Becker`s Denial of Death

Becker’s Denial of Death

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Becker’s Denial of Death

Part1: Psychoanalysis

According to Becker, depression encompasses the terror of life anddeath, alongside the hunger for self-perpetuation. He also assertsthat only creative people would have an independent gift to give tothe universe to secure immortality. When the average person fails tobe heroic enough towards the universe, they are attacked bydepression and unforgiving guilt. Becker agrees with the insight thatbogging-down into absolute helplessness and dependency in depressionis the last remaining defense all mammals have. In this light,describes dependency as the basic survival mechanism to humanity.When a grown up loses the ability to keep on and consider themselvesof not capable of setting themselves free, they enter into a state ofdepression.

Beckeragrees with Boss’ sentiment that feelings of guilt represent thefailure to continue living. He goes further to explain thatrelationships are a kind of slavery to mankind, which in the end ofit all, leave a feeling of guilt that is ignites depression. This iswhy renowned therapists worked against these effects by remindingtheir patients that their purpose of living was not to please theirpartners, and that their role (therapists’) is not to please thepatient. Therefore, this breaks the connection between relationshipsand depression, as explained above. This tact helps the patients toquite blaming themselves over things they feel they did not do intheir lives, hence helping them to get out of depression.

Becker speaks about depression that is obtained after castration inmen and attaining menopause in women. Becker broadens the concepts ofpsychoanalysis to take in the fear of death rather than the fears ofpunishment from parents. This is by asserting that the parents of apatient are not the ones responsible for their “castration”. Healso asserts that menopausal depression is a phenomenon of thesocieties where women are denied a place in continuity. Instead ofthe eternity in life that a person feels for grantedself-perpetuation, the depressed individuals feel that they arecondemned to destruction. This is the reason why it is argued thatsocial roles absorb the body of a person. This is the point whereheroism transforms the feat of death into the security ofself-recognition. It is only at such times that people come up andface death without fear. Finally, the historical dimension of mentalillness is presented. This dimension concludes that the biggestquestion is never about nature alone, but also the society andideologies presented.


The Federal Interagency Forum in Aging-Related Statistics (2006)identifies memory loss as one of the central features of aging in thecontemporary American society. It is noted that when the aging adultsbecome aware of their memory loss as a result of their aging. Theyare typically quite alarmed. Generally, forgetfulness has beenidentified as a common complaint amongst older adults in thecontemporary American society. As a person grows older, they are setto experience psychological changes that can affect the ability ofthe brain to function normally. People begin taking longer than usualto learn and remember even the most basic things.

The panic amongst the aging people is associated with the fact thatscientists have proven that memory race is a sign of an organic braindisease. This definitely brings sadness to the individuals and theirfamilies, because it may have some sever implications. However,despite this concern, the incidence of organic brain disease remainsquite low. This means that therapists and psychologists have toapproach the patients with considerations of non-memory factors thatcould be contributing to the patients’ memory problems.

Asthe brain changes with time, so does the individual’s behavior.Most aging Americans experience declining in verbal fluency or theability to find and use the appropriate words they want.Additionally, they work extra harder to plan and organize theirtasks. This is the reason most American families have to hang aroundtheir aging family members to help them do tasks. When left alone,the aging persons may get messy, and may end up injuring themselvesor those around them. For instance, an elderly individual may use thegas and forget to turn it off, which may explode or burn the house.

Accordingto new evidence in psychology, it is demonstrated that challengingself to learning new language or playing a musical instrument may bea worthy solution to preventing memory loss or the development ofbrain diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer’s. It has beenestablished that short mental exercises improve the performance ofthe brain over a given period of time. American psychologists carriedout an experiment on a number of volunteers and asked them to trythree tasks, memorizing a list, looking for patterns and numbers asan exercise for reasoning and visual concentration. After dueinstructions, the participants were trained for different periods oftime (one group for 10 hours, another group for 18 hours, the extrabeing for boosting purposes). It was found that those trained forlonger significantly improved their memory than the others. Thisexperiment supports the idea that mental training helps boost memory.


Becker, E. (2014). The denial Federal Inter-Agency Forum onAgeing Statistics. (2006). Older Americans update 2006: Key ofdeath. London, UK: Souvenir Press.

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