Denial is viewed as a coping mechanism within the psychodynamic response system. It is a defence strategy to protect oneself from the truth of reality. This is exactly why addiction and denial go hand in hand, as users attempt to blur out the realism and seriousness of drug and alcohol abuse.
This is exactly why you may personally continue to fuel your habits, or may witness others doing so, even when the detriment of drug and alcohol abuse takes over, including physical and psychological health problems, money worries, relationship breakdowns and job losses.
In the moment, justifying negative behaviours, known as substance abuse, will feel like the right reaction. It will act as a barrier to facing the damages caused by addiction. However, in the long-term, in reality, denial will in fact heighten the detriment of addiction, making it even harder to see the possibility of rehabilitation.
If you’re experiencing the negative relationship between addiction and denial, if you’re hiding your reality with drugs and alcohol in order to protect yourself, if you’re self-sabotaging to continue the highs of substance abuse, it’s time to make a change. At Nova Recovery, we can help you.
What is denial?
Denial is a defence mechanism. It is an emotion and a feeling which can justify behaviours, commonly negative ones. When faced with reality, with information, with consequences, many individuals will use denial as a way to blur out that reality.
Living with an addiction can result in many uncontrollable situations. To control those situations, psychologically, denial will be activated. However, in the majority of cases, those situations will continue to materialise. Yet, to the user, the power of denial will take over, reducing the seriousness of addiction.
It is easy to see how addiction and denial go hand in hand. It’s also easy to see why users will see denial as their best friend through the detriment of addiction. After all, living with an addiction can be very tough, can be unwelcoming and can cause heightened anxieties, all starting from an active choice which has turned into an inactive action.
As humans, on a day-to-day basis, we make cognitive biases. Yet, they will usually be harmless. However, daily justification of drug and alcohol abuse can combine together to form a chronic drug and alcohol addiction, difficult to break.
Down to the seriousness of addiction, it is vital that denial is diminished, that justification is dropped, and that the reality behind addiction is realised.
The dangerous combination of addiction and denial
Addiction and denial are a dangerous combination, as drug and alcohol abuse, alone can blur reality. Here’s where many individuals can in fact struggle to understand the severity of their consumption, down to the effects that drugs and alcohol have on the brain, on memory and on outlooks.
Now consider the extra layer of justification, where denial will present itself, and you can imagine how difficult it can be to face up to an addiction diagnosis. Those who do live in denial can trick themselves into believing that substance abuse is helping them. When, in reality, abuse of addictive substances will reduce the quality of life and future capabilities to recover.
The worrying link between addiction and denial is, if denial is enabled, no form of encouragement will work when considering drug and alcohol rehabilitation. Interventions may be activated, which will likely be unwelcomed, down to the clouded reality of substance abuse. Relationships can break down, down to that unacceptance, meaning that future support will be limited.
Yet, the greatest worry is that, for those who can get into their own heads and justify consequential behaviours, risks of mental health issues will heighten, in tandem with further addictive behaviours.
Living with addiction, of any degree is detrimental, especially on physical and psychological health. By enabling the relationship between addiction and denial, those detrimental impacts can become life-threatening.
Avoid a false sense of security, fuelled by denial, by helping yourself and by reaching out for professional addiction support.
Overcome denial through some self-help tips
There are some steps you can take to reduce your feelings of denial. This of course will not treat your addiction in tandem. However, it will provide a clearer outlook on your relationship with drugs and alcohol, and help you accept support, greater.
- Look internally at your actions and how they are affecting your quality of life
- Open up to friends or family members and ask for their guidance
- Attend support groups or online forums to talk about your feelings
- Work to understand the consequences of enabling denial
- Note down your feelings, in the moment, so you can return to them with a rational outlook
- Understand that denial isn’t a protector, when it is in fact an enabler
- Be honest with yourself and others, along with the understanding that addiction isn’t a choice
Above are some self-help tips you can complete to help you overcome the control of denial. There is however a strong likelihood that if you are struggling with an addiction, that accepting professional support will be your best option.
Overcoming denial by accepting professional support
Overcoming denial is very important if you are abusing excessive amounts of drugs or alcohol. Even if you are unsure whether an addiction is present, sourcing support should be prioritised. In doing so, you’ll not only be able to work through denial, but you’ll also have the scope to overcome the initial causation of your addiction, offering recovery capabilities.
At Nova Recovery, we can assist you with this step, by offering a rehabilitation programme which focuses on physical and psychological recovery. Physical recovery will influence drug and alcohol withdrawal, by stopping consumption at a slow pace. Yet, for yourself, psychological recovery will be very important to deter the influence of addiction and denial.
Alongside common addiction treatment options, including detoxification, cognitive behavioural therapy and counselling, we will offer mental health support and the promotion of safe, healthy coping mechanisms.
If you are justifying your addictive behaviours, please do not feel ashamed. Living in denial is very common when experiencing an uncontrollable behaviour which you’d usually deviate from. Through support, you can revert your behaviours, helping you see your addiction and the need to recover with clear eyes.
Reach out today to overcome the dangerous combination of addiction and denial.Back to all posts