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in psychiatry, a defense mechanism in which the existence of unpleasant internal or external realities is denied and kept out of conscious awareness. By keeping the stressors out of consciousness, they are prevented from causing anxiety.
ineffective denial a nursing diagnosis accepted by the North American Nursing Diagnosis Association, defined as denial that is detrimental to health when a person makes a conscious or unconscious attempt to disavow the meaning or even the knowledge of an event in order to reduce anxiety or fear.
The state of a conscious or unconscious attempt to disavow the knowledge or meaning of an event to reduce anxiety/fear to the detriment of health.
See also: denial