Dealing with Denial
Dealing with denial is probably one of the most difficult things that one has to face. Denial is a state where a person refuses to admit or believe in a certain truth. Denial can either be verbal, or behavioral, or even both.
If a person denies that he or she has a problem, then trying to help them would be very difficult, even bordering on the impossible. It is hard to cure a person who doesn’t think that he is sick. That is actually the biggest hurdle when one is tasked to care for a person who is in denial.
There are a lot of behavioral patterns that are adapted by people who are in denial. Some are easy to see, while others are thought of simply as annoying behavior and are ignored by many. Those suffering from denial need help that’s why it is important to know how to spot people who are dealing with denial. Here are the behavioral patters to watch out for:
- The person seems to show no emotion at all. Being apathetic about a situation, especially a tragic or traumatic one should already warn you that he or she is in denial. Many people experiencing this try to ignore painful thoughts and so they refuse to feel anything, whether pain or joy or anger .
- The person is showing the opposite emotion of what he or she should be feeling. For example, a wife who just lost her husband acts happy and does her normal routine as if nothing has happened. This person is definitely in denial because she is trying to block the truth of her husband death from her mind.
- The person shows signs of delusions. For example, this person continues to believe that a loved one who has died is still alive. This person may continue to set an extra plate at dinner table, or perhaps sometimes even start to talk to the deceased loved one as if he or she is right there.
- The person refuses to talk about her problem. Many people tend to run away from their problems and pains. A way for them to cope is to simply deny that these problems exist. For example, a drug addict will refuse to admit or even talk about his addiction.
- The person withdraws from society or anyone who knows about his problems or grief. Becoming a recluse is another way to avoid facing one’s troubles or pains.
- The person tries to rationalize the problem. This is often seen with substance abusers. They try to explain that drinking alcohol or taking drugs is just a way to help them sleep, or they are only using a small amount and it is not dangerous. You may hear a lot of other excuses, some even seem valid, so you must be extra keen in order to see that the person is actually in denial.
People dealing with denial do need some serious help. They turn away from the truth, and so it is important to help them face reality. This is the only way to get them through their denial phase and make them start to accept the situation that they are in.
It may take a long time, and it would definitely take a lot of patience, but with enough patience and the proper help, these people may be able to pull through and can now begin their healing process.