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Is an Unresolved Childhood Psychosexual Stage Affecting Your Behaviour as an Adult?

Are You Stuck in One of Your Childhood Psychosexual Stages?

Are you wondering where your bad habits come from?

Nail biting, being messy, ending up with your mother or father?

That’s right, according to Sigmund Freud, your bad habits are rooted in whether or not you crush and essentially "pass" each developmental stage, or you instead get “stuck” there. Stuck how? Stuck mentally, emotionally, and psychologically.

Freud was very much influential in the field of Psychology but he has also been heavily criticized for focusing too much on sex (or lack thereof) and too much on himself.

You have been warned, continue reading at your own risk.

According to Freud, from birth there are 5 stages of development that we need to overcome and "pass" in order to move onto the next and continue to develop and grow in a healthy way that allows us to become

Oral Stage (0 – 18 months)

Erogenous Zone: Mouth

This is when we are feeding and the mouth is where we get pleasure from the most as we bite, lick and suck. Being fed too much or too little can lead to an oral fixation as we become adults. This means you can develop an alcohol abuse problem, a smoking problem, an overeating problem.

The hand to mouth movement is what pushes a button in your mental pleasure center and soothes that lack you subconsciously feel from not having completed and successfully “resolved” this early stage of development.

Anal Stage (18 months – 3 years)

Erogenous Zone: Anus

Potty-training time. The bowel movement is what brings us pleasure at this stage. Studies have shown that we orgasm a little when we sneeze, exercise our core, and when we defecate. Depending on the strictness of the training, you can end up as a very messy and disorganized adult, or a very rigid, inflexible and “anal” (dollars to doughnuts you have heard and/or used that term before) one.

If you are disorganized and messy, there is a high probability that your potty training was very lenient, you could relieve yourself wherever with no consequences, just a swift clean-up by your caregiver. Whereas if you are obsessive, rigid, and inflexible, your potty training was highly strict and you could not even make a mistake, you were scared into using the toilet.

Phallic Stage (3 – 5 years)

Erogenous Zone: Genital Area

This is considered one of the most important stage of the five, and this is the point we get to those eyebrow raising Freudian theories.

The child is attracted to the opposite sex parent.

Oedipus Complex

The child is jealous of the same sex parent and overly adores the opposite sex parent e.g. male child becomes envious & possessive when his father touches, kisses, or hugs his mother. A female child adamant about marrying her father when she grows up and also gets envious & possessive when the mother touches, hugs, or kisses the father.

Electra Complex

Coined by Carl Jung and named after the Greek Myth of Electra where she convinces her brother to straight murder her mother and lover, the girl child is said to have “penis envy”. She is furious her mother did not give her a penis, the mother herself does not have a penis, and she is standing in the child’s way of being with her father.

If you crush this stage of development, you grow up to have healthy thoughts, desires, behaviour, and attitudes towards sex. If you do not, you subconsciously date the opposite sex parent. In other words, you seek, date, and end up with partners who either physically resemble your opposite sex parent, or they have similar traits.

Latency Period (5 – 12 years)

The sexual interest in the opposite sex is said to be dormant at this stage. We are more interested in making friends, interacting with, and playing with other children of the same sex. This is when we learn to make connections.

Genital Stage (12 years – Adulthood)

Erogenous Zone: Genital Area

The final stage, the stage you are currently in, also the start of puberty. You remember all the big lessons and changes you went through and are still going through at this stage. We are very much stimulated and motivated by the opposite sex (will that make him/her like me? Will that make him/her think better of me? Will that make him/her sexually attracted to me?) and our genital area.

Cool, right?

Now how do you get over a fixation if you have one (or more)?

Treatment/ Breaking a Fixation

Exercise – What? Yes. Exercise can be what you do whenever you get the urge to fall into old fixation bad habits.

Journaling – This makes you more aware of your triggers so that you can know and understand when you engage in these negative behaviours / fixations.

Therapy – Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) / Trauma-centred therapy.

Reparenting – Giving yourself what you lacked in childhood which has resulted in the behaviour cycles you have as an adult. Your therapist / coach can help you do this.

If any of these resonate, fear not, it is not the end of the world. You have the information now, there is better understanding now, and you know where to start now with making changes if you want to. Equip yourself with the tools so that you can take back control of yourself and your quality of life.

Coach Nomie, Take Control

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