defense mechanism

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defense

 [de-fens´]
behavior directed to protection of the individual from injury.
character defense any character trait, e.g., a mannerism, attitude, or affectation, which serves as a defense mechanism.
insanity defense a legal concept that a person cannot be convicted of a crime if he lacked criminal responsibility by reason of insanity at the time of commission of the crime.
defense mechanism in psychology, an unconscious mental process or coping pattern that lessens the anxiety associated with a situation or internal conflict and protects the person from mental discomfort. In the theory of psychoanalysis, the ego, following the reality principle, conforms to the demands of the outside world, but the id (repressed unconscious), following the pleasure principle, pursues immediate gratification of desires and reduction of psychic tension. The superego (conscience or morality) may take either side. Defense mechanisms develop in order to control impulses or feelings that lead to inner conflicts, to reach compromises between conflicting impulses, and to reduce inner tensions. They help to manage or avoid anxiety, aggression, hostility, resentment, and frustration. Defense mechanisms are not pathological in themselves; they can be a means of dealing with unbearable situations. Among the most common defense mechanisms are denial, displacement, identification, projection, rationalization, reaction-formation, repression, and sublimation.
defense reaction a mental reaction that shuts out from consciousness ideas not acceptable to the ego. See also defense mechanism.

mechanism

 [mek´ah-nizm]
1. a machine or machinelike structure.
2. the manner of combination of parts, processes, or other aspects that carry out a common function.
3. the theory that the phenomena of life are based on the same physical and chemical laws that govern inorganic matter, as opposed to vitalism.
coping m's conscious or unconscious strategies or mechanisms that a person uses to cope with stress or anxiety including turning to a comforting person for love and support, self-discipline, acting out or working off tension, talking and expressing feelings by crying or laughing, and also unconscious defense mechanisms, such as avoidance and rationalization.
defense mechanism see defense mechanism.
Miller-Keane Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing, and Allied Health, Seventh Edition. © 2003 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier, Inc. All rights reserved.

de·fense mech·a·nism

1. a psychological means of coping with conflict or anxiety, for example, conversion, denial, dissociation, rationalization, repression, sublimation;
2. the psychic structure underlying a coping strategy;
3. immunologic mechanism vs. nonspecific defense mechanism.
Farlex Partner Medical Dictionary © Farlex 2012

defense mechanism

n.
1. Biology A physiological reaction of an organism used in self-protection, as against infection.
2. Psychology Any of various usually unconscious mental processes, including denial, projection, rationalization, and repression, that protect the ego from shame, anxiety, conflict, loss of self-esteem, or other unacceptable feelings or thoughts.
The American Heritage® Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2007, 2004 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

defense mechanism

Psychology An unconscious intrapsychic process by which a person obtains relief from emotional confllict and anxiety Examples Compensation, conversion, denial, displacement, dissociation, idealization, identification, incorporation, introjection, projection, rationalization, reaction formation, regression, sublimation, substitution, symbolization, undoing. See Defense mechanism.
McGraw-Hill Concise Dictionary of Modern Medicine. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

de·fense mech·a·nism

(dĕ-fens' mek'ă-nizm)
1. A psychological means of coping with conflict or anxiety (e.g., conversion, denial, dissociation, rationalization, repression, sublimation).
2. The psychic structure underlying a coping strategy.
3. Immunologic mechanism versus nonspecific defense mechanism.
Synonym(s): defence mechanism.
Medical Dictionary for the Health Professions and Nursing © Farlex 2012

de·fense mech·a·nism

(dĕ-fens' mek'ă-nizm)
1. Psychological means of coping with conflict or anxiety, e.g., conversion, denial, dissociation, rationalization, repression, sublimation.
2. Immunologic mechanism vs. nonspecific defense mechanism.
Medical Dictionary for the Dental Professions © Farlex 2012
References in periodicals archive ?
(1994), "The defence mechanism test as an aid for selection and development of staff", International Journal of Therapeutic Communities, Vol.
But, alteration of defence mechanism in itself would not be able to act as a good indicator of psychological well-being among psychoactive drug addicts.
As a further concession to his critics, Mr Winter recommends an exemption period of five or ten years where the rule does not apply to existing defence mechanisms. "This would take the pressure off", he said.
Collaborative studies with surgeons at Leeds General infirmary have shown that this defence mechanism can be switched on in diseased blood vessels as well as in healthy vessels.
Then a defence mechanism in the brain mistakenly switches off production of all proteins, resulting in a deficit of essential proteins needed for cells to function, so cells die.
Yvonne Johns SW London AITCHING is a built-in defence mechanism that alerts your body to the potential of being harmed.
Tomatoes carrying genes from a protein causing the disease would kick-start our defence mechanism.
This can slow down recovery by putting strain on the body's defence mechanism."
The bill was drafted in connection with the acquisition of F-16 fighter jets for the Bulgarian Armed Forces, awhich are of paramount importance for the national security and defence of the country, for the implementation of the NATO collective defence mechanisms, and EUas common security and defence policya, the government said in a press release.Some days ago, the government approved a deal to acquire eight new US F-16 fighter jets for USD 1.25 billion.
In order to counter the import surge through unfair trade and strengthen trade defence mechanisms, National Tariff Commission Act has been revamped.
Generally speaking, people with mental disorders use immature and maladaptive defence mechanisms compared to the normal population that adopt more mature mechanisms (Cramer, 2000).

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