The vast majority of people have defense mechanisms within them that help them maintain a psychological balance. These do not allow you to face reality and can cause psychological conflicts and mental disorders. Let’s talk a little about them.


Defense mechanisms that do not allow you to face reality

These are some strategies at a psychological level that can prevent us from “putting ourselves at risk” and keep us in our comfort zone , however, they are very unhealthy since they prevent us from facing a reality that must be overcome if we want to achieve healthy growth and stable, both emotionally and personally.

1. The displacement

This mechanism basically tries to redirect the impulse and pain towards a person or a thing, and in general they are usually aggressive reactions. An example of this may be the fact that the person feels upset or frustrated by some situation and begins to throw objects at the walls or hit the furniture with their fists and legs. It is almost always linked to a way to relieve pain .

2. Rationalization

In this case, the person tries to substitute a reason that is not accepted by him but that is real, for another reason that is not real but that is very acceptable to him. Basically it consists in changing the way of seeing a reality through an explanation that is different.

An example of this may be the fact that a woman falls in love with a person of the opposite sex and then the relationship ends suddenly. Although the woman had ended past courtships for the same cause, she may come to think that the man is a loser or that it did not suit him from the first moment, in this way he manipulates reality to better digest the part that suits him best, but in any case it does not allow him to face reality and modify what should be changed.

3. Repression

This is a quite complex mechanism since it is through this that the person decides to repress their emotions because they can turn out to be very painful if they remain in the plane of consciousness. In this way, the person makes the determination not to relive events similar to those that caused the pain or to avoid telling other people what happened in the past.

4. Isolation

This is one of the defense mechanisms that can most help people who have experienced trauma or have suffered a lot of pain in the past. Through this mechanism, the person “divorces” the memories or feelings, in order to cope with reality and have a slightly greater tolerance towards it.

In this way, the individual can speak with total normality to others about what happened to him as if he were talking about any daily matter that had no effect on him.

5. Reactive training

This mechanism is based on the repression of impulses and feelings, but it is also replaced by a very exaggerated opposite behavior. An example of this could be the fact that someone is very upset with a family member or friend, but their behavior shows that they are in perfect condition so as not to fall into an argument.

6. Projection

It refers to visualizing or transferring your own feelings, tendencies, ways of thinking and defects to another person. Almost always the projections that are most seen in people are violent or aggressive behaviors that cause the individual to have a sense of guilt.

For example, an individual may think that a neighbor hates him, but the reality is that he is the one who actually hates his neighbor. This distorted perception of reality can help solve the problem between them.

7. Regression

This refers to the way of acting of a person that shows that they are adopting past behaviors that they had already overcome, to immature patterns of behavior.

In this sense, a young man may throw a tantrum in front of his parents for the simple fact that they did not give him permission to attend a party. In this way, he demonstrates immature behavior that is not typical of a person his age.

8. Denial

It is a defense mechanism in which the subject in question blocks some external events that are no longer in his consciousness and therefore acts as if they did not exist in reality. A sample may be a smoker who denies that tobacco harms his health, in order to better tolerate his bad habit.

We encourage you to examine yourself and thus evaluate what defense mechanism your mind uses when facing a painful circumstance.

By Dr. Eric Jackson

Dr. Eric Jackson provides primary Internal Medicine care for men and women and treats patients with bone and mineral diseases, diabetes, heart conditions, and other chronic illnesses.He is a Washington University Bone Health Program physician and is a certified Bone Densitometrist. Dr. Avery is consistently recognized in "The Best Doctors in America" list.

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