How To Tell If You’re In Denial About Your Addiction

Denial About Your Addiction

If you want to accept reality and plan a better future for yourself, acceptance is key.

But, acceptance doesn’t always come easily.

When you’re content and happy in life, it is easy to accept the things around you or about you. But, when you’re hurting, acceptance can be tough to come about. During this phase is when denial kicks in.

What Is Denial?

Denial refers to a state where you distort reality, failing to accept what is actually happening in your life.

Instead of accepting the problem, you ignore it, dismiss other people’s concerns and downplay its impact on your life.

When it comes to addictions like alcohol, pornography, gambling, etc, then denial can be very dangerous. It is often used as a coping mechanism to delay facing the reality.

It is one of the most common signs among those struggling with addictive behaviors. 

Such a behaviour when subconsciously dealing with an addiction is not surprising. Mainly because of the way addicts of any kind are treated around the world.

No one wants to accept the reality of being an addict, and denial is perfect in this situation. It makes reality more bearable. 

5 Signs That You’re In Denial

Accepting the fact that you could have a horrible addiction can be extremely tough. No one wants to be named a pervert, alcoholic, or a crackhead.

But, remember addiction doesn’t make you any of that. By denying that you have a serious addiction problem, you’re only prolonging your suffering.

Here are some signs to help you figure if you’re currently in denial about your addiction:

1. Justification

In the current world, everyone is stressed. We all have our coping mechanisms to deal with stress. When you’re in denial about your addiction, the easiest way to downplay it is to project it as a “stress reliever”. 

You could’ve had a hard day and need to blow off some steam, You could’ve have had a wonderful day and want to celebrate. For an addict, everything is an excuse to feed into their addiction.

No matter the solution you will always find an excuse to justify why you’re indulging in your addictive behavior. 

This is initially how addictions begin. As simple coping mechanisms to numb the pain or distract you. But, when the addiction becomes your only coping mechanism that is extremely unhealthy. 

2. Losing Track Of Time

This is one of the symptoms that is commonly associated with alcohol or drug addictions. But, it also stands true for porn and other cyber addictions. 

Addicts often lose track of time when they’re so engrossed in engaging in their addictive behavior. When everything around them is literally falling apart.

This shows a clear sign of a lack of control. Depicting how the addict is unable to see the bigger picture. It is yer another indication of denial. At this stage, you believe what you do in your life isn’t affecting anyone around you.

Even though you’re aware that’s not the truth, you still choose to distort reality and believe that.

3. Passing Judgement

A common trait among most addicts is that they often compare their behaiour with those conditions is worse. 

You might think that all you do is watch porn, at least you’re not going to prostitutes. You’re only watching free porn on the internet, at least you’re not buying it as many others do.

These comparisons are only a way to make yourself feel better about your habits. 

This is often why addicts surround themselves with other addicts. This way they get to normailse their behaviour.

Plus, they get to feel better about themselves by pointing at someone who is worse off than them. Such behavior only adds to the denial, prolonging it for years to come. 

4. Overcompensation

This is a commonly noticed traits in most addicts. Addicts trying to hide their addiction would always try to overcompensate in other aspects of their life.

So, attention is diverted from their negative addiction. This is can in the form of expensive gifts, surprise holidays, extra affection all the time, etc. 

On the surface, this might seem extremely normal and even loving, But, in reality, this is just an attempt to ensure that one’s negative acts are overshadowed by their positive ones.

This is also a coping mechanism to deal with the guilt and self-remorse that one might be feeling internally.

5. Isolation

The deeper you get pulled into an addicted, the further away from reality you go. As you feed your attention more and more, you’ll notice yourself retracting from social situations and settings. 

As the addiction worsens, addicts usually stop interacting with their friends and family. They no longer have the same connection with their loved ones that they once used to.

This is one of the most commonly noticed signs of an addiction.

You might not be aware of how you’re subconsciously pushing away everyone in your life as you feed into your addiction. Being in denial only adds to this problem.

How To Overcome This Phase Of Denial

This can be an extremely tough task to accomplish. Overcoming denial requires a lot of self-introspection and courage.

In most cases, addicts often only overcome their denial after “hitting rock bottom”.

This basically means when life gets so hard that you are forced to face the grave reality. But, it doesn’t have to be this way.

Prevention is always better than trying to find a cure. Use this opportunity to accept the situation, move forward, and seek the required help.  If you’d like to figure out if you’re addicted to porn, take this simple quiz.

Here are some tips to help you end this phase of denial:

Educate yourself:

Many people often fail to realize they’re displaying addictive tendencies because they are not fully aware of what an addiction actually entails. The media and movie industry has painted a tainted image of addiction in our brains.

What addiction looks like in a Hollywood movie, is not at all what addiction looks like in real life.

So, educate yourself on what an addiction is and how the cycle of addiction works. This can help you recognize your own behaviors. 

Start journaling:

If you’re not someone who is used to writing down what they feel this might feel stupid to you.

But, don’t knock it before you give it a try.

Maintain a journal on your addictive behaviors. Note down everything from your urges and cravings to your emotions every day. That’ll help you get a better understanding of your addiction.


This is one of the most tried and tested solutions. If yore not a fan of traditional therapy sessions, there are lots of various options available for you today. Find one that you feel most comfortable in.

If you’re really struggling to face reality, then this is the best option. 

Hope this helps you see your habits and behaviors in a better light. Getting past denial can be tough, but you can do it!

Have faith in yourself and start taking the necessary steps to control your addiction. 

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Bhanu Shree

Bhanu Shree is a seasoned psychologist with over five years of specialized experience in child and adolescent psychology, particularly in addressing learning difficulties and ADHD. A respected mentor in mental health, she offers transformative guidance to adolescents facing various psychological challenges. Beyond her clinical expertise, Shree is an acclaimed author, contributing insightful perspectives on addiction and youth mental health issues. Her work is widely recognized for treatment in the mental health field.