Dirty Role of Denial in Mental Health

What is denial?

Denial is a defense mechanism one may use to cope with feelings of frustration, anxiety, stages of grief, substance abuse, or persecution. It is the refusal to accept an unpleasant reality and often takes the form of rationalization (creating logical reasons why something did not happen) and/or minimization (making light or unimportant of something). One can be in denial that they have a mental health problem and how the diagnosis effects those around them.

How does denial present in different mental health conditions?

  • Denial may take different forms for people who experience depression. Denial is a natural reflex to pain and suffering. Though this coping mechanism protects some, it can be toxic for others as they may refuse to admit their presenting symptoms are associated with depression or other mental illness.
  • For those experiencing paranoia, denial may involve denying thoughts are their own, which can lead them to believe false ideas often concerning for the experiencer. For example, someone diagnosed with schizophrenia may not believe the diagnosis is real.
  • When someone is unable to process their traumatic experience, they may deny the event ever occurred in order to avoid feeling intense and overwhelming feelings. For those who are subjected to a traumatizing event like an accident or attack, denial in mental health can be one way of coping with it by refusing to allow that the chaotic and frightening events unfolded before them. Denial helps people make sense of what happened so that they do not feel as if reality itself has been shattered around them. Instead, denying allows for some degree of control over how much information from these experiences enters into conscience awareness at any given time when facing a painful trigger which sparks symptoms to emerge.
  • Victims in abusive relationships may turn to denial by refusing to acknowledge that the abuse is happening or it doesn’t matter if it does. This can be a defense mechanism against all of the negative emotions and thoughts associated with abuse, such as anger at their abuser for hurting them mentally and physically.It’s difficult for victims of an abusive relationship not only to deal with what happened but also process how they feel about themselves afterwards. Often they do not reach out to others about abuse and may even practice avoidance tactics to hide marks from others or engage in substance abuse.

 What are the stages of grief?

  • Denial is the first stage of grief. For an example, a person who has recently lost their loved one may feel a sense that the lost will return. They might be unable to talk about it or even think about what happened because it’s too painful to contemplate; however accepting reality can lead them on the road towards healing from their loss through time.
  • Anger is a natural response to feeling betrayed or violated. When it comes to anger, there are two main schools of thought: “fight” and “flight.” People who experience trauma might have intense feelings that lead them into either one mode of behavior as an escape from the situation at hand- this process can be therapeutic in some ways because they’re coping with their emotions instead of bottling them up inside until they explode later on. Anger is often considered the second stage after denial when grieving for someone or something you cared about deeply; however, if your loved ones were taken away without warning then experiencing sudden rage towards those responsible may not just reflect how much time has passed but also show a positive sign that it’s normal human instinct to want
  • Bargaining is a stage of grief in which people are trying to bargain with themselves or others for how they should behave. They do this as an attempt at preventing things that might happen, the third stage of grieving. If someone is in the state of bargaining, this would mean they’re at a point where their feelings progressed past denial and anger but not reached acceptance yet.
  • The loss of someone you loved is a painful reminder that nothing lasts forever. Depression, the fourth stage in grief according to psychologist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross’s theory on death and dying, can’t be avoided when an individual experiences such immense sadness from losing something or someone they cherished dearly. Even though anger begins to subside as time goes by and feelings start returning back into balance, it starts feeling like there’s still an emptiness inside because what was once everything has now been taken away completely with no chance for redemption.
  • The acceptance process can be a difficult one. It’s when people start to move on with their lives because they know that it would be impossible for them to live in anger or depression all the time without any kind of break from negativity, which is not good for anyone. So many rely on accepting this and re-learning how to enjoy life again as much as possible one day at a time.The journey of acceptance could take years depending on where you were before your loved ones passed away but it will eventually come if you keep moving forward instead of dwelling too long in sadness and regret – don’t let memories consume you!

What are some warning signs of denial in mental health?

It’s easy for a person to deny their mental health needs, but they’re often in denial because there are warning signs that come up and ignore the issue altogether. If you notice any of these symptoms or experience them themselves then there is likely something wrong going on below the surface. If this sounds like how your mental health has been recently, here are some signs that might indicate symptoms of depression:

  • Feeling down more than usual
  • Self harming behaviors such as cutting hobbies or suicidal thoughts
  • Changes in appetite
  • Changes in sleep patterns
  • Feeling more irritable than usual
  • comorbid anxiety or other disorders such as substance abuse
  • hopelessness/helplessness
  • Withdrawing from social interactions and activities a person used to enjoy.
  • Feelings of guilt and others

stages of grief denial in mental health substance abuse

Is there a cure for my mental health condition?

Mental health is often dismissed as something that can be cured on its own. However, refusing to acknowledge symptoms of mental illness could lead down a dangerous path with serious consequences for both physical and emotional wellbeing in the long run. Over time feelings create blockages from unwillingness or inability to harness control over symptoms by seeking some form of treatment.

Denial can be a sign that people are afraid. Denial is not only something done by someone experiencing mental illness. It also happens with those who have addiction problems and/or experience traumatic events such as sexual assault or abuse, among others.

Too many people are hiding their problems who struggle with mental health conditions such as substance abuse or depressive states. They may not want to admit they have a problem because they don’t like asking for help, or may believe it will bring shame on themselves, family members or an entire community.

Whats the first step in getting help?

It’s time we stop being afraid of these things by using tactics such as denial in mental health and start admitting there is something wrong so that we can all work together as a team to get better. Seeking out treatment for mental health problems is not shameful, but instead should be seen as courageous.

Therapy is usually tried first before medication management, which is the use of psychiatric drugs to treat mental health problems. Medication management can be beneficial in mental health treatment because it may not only help manage symptoms and prevent relapse or recurrence of a disorder but also allow one to enjoy life more fully.

Therapy has been proven effective for many mental illnesses, including addiction or depressive states. Many people are hesitant to seek therapy because they don’t like asking for help, believe that there’s nothing wrong with them (denial), believe it will bring a stigma on themselves and their family members alike. These fears can lead some people to fall back into destructive behaviors such as substance abuse when feelings get too difficult to confront alone. It’s time we stop being afraid of these things seek some help.

Mental health is a topic that we’ve discussed before on this blog. Today, we want to share some of the mental consequences you might experience if you don’t seek treatment for your condition. Untreated mental health conditions can lead to very difficult situations for those and their loved ones in their lives.  Froms of mental illness such as depression and substance abuse are the two common issues that most people think of when they hear this term, but it’s also important to understand the stages of grief as well as untreated mental health consequences. The earlier you recognize any signs or symptoms in yourself or someone close to you, the better chance there is for a positive outcome with treatment options with New Age Psychiatry. If you’re struggling with feelings of depression, stages of grief, anxiety disorder, substance abuse, PTSD, bipolar disorder or addiction, insomnia, ADHD, or others – don’t wait another day without getting help! Call us today at 877-769-5206 for more information on our services and rates!