In Freud?s psychoanalytic theory, the strategies used by the ego to ward off or to reduce anxiety. These consist of adjustments made unconsciously, either through action or the avoidance of action, to keep from recognizing personal motives that might threaten self-esteem or heighten anxiety. Repression, denial, and projection are examples.
when we engage in some type of activity we find wrong or troubling, we need to protect ourselves in some way. According to Psychoanalytic theory, the ego has several different types of Defense mechanisms, or methods of reducing anxiety by unconsciously distorting reality. For example, Freud indicated that humans have many defense mechanisms, including, repression, regression, denial (my personal favorite), projection, compensation, sublimation, reaction formation, rationalization, and hallucination.