Raj Koothrappali: The Big Bang Theory

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Psychology of Raj Koothrappali Who is Raj Koothrappali Raj Koothrappali a character played by Kunal Nayyar, is one of the five main characters in the CBC comedy series The Big Bang Theory. Raj Koothrappali is a very shy, sensitive, and caring astrophysicist who works in the Physics Department at the California Institute of Technology. The show is about a woman named ‘Penny’ who moves next door into an apartment across the hall from two of the main character ‘Sheldon’ and ‘Leonard’. The main characters Sheldon, Leonard, Howard, and Raj, are four characters that are socially awkward physicists that show little of what they know about life outside of the laboratory (Huggo, 2007). “Before season 6, Raj had a psychological condition called selective…show more content…
“However there are side effects when Raj turns to alcohol and medication” (Bjornstad, 2014). Raj’s “social phobia is an irrational fear of being publicly humiliated or embarrassed” (Baird & McCarthy, 2014). “When Raj consumes alcohol it tends to make him loud and obnoxious” (“Raj Koothrappali,” 2014). “When Raj decides to take medication to suppress his social anxiety, they resulted in involuntary repetitive hand motions” (“Raj Koothrappali,” 2014). When Raj realizes that the medications might be affecting his rationale, he is seen in a coffee shop naked talking to a woman. Due to all of the public humiliation Raj goes through he has the psychological problem of social anxiety. Raj going through all these humiliating experiences with women will not help him to overcome his social anxiety. “Although Raj has no problem talking to his mother and sisters and other female relatives, when Penny was present, Raj would always remain silent” (“Raj Koothrappali,” 2014). When Penny was around, Raj would have to whisper what he wanted to say to his best friend Howard who would then repeat his words to the group out loud. “At first glance, Raj does not seem to have the noticeable characteristics of an influential personality. He appears shy and reserved, and when he is in a place where he’s comfortable he…show more content…
Raj’s social anxiety leads him to a failure to speak to or around non-related women, and then leads him to have conflict with his id and ego. Raj’s id impulse wants to talk to women, but because his ego impulse doesn’t think that it is a good idea for Raj to talk to women; he does not. This is because Raj thinks he will probably humiliate himself. Because of Raj’s social anxiety he has a fear of being publicly humiliated or embarrassed. “Raj’s fear of rejection makes him completely unable to follow through with any interactions outside of the safe boundaries his immediate social group” (“Big Band Theory’s Raj Koothrappali,” 2012). Raj’s incapability to speak in highly stressful circumstances causes him a great deal of despair. Raj’s neurotic anxiety has a high chance of coming from childhood. “Children are often punished for overtly expressing sexual impulses. Therefore, the wish to gratify certain id impulses generates anxiety” (D. Schultz & S. Schultz, 2013). When Raj was younger there is a greater chance that he was punished for expressing his sexual impulses openly, which led him to have social anxiety around women. “Anxiety is a signal that impending danger, a threat to the ego, must be counteracted or avoided” (D. Schultz & S. Schultz, 2013). According to Freud, “this conflict is ever present because the instincts are always pressing for satisfaction, and the taboos

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