• Compliance "I will prove myself a dignified person after some time but please give me the last chance to drink"
  • Manipulating "I will only share my problem at one condition, that if you would agree to solve them at any cost for me"
  • Flight into health "My emotions, thoughts are in full control, it shows that I’m cured fully and I don’t need any more assistance"
  • Fearful recovery "Scared of future plans and doubts about the goals"
  • Strategic hopelessness "Since nothing is left worthy in my life, I don't need to try further it is a wastage of time".

Delay is the deadliest form of denial
By: C. Northcote Parkinson

 Denial stands for:

D= Distance, E= Emergency, N= Neglect, I= Interruption, A= Alter, L= Lethargic


Here are some examples of denial:

  • A college student witnesses a violent shooting but claims that he did not get affected by this incident.
  • The partner of an aged man in the end stage of his life refuses to talk about health care directives and wills, insisting that he is getting better.
  • An administrator frequently misses a morning meeting due to his excessive drinking the night before, but he insists that there is no problem because the work is still getting done.
  • Parents should immediately stop giving money to her daughter for her "clothing", who is suffering from drug addiction.

Reasons for Denial:

  • There are many reasons we use the mechanism of denial to get rid of physical or emotional pain, fear, guilt, agony, shame or conflict.
  • It is the first defense that we learn as a child.
  • Denial is adaptive when it helps us cope with difficult emotions, like: at the primary stages of grief following the loss of a loved one, particularly if the detachment or death is sudden.
  • Denial gives the space to our thoughts and behavior to adjust. It’s not adaptive when we deny alarming signs of a treatable disease.
  • Many women delay getting mammograms or biopsies because of fear, even though early intervention leads to greater success in the treatment of cancer. Applying the various degrees above we might deny that we have any small thing, next rationalize that it’s probably a cyst and admit that it could be or actually is cancer, but deny that it could lead to death; or admit all of the above and still be unwilling to get treatment.
  • Denial is inner conflict in which a person is facing a cognitive dissonance .