When discussing the concept of identity and self-awareness, a lot of people tend to separate and exclude mental and emotional awareness. We live in a society where mental health is surprisingly still very taboo and not widely talked about within the community.
Throughout the month of October, we have further introduced and analyzed the notion of denial. At the start of the month, were able to define and give examples of what denial is and how it affects the average individual, through discussing the causes, signs and symptoms that come along with it. So, it’s only right to do a quick recap of what was covered from the beginning: What is denial?
Denial, referenced from before, is described as the act of dismissing or disregarding an idea or information that is just too much to bear or accept. It can come in the form of shock, anxiety, or even as a defense mechanism in order to keep a sense of control over a particular situation. We dissected the term a bit throughout the series, however it is important to bring to light some thoughts regarding denial and how it relates to everyone as a whole, not just individually.
When addressing the severity of denial and how it affects people both individually and as a collective, what shouldn’t be overlooked is the importance of emotional health. Emotional health, or emotional intelligence, a term used in the field of psychology, is the state in which thoughts, feelings, and emotions are stable and healthy, and utilized in a way that further proves the well being of an individual. Emotional health is just as important as physical health, and many people fail to acknowledge that truth.
Why is denial detrimental to one’s emotional health?
Due to the fact that emotional health is directly linked to all other facets of health and wellness within the human body (physical, social, spiritual, environmental, intellectual, and occupational), ignoring the signs of any kind of emotional distress through denial could eventually take a toll on the body, resulting in adverse effects that can even become irreparable.
Why do people resort to denial?
From the outside looking in, it can be hard to understand or decipher why people resort to denial when situations arise in life. Some reasons include trying to prevent a nervous breakdown, looking to protect a friend or loved one, or even attempting to use it as defense mechanism in order to validate one’s actions. In any case, the reasons for denial are never enough to be considered proper validation for the act itself.
How to Address It
When people find themselves trapped in the illusion that is denial, understanding the signs and symptoms leading up to it are crucial. Firstly, one should address the issue or circumstance that have been trying to avoid. They should never be reluctant to share their concerns with someone they trust, or even a professional. Therapists, counselors, and even educators are at your disposal should you need to discuss something. The only thing worse than thinking denial is healthy, is avoiding help when it is made available to you throughout your community.
What should be taken into account is the fact that there are many of us that have lived a good portion of our lives in denial, whether dealing with a failure, losing a loved one, or even fear of the future. However, it is important to remember that in any circumstance, you are not alone, and help is at your disposal, always.