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Thread: Really - What does Denial mean?

  1. #11
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    I'm with Pete on this one! I will NEVER accept my son's SCI. My daily mantra is "this is not forever, this is not forever, this is not forever"!!!!! If this is denial, well, it's what gets me through the day!

  2. #12
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    De Nile

    Everyone knows De Nile is a river in Egypt....we don't want to be there.
    Eric Texley

  3. #13
    Sometimes denial keeps us from living TODAY. We all have bouts of it but those who are obsessed with it never seem to be able to move forward and live life TODAY.

  4. #14
    Senior Member lynnifer's Avatar
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    PeterShick - unbelievable! That's terrific! 27 years post ...
    Roses are red. Tacos are enjoyable. Don't blame immigrants, because you're unemployable.

    T-11 Flaccid Paraplegic due to TM July 1985 @ age 12

  5. #15
    I personally think there is a major difference between denial and continuation of hope.

    For me, when I am working with clients, I rarely see true denial. This is when someone does not acknowledge that they have an injury and paralysis. They don't make plans for discharge or attend therapy, they don't adapt their home or make plans for going home in a wheelchair because that is not a possibility for them at discharge. They wait for a magic cure instead of working in therapy to learn transfers or wheelchair use (why learn that if you are not going to need it).

    Continuation of home is different. It is the person who says "I am going to beat this, I am not going to be paralyzed", but who is also making plans to order a wheelchair ("just for now"), learning to live their life with SCI, working on transfers and wheelchair skills, making plans for that ramp or door widening at home ("just for now"), etc. It is not acceptance (which is generally something only expected of people with SCI by uninformed ABs). Continuation of hope is healthy, and is necessary for most people to keep them going and not be paralyzed by helplessness and hopelessness.

    I learned this years ago from a great SCI psychologist (Roberta Trieschmann) and it has helped me, my colleagues, and my clients understand the difference for many years since.

    (KLD)

  6. #16
    SCI Nurse I suppose that is true but I have seen so many people who are so obsessed with it that it consumes their lifes. Some take part in dangerous therapies overseas. It affects their ability to move forward. It affects their ability to have healthy relationships. I talked to a prominent individual with SCI long ago when I was first injured. He said to me "Dont dwell on what could be, dwell on what is." I have always remembered that.

  7. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by bcripeq
    I have found that denial / depression is something every SCI individual has to deal with on their own. Counseling, drugs are not successful. Denial and Depression to some degree will never go away.
    No, not every SCI individual goes through/experiences denial and/or depression. Being depressed does not necessarily mean one is in denial nor does being/feeling sad about one's SCI condition mean that person is depressed.

    It is almost inevitable that people with SCI will experience some sadness and sense of "loss", and this may even occur often throughout one's life, even with HOPE for a cure or even just a better future (w/o hope as a necessary/realistic condition), but this sadness does not mean depression.

    Counseling and/or meds can be helpful for those who are depressed or simply unable or have difficulty functioning due to their depressive symptoms. Does not mean sad feelings will go away, but that counseling may help address issues that make it difficult for that individual to go on with their lives and be (hopefully) productive. If clinically depressed, medication may be more necessary in conjunction with counseling, not to "get rid" of problems or the depression, but to help enable one to better manage their symptoms (often including anxiety and other psycho-physiological symptoms) so they can function in their lives.

  8. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by SCI-Nurse
    I personally think there is a major difference between denial and continuation of hope.

    <snip denial excerpt - ala loazi style>

    Continuation of hope is different. It is the person who says "I am going to beat this, I am not going to be paralyzed", but who is also making plans to order a wheelchair ("just for now"), learning to live their life with SCI, working on transfers and wheelchair skills, making plans for that ramp or door widening at home ("just for now"), etc. It is not acceptance (which is generally something only expected of people with SCI by uninformed ABs). Continuation of hope is healthy, and is necessary for most people to keep them going and not be paralyzed by helplessness and hopelessness. (KLD)
    I understand what you are saying and agree with much of it regarding the difference between denial and hope. However, the "Continuation of Hope" you talk about above seems specific to hope for a "cure" (?)

    One can have "hope" (without it being related to Cure) for a better life and future, despite (or in spite of) their SCI and do what they can as they refuse (in a sense) to being complacent about their SCI condition. One can continue to have hope as they work toward changing what they can change so they don't feel so helpless and hopeless about (their) life. This of course isn't denial, nor is it "acceptance", and it isn't living their life as best they can while they hope for the eventual cure to come.

    It is simply just living one's life as best as they can...
    - with hope
    - w/o hope
    - with hope for a cure
    - with hope for anything and everything but a cure

  9. #19
    Thanks, Chick. I did not mean to imply that hope for cure was the only type of hope. I was specifically addressing the issue that was brought up in this thread.

    I would also agree there is a major difference between grief and sadness over the injury and clinical depression. Most will experience the former, but not everyone has the latter. Depression is over-diagnosed by health care professionals in people with SCI due to professional issues such as transference and professional discomfort with disability issues. This is also something that was a basic principal of what Roberta Trieschmann taught (along with the falacy of the "Stage Theory" of adjustment to SCI).

    I also agree that moving on and living life is a major issue in denial vs. not denial. I have seen people also consumed with cure to the exclusion of their family, friends, career, and finding any joy and meaning to their life after SCI. Often they are a set-up for unscupulous scams. The same is often true for some people with other major disabilities and illnesses, such as MS or cancer. This is not the same as hoping for or even working toward a cure. It is instead of a life.

    (KLD)
    Last edited by SCI-Nurse; 05-02-2006 at 01:04 PM.

  10. #20
    means that you are not willing to face the facts as they are not as you perceive them. Sometimes denial is a defense mechanism.

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