Defense Mechanisms Page 2
Defense mechanisms are techniques that a person employs to overcome guilt or anxiety. Denial is one of these mechanisms that are used to protect a person from developing something, which a person would rather not acknowledge. Intellectualization is another form of defense mechanisms; a person will analyze and dissect a situation as a detachment technique. Repression is another form, and is used by putting something out of a person’s mind, so to not have to acknowledge the truth of a given situation.
I believe that intellectualization is a form I often use. Rather than facing the pain of what may be happening, I will spend time trying to understand why it is happening, what caused the situation, and how it could be prevented. Using intellectualization keeps me from facing what is going on because I can concentrate on the problem and not on what is happening.
My sister-in-law is a self described lesbian. My mother-in-law does not acknowledge this truth, and will argue with a person stating it is true. I have heard my sister-in-law tell her Mother that she is gay, and within an hour or so if someone were to ask my Mother-in-law she would say ‘no that is not true.’ I do not understand or have a clue why my Mother-in-law cannot accept this truth, but she is in total denial.
Another defense mechanism I have seen people around me use is repression. My daughter was in an abusive marriage for several years, and it was very costly emotionally to her and her children. She seemed to be in a fog sometimes, as if none of it were happening. I also have an aunt who only sees the positive in her family, she never acknowledges
Defense Mechanisms Page 3
any of the negatives. A situation occurred in which her grandson was fired from a job because of smoking pot, when she told me about it; it was just that he wanted to do...