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Advantages and disadvantages of defense mechanisms

What are the advantages of denial, displacement and reaction formation as defense mechanisms?

What are the disadvantages of each?

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1. Denial: It is the easiest way to maintain the balance of personality. Here an individual denies the fact which could create conflict in the mind. For instance, when children are busy with their play activities, and are called by their parents, the children just say that they heard nothing. In this case, the call of parents was not allowed to penetrate into their consciousness. Thus, children could continue to enjoy with their play activities. The percentage of denial is higher among adults as compared to children.

The defense mechanism of denial is advantageous as it assists individuals in concealing their failures, which they are not prepared to admit in front of others. This mechanism is particularly used by adults to a great extent as they are not always prepared to admit failures frankly in front of others in their daily life. Denial helps to postpone facing a problem caused due to failure in our life. For instance, an adolescent may deny the fact that he has fallen prey to drugs, when questioned by his parents regarding the same issue. By denying the fact that he is addicted to drugs, he can postpone facing the problems which results from revealing the real issue in front of his parents. But, such individuals will not be aware of the fact that one cannot conceal such issues for a long period from the eyes of others. The behavior of an individual changes due to the fact of concealing the issue that he is addicted to drugs from his parents. Such individuals develop behavioral problems in the long run.

The disadvantages of denial is that, it affects the overall personality of an individual when it is used quiet often in day-to-day life to postpone facing the problems which might arise at any point of time. It makes others feel that the ...

Solution Summary

1. Denial: Here an individual denies the fact which could create conflict in the mind.
2. Reaction formation: It is meant to substitute opposite reaction formation which causes anxiety.
3. Displacementit is a form of transferring an emotional response or experience such as extreme form of anxiety to someone else or some other experience which in a way resembles the original but may not be associated with as much conflict or risk involved with the original.