The end of a love, betrayal of a friend, a business failure, and any traumatic event causes anxiety in people sometimes very deep. And often when the pain strikes us taking the psychic defenses , through the mechanisms that I put in place to protect us from pain and help us face reality. This is good, as long as the self-protection is not excessive and therefore it is important to know the psychic mechanisms to intervene immediately. Our mind and its strategies of defense mechanisms that people use, in an unconscious way, to deal with anxiety and pain and survive, are many. They are divided into primitive forms , typical of children and people with personality disorders or who are experiencing a very painful situation, and secondary forms , which are found instead in adults.

Primitive mechanisms

The withdrawal primitive : when using this defense mechanism, usually the person seeks refuge in another state of consciousness, usually sleep (think of the child after excessive stimuli or strong pressure falls asleep).
The negation and denial : With this mechanism it is rejected in the source of their troubles. There is talk of denial when you try to delete what is only the affective and emotional linked to a certain situation (eg after the end of a story you deny themselves have never experienced such a feeling for that person). When you get to a defense we are talking about extreme denial, that you deny the whole situation (a person knows that he is sick and denies the severity of that state).


The projection : it is a defense mechanism that consists in attributing to others or to the external environment those feelings and emotions that you can not accept. So all that is negative and belongs to others all that is good in us (in a failure all the faults are leaning to the others).

The secondary mechanisms

Removal : Similar to the denial, however, concerns above all the memories and consists in unconscious cancellation of a memory or particularly traumatic experience. It may be total or partial depending on the endurance of the person.
The regression : it is a very common defense mechanism. In this situation the adult back “child” for a few days now, time to pull the plug from the tensions. In more severe cases, however, the regression becomes a way of dealing with life and do not ever assume the responsibility.
The intellectualization : is the mechanism that leads people to control and restrain in a rational way to manage difficult feelings and to avoid having to find live painful situations, to avoid a priori, with the risk of not enjoying life.
The rationalization : the process by which you will find good reasons to soothe the sorrow or regret for something that has happened to us. For example, who is left by the partner may say to himself that it was not the right person.

Learning to manage emotions

Defense mechanisms are unconscious psychic processes, often followed by a behavioral response that each of us puts in place more or less automatically to deal with stressful situations. The defense mechanism comes into action in the face of a situation that generates excessive anxiety, with the main purpose to exclude from consciousness what we consider unacceptable or dangerous for ourselves . ‘s important is that these mechanisms do not degenerate into real their phobias , how to avoid all contact with outsiders because they were considered dangerous, or obsessions or detachment from reality that lead to the creation of fantasy worlds in which the mind finds refuge. ‘s important not to repress feelings and impulses because they often emerge in other forms such as disease psychosomatic. You must always face problems, without hiding, accepting the emotions and learning to verbalize and to tell the moods. Psychotherapy can be the most effective way, as long as you do not do too late.