Defense Mechanisms: "All defense... - Mental Health Sup...

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Defense Mechanisms


"All defense mechanisms (anger, denial, distortion, withdrawal, etc.) exist to protect the personality from an intolerable attack of anxiety when a person's sense of self-esteem or self-importance is under siege." From What Your Anger May Be Hiding by Leon F. Seltzer, Ph.D.

5 Replies

So how do we find the way to overcome our own defense mechanisms, without exposing ourselves to harm?

Findingme, excellent question. I think the answer is to simply be aware of them (the defense mechanisms).... To be honest to oneself. Photogeek is right below that our "creative" brains will find ways to protect... It's all in degrees...


Good question FM x

in reply to Hidden

I think we all use some defence mechanisms in life whether we realise it

Or not, I personally would not worry too much about this. You cannot take something g like this out of context.

Of course Psychoanalyists would say to go to therapy and try to see that these behaviours are maybe not appropriate or helping you. I think

It's a big subject. I remember studying it all years ago, For me I try and remain conscious of any defence mechanisms I use, I know for one I tend to

Intellectualize or rationalise stuff, but so what, no one is perfect, so I'm

Not going to bother about this stuff. Lol. Life is too short. Just be yourself.

Hannah xxx

One of my big issues is over-analysing, looking for inconsistencies in people's arguments, and applying logic to situations where logic is not necessarily the way forwards. I think this comes from a lack of trust in authority figures, hence a need to work things out for myself. I also have an very sensitive awareness of , and dislike for being manipulated. If someone, when asking or telling me to do something, uses an argument that is clearly unfounded, I tend to view all their opinions as doubtful and get very anxious about their intentions. I also feel as if they are insulting my intelligence. Often, the very fact that people seem to feel the need to 'explain' the reasons makes me worry that they are using me.

I do wonder whether this came about because my parents were manipulative (and they can be, particularly my mother), or because I have not learned to trust my gut so am constantly searching for evidence to back up my decisions.

This is a problem for me as I find it hard to relax with other people, and over think things so often miss what is going on. I wish I could relax more.

I often wish people would just be honest about why they want something to happen, ask nicely or just say that they need something and that be the end of it.

Do you think I can change this attitude, or do you think it is a sensible way of protecting myself?

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