What Are Repression and Suppression?
What is one of biggest differences between repression and suppression?
Hi, this is Jane Fendelman for About.com and this video is all about repression and suppression. What are repression and suppression? Well, they're very similar, but one of the biggest differences between the two is repression is subconscious, and suppression is conscious. Both repression and suppression are a denial of a memory or a feeling or a thought. They happen in different ways.With repression our subconscious mind keeps a memory or experience or feeling at bay. This is a coping mechanism. It helps us deal with our current reality. Repression requires a certain amount of closed-mindedness. You can get repressed from people around you or from doing it to yourself. An example of how people wind up getting repressed either through themselves or through others is through experiences through their religion or the religion of the people around them. People want their children to accept their ideals or ideas about how their spiritual path should be walked. When we're making a choice out of free will, then we feel joy. When we're making a choice out of fear or guilt because of repression, then we feel bad.Suppression is different in that it's more of a conscious choice. For instance, say you're feeling sexually inspired, and you don't want to be, and you make a conscious decision to push that feeling down or go for a jog or take a cold shower. Now, you can get in the habit of suppressing certain feelings or memories and it can become habit. And when it becomes an unconscious habit, that's when it then becomes repression. Because remember repression is unconscious, and suppression is more conscious.Suppression can be good. Say you're married and you're attracted to another person. You're going to suppress those sexual feelings and that is appropriate. Then you're going to redirect all that love back to your mate. So there are times when suppression is helpful. My advice to you on repression and suppression, get a good counselor or someone you trust, sit down with them, excavate, explore your past, unearth the relics, and the safer you feel, the more they can come out and be healed. This will increase your self-esteem which will in turn bring more joy and love into your life. Thanks for watching. To learn more, visit us on the web at About.com.