Denial is a protective defense mechanism which can remove painful feelings or uncomfortable emotions. Unfortunately, this is only a temporary fix as the situation has not changed or been resolved; you have just distanced yourself from it by using one of many common denial patterns.
• Avoidance; not talking about it
• Absolute denial; ‘I don’t have a problem’
• Minimizing; ‘It’s not that bad’
• Rationalizing; ‘I have a good reason’
• Blaming; ‘It’s not my fault’
Learning to recognize and change thoughts, feelings, and behaviors is a very important part of addiction recovery. Addiction counseling and treatment requires a shift in the psyche, acceptance is the opposite of denial and one great step towards recovery is the acknowledgment that you need help.
Whatever your situation, if you are in denial, you won’t begin to resolve your problems. Denial has been defined as a set of automatic and unconscious thoughts, feelings, urges, actions and social reactions and there are different levels of denial:
• At the first level, you may just be misinformed and have the wrong information about addiction, you may not realize that you can become dependent on a substance or what the signs are as they relate to you.
• At the second level, you are said to be consciously defensive; there is an internal battle between the addictive thinking which wants you to continue consuming and the sober thinking which wants you to stop consuming.
• At level three of denial, you are unconsciously defensive; you automatically and unconsciously steer your thinking away from any information which acknowledges you are addicted.
• Level four clients are delusional and wholly deny that their substance use is a serious problem in the face of obvious evidence to the contrary.
A vital part of drug and alcohol addiction treatment is the learning of denial management strategies. Here at CASA Recovery, our therapists can help you recognize your denial patterns and teach you healthy coping strategies.
You may be delusional about your level of addiction due to brain dysfunction caused by your substance abuse disorder but once you have begun the journey of recovery you will have insight into denial. While learning healthy coping strategies in addiction rehab you will become informed about the role of denial in addiction, learn techniques to help you deal with entrenched thinking patterns and recognize when you are lapsing into old ways.
By the time you seek help for addiction, you may have woven a huge web of denial and mistruths around yourself and your thinking patterns will have altered to accommodate your dependence. At CASA Recovery in Laguna Niguel, CA we want to help you uncover the issues being buried through denial and deception. We can provide you with the tools you need to recognize denial patterns and stay sober. Contact us now for a free consultation; you can get your life back on track!
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