Can severe states of denial cause as much harm to a person & their family member

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  1. Sphinxs Sanctum profile image60
    Sphinxs Sanctumposted 11 years ago

    Can severe states of denial cause as much harm to a person & their family members as lies?

    I'm sure many of you will first think of 'Drugs,' where addicts or their loved ones are in denial but I'm referring Denial within a family regarding All forms of behavior from one or more of its members or a parent in denial of their adult child's true, criminal or manipulative nature.

  2. wildove5 profile image75
    wildove5posted 11 years ago

    Absolutely!  My ex husband through his denial has only enabled our twenty year old daughter and hinder her rehabilitation.  However, tomorrow at 1 she will be at a rehab center.  She came to realize she needed recovery after I had her arrested recently for larceny.  If you are  personally dealing with the horrors of addiction and denial, I hope all involved can become pro-active and seek the help they need to become well again. Good question!

    1. Sphinxs Sanctum profile image60
      Sphinxs Sanctumposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Goodness Wildove5- I'm sorry to hear you've had to go down such a rough road with your child but I'm glad for you & her that she's willing to seek treatment.  I Truly wish your family the very best!  I'm dealing with lies & denial almost 40 y

    2. wildove5 profile image75
      wildove5posted 11 years agoin reply to this

      I'm sorry to hear that, I am hopeful yet weary that rehab will right the wrongs.  Just this morning she said she didn't need to go to rehab, an argument ensued and for now, she is going,  Perhaps we could share stories, there is strength in numbers.

  3. Stina Caxe profile image82
    Stina Caxeposted 11 years ago

    When someone is in denial over the harmful behavior of a friend or family member they are enabling that person to continue the behavior.  I see many instances where parents or siblings are the worst enablers because they refuse to believe their loved one could be a bad person.  It's sad because so many times if the family would wake up and realize what is going on then perhaps they could step in and help, instead they ignore, enable and more people end up being hurt in the end.

    1. EmpatheticAdvisor profile image59
      EmpatheticAdvisorposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      I agree whole heartedly with your explanation.

  4. EmpatheticAdvisor profile image59
    EmpatheticAdvisorposted 11 years ago

    Like Stina already mentioned, this denial does further enable the maladaptive behavior pattern. The only place I differ from her though, is that in a lot of families, there is a conscious awareness of this denial, and they just have chosen to let this type of family dynamic continue.

    Additionally, if this is a well established behavior pattern, some family member's may feel powerless to attempt to change it, and hence continue to turn a blind eye to it.

    I can personally attest to how much damage denial can cause in everyday relationships. At times it can feel like communicating to someone in a foreign language when talking about the issue they are in denial about. They do not acknowledge there is a problem and this stops the communication process that could lead to resolution of the issue or at the very least a deeper understanding of the underlying thought processes.

    Harm not only occurs to the person in denial directly, but also extends to other family members due to the frustration they experience from being blocked from acknowledging and exploring the issue.

    1. Sphinxs Sanctum profile image60
      Sphinxs Sanctumposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Yes, in my family, the patriarch makes great effort to deny that his male children could possibly do anything wrong making the females those at fault at all times. W/ far more males, this is the Accepted way, now. I think the same.  Thanks!

  5. twig22bend profile image71
    twig22bendposted 11 years ago

    Yes, I believe so. Denial is a form of silent or a unspoken lie. Many people feel that if they do not acknowledge a situation that it will go away. Most cases of denial is handled by turning your head the other way, hoping that the issue will correct itself. Fear of the consequences keep people in denial.

    In reality we are taught not to lie, but there are no rules mentioned about denial, which can cause more harm than telling a lie.

    Denial can cause more harm and friction to a family unit because it is very difficult to deal with someone that won't acknowledge the truth evolving an issue, which is an ongoing thing that can escalate as time goes on.

    1. Sphinxs Sanctum profile image60
      Sphinxs Sanctumposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      I normally don't require validation of my thoughts but denial is so pervasive in my family it has my head spinning & trying to undo the hold it's had for nearly 40 yrs is beginning to seem impossible. Thank-you for answering.  You're on the money

  6. nanderson500 profile image78
    nanderson500posted 11 years ago

    It can definitely be as harmful as lies, maybe even more harmful. Denial can be an extremely powerful thing. Some people will absolutely refuse to accept something even in the face of overwhelming evidence.

    1. Sphinxs Sanctum profile image60
      Sphinxs Sanctumposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      I pulled out drug cooking tools drug residue & drugs in front of my Grandpa from his son's things & he STILL doesn't believe that his son is an addict!  It's like he NEVER Saw any of it & all it took was a, "NO DAD" to dismiss it. I'm sic

  7. Fastian profile image64
    Fastianposted 11 years ago

    Yes I think so. People tend to close their eyes to reality. It must not be an issue if an issue in itself remains with a person but when loved ones take to their heart his shortcomings everyone suffers.

    1. EmpatheticAdvisor profile image59
      EmpatheticAdvisorposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      True there is no issue to that person if the person in denial does not feel there is one. However, what becomes the issue is when this denial begins to affect others in the family or relationship dynamic negatively and  is monetarily costly

  8. profile image0
    Tayshiaposted 11 years ago

    I'm not sure, I think that as with everything it has to be reasonable.  Denial can be a stepping stone to: coping, accepting and adjusting to the new norm.  I think that people need to be allowed a reasonable time frame to observe, denial can be transitional.  I speak from experience, my Mom was deeply rooted in denial when my son was diagnosed with autism. I was really frustrated because I needed her support, I needed her to buck-up and help me deal with it as I am a single Mom. When I realized that autism happened to my family, not just my son and I, I gave her some space.  I talked to her a lot about how she felt and what I realized was that her denial was fear, panic, shock etc.  She eventually came around.  Sometimes, not always, people need some time to hang-out in their own denial.


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