Denial is a major defense mechanism of the brain against pain. In denial a person starts denying facts and makes excuses to feel better. It makes us healthy for survival. The important part here is that this excuse appears harmless, but in fact they aren’t. What we actually do is, that by using denial we are saving ourselves by not accepting the bitter truth that is in fact happening. Excuses are threat to our families and workplace. Denial can be a major source that can hamper treatment or recovery against problems such as addiction.
Hameeda Batool is currently working as a Clinical Psychologist in Willing Ways Lahore. She has done her Masters in psychology from Punjab University and MS in Clinical Psychology from Government College University Lahore. She has worked as an intern at Combined Military Hospital (CMH) Lahore and Ganga Ram Hospital. There she was trained in conducting group sessions, assessment and management of different psychological disorders such as Addiction, OCD, Depression and Anxiety Disorders.
Editor: Samreen Masaud
Denial and Its function
In denial we
- Stay away from confronting the facts of the situation
- Minimize the resulting consequences
- Refuse to accept the seriousness of a problem
Denial is a blessing
Although it is an unhealthy defense mechanism but if used for a short period of time it can prove to be healthy and supportive. This is because it gives our mind a means to unconsciously absorb the distressing situation and won’t send our body through physical turmoil. This means that initial denial lets our mind absorb the problem and allows us to deal rationally with it while facilitating proper action against the problem.
Denial is a curse
If our denial stays constant and prevents us from taking proper actions it’s alarming. This will stop us from getting help or seeking treatment. For example an addict before receiving treatment is in a constant state of denial. They believe that they have power over their addiction and they can manage it well and quit it any time they want but the truth is that they cannot. They are under the strong influence of drugs.