Post on PsyBlog. Interesting to call it the psychological immune system. I have always called them “coping mechanisms” and we need them. But because they are unconscious, it is useful to monitor them consciously, especially when they are old and out of date, like coping by over-eating, or coping by over-working.
The unconscious is wise. The unconscious is stupid.
The very fact that we don’t seem to notice our psychological immune system is probably the only reason it works at all. After all, in order to feel better we have to conveniently forget some important facts, such as how much we wanted the job we didn’t get, loved the partner who walked out or were enjoying the ice cream we just dropped.
Interestingly the point I am making in this comment is made very well by the image used in the original. We could be walking around like this – long after the air is clean.