03 Aug Bonus YSS: Secrets, according to Freud
People often tend to think of secrets as purely something that people keep from others. But, people may even keep information from themselves when their own minds believe the secret may be too painful to bear. Secrets from oneself is the basis for Freud’s psychoanalysis and his theory of repression.
Sigmund Freud’s psychoanalysis is founded on the belief that people naturally store in their unconscious minds many aspects of themselves that they would rather not face. These aspects of the self become secrets that we literally keep from ourselves, according to Freud. This process is called repression: people repress aspects (beliefs, events, feelings) of themselves that evoke (create) psychological pain.
As a result, people also develop a number of defense mechanisms that keep the secret safely locked away from consciousness, but also prohibits people from leading free, fulfilling, conscious lives. For Freud, secrets from oneself were the basis of almost all mental illnesses. Therefore, the aim of psychoanalysis is to unearth these secrets to consciousness and effectively deal with them. In Freud’s view, secrets were a temporary solution of the mind that would ultimately lead to long-term problems. By freeing the mind of the secrets (through talking about everything that comes to mind), the person is said to be on the path to mental health, according to Freud.
How have you dealt with a secret that has eaten you up inside? Have you bottled it up? Pushed it down? Brushed it under the rug? Forced yourself to forget?