Repression as a Defense Mechanism
Repression has been a controversial topic in recent times:
This is a professional note extracted from an online article.
Read more efficiently
Save what inspires you
Repression can best be defined as the psychological defense mechanism that involves pushing undesired thoughts into the unconscious in order to not think about them anymore.
While our consciousness keeps the thoughts and feelings we want to be aware of, the unconscious mind holds our entire history which, without the help of repression, might actually lead us to psychological distress.
Repression is of two types: primary and proper.
While the primary one takes into account the fact of hiding undesired thoughts or facts, the proper one takes place whenever an individual becomes aware of the thoughts that had initially been hidden and tries to hide them again.
The objective of hiding our undesired thoughts in our unconsciousness is to feel less anxious.
However, Freud stated that this process can backfire at any point, as these hidden thoughts or feelings can still create anxiety, eventually leading to psychological distress.
By hiding our undesired thoughts or feelings, we might actually end up feeling more anxious and depressed, without even knowing the reason.
Dreams were thought by Freud to be one way these repressed thoughts would try to come back to our minds.
Some of the most known examples of repression:
SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:
The beginnings of psychology differ significantly from contemporary conceptions of the field. Modern psychology covers a range of topics, looking at human behavior en mental processes from the neur...
Psychology was not separate from philosophy until the late 1800s.
7 more ideas
According to the original psychoanalyst, Sigmund Freud, our ego is part of our personality that is between the id (our primal, animalistic instincts), our superego (the mature per...
The ego has its one internal, silent and invisible measures, known as defense mechanisms to curb the ‘id’. These measures are not visible and can only be known retroactively, like repression, for example.
Our basic and primal instincts are regulated by our ego, and our more moral and idealistic standards, set by the superego, are also kept under check. The ego operates in the preconscious, unconscious and conscious states of the mind. Example: The ego is a safety valve that prevents us from getting out of the car and attacking the driver that has offended us for some reason, however satisfying that may seem at the moment.
"The ego represents what we call reason and sanity, in contrast to the id which contains the passions."
Our defense mechanisms really kick into high gear during situations where we feel threatened. That doesn’t necessarily mean physically threatened, but also in high-stress environments where ...
Mechanism motto: I’m going to stay as far away from that stressful thing as possible.
The problem with avoidance: Things don’t go away just because you ignore them. That assignment will still need to get done. That conflict with that co-worker will need to be resolved eventually.
Mechanism motto: There’s no way that’s going to happen.
The problem with denial: Denial is more than just avoiding a potentially threatening thought or circumstance—it involves vehemently denying the fact that it even exists. It blinds you with unrealistic optimism.
3 more ideas