Denial, this ability to exclude the unbearable from our perception, is just one of the many mechanisms that our minds engage in moments of grief. Its companion, sublimation, allows us to transform sexual desires into cultural and artistic achievements, thereby releasing emotional energy.
Dr. Alejandra Gomes, an expert in psychoanalysis, warns that these protective reflexes are a kind of “mental survival” that helps us overcome stressful situations. However, if they spread too far, they can change our perception of reality and cause disease.
Alumnus Ivanna Steinberg, for her part, emphasizes the importance of these mechanisms in maintaining mental balance, allowing us to unconsciously face difficult situations.
SEE ALSO | Healthy eating without inhibitions: the importance of enjoying food
Denial, identification, projection, and regression are just some of the invisible gatekeepers we use. Denial helps us ignore intense realities, identification connects us to others to find a sense of belonging, projection allows us to attribute to others what we deny about ourselves, and regression allows us to shirk responsibility by assuming childish behavior.
While these defense mechanisms are essential to coping with stress, their long-term use can give our perception of the world a distorted palette. Psychotherapy and introspection serve as conduits for identifying and deactivating these shields when they are no longer useful.
In short, our mind is a master of emotional self-defense. While these mechanisms play a vital role in protecting our mental well-being, we must be aware of their ability to distort our perception of reality. By understanding and acknowledging its presence, we can deal with stress and problems in a healthier way and restore lost emotional balance.