The meaning of desire in psychoanalysis is similar to what the meaning is in day to day life. It is a feeling of longing for a person, thing or an outcome. When a person desires an object or another person, the person feel excited with the thought of getting and enjoying the object or person.
And thus, he or she will start taking actions to obtain that goal. Many psychologists and philosophers believe that it is the birth of desire in a person that drives basically all actions in humans.
Birth of desire in psychoanalysis is not described as an emotion. Rather psychologists consider desire to be very different from emotions. According to psychologists, birth of desire occurs due to the needs of the body. For instance, desire for eating something is the stomach's need for food. In contrast, emotions occur in a person due to his or her mental state of mind. Therefore, psychologists make a clear distinction between desire and emotions.
A study conducted by the University of Michigan in 2008 showed that desire and fire are psychological opposites. However, in the brain they share the same circuit. The human brain tends to put any stimulus into three basic categories depending on how desirable the stimulus is. In turn, different regions of the brain are activated based on the desirability.
Birth of desire in psychoanalysis shows that desire is connected to reward. When a person desires something, he knows that getting it will make him happy and this occurs due to the release of dopamine, the pleasure chemical of the brain, in the brain.
According to French psychoanalyst and psychiatrist, Jacques Lacan, birth of desire occurs in a baby during its mirror phase. In this phase the baby sees an image of something being whole in a mirror and then develops a desire for that thing. As the baby grows and becomes into a mature person, he feels separated from himself and therefore is incomplete. This prompts a person to constantly work towards becoming whole again.
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