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Many unfavorable emotions such as ;worry threat,fear ,apprehension and dread that hinder the well being of human beings produce anxiety. In order to cope and not to get affected ,human beings devised some  forms of defense mechanism.


Defense mechanism can be defined as a way of distorting one’s perception to make it less painful and to deaden anxious feelings. It can also be a group of mental processes that enables the mind to reach compromise solutions to conflicts that is unable to resolve. 

Individual who have the mindset  to do things that are prohibited becomes anxious.One way to reduce the  anxiety is by telling it out or to let go off it from the mind. Cause,the mind processes what the head thinks.


  • REPRESSION: when an individual tries to push out a thought in oneself,so that it remains unconscious,this is called repression Or a way the mind can deal with difficult thoughts/emotions,in some cases that is helpful. When repression is successful,it results to total forgetfulness of the cause of anxiety. It may not successfully relieve the tension and may result in nervousness,restlessness,Fatigue,skin condition,obscenity,headache ,back or neck pain and abdominal pain.
  • SUPPRESSION:This is intentional self-control. keeping the emotional distress situation in checks .Victim may talk about them  in private but deny them in public. Suppression is the voluntary form of repression proposed by Sigmund Freud in 1892.
  • DENIAL:when an external reality is unpleasant to face,we may deny that it exists. For instance ,people who have life threatening diseases may deny doctor’s diagnosis. A person may deny the death of his/her child ,despite the fact that the dead body is right in the front of him/her. A person may also deny that his/her partner having extra marital affairs despite all suggestion. Such people cannot hold the pain, because, acknowledging the reality can cause them more pain and such people may faint at the sight of accident .
  • PROJECTION: means Looking for people to blame for your failure. You see others as responsible for your failure. For instance, a driver who drove recklessly and got sacked will say ‘I was sacked because I did not greet the manger of the company ‘. A student who did not study hard ,will say ‘ I scored 70% in the exam but the lecturer gave me  20% because he hates me.
  • DISPLACEMENT: when individual cannot direct his frustration to the source of the frustration but now directs it to a less concerned one( Misplaced aggression).For instance. A teacher who has quarreled with the principal and cannot talk back at the principal comes to class to release the anger on students.A wife who has quarreled with her husband but cannot respond ,releases the anger on the children,the children on their younger ones ,the younger ones on the table ,chair and domestic animals around . 
  • REGRESSION:A way in which an individual copes with stressful anxiety/provoking relationships or situations, by retreating to an earlier developmental stage or it means to go back to a less matured stage,that is ,doing things one has overcome before while young .
    For instance, a five year old girl who has just just got a new brother and have completely lost the attention of his parents may go back to bed wetting,likewise,a lady who has completely lost the attention,care and love of her partner may cry over and over again when alone or may be affected by slips of tongue while sleeping.

NOTE:Defense mechanism are found in every day life, when used in moderation,they are useful in saving us from life threatening situation,anxiety and stress. They help us to maintain our self-respect in face of failure ,anxiety and guilty. They provide relief from anxiety until we get a better and more realistic solution to our personal problem.

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