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Defense Mechanism: Suppression

Defense Mechanism:

  •  Suppression

 Suppression involves the individual’s active and conscious attempt to stop anxiety-provoking thoughts by simply not thinking about them.
 If a high school student finds herself thinking sexual thoughts about her teacher, she may actively suppress them because of her moral training. The thoughts would then be stored in the preconscious and could be reactivated and made conscious by the student through the exertion of her will.

  • Denial

 Denial refers to a person’s refusal to perceive an unpleasant event in external reality. In adults, the use of denial may be normal during times of extreme stress.

 For example, we may engage in denial when we are told of the death of a loved one. Our disbelief allows us to cope with the shock and to assimilate it in a more gradual and less painful manner. If, however, we refuse to acknowledge that the loved one has died even decades after his or her death, the behavior is likely pathological. Recent research has found that denial in adults is associated with unpredictable behavior; a flamboyant, egotistical style of behaving; and a lack of clear thinking. 

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