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(psychology) A psychological strategy used unconsciously by people to cope with harmful or stressful situations.
One analysis of antisocial behavior is that it is a defense mechanism that helps children avoid painful feelings, or avoid the anxiety caused by lack of control over the environment.
Adolescents may develop adjustment disorders as part of a defense mechanism meant to break their feelings of dependence on parents.
While there is no exact period of time a person will stay in this stage, this defense mechanism is used when the pain of accepting a person's death is too great to face.
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