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Why People with Addiction Often Practice Denial

Denial is something that many people practice during their lifetime. Some do not want to face up to the truth of a situation and prefer to pretend it is not happening. This often occurs when an individual is faced with the knowledge that they have a particular illness, such as cancer.

It is also very common among those who are suffering from illnesses such as alcoholism or addiction. For those who do not practice denial, the very idea that someone would rather ignore their problems than face up to them can be hard to comprehend. They often believe that affected individuals are pig-headed or even stupid.

Why Do Some People Deny Their Problems?

The reality is that people deny these issues in order to protect themselves. They are unable to see what is right in front of them because facing up to these problems could mean confronting something really unpleasant.

The person with cancer may be unable to accept that they are ill because they are afraid of what the treatment may involve. Or they are fearful that they will be unable to recover from the illness. The person with an addiction may not want to face up to his or her problems because of the stigma attached to this illness. They may also be afraid of what it will mean to admit they have an addiction; will they have to quit? And if so, how difficult will this be? They may not be ready to give up the chemical substance they have been relying on for so long.

Defence Mechanism

Denial is a defence mechanism that is used by the subconscious mind. It is very common among addicts who may know their behaviour is unacceptable but are struggling with their strong desire to keep drinking alcohol or taking drugs.

Blame

Those with addiction also have a tendency to apportion blame elsewhere. For example, it is easier for them to blame their job or other people for their illness than to seek help. So instead of admitting that they have a problem that needs help, they will say things such as, ‘I wouldn’t drink if things were different’ or ‘If I didn’t have such a stressful job, I would never need to drink’.

The reality is that the individual with the addiction is the person who is doing the wrong thing. They are the one that continues to drink, despite it having an adverse impact on their lives and the lives of those around them.

No matter how much alcohol a person drinks or how many drugs they take, it will not change their situation or the behaviour of others. Nevertheless, the person with the addiction can make a change in their life and can seek help to beat their addiction.

Trauma

Another reason people turn to drugs or alcohol is to cope with the effects of a traumatic experience. While it is understandable that some may want to block out the bad memories, not everyone who has experienced trauma will turn to chemical substances. At the end of the day, these substances will only make the situation worse.

As well as having to deal with the traumatic experience, the person will also have to deal with an addiction to drugs or alcohol.

Getting Help

There are a number of reasons a person turns to alcohol or drugs, and there are obvious reasons they will choose to deny they have a problem. However, denial is a temporary problem, and once the person accepts that he or she has a problem, help will be required. The good news is that organisations such as Rehab Helper are available to offer advice and support to those who need help. For more information, contact our helpline today.

Health Insurance

Our Rehabs accept most of the major private health insurers.

  • AVIVA Health Insurance
  • AXA Health Insurance
  • Bupa Health Insurance
  • Standard Life Health Insurance
  • Vitality Health Insurance
  • Cigna Health Insurance
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