Repression is good for you.

This article on Plastic says that in many cases, keeping a stiff upper lip and NOT talking about the bad things that have happened to you is actually better for your health.

It examines heart attack sufferers and rape survivors.

I think this is interesting for two reasons.

One is that my mom went through therapy for some stuff and they had her talk about all her bad stuff, but then they didn't do anything with it. Their view was that if she talked about it, she would be better off. So they asked her about it and she talked about it for a long time. Then, they were done. But my mom had all that trash out in the open, visible wounds, and she was actually WORSE off after the discussions.

Another is that many rape survivors find themselves unable to talk about what happened to them, for various reasons. Which I am not going to go into here.

Thought the study was interesting.

1 thought on “Repression is good for you.

  1. You know, I think there is a really good point there; having done therapy for a good part of my life, I know how pointless rehashing tragedy and strife can be when there is no “action” involved; a good therapuetic relationship involves not only uncovering problems, but addressing them and taking whatever action can be taken to heal. I think Denial is a dangerous thing, but I think that not gabbing on and on about one's troubles has value (something I think I need to learn), but somewhere lurking between Denial and Wallowing in It there is a good thing called Acceptance. I think that the idea about repression being good is probably related to this: people who don't feel the need to discuss a trauma anymore may have reached Acceptance. Once one Accepts, they are more likely to be able to Act in positive ways to heal. But one who is not just Repressing but Denying is more likely to be suffering and most likely making others suffer too. Interesting entry. thanks for posting it.


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