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Introduction So you dont think that you are an alcoholic Chances are that you are not but this is the thought that many who are unknowingly addicted to alcohol or other mind-altering agents This denial barrier is the first of many hurdles to overcome when they are identified as having an addiction disorder Although all denial isnt bad most of the time addicts are often the last to recognize their disease pursuing their addictions into mental illness the degeneration of health and ultimately death This paper will explain the concept of denial its consequences and the implications it has for nursing care Review of Literature and Knowledge Base What is denial Dr Hilary Knatz the author of Getting On states that Denial is a way of coping with unpleasant realities Knatz 1999 She then goes on to explain that Denial in the psychologicalpsychiatric vernacular is a defensive strategy to minimize anxiety It is defined and conceptualized in a number of ways which differ according to theory In classical Freudian terms denial is a defense mechanism invoked by a person when there is a danger that he or she will become aware of or act on unconscious primitive impulses that are unacceptable We defend against such impulses it is said by unconsciously limiting our awareness of them or perhaps attributing them to others A murderous rage for example may be repressed or obscured from our awareness or it may be attributed to others p 2 The Oxford English Dictionary defines denial to be the asserting of anything to be untrue or invalid also the denying of the existence or reality of a thing Simpson Weiner 1989 Sometimes denial can be constructive and adaptive according to R Davidhizar V Poole J N Giger and M Henderson the authors of When your patient uses denial For example there have been studies of people with terminal illness that have suggested that denying the seriousness of the condition may
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