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.