COPING BEHAVIOR AND PSYCHOLOGICAL DEFENSE MECHANISMS OF DRUG ADDICTS WITH INFANTILE PSYCHIC TRAUMA
The paper presents the results of the study of conscious and unconscious components of the protection of a personality – coping behavior and psychological defense mechanisms of drug addicts with a history of infantile trauma. The respondents were 122 people aged 29 to 44 years with drug addiction. After studying the experiencing of infantile psychic trauma and other mental traumas got at the later age, the number of research subjects decreased, and the remaining respondents were divided into two groups. The empirical group consisted of 62 people who have repeated experience of infantile psychic trauma; the comparison group consisted of 60 people who have practically no experience of infantile mental trauma. The frequent infantile traumas are the negative attitude on the part of family members, their death, verbal, physical and sexual violence, the lack of appropriate attention, the neglect of the needs of a child (respondent), the divorce of parents, and criminal events, such as the attacks on family members and friends, robbery, rape, and sexual harassment. The characteristic of drug addicts with infantile trauma is the coping behavior that can develop in two directions – either drug addicts try to solve their problems or try to avoid problems, deny their existence. At the unconscious level, drug addicts have such dominant defense mechanisms as the denial and projection what leads to maladaptation, more frequent use of drugs and severe disorganization of behavior. The predominance of defense mechanisms of denial and projection in drug addicts at the unconscious level helps as well to reduce the internal anxiety when detecting signs of drug dependence, to deny the presence of addiction. In general, drug addicts with infantile psychic trauma and other mental traumas of later age are characterized by the maladaptive types of coping behavior both at the conscious and unconscious levels of personal protection.
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