If you have tried unsuccessfully on your own to deal with  either denial or enabling
    (or both), or have tried to help someone else, and feel in need of assistance, there
    is help here to help you find long-term resolution for your problems - and assist
    you in your Emotional, Mental and Spiritual Healing.
    Klaas Tuinman MA
    Deerfield, (Yarmouth County) Nova Scotia, Canada, 2000-2020
Healing & Empowerment: Mentoring,
Seminars, Workshops & Retreats
When life hurts - there is immediate
help for long term hope
Only the Wounded Heal;
Only the Separated Reconcile
As the addiction or dysfunction deepens, they work harder at hiding this fact from those around them.
Depending upon their circumstances, for example, in alcoholism, s/he may drink openly, but usually s/he will
conceal the amount s/he drinks, by not drinking around those who are closest to him/her. That process is
similar with other addictions and dysfunctional behaviours and actions.

In it's progress, the addiction/dysfunctional behaviour begins to cause more and more real problems in their
lives: and the denial increases accordingly. Even though their actions and sprees have gotten them into some
real trouble, they deny it has anything to do with their dysfunction/addiction - or that they are addicted, or
have an addiction.

When someone tries to discuss their behaviour problem with them, they simply refuse  to talk about it, or
dismisses it as not a real problem, or try minimize or trivialize it: frequently, they'll get angry and start an
argument or fight: and may just walk away from those people, and cut all ties;
more avoidance of facing the
These simple acts of denial, lying about their dysfunctional behaviour and actions, are clues that the
addict/perpetrator knows deep down inside that s/he has a problem.

The addict/perpetrator (the person that has the behaviour problem) covers up and denies is willing to admit
to the reality.  If it's not a problem, why lie about it to anyone?
To protect them?

The true addict covers up and denies: he/she is unwilling to admit openly to the reality; they already know
deep down exactly what trouble they're in, and are causing for themselves and others. In part, it is that inner
knowledge that they are trying to run away from. It has become their defence mechanism,
which is made
possible by others.

The people who love them, help the addict's situation but finding, and making excuses, etc - for him or
her. Much is swept under the rug.

It is called,
enabling. These are the other players in the game of "Let's pretend" who despite good intentions,
make it possible to keep the game going. Denial and enabling together create
DENIAL: Avoiding Ownership and Responsibility
A Dawn Cove Abbey Information Resource, and support
for Adult Children of Alcoholic/Dysfunctional Families
It is quite different from being delusional. Being delusional means believing in something that doesn't exist,
that isn't real; holding onto a false opinion or belief in spite of all evidence to the contrary. In our society that is
typically considered to be a symptom of mental disorder.

Please note: Denial isn't just connected with alcoholism: Denial happens whenever people deny they have a
"problem" or issue of any kind, whether it be a "bad" habit, anti-social behaviour, trust-issues (as in being
untrustworthy), rudeness or other forms of insensitivity toward others.

Denial means avoiding taking responsibility for, or ownership of one's behaviours, addictions, etc. The
addiction impairs their judgement, and results in self-delusion which keeps them in a very destructive,
continuing pattern.

There are several forms of denial:
Simple Denial: (pretending it doesn’t exist);
Minimizing Denial:  (trying to make it look as something “innocent”)
Blaming: (denial; shifting attention)
Rationalizing: (denial)
Intellectualizing: (denial)
Diversion: (denial - change the topic)
Hostility: (denial)

In all cases denial is purely a deliberate refusal to take ownership or responsibility for one's own behaviour:
it is a conscious choice.
They deny that there is a problem. For them, the only "problems" they "see", is
getting that next drink, that next bottle,  that next "hit" or whatever; and the "bitching" and "preaching" people
do at them. That is the
power of alcohol (and other highly addictive substances).

They simply lie about their dysfunction. Little lies at first. For example, in alcoholism; “
I  only had two . . I
haven't had a drink in a week . .  I don't  drink as much as  s/he does . . ."
The denial will get worse over time as the behaviour continues.
Dawn Cove Abbey
"Roadside Assistance" for your Journey through Life
- Dedicated to helping people return (and maintain) sanity and decency to life -
From, "One! The Journey hOMe", the eBook by Klaas Tuinman M.A © 2007-20

Questions and comments welcomed.
This thing called Denial is definitely not a river in Africa. It is: * a synonym, or euphemism,
for a quite effective,
"let's pretend" game. As in, "I'll pretend I don't have a problem; drinking,
or otherwise".
In reality, they are fooling themselves, and embarking on a destructive, cunning con game.
Most people who have certain
substance-use problems (alcohol, narcotics, violent,
controlling, abusive behaviour, lying, stealing, etc) put up a buffer against their families and
* It refers to knowing that something we don't want to admit exists, and thus make up excuses
or rationalizations that allow avoidance of acceptance of the reality (that can include

It's polite name is
Denial. In the pretend game, the pretense is the denial in action. In the long
downward path of such dysfunctions toward mental, physical and moral decline, the first thing
to go is
honesty. Denial  is simply Lying to yourself (or about someone in order to "cover
up" for them).

Denial is the most common and often frustrating aspects of alcoholism and other addictions,
and dysfunctional behaviours. They won't accept that they have a problem - nor do they want
to admit/accept what is happening to them. It is not just a form of lying: it
is lying to oneself
and then others) - about anything, to  anyone; including those closest and formerly dearest to
him/her: they have been replaced in importance by the substance, and by  whatever it takes, to
acquire the substance.

They become consummate actors and actresses, engaged in such convincingly authentic
roles and performances, while actually being  totally in-authentic, chameleon-like
performances to achieve their goal: the next drink, the next hit . . . . or whatever it is . .