Psychoanalysis – About the existence of repression as a conscious, voluntary mechanism

Today by chance i Google-Booked a book of psychoanalysis called Psychoanalysis (Its Evolution & Development) By M. Asch, page 64-65 – Unconscious Processes and Repression

Conclusions about hysteria –
A. A hysterical symptom represents a forgotten memory
B. The forgotten memory is in some way expressed by the symptom
C. No hysterical symptiom exists withou

Conclusions about hysteria ( short excerpts from the book to witch i adhere ):

  • “A hysterical symptom represents a forgotten memory”
  • “The forgotten memory is in some way expressed by the symptom”
  • “No hysterical symptom exists without a forgotten memory”

And this made me think … What generated the process of forgetting ?
Breuer’s theory concernes mainly about the states of edge of sleep, monotonous employment, situations creating a state of twilight state. Freud in turn believed that an accidental state is not enough. The called the process repression.

My opinion is that Breuer’s part of the theory is correct and that in such states, similar with states that i have experienced, the mind is so fragile, with it’s defenses ( rational thinking ) at a minimum. Any disturbing thought or interaction ( image, sound, etc different from the general state ) can trigger memories  to drift into unconscious. But things don’t stop here … there are also some diametral opposite effects: the “disturbing” interactions can also trigger the transfer of imaginary illusions to direct conscious memory integrating incorporating the “disturbing” interactions into it’s primary reality logics, thus making the thought palpable.

Usually induced states ( sometimes i was trying to induce states like this while reading fantasy books to benefit from the integration of my thoughts into the plot of the book ) are partially harmless because all the subsequent memories will be tagged by the brain accordingly, but i have experienced some cases in witch i had to convince myself of the lack of veridicity of memories induced like this. Unintentional induced states are far more dangerous. Thus i consider that Freud process of repression or at least how he defined it it’s a too far stretch from the real facts.
Going with things further i believe that this has also something to do with the fact that humans are social beings. By interacting with each other in logical ways we keep the appearance/formation of this states to a minimum, states that everybody, even if only unconsciously, has felt and “fear” in some form. So being kept away from society can have the same effects and uses the same “means” as a continuous state of twilight.

Today, 7’th of December 2009 i have presented this ideas to one of my good friends, George. I told him about possible ways to enter the “twilight” states like repetitive actions and he in turn told me a really interesting thing. Back at his college they made some trials with people asked to repeat the same word for more than 200 times. Turns out that those people, after repeating the world for more than 200 times, will experience strange modifications in their perception of the word. Some of them will even forget the true meaning for some basic words and consider that the word don’t exist at all.  Interestingly this discovery fits perfectly with my views on repressing memories making clear that basic words and meanings can be repressed using the simple method of repetition for a high number of times.


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