Repression and Suppression are words that often get mixed up. Suppression is a defense mechanism
that we use voluntarily to hide what we are feeling. Repression is the “unconscious blocking of unpleasant
emotions, impulses, memories, and thoughts from your unconscious mind.” Here at the dangers of repressed emotions.
Dangers of Repressed Emotions
Emotions can make you physically and mentally sick if you choose to ignore them. The more we ignore
our emotions, the more dangerous it can become. It’s clear that constantly repressing your emotions has
negative impacts on your health. There is a link between keeping your emotions inside and decreased
immune functioning. Sometimes individuals don’t realize they are repressing emotions unless an event or
even small argument comes up that triggers a strong emotion or reaction. There can be multiple dangers when we don’t keep our emotions in check. Repressed emotions can cause us to eventually lash out at our loved ones. When we hide our anger, it can eventually lead to high blood pressure, digestive problems, and cardiovascular disease.
How do you know if I have repressed emotions?
Here are a few signs of repressed emotions. Regularly feeling numb or blank, feeling nervous or
stressed all the time, forgetfulness, or feeling distressed and irritated. Ignoring your emotions will
eventually lead to exploding. It might feel like a volcano is about to erupt deep within you. Therapy can be beneficial in processing those deep-rooted emotions that we can’t shake.
How can therapy help?
Therapy is super helpful to bring out the emotions that you are feeling in a safe and non-judgmental environment. A
therapist can help you navigate throughout your deep emotions to get a better understanding of your
life. Therapy can help you explore your behaviors and help take control of your life. Once a therapist can
help you figure out the repressed emotions you can better understand the unhelpful behavioral
patterns. As a society, we are constantly being told to hide our feelings because no one wants to listen. However, that is far from the truth. Therapy will be a positive and beneficial experience to heal and grow.
Janaye Godawa, LPC
Counselor at The Lighthouse Emotional Wellness Center