Generally, repression is regarded as unconscious and distin­guished from inhibition which is conscious suppression. According to Freud, they go to a person’s unconscious mind. Often involving sexual or aggressive urges or painful childhood memories, these unwanted mental contents are pushed into the unconscious mind. 1.Suppression is consciously forgetting an idea, an incident or an experience while repression is unconsciously forgetting an idea, an incident, or an experience. They look identical, save the first syllable, but that first syllable is very important. Because these tools are at play at a subconscious level, one cannot easily identify them. It is directed at one’s thoughts and emotions. Repression is a noun. As you can see, there is a clear difference between oppression and repression. To suppress something is to put an end to it forcibly, among other things. When you suppress an impulse or desire you’re forcing it down, below the level of awareness. In this following PsycholoGenie article, we will delve deeper into these two defense mechanisms and highlight the differences in their workings. Strong writing relies on careful word choice, so by knowing the difference between suppression and repression, you can become a better writer. I suddenly realize that I’m hungry, but because I’m in class and can’t do anything about it, I suppress the hunger pangs and concentrate on the remainder of the lecture. Similarly, one might repress (rather than suppress) a smirk in order to maintain a serious appearance, and one would take a medicine that suppresses (rather than represses) a cough in order to reduce its severity. We also use third-party cookies that help us analyze and understand how you use this website. Well, we're looking for good writers who want to spread the word. Suppression and repression have similar meanings, and they overlap in certain circumstances. So much so, that one denies their very existence. Repression refers to the subconscious act of not acknowledging or acting upon one’s feelings, thoughts, and wants. Other Comparisons: What's the difference? Repression is an unconscious forgetting to the point that they do not know it exists, whereas suppression is a deliberate and purposeful pushing away of thoughts, memories, or feelings out of conscious awareness. My 86 year old dad recently had 4 strokes. One of the defining qualities of suppression is that is suggests an active curtailment or fight against an opposing force (more on this below). Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. Repression means inhibition, like in sociological or psychological contexts. Repression vs. Suppression. I am not even aware that this is the real reason and keep blaming ‘the horrible day I’m having.’. Perhaps, then, repression is a close kin of conscious, deliberate denial. Recently, Wegner and his colleagues have developed an interesting paradigm for the study of conscious, deliberate thought suppression that may be of use in understanding repression (Wegner, Schneider, Carter, & White, 1987). To repress is (1) to hold back, or (2) to put down by force. Medvedev made the comments on his video blog, on the occasion of a holiday devoted to the memory of victims of repression. This becomes possible either because of the form that they make way in such that they can’t be recognized, or because they are completely prohibited from our awareness by the subconscious mind. With enough practice and repetition it can work permanently. This website uses cookies to improve your experience. A person is not aware that they are repressing memories. Thus, one is also aware of the possibility that these impulses and thoughts might make way again, and that they will need to be dealt with at the time that they do. 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