Defense mechanisms are automatic psychological processes that protect an individual from anxiety and the awareness of internal or external threats or stressors. People are often unaware of these processes as they operate (although others may be painfully aware of them!). Defense mechanisms can be classified into groups or levels that indicate how they affect an individual's functioning. High Adaptive Level: Defense mechanisms in this group result in optimal adaptation to stress. The defenses usually maximize feelings of well being and do not interfere with the conscious awareness of feelings, ideas, and their consequences. •Affiliation involves dealing with stressors by turning to others for help or support. •Altruism involves dealing with stressors by dedicating yourself to meeting the needs of others. •Anticipation involves dealing with stressors by anticipating the consequences and feelings associated with possible future events and considering realistic solutions.
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