Thursday, July 27

How Denial hurts, helps, and how to cope with it

Everyone experiences denial at some point in their lives; it's a normal reaction when you're unable to face the truth. Not all denial is negative. However, it could be simpler to spot it in someone else than in yourself.

"It's challenging to take an honest inventory of your life and how things are going. It requires a lot of effort.

Here is some information on denial, including how to recognise it in others and in yourself, as well as what you might wish to do about it.

What is denial?
Denial is a psychological defence mechanism, a clever technique the mind can use when circumstances are challenging. It keeps us safe, in my opinion, and I regard it as a barrier of protection that we may or may not be conscious of. Additionally, it prevents us from examining our own behaviour or changing the environment.

Denial can be a response to something that challenges firmly held ideas or something that you're not ready to accept or confess.

Common reasons for denial include
  • Abuse (including physical, sexual, financial, emotional, mental, and other forms)
  • Excessive consumption of alcohol, drug abuse, or other substance use disorders
  • Politics
  • Family or lifestyle concerns
  • Medical findings
  • Smoking
  • Mental illness problems
  • Weight gain

How might we benefit from denial?
We can hide behind denial to avoid unpleasant emotions. It might be beneficial in the short run and offer relief to people who lack the time or capacity to deal with an issue.

For instance, even if someone is dissatisfied in a relationship, the prospect of being alone could be worse than the alternative. Or perhaps someone lacks the strength or emotional capacity to accept what is happening because they are exhausted or overburdened. " Someone may feel it's better to not think about the circumstance and let it go because they believe it's too much to bear at this time.

How is denial harmful to us?
Denial can be harmful when we are in risky or unhealthy situations.

For instance, failing to acknowledge the truth about a medical or mental ailment might have detrimental effects on our health. "A lot of teenagers have depression and substance use issues, and some parents downplay the issue out of concern for their children. "But denying problems can hurt children and prevent them from making significant change," the statement begins.

When it comes to addiction or abuse, denial can be harmful as well. All members of a family are impacted by these issues, which can result in unhealthy practises being passed down from one generation to the next.

Recognising patterns of behaviour that point to denial
People in denial frequently display particular behaviours. For instance, they could:
minimise or defend faults, concerns, or unhealthy conduct
avoiding considering issues
Avoid taking responsibility for unhealthy behaviours or placing the blame elsewhere. Refuse to discuss certain topics and become hostile when they are raised.

Leaving denial and moving towards significant transformation
To deal with denial, one must first acknowledge its presence, which can be difficult for anyone to do, and then address the underlying problem that's generating it.

Reach out for assistance if you are aware of your own denial. If you're experiencing intimate partner violence, talk to someone close to you or get an outside opinion from a therapist, a spiritual advisor, your doctor, or a hotline number, such as the National Domestic Violence Hotline. Make the first call to a recovery centre or helpline for substance use disorders if you are experiencing addiction issues, or try attending just one 12-step programme meeting (like Alcoholics Anonymous) instead. You can eventually learn to confront your fears and worries and create a clear transformation strategy.

Detecting denial in others: Exercise caution
If you see denial in someone else and want to point it out, proceed with extreme caution. Before tackling a problem that could be dangerous to you or another person, seek advice from professionals.

Be as sympathetic as you can, provided the situation is not harmful. Have a kind, compassionate conversations without distractions. Declare your love and call attention to what you observe. Discuss how it makes you feel. then give it some time. Nobody can be made to change by force. You are limited to sowing a seed.



  1. Bringing attention to and understanding the reasons behind it is not always easy. This is a helpful guide!

    Jill - Doused in Pink

  2. Anonymous7/27/2023

    Such a good read with some great tips. I always feel better talking to someone that I trust.


  3. This is such an interesting post Melody, I have definitely had denial! xx

  4. Very intersting. I visit a medical therapist every few weeks and we talk about that too.

  5. That was an interesting read, Melody. I have had denial too.

    That September Muse

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