What is Denial Management?
Denial Management: Denial is a refusal to accept the painful reality that can change our perception. In fact, it is automatic and unconscious responses or reactions that may cause relapse in any disease. It has its own pros and cons. It may temporarily remove the grief and any emotional pain by creating a misperception that the problem is solved. But at the same time, it blocks acceptance. In our lives, when we face losses, e.g., the death of a loved one, relationship loss, or any other kind of loss may result in denial.
The approach to denial management changes when it is associated with any kind of addiction. People use poor choices of being alcoholics and addicts to deal with denial about their mistakes, regrets, and shame. Even the same pattern is followed by those people who are suffering from chronic diseases like Diabetes and Heart disease. It is observed that alcoholics and addicts made the following common statements to deny their realities.
“I can quit anytime, whenever I decide to quit.”
“I drink to forget my problems.”
“Anybody in my situation would drink.”
An addict can use the following denial patterns
For effective denial management, one should learn to recognize denial patterns promptly. Whenever we get awareness that we are using denial patterns, we may turn it off by doing these easy steps: pause, relax, reflect, and decide. Pause and observe the real manifestation of denial patterns. Acknowledge your state. Then, by doing any relaxation activity like deep breathing, you can relax your body and consciously imagine that the stress is going out from your body; then reflect on your experiences by asking, Do I really want to keep using denial, or do I look at the realities of my life. As a final point, you decide whether or not you will keep using denial. By doing all these steps, you will have to take responsibility for the consequences. In principle, graceful acceptance is the antidote to denial. Here, in willing ways, we develop insight into our patients by using the tools of structured intervention and detailed work on denial management.