Teen Angst -or- In Search of Self Definition

Sadomasochism -or- Teen Angst and the Philosophy of Self 

Creating pleasure out of others physical and emotional pain is known as sadomasochism. These conflictual feelings often reach their developmental peak during adolescence, when the need to socially compare one's self to others provides a means for self-definition. Self-definition in turn leads to one's growing "philosophy of self". Instead of empathy for others developing, darker sadistic feelings such as envy, hatred, hostility and animosity can also grow as seen in the recurring dream below of a 16 year old adolescent. Often such thoughts and feelings are a peer group function of teen angst. Here is the dream; 

Melinda, 16 Student 

OK i been having reoccuring dreams about dying, death, vampires and me killing them and laughing about it. 

Mr Hagen's Response: Schadenfreude -or- Buffy the Vampire Slayer 

The fact that your recurring dream is about death, dying and your killing vampires points to the Buffy the Vampire Slayer franchise. Interestingly enough dreams play a role in the film as well. The fact that you laugh when you kill the vampires is a sign of schadenfreude. As self comparison theory predicts, findings from scientific experiments investigating schadenfreude found envy to be connected to the neuropsychological behavioural pattern. Evidently the magnitute of the schadenfreude can be measured and predicted by the amount of envy exhibited. Said differently, schadenfreude seems to be a product of envy.


All material Copyright 2006 International Institute for Dream Research. All rights reserved.