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Repression
Repression

For if the darkness and corruption leave

A vestige of the thoughts that once I had,

Better by far you should forget and smile

Than that you should remember and be sad.

—Christina Rossetti, 1849/1970, p. 42

Personal violations and insults may be barred from consciousness for a period until individuals fortify themselves sufficiently to face painful events. A person's ability to block awareness of distressing experiences may prove to be adaptive, considering the emotional impact of particular circumstances. For example, a psychiatric nurse, when harshly and unfairly criticized by her supervisor in front of a group of colleagues, is able to continue through the day only by putting the ordeal out of her mind. Of an even more consequential nature, a young adult who has endured a series ...

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