As in a concise way to describe someone who routinely either denies he has a problem in the first place, or if he does accept that problem as existent, he puts it out of his mind as soon as possible and will even go so far as to resort to alcohol, drug use or promiscuity to distract himself from the problem rather than confront it.

Like a combination of "avoidant" and "person who undermines his own reality." "Person who banishes all his problems to an elephant graveyard where they fester and wait to resurge."

"Self-distractive" is what I came up with, but I feel like that's not a word. Plus, I want a more malicious connotation - "distraction" makes it sound too harmless and quirky.

  • 1
    An ostrich.
    – jxh
    Sep 18, 2017 at 15:34
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    Anecdotally, we say "struisvogelen" in Dutch (which means "to ostrich").
    – Flater
    Sep 18, 2017 at 15:34
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    Such a person would often be described as in denial. Sep 18, 2017 at 15:38
  • 3
    While ostriches don't actually bury their heads, it is an English idiom.
    – Andrew Leach
    Sep 18, 2017 at 15:42
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    Context is all. If you said "On North Korea, Putin is behaving like an ostrich," then it's immediately clear that he's ignoring the problem.
    – Andrew Leach
    Sep 18, 2017 at 15:51

1 Answer 1


'Avoiding the issue' cries for words like eschewal. But you specifically mention the need to have a 'in denial' connotation.

I suggest the word: Ostrichism:
The deliberate avoidance or ignorance of conditions as they exist : self-delusion {http://useful_english.enacademic.com/255289/ostrichism}

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