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defense mechanism

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{n: compensation} (psychiatry) a defense mechanism that conceals your undesirable shortcomings by exaggerating desirable behaviors

{n: conversion} (psychiatry) a defense mechanism represses emotional conflicts which are then converted into physical symptoms that have no organic basis

{n: defense mechanism, defense reaction, defence mechanism, defence reaction, defense, defence} (psychiatry) an unconscious process that tries to reduce the anxiety associated with instinctive desires

{n: denial} (psychiatry) a defense mechanism that denies painful thoughts

{n: displacement} (psychiatry) a defense mechanism that transfers affect or reaction from the original object to some more acceptable one

{n: idealization, idealisation} (psychiatry) a defense mechanism that splits something you are ambivalent about into two representations--one good and one bad

{n: intellectualization, intellectualisation} (psychiatry) a defense mechanism that uses reasoning to block out emotional stress and conflict

{n: isolation} (psychiatry) a defense mechanism in which memory of an unacceptable act or impulse is separated from the emotion originally associated with it

{n: projection} (psychiatry) a defense mechanism by which your own traits and emotions are attributed to someone else

{n: rationalization, rationalisation} (psychiatry) a defense mechanism by which your true motivation is concealed by explaining your actions and feelings in a way that is not threatening

{n: reaction formation} (psychiatry) a defense mechanism in which a person unconsciously develops attitudes and behavior that are the opposite of unacceptable repressed desires and impulses and serve to conceal them
"his strict morality is just a reaction formation to hide his sexual drive"

{n: regression} (psychiatry) a defense mechanism in which you flee from reality by assuming a more infantile state

{n: repression} (psychiatry) the classical defense mechanism that protects you from impulses or ideas that would cause anxiety by preventing them from becoming conscious

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