Intellectualization is a defense mechanism by which reasoning is used to block confrontation with an unconscious conflict; this is largely an unconscious process.
Intellectualization is a type of immature defense mechanism; Other important immature defense mechanisms are projection, identification, idealization, fixation, displacement, splitting, dissociation, rationalization, acting out, passive-aggressiveness, and denial. Immature psychological defense mechanisms are psychological processes that play an important role in suppressing emotional awareness and increase the risk of various medical conditions. These patients are more likely to lead unhealthy lifestyles and use food and drugs to cope with external stressors.
Intellectualization is a defense mechanism by which reasoning is used to block confrontation with an unconscious conflict, where thinking is used to avoid emotional stress.
Example: A patient with leukemia discusses the pathophysiology of cancer in great detail, instead of dealing with the diagnosis emotionally.
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