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Difference between Suppression and Repression

Difference between Suppression and Repression

Suppression and repression are two different but related concepts. Repression is the conscious process of keeping unpleasant thoughts, memories, and feelings from entering awareness. Suppression, on the other hand, is the act of deliberately not thinking about something. Although both processes serve to inhibit unwanted thoughts and emotions, they do so in different ways. In this blog post, we will explore the differences between suppression and repression in more detail. We will also discuss how each process can be harmful to mental health.

What is Suppression?

Suppression is the act of suppressing something or someone. In law, suppression can refer to the act of preventing evidence from being used in a trial. Suppression may also refer to the act of quelling dissent or criticism. For example, a government may suppress opposition groups in order to maintain power. Suppression can also refer to the psychological process of keeping certain thoughts or emotions hidden from conscious awareness. Suppression is often used as a defense mechanism, allowing people to cope with difficult thoughts or memories. However, excessive suppression can lead to psychological problems such as anxiety and depression.

What is Repression?

Repression is an unconscious defense mechanism employed by the ego to protect itself from anxiety. Repression occurs when painful or threatening memories, thoughts, or feelings are pushed into the unconscious mind. This protection mechanism keeps these threatening memories out of conscious awareness and therefore reduces anxiety. However, repression is not a perfect defense mechanism and suppressed material can still influence an individual’s behavior. For example, an individual may have repressed memories of abuse that still influence their thoughts and actions in negative ways. Repression is a complex psychological process and its effects vary from individual to individual.

Difference between Suppression and Repression

Suppression and repression are two terms that are often used interchangeably, but they actually refer to two different psychological processes. Suppression is the conscious decision to keep certain thoughts or impulses from entering one’s awareness. Repression, on the other hand, is an unconscious process in which threatening or painful thoughts are pushed into the unconscious mind in order to protect the individual from anxiety or harm. While both suppression and repression can lead to negative consequences, such as emotional distress or maladaptive behavior, repression is generally considered to be more damaging because it is an involuntary process over which the individual has no control.


The distinction between suppression and repression is an important one to understand. It can help us to better understand ourselves, as well as the people around us.

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