Susan puts up with a lot from her boyfriend. He wants to know where she is all the time and gets mad if she doesn’t answer when he calls. He makes negative comments about her family and friends. He even says things about her appearance. But because he doesn’t hit her, she doesn’t think he’s abusive. Susan makes excuses for his behavior and thinks that if she could just avoid him when he’s in a bad mood, then things will be better. She doesn’t realize that the way he treats her is a form of emotional and psychological abuse. Susan is in denial.
John likes to have beer in the fridge. If there isn’t a six pack waiting for him when he gets home, he stops by the store on the way home from work. He has a stressful job so he likes to unwind with a drink. But John usually doesn’t stop at one or two, he drinks the whole six pack. He does it every evening. On the weekends, he drinks even more. He doesn’t think he has a problem because he only drinks at night; he’s responsible; and he could stop if he wanted. But he doesn’t. He feels anxious if he knows he can’t have a drink after work. John has a drinking problem, and he’s in denial. If you're ready to stop living in denial, call our drug and alcohol treatment center in Wilmington NC. We can help you kick your addiction.
What is Denial?
Denial can be hard to see in yourself because part of it is not wanting to admit you have a problem. When you’re in denial about something, you don’t want to face up to the issue because of fear, pain or guilt. It’s a defense we use when we want to avoid the truth, and it can cause us to become blind to the truth. We can become so wrapped up in making excuses about why we don’t have a problem that we can’t see what’s really going on.
The definition of denial in psychological terms is failure to acknowledge an unacceptable truth or emotion. It can also be used as a defense mechanism in cases where people think if they avoid the truth it will protect them.
Denial is a prominent symptom of addiction. Drugs and alcohol can make it hard for someone to see clearly because he or she can only see the positive, pleasant effects of doing drugs or drinking. Being able to make rational decisions and have logical thoughts can be hard for someone who is consumed with their addiction. It can also apply to family and friends. Sometimes people don’t want to admit that they see a problem in someone else. Many times parents will not admit that their child has a drug problem because of shame or fear or because they want to protect him or her.
Signs of Denial
Denial is easy to point out in another person, but it can be hard to see in yourself. Even if you aren’t struggling with something as dangerous as an addiction problem, you could be using denial to avoid something in your life that you don’t want to face. No matter how much you avoid something or try not to think about it, if something is off in your life, you’ll have a nagging feeling that you need to make a change. It can be scary to face because change is hard. You could be in a situation where if you admit something is wrong and that you want to fix it, it could affect others, such as your children. If you’re in denial about your marriage, you may go to great lengths to pretend everything is okay because you don’t want to disrupt your children’s lives.
If you want to figure out if you’re in denial, you can ask yourself these questions:
Do you dismiss your feelings or constantly doubt them?
Some people try to discard their feelings in order to hide the truth about a situation. They may also tell themselves they are overreacting when they may not be.
Do you make excuses for your behavior or your loved ones’ behavior?
Making excuses is a major sign that you are in denial because you are trying to place the blame on something other than the problem.
Do you hide parts of your life because you’re embarrassed?
If you find yourself hiding beer bottles when others come over, then you probably know you have a problem because you don’t want anyone to know just how much you drink. If you have friends or a significant other that you are ashamed to be seen with, then there may be an element of that relationship that you know it’s quite right and you don’t want others to see it. If your addiction has you embarrassed, call Legacy Freedom. We're a top drug and alcohol treatment center in Wilmington NC.
Do you think that things will improve when major events happen?
For instance, you may think that your relationship will improve once you get married, or you think that if you get another job, you won’t drink as much. That type of thinking is also a way to avoid the root of the problem.
Do you refuse to listen when others try to give advice?
Unsolicited advice can be annoying, but if a trusted loved one seems concerned about your behavior and has the guts to talk to you about it, then you could have a problem you’re not willing to face. You would do the same for your friend, so take into consideration what he or she is saying.
If you relate to any of the situations above, then you may be denial about something. It could be a behavior you know isn’t healthy or positive, or it could be a relationship that has problems you are trying to ignore.
Stop the pattern.
The first step is to recognize that you are avoiding something major in your life that is making you unhappy or causing problems. You may drink too much or do drugs. You could be in an unhealthy relationship. You may not want to admit something about yourself that you fear others will see as bad. You could even be in denial over multiple things.
Once you recognize that you are in denial, you can begin to think about the problem and how to resolve it. You may be able to work it out on your own, but you may need the help of a professional. Either way, living a life free of denial is better than living in it.
Need a Drug and Alcohol Treatment Center in Wilmington NC? Call Legacy Freedom!
If you think you are denial about a substance abuse problem, give us a call. Legacy Freedom of Wilmington is here to help. We provide you with the tools you need to have a successful recovery from drugs or alcohol. We know that one method doesn’t work for everyone, so we create a plan based on your needs. Our treatment is not like any other and we have the success rates to show for it. Call us today to speak with an admissions counselor about how our drug and alcohol treatment center in Wilmington NC can help you.