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Mechanisms used to distance oneself from awareness of anxiety-producing thoughts, feelings, and desires. According to Freudian psychoanalytic theory, defense mechanisms are used to protect the self or the ego from unpleasantness. Unconsciously, the id impulses are in conflict with the ego and superego's needs, values, and beliefs. Although defense mechanisms distort a person's awareness, which makes the thought, feeling, or desire tolerable, they often can lead to harmful problems. There are many defense mechanisms that have been hypothesized, but denial, repression, projection, regression, rationali zation, and displacement are commonly cited. Denial is when a person does not accept reality and acts as if the thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that are producing anxiety do not exist. Repression means that an indivi dual unconsciously suppresses the ideas, ...

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