Denial As A Defense Mechanism

Calvin-Hobbes-Its-Not-Denial-posterThere are many defense mechanisms that people routinely use to protect their psyche from pain.

Denial is one of those defense mechanisms.
The definition of denial is a refusal to believe a doctrine or theory.

Sometimes people can get so entrenched in denial that they truly are not aware of something that is clearly evident to everyone around them.

Parents are especially susceptible to denial because admitting or accepting something potentially negative about their child causes them emotional pain.

If we don’t know about it then it can’t hurt us. It is human nature that if it hurts we don’t want to do it.

Recognizing our own denial about ourselves and our children is the first step in resolving the issue.

I remember one particular family many many years ago. Their son was moderately to severely autistic and displayed behaviors characteristic of the disorder.

One day the mom came to me very upset with a “deer in the headlights” look on her face. Another parent had approached her and offered her some reading material about parenting an autistic child.

“Why would she do that?” She cried to me. She was in a complete state of shock and disbelief.

The denial about her son had protected her up to this point until finally, denying it no longer became an option.

The tough part of this story is that this family lost many years where they could have been providing early intervention and support to their child. Once they came out of their denial, they then felt guilt because of the denial!

It is such a complicated process to understand how our brains protect us.

Making a conscious point to lift up our heads, take a step back and look at the global picture objectively is so important, especially for parents.

Do you think you’re in denial?
Are you in denial about your relationship? Your children? Your professional career?

Take a moment and assess. Surround your self with those who love and support you and only accept honest and respectful communication.

Keep in mind that knowledge is power. Do not hide from the painful truth in your life. Gather the facts and then process them and move forward accordingly.

It will not only be the best thing for you but it will also model a very important concept to your children.

Moving out of a state of denial is hard so sometimes people need support, such as a counselor or a therapist to help guide them through that process.

Do not be afraid to get the support you need. The quality of your life and the quality of the lives around you will skyrocket.

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