Explanations > Behaviors > Coping mechanisms > Denial
Description | Example | Discussion | So what?
Denial is simply refusing to acknowledge that an event has occurred. The person affected simply acts as if nothing has happened, behaving in ways that others may see as bizarre.
In its full form, it is totally subconscious, and sufferers may be as mystified by the behavior of people around them as those people are by the behavior of the sufferers. It may also have a significant conscious element, where the sufferer is simply 'turning a blind eye' to an uncomfortable situation.
A man hears that his wife has been killed, and yet refuses to believe it, still setting the table for her and keeping her clothes and other accoutrements in the bedroom.
A person having an affair does not think about pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases.
People take credit for their successes and find 'good reason' for their failures, blaming the situation, other people, etc.
Alcoholics vigorously deny that they have a problem.
Optimists deny that things may go wrong. Pessimists deny they may succeed.
Denial is a form of repression, where stressful thoughts are banned from memory. If I do not think about it, then I do not suffer the associated stress have to deal with it. However, people engaging in Denial can pay a high cost in terms of the psychic energy needed to maintain the denial state.
Repression and Denial are two primary defense mechanisms which everybody uses.
Children find denial easier, as with age, the ego matures and understands more about the "objective reality" it must operate within.
Denial is one of Anna Freud's original defense mechanisms.
When you appear to deny a situation, then the other person may join you in the denial or may have to handle it in a way that is not as direct as they otherwise might.
Avoidance, Compartmentalization, Idealization, Rationalization, Repression, Denialism
1154 Words5 Pages
So you don’t think that you are an alcoholic. Chances are that you are not, but this is the thought that many who are unknowingly addicted to alcohol or other mind-altering agents. This denial barrier is the first of many hurdles to overcome when they are identified as having an addiction disorder. Although all denial isn’t bad most of the time, addicts are often the last to recognize their disease, pursuing their addictions into mental illness, the degeneration of health, and ultimately death. This paper will explain the concept of denial, its consequences, and the implications it has for nursing care.
Review of Literature and Knowledge Base What is denial? Dr. Hilary Knatz, the author of Getting On, states that “Denial,…show more content…
It is true that overwhelming anxiety can hamper coping, and that screening out anxiety-provoking stimuli can help prevent this kind of paralysis. In general, it must be observed, the world is full of terrifying possibilities that we could never completely comprehend (1998). Denial is the refusal to believe or accept the reality that certain events have happened, are happening, or will happen. To accept the reality would bring emotional pain, so the events are denied. Related to denial is the defense called minimizing. Events are accepted, but only in a watered down version. “Sure I drink once in a while. Everybody does. It's no big deal. Once in a while I might get carried away, but it really isn't a problem” (USDHHS, 1994).
Denial is the primary psychological symptom of addiction. It is an automatic and unconscious component of addictions. Addicts are often the last to recognize their disease, pursuing their addictions into mental illness, the degeneration of health, and ultimately death. Sadly, many addicts continue to act out on their addictions while their world collapses around them blaming everything but the addiction for their problems (USDHHS, 1994)
Denial is one of the reasons that recovery from addictions is seldom effective if the chemically dependent person is forced into treatment. You cannot work on a problem