denial monkeysBy Dr. Howard Peiper – Path to a Better Life – 

What is Denial? –

The term denial refers to the process by which people with addictions pretend (to themselves and/or to other people) that they do not have an addiction, when in fact they do, or that their addictive behavior is not problematic, when in fact it is. Denial may happen consciously, for example, when the person lies to cover up, or it may happen unconsciously, for example, when they genuinely believe that they do not have a problem. Denial may be partially conscious, for example, when someone admits that they drink, and/or behave more than is sensible, but deny that it causes them problems, when in fact many of the problems they experience are consequences of their drinking and/or behaviors –

Denial is a very powerful thing; this article will explain the purpose of denial, the many faces of denial, what it is that we deny, and what the results of denial are.

Denial in drug addiction/alcoholism and codependency (addiction to people, behaviors or things) is a defense mechanism that protects us from painful realities and consequences. The main feature of addiction is loss of control. When this loss occurs, the addicts/co-addicts simply use their already refined dishonesty skills to deny that their types of behavior are becoming more and more self-destructive.

The Many Faces of Denial

Here are some methods of denial that has been used by addicts and co-addicts alike:

  • Lying is a deliberate attempt to deceive someone (or ourselves) by knowingly making a statement that is not true.
  • Simple Denial is pretending that something does not exist and pretending not to notice.
  • Minimizing and Maximizing is making the bad look good and the good look better.
  • Blaming is recognizing the problem and maybe even the severity of the problem but blaming someone or something else.
  • Excusing or Justifying is to make our own or someone else’s behavior acceptable.
  • Generalizing is dealing with problems on a general level, which avoids personal and emotional awareness.
  • Dodging is changing the subject to avoid discussing the problem.
  • Attacking is becoming angry when the problem is mentioned.
  • Sideswiping is the hit and run. It’s addressing the problem indirectly as a sideswipe.
  • Spiritualizing is using the phrase, God is in control, to avoid responsibility for taking some kind of action.


What we Deny


  • Behavior We deny behavior, we deny the things that we do.
  • Emotions We deny our feelings. When someone confronts our anger, we minimize it.
  • Intellect We deny our intellect by avoiding the truth that we need to solve.
  • Will We deny that we have choices, thereby denying responsibility for our choices.
  • Body We deny our body proper function by eating, exercising, or sleeping too much or too little.
  • Reality We create a fantasy world in our minds and act as if it is real.


The Results of Denial

Denial prevents change; we have to accept what is before we can change what is. Denial keeps us from working through the grief process of any loss: alcohol/drugs, people, places, things, illusions, self-respect, job or the loss of health. As long as we are in denial, we can’t work through it.

Denial keeps us from working through our grief so that we can’t move on with our lives and/or prevents the addict from experiencing the pain of addiction. This denial eliminates the motivation to change.

Denial also serves several purposes, internally, externally or socially. Internally, denial helps the addicts maintain the illusion of control. They convince themselves they can quit any time that they want. They believe they can control the frequency and the amount, but they can’t do it consistently. Denial also helps them avoid the reality of self-destruction.

Externally, social denial is still used to manipulate anyone seen as a threat to continued use. They convince themselves that their needs are more important to the needs of those around them. This self-concern then justifies whatever it takes to get the next fix. Whoever is a threat to their continued use becomes the enemy.

Co-dependent denial is different but it’s also the same. The motivation may be different but the process is the same. Wanting to help the addict makes co-dependent people. They mistakenly believe that denial helps. Others may be motivated by self-preservation the need to protect their status and self-esteem. They believe denial will work. For some, the motivation is to avoid the unpleasantness of the truth. They believe that if they deny it, they can deal with it.

Dr. Howard Peiper

Dr. Howard  Peiper is a nationally recognized expert in the holistic counseling field. His healing, healthcare and natural professional credentials extend over a thirty year period and include those of naturopath, author, lecturer, magazine consultant, radio personality and host of a television show, Partners in Healing. Visit his website

Howard, nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, has written numerous books on nutrition and natural health including 12 best sellers.

Create a Miracle with Hexagonal Water
New Hope for Serious Diseases
The A.D.D. & A.D.H. Diet
Zeolite Nature's Heavy Metal Detoxifier
Viral Immunity with Humic Acid
The Secrets of Staying Young
Nutritional Leverage For Great Golf
All Natural High Performance Diet
Natural Solutions For Sexual Enhancement
Super Nutrition for Dogs and Cats

Books can be ordered at:
Safe Goods Publishing.

Dr. Peiper is co-host of the award winning Television show, Partners in Healing. They feature guest in the alternative healing field including such names as Harvey Diamond, Dr. John Upledger, Dr. Bernard Jensen, Gary Null and Dr. Marshall Mandell.

Dr. Howard Peiper

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