Neurotic defense mechanism

Neurotic defense mechanism


→ Shifting emotions about one object/ individual to another object/individual

→ Ex- After being scolded by father, the person goes and scolds his younger sibling

→ Displacement is involved in development of Phobias


→ Use of intellectual process to avoid painful emotions

→ Ex- After diagnosis of Lung Cancer, the patient gets into discussion on pathophysiology with the doctor

Isolation of Affect

→ Removing the feelings associated with a stressful life event

→ Ex- Without showing any emotion telling family members that he has been diagnosed with Lung Cancer


→ Unconsciously forgetting something that cannot be retrieved later. Most Important & Primary Def Mech.

→ Ex- A young girl who is sexually abused by her teacher forgets the incident and cannot recall later


→ Offering rational explanations to justify own unacceptable behavior. [M/C in Substance Use disorders]

→ Ex- An alcoholic blaming his father for his habit of excessive drinking


→ Splitting of a single [Memory/Identity] or group of mental functions from other mental functions

→ Forms the basis of Dissociative identity disorder

Reaction Formation

→ Transforming of feelings into exact opposite

→ Ex – A man who is infatuated by an office colleague tells her that he hates her


→ An act which is done to nullify a previous act. Forms the basis of Obsessive-Compulsive disorder

→ Ex – Husband brings gift for his wife the next day after having a fight with her

Aim Inhibition

→ Placing a limitation upon instinctual demands accepting a partial or modified fulfillment of desires

→ A Student who want to become doctor could not clear entrance and takes up veterinary course

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