Denial in Addiction

The reality of one person might be the illusion of another.
At Eden Recovery and Rehabilitation Centre we know how damaging an addiction can be to a person and their families. Addicts often refuse to admit that they have a problem and some never do. The dictionary defines denial as the refusal to admit the truth or reality. At Eden we believe denial is the willful doubt in the face of overwhelming and credible evidence.

Denial is the addict’s only survival tool to ensure future substance use. A person that abuses one or various substances cannot deal with the realities of daily life, hence why they turn to a chemical coping strategy. This over time then becomes their realities. The denial is used as a defense mechanism to reject any reality that they are not comfortable with. At Eden we know that addicts often have very little insight into their own condition and this can lead to a very rigid form of denial that can be extremely difficult to penetrate. At Eden Recovery we know addicts are masters of justification. We see this time and time again where families confront the addict on their behavior. The addict then replies with plenty justifications often very believable ones to why their life is such a mess. At Eden we believe that it is vital to educate the families and spouses on matters like denial and even possible excuses. For example: “I drink because I can’t find a job” or “Everybody is doing it”. Ultimately there is no real justification for abusing substances. At Eden Recovery we ensure that the families are aware of this because without the knowledge an addict can easily manipulate their way out of a situation. This behavior ensures that they will never consider the real source of their problem.

At Eden Recovery and Rehabilitation Centre we often talk about Type A denial and Type B denial. Type A denial is when a person sees, understands and knows that they have a problem. However when they are confronted regarding their problem they will strongly deny it, knowing that it is true. This type of denial is usually accompanied by a lot of lying and dishonesty regarding various topics. Type B denial is when a person is partially or totally blind to their problem. This is a more severe form of denial where the addict refuses to accept the reality. Through a magnitude of justifications, rationalizations, self-deception and excuses the person will actually believe they do not have a problem. At Eden we believe an addict like this is being honestly dishonest. Denial can often be very sensitive and even tricky to deal with because the addict is not even aware of its existence at times. At Eden Recovery and Rehabilitation Centre our Addiction Counsellors help the addict come to terms with their problems. They use various techniques to help the person gain insight and grow therapeutically. Every addict deserves a second chance and at Eden we are honored to be part of a persons journey. Second chances are not given to make things right, but are given to prove that we could be better even after we fall.

-Shaun Pyper, Counsellor, Eden Recovery Centre (011) 244 9916