The Nature of Denial in Various Mental Disorders

It is very hard to accept that you have a mental illness. Even a minor one. Most people who don’t have one act like they would not accept it even if they did. I have known many people in my life with untreated and even undiagnosed issues that went on for years, if not lifetimes.

Anxiety disorders are different because they are so painful and ego-dystonic but even there a lot of folks don’t want to admit it. The fact that almost everyone has low levels of anxiety on a regular basis nowadays does not help matters and it enables you to think you are just like everyone else.

Manics are notorious for not admitting they were ill. I have known a number of them in my life and probably 50% refused to admit that they had it. It is not helpful that the manic seems quite normal to many of his friends drawn in by the overblown charm of the hypomanic. I have sat in rooms with flagrant, raving, idiotic hypomanics charming the whole room with their grandiosity. I sat there shaking my head. It’s obviously an illness. Yes, it’s possible to be too damn happy. Hypomania is a case of excessive happiness. They are so happy, they’re nuts! If you do not believe that hypomanics are crazy, spend some time around one if you get a chance. This is not normal, healthy happiness, which I actually believe that there cannot be too much of, despite society saying that being too happy is “not adult” and “acting like a child.”

Schizophrenics almost all deny that they are ill. It is a hallmark feature of the disorder. Even after they have been told countless times that they have schizophrenia, even after multiple hospitalizations, even after years on antipsychotic drugs, they still insist that they don’t have schizophrenia. This is not so much a denial mechanism as a feature of the disorder. The disorder is such that it blinds you to the fact that you even have it! This disorder feels completely real, as if this is the normal way that life is.

OK, suppose you went to classes at college yesterday. The next day you tell people that you went to college yesterday, and everyone laughs at you and says no you didn’t. And to make matters worse, says you’re crazy for thinking you went to school yesterday. What would you think.? You remember full well that you went to school the other day. You remember it loud and clear. How they can they say that some obvious thing that I clearly experienced did not happen. After a while, they start thinking it’s everyone else that’s nuts and not them.

Almost all people with personality disorders deny that they are ill, as mentioned above. Everything is everyone else’s fault, and they go through their whole lives like that.


Filed under Anxiety Disorders, Mental Illness, Personality Disorders, Psychology, Psychopathology, Psychotic Disorders, Schizophrenia

5 responses to “The Nature of Denial in Various Mental Disorders

  1. Pingback: The Importance of Acceptance of Diagnosis in Mental Disorders | Beyond Highbrow - Robert Lindsay

  2. uio ujh

    It is very hard to accept that you have a mental illness. Even a minor one. Most people who don’t have one act like they would not accept it even if they did.

    It’s equally hard, for females, to accept that they yearn for fucking; and almost equally hard for males to accept, or at least let be known, they don’t yearn for fucking.
    Normal average people feel very uneasy if they stray from what society regards well (or seems to them to regard well). That’s what an acquaintance of ours called Super Ego.
    Now, it must not be for no reason that, after mental diseases, the more hardly acknowledged illnesses are linked with sex — be it impotence or veneeral diseases.
    Both being unable to copulate and copulating (or yearning to) when society says you shouldn’t are ego-wounding conditions..
    Hence, their removal from consciousness.

    • uio ujh

      Denial might also be the centerpiece of the healthy psyche, though.
      And projection is an essential instrument to it.
      I am sure it isn’t lost on you how often the word “hate” appears in the SLPC’s site, and its members’ speeches.
      The more they hate, the more they feel the need to tell themselves they hate hate, and haters. That’s how you give way to your own pulsions without feeling unclean: externalization (projection) is the first step.

      Do what your inner impulses drive you to do, but believe it is a legitimate reaction to offense coming to you.
      I am sure it helps them a lot.

      • uio ujh

        As it helped my ex wife to utter that her mother-in-law (my wife) “hated her” whenever she couldn’t restrain her hatred for my mother any longer.

        It all starts from morals, telling us that to hate is ugly and wrong. No-one wants to do ugly things, but all of us want to do some, and most of us can’t refrain from all them all the time.
        So we have to rationalize our perceived, imaginary misdeeds — as well as our real ones.

  3. Stary Wylk

    Who cannot hate, cannot love. When I say this, it usually angers one of the hearers.

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