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Why do we repeat bad behavior?

Why do we repeat bad behavior?

Monday decided to start a diet. Three days later, at dawn, she was there, dipped in the refrigerator. The next day he decided that he would take the diet very seriously and taking advantage of the fact that his mouth would be closed, he decided to stop smoking altogether. He held out until Friday, when he smoked two packs of cigarette to make up for the days of abstinence. With the entrance of the weekend, he ate, drank and smoked beyond the conventional, since Monday, the day of the beginning of the diet, was coming.

Lack of willpower? Not for psychoanalysis, which sees in the insistence of the repetition of the errors traces of the unconscious that dominates us. The phenomenon of repetition is not psychic exclusivity, we can observe repetitions in practically everything that surrounds us. Repetition of the four seasons, the phases of the moon and so many other phenomena of nature. The body repeats from birth to death movements such as sleeping, breathing, eating. There is an undeniable fact that happens to most people: they repeat attitudes that range from nowhere to nowhere, as the case quoted at the beginning of this article, that is, despite to rationally decide that they will not repeat something they consider wrong, repeat and repeat ...

Why, after all, do we repeat? What is the object of repetition? For psychoanalysis we are the product of all the events that occurred in the past. We are our up-to-date unconscious, that is, the unconscious comes to the surface in everyday life, especially through repetitive acts and thoughts.

Unlike what people imagine, the unconscious reveals itself as the sovereign force behind all our choices: loving, professional, the way we relate to each other, to success, failure, sexuality and way of dealing with the body. All these decisive choices are made in our own eyes, they actualize the past. We repeat a way to love and we also repeat a way to separate ourselves.

It is worth mentioning that there are healthy and pathological repetitions. In pathological repetitions, we can observe a sequence of incomprehensible love disruptions, binge eating, anorexia, drug addiction, obsessive-compulsive disorder, sexual compulsion, manifested among others, as pathological repetitions dating back to childhood traumas. numerous people to seek a therapy. Most people find themselves repeating uncontrollable attitudes that seem strange to themselves and seek an answer.

There are also "healthy" repetitions that give a sense of who we are, that is, the way we deal with money, love, work, friends and children, to take care of the body and health. Repetition brings with it a trace of identity, that is, without the repetition process the person tends not to recognize himself, so the change is so dreaded.

The complaints I hear most often in the office are about repetitions of the most varied subjects such as, for example, people who always fall in love with those who do not love them and who loves them does not interest them. Others believe that they always have a submissive and servile position in situations where the ideal would be to show a leadership position, some can not but be authoritarian where they would like to be more flexible and condescending. Mothers who feel they suffocate their children and mothers absent. People too jealous and possessive. People who feel lack of sexual desire when they love and feel excessive desire where there is no affective involvement. Many want to change eating habits. The list is large.

I believe that most repetitions have a way of fixing a single position in front of you and in front of you, which gives you a feeling of jamming, stagnation.What is the work of a psychoanalyst in front of everything I have mentioned? Freud pointed out a path: "He who does not know his past is doomed to see him return in the form of impulsive behavior or failure."

Changing repetition through memory is the goal of work in a psychoanalytic approach. It is not a simple recollection, nor is it a sudden experience, but session to session the work is done in the sense of constructing a new look about oneself, a retelling of one's own history.

Treatment consists of the use of word: both the analyst's speech and that of the analyst focus on the silenced, but untamed affections, which, once verbalized, lose consistency. The analytical work is drawn subtly and delicately as a four-handed embroidery, in which analyst and analyst sketches through bridges and shadows bridges between past and future.

Remembrance produces a disarticulation in the mooring of the repetitive series. Where there was an anchor of mere repetition, the knots loosen themselves, opening gaps to deal with the imponderable, the surprise, the creative, that is, for the movement of life.


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