What is denial?

  • Being unwilling to face problems on either a conscious or subconscious level.
  • Acting as if there are no problems to face.
  • A defensive response; protection from pain, hurt, or suffering
  • A mask to hide feelings or emotions behind.
  • A way to avoid conflict, disagreements, or disapproval from others.
  • A way to avoid facing the negative consequences of reality.
  • A way of retaining our sanity when experiencing unbearable pain.
  • A way to repress the truth of our loss, a way to continue to function in a “normally.”
  • A pattern of life for individuals who are compulsively driven to “look good.”
  • A way to avoid the risk of change as a result of problems or loss.

How does denial look to others?

Persons in denial:

  • Appear to be irrational to those who know the problems and losses they have suffered.
  • Appear to be calm and relaxed to those who do not know the problems and losses they have suffered.
  • Are a cause of frustration to those who want them to confront the truth of the problem or loss honestly.
  • Appear to be unemotional, apathetic, or indifferent in the face of loss.
  • Are considered pathetic and pitiable by those who have tried to confront them with the denial and have failed.
  • Appear to be caught up in magical thinking about the loss involved.
  • Appear to be excessively involved in fantasy thinking about the loss or problem.
  • Appear to be childlike, very dependent on others to nurture them and reassure them that everything will be all right.
  • Appear to be running away from the truth concerning their problems or loss.
  • Appear to be avoiding or rejecting those who are intent on confronting them with their problems.

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Related Reading:

The Denial of Death
Denial: A New Adult Romance Novel
Stage II Recovery: Life Beyond Addiction
Recovery: Star Wars (The New Jedi Order) (Short Story): Darth Maul (Star Wars: The New Jedi Order)
The Recovery Book