Defense Mechanisms

Defense mechanisms are an unconscious part of life. They are your mind’s way of dealing with stressors and trauma. The effect these built-in instincts have on your mind is to ease tension and attenuate anxiety in order to protect you from harm against your ego. They allow balance of mental health and emotional stress. The following is a list of common defense mechanisms.

  1. Compensation
    • Overcompensating for a real or perceived weakness
    • Buying a fast car during a midlife crisis to compensate for being slowed down
  2. Conversion
    • Overwhelming fear that manifests as a physical or mental disability
    • Depression
    • Bipolar
    • Schizophrenia
    • Memory lapses
    • Partial paralysis
  3. Denial
    • Someone did not directly deal with frustration
    • Denial of a substance abuse because you still attend work regularly
  4. Identification
    • Loss of self
    • Identify with those in control
    • Brainwashing
  5. Projection
    • Project undesirable traits unto others who remind you of the traits in yourself
    • See fat people as revolting
    • View addicts as deploring
    • Picking on bullies
  6. Reppression
    • Exclude from conscious thoughts an event too painful to deal with
    • Repression of desires, impulses, and feelings that are psychologically disturbing or arousing
    • Not confronting death by murder
    • Trying to repress the urge to commit pedophilia or hide the fact that you were a victim
  7. Suppression
    • Conscious thought to control impulses and unacceptable feelings
    • Thinking mantras over and over
    • Use of Affirmations
    • Cognitive Based Therapy
  8. Undoing
    • Make up for mistakes through gifts or acts of kindness
    • Buying concert tickets and clothes for kids who have been ignored or otherwise harmed
  9. Sublimation
    • Channel unacceptable feelings into socially acceptable construction
    • diaries
    • painting
    • music
  10. Compulsive-Obsessive Behaviour
    • Escape frustrations through outside distractions
    • Repetitive behaviours
    • Lady Macbeth incessantly washing hands
    • Dusting, or cleaning continually
  11. Rationalization
    • Excuses
    • Substitution of actual reasons for a behaviour with perfectly normal reasons
  12. Addictions
    • Compulsive behaviour
    • Drugs
    • Alchohol
    • Sex
    • Gambling

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