Top 15 Common Defense Mechanisms Students Face.

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Top 15 Common Defense Mechanisms Students Face, let’s find out. Defense mechanisms are unconsciously learned methods of thinking or responding that are designed to keep us from feeling anxious. Depending on the conditions and whether they are abused, they can be beneficial or dangerous.

When we are under a lot of stress or our self-esteem is endangered, we all utilize some sort of defense mechanism.

The concept of defensive mechanisms derives from psychoanalytic theory, which views personality as the interaction of three components: id, ego, and superego.

This hypothesis, first offered by Sigmund Freud, has evolved and maintains that certain behaviors, such as defensive mechanisms, are not under a person’s control.

This idea, which was first postulated by Sigmund Freud and has since evolved, asserts that certain behaviors, such as defensive mechanisms, are not under a person’s conscious control.

The majority of individuals use them without even recognizing them. The development of defense systems is a normal and natural element of psychological growth.

Knowing which kind you, your family, and even your coworkers utilize might aid you in future conversations and interactions.

The purpose of this article is to explain what defense mechanisms are and how they function.

The defense mechanism has been classified as a subgroup, depending on the original first is the initial original defense mechanism known to be short-term but is lower in long-term effects.

They are favored by children and adults that have not yet learned to be better adults. Some of the original defense mechanisms include denial, acting out, and aggression.

The most common and advanced defense mechanisms include inhibition, sublimation, compensation, confidence, and humor.

Defense systems are an inevitable aspect of psychological growth. Knowing which kind you, your family, or even your coworkers utilize can aid you in future conversations and interactions.

Top 15 Common Defense Mechanisms Students Face.


Denial is a defense mechanism postulated by Anna Freud that entails an unwillingness to accept reality, hence obstructing awareness of external events.

If a situation becomes too hard for a person to manage, he or she may refuse to recognize it or deny that it exists.

This is, as you might expect, a crude and risky defense. Nobody gets away with ignoring reality for very long! It can function on its own or, more typically, in conjunction with other, more subtle systems.

This is also one of the most well-known protection mechanisms.

The term “they’re in denial” is usually interpreted to suggest that someone is denying reality despite what others may see. Someone who has a substance abuse issue, for example, may continue to deny that their actions are creating major consequences.

They may brag about how well they perform at work or home while ignoring the negative implications of their substance abuse.

Common Defense Mechanisms Students Face.

Denial is frequent among persons who are addicted to substances until they have suffered severe consequences, such as the loss of a family member, a career, or financial ruin.

Denial may temporarily alleviate worry, but it only serves to exacerbate the situation over time.


You may be bothered by unpleasant recollections or unreasonable thoughts. You may instinctively prefer to hide them rather than confront them in the hopes of completely forgetting about them.

The ego’s unconscious protective strategy for preventing upsetting or threatening thoughts from becoming conscious is repression.


Repression, also known as “motivated forgetting” by Anna Freud, is defined as the inability to remember a potentially dangerous scenario, person, or incident. Those thoughts that might make the superego feel guilty are frequently repressed.

Common Defense Mechanisms Students Face.

Top 15 Common Defense Mechanisms Students Face.
Top 15 Common Defense Mechanisms Students Face

Repression acts to keep information out of conscious awareness. However, these memories don’t just disappear; they continue to influence our behavior.

For example, a person who has repressed memories of abuse suffered as a child may later have difficulty forming relationships.

Sometimes you might do this consciously by forcing the unwanted information out of your awareness, which is known as suppression.


This protection technique involves projecting your own unacceptably negative sentiments or thoughts onto someone else as if they were their own.

The idea is to make you feel less anxious about having that thinking, feeling, or a personality trait. Projection permits you to express an unpleasant emotion without having to accept responsibility for it.

This method is more likely to be used by those who are unaware of their feelings or motivations.

When you project your feelings or thoughts onto another person as if they were that other’s feelings or thoughts, this is known as projection.

When a person’s thoughts are regarded improperly to convey or they are utterly uncomfortable with possessing them, projection is used. Someone in a committed relationship, for example, may accuse the other of infidelity without providing any evidence.

They are unwilling to recognize this desire since it is repugnant to them. Projection is when a person accuses someone else of having the same ideas or sentiments as them.

It might be a means of avoiding unpleasant thoughts or absolving oneself of duty for certain behavior.


When someone believes something to be true when it is not, this is known as distortion.

In some situations, distortion can shield a person from the unpleasant truth of a situation. For example, a student may assume that they failed a test due to difficult questions rather than a lack of preparation.

One way of looking at how people detach themselves from full awareness of unpleasant ideas, feelings, and behaviors is through defense mechanisms.

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It’s also common among patients with the following disorders: body dysmorphic disorder, body dysmorphic disorder, and body dysmorphic disorder (BDD).


Regression is the process of returning to a previous stage of psychological development. The concept of regression is linked to Sigmund Freud’s theory that personality evolves in phases.

When a person hasn’t overcome the obstacles of a certain stage, they can get fixated. Regression transports you back to the stage of fixation and the behaviors associated with it.

When confronted with unwanted thoughts or urges, people regress to a previous stage of development.

An adolescent who is overwhelmed by fear, anger, and developing sexual drives, for example, may become clinging and revert to earlier childhood behaviors he has long ago outgrown, such as bedwetting.

When an adult is under a lot of stress, he or she may regress, unwilling to get out of bed and participate in daily activities.

An adult, for example, may refuse to get out of bed and begin their day if they are under a lot of stress. Instead, they may choose to remain at home, where they are safe and protected.

Common Defense Mechanisms Students Face.

They may also develop nonspecific bodily complaints with no obvious signs. These acts may have gotten a parent’s attention and comfort as a child. Being sick and at home appears more acceptable to the exhausted adult ego than facing the worry of the day’s problems.


Allowing the ego to disregard anxiety produced by that reality is a good example of this. People who have been through trauma, such as rape or childhood trauma, are more prone to dissociation.

Dissociation, for example, is a broad term that encompasses a wide range of behaviors.

Dissociation users frequently have a disjointed sense of themselves in their surroundings. Time and even their self-image may not flow in the same way for them as it does for the majority of individuals.

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An individual who disintegrates in this way might “disconnect” from the actual world for some time and live in a new universe free of distressing thoughts, sensations, or memories.

They appear distant from the present as if they are mentally avoiding the anxiety and horror of the previous disaster. The separation can last minutes, hours, days, or even weeks.


They may find it difficult to recognize and express their own emotions. Despite the injured fist, beating the door facilitates quick, transient respite from worry.

Acting Out is when a person engages in excessive conduct to communicate thoughts or feelings that they are unable to express in any other way.

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Rather than expressing, “I’m upset with you,” a person who acts out might throw a book at them or punch a hole in the wall. If a person is unable to communicate their sentiments more acceptably, they may act out.

Self-injury can also be a type of acting out, a way of expressing sad emotional distress through physical pain.

You know, like the other primordial defenses, is unsuccessful in the long run as a method of anxiety management.

A person who is upset and frustrated with their living situation at home, for example, might lash out by punching a hole in the wall.

Top 15 Common Defense Mechanisms Students Face.
Top 15 Common Defense Mechanisms Students Face


Acting in a way that contradicts your feelings or thoughts is known as reaction formation.

A person might hide their genuine feelings even from themselves by acting oppositely.

Those who are out of touch with their feelings or impulses are more inclined to utilize it as a defense.

A person who enthusiastically applauds when a competitor wins an award, for example, may be experiencing a reaction formation.

When unpleasant or anxiety-provoking thoughts or feelings come, reaction formation entails acting in a way that opposes them.

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At the moment, they may be unable to recognize their disappointment or sense of failure.

For example, a lady who is furious with her boss and wants to leave may instead be exceedingly nice and generous to her boss and proclaim a wish to continue there indefinitely.


Negative events can be explained and understood more effectively through intellectualization. It entails a person employing reasoning and reason to avoid uncomfortable or anxiety-inducing situations.

This method may be employed when a person who has been laid off chooses to spend their days compiling spreadsheets of job chances and leads.

The profound grieving sentiments are blocked from awareness, and a concentration on what needs to be done takes their place.

When a person intellectualizes, they turn off all of their emotions and approach a situation only rationally, even when emotional expression would be appropriate.

Instead of expressing their regret and loss, a person who has just received a terminal medical diagnosis, for example, focuses on the minutiae of all potential futile medical operations.


Top 15 Common Defense Mechanisms Students Face.
Top 15 Common Defense Mechanisms Students Face

Sublimation is channeling unacceptable thoughts or impulses into more socially acceptable behaviors. This type of defense mechanism is considered a positive strategy.

That’s because people who rely on it choose to redirect strong emotions or feelings into an object or activity that is appropriate and safe.

For example, instead of lashing out at your employees, you choose to channel your frustration into kickboxing or exercise. You could also funnel or redirect the feelings into music, art, or sports.


It is more direct than passive discussion because opinions or needs are stated clearly. However, the words used are not mean-spirited or intended as hurtful. It’s a highly desirable communication skill.

For example, a person who declines to do a favor for a friend might be assertive by saying that they cannot help with that request although they do value the friendship and would like it to continue.

It is not necessary to give any reasons or to make any excuses.


Suppression is the conscious blocking of unpleasant thoughts, impulses, or memories. A person who is suppressing is deliberately trying not to think about a disturbing thought or impulse. This is usually done to avoid feelings of anxiety or guilt.

Unlike repression, suppression does not block thoughts indefinitely. They are brought back to awareness when there is an opportunity to cope with them more effectively.

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As a defense mechanism, humor is decreasing the anxiety associated with a situation by pointing out something funny or ironic about it.

Humor is widely regarded as one of the higher-level defense mechanisms. For example, telling a story about a funny incident from a person’s life during a memorial service is an example of using humor as a defense mechanism.

The laughter helps to relieve the intensity of grief at least for a few moments. It is not an avoidance of the emotion, but simply a brief relief from it


Some people may attempt to explain undesirable behaviors with their own set of “facts.” Common Defense Mechanisms Students Face.

This allows you to feel comfortable with the choice you made, even if you know on another level it’s not right.

For example, people who might be angry at coworkers for not completing work on time could be ignoring the fact that they’re typically late, too.


Trying to make up for recognized inadequacies in one aspect by exerting greater effort and emphasis on other areas of your life is known as compensation. It’s fair to accept that you won’t be great at everything to concentrate on the areas in which you can shine

When confronted with flaws, this defense can be useful in retaining self-confidence.


Common Defense Mechanisms are normal but if it gets in your way of rational thinking and feelings from time to time, then something is not right. The greatest problems arise when defense mechanisms are overused in order to avoid dealing with problems.

Precious Ifeoma is an aspiring lawyer interested in Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, and International Human Rights. She’s an advocate of SDG 1, 2 and 4. She enjoys reading about psychology, watching movies, and listening to music.

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