Defence mechanisms - how they work and how they help us cope with stress

In a world full of problems and anxieties, people develop all sorts of mechanisms to help them cope with daily hurdles. Dr Schomer looks at ways to develop healthy defense mechanisms.

According to Dr Schomer, one of the commonly used primitive defence mechanisms is denial, or the refusal to accept reality or fact. He says denial can be good at a young age when children refuse to believe that the boogieman is real because it’s just a figment of the child's imagination.

But he says, denial can be bad for adults when they act as if everything is good, while they are actually going through a painful event. for example, in a case where someone simply denies they have a problem such as alcohol dependence, when in fact it is negatively affecting their daily life.

When you are under a lot of stress, strain and when life is really not good around you we all revert to the primitive defence mechanisms

Dr Helgo Schomer, resident psychologist

We are never too old to learn about it … And we are never too old to learn new patterns

Dr Helgo Schomer, resident psychologist

Dr Schomer looked at various kinds of defence mechanism namely regression, acting out and dissociation. Listen below:

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