames on his teachers and school authorities for having failed.


It means a retreat from the present challenging or stressful situation to the past which fewer problems or responsibilities. A person with draws unconsciously from a position authority and seek to returns to a dependent status.
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