Ego Defense Mechanisms
Ego defense mechanisms are habits and affectations that exist to protect the individual's sense of self. A Freudian concept, they are unconscious psychological mechanisms that are used to reduce the anxiety that arises from unacceptable or potentially harmful stimuli, thoughts, or desires. These mechanisms are normal and can result in either healthy or unhealthy consequences depending on the circumstances and/or frequency with which they are used. Some of the most common of these are repression (denial of an event), identification (incorporating into one's own worldview) and rationalization (making excuses for behavior).