Difference Between Denial & Repression

Denial vs Repression

Denial and repression are two distinct defense mechanisms used by people in various situations. Denial involves refusing to acknowledge the truth about something, while repression refers to restraining something. Psychologist Sigmund Freud introduced the concept of defense mechanisms to describe ways people relieve the inner tension they feel due to the activity of the id, ego, and super-ego.

Key Takeaways

  • Denial is refusing to admit the truth about something.
  • Repression is restraining thoughts or emotions.
  • Both denial and repression are defense mechanisms in psychology.

What is Denial?

Denial is the act of refusing to admit the existence or truth about something. It is a common defense mechanism used by people in various situations. People often deny things because the reality is too overwhelming or bitter for them to accept. Denial serves as a shield that prevents the person from getting hurt or tense, but it can be exhausting and detrimental in the long run.

What is Repression?

Repression involves restraining thoughts or emotions. This defense mechanism is common when a situation is too overwhelming or painful for an individual, leading them to repress the event and prevent the memory from entering conscious awareness. Although the memory is repressed, it can still be triggered back into consciousness by a similar event later in the individual’s life. Repressed memories can unconsciously influence a person’s behavior.

Difference between Denial and Repression

  • Denial is the refusal to admit the truth about something, while repression is the act of restraining something.
  • Repression can influence an individual’s behavior, but denial does not.
  • In denial, the person completely refuses the truth, whereas in repression, the individual does not refuse the truth but learns to restrain it.
Maria Nguyen
Maria Nguyen
Maria Nguyen is a talented writer with a flair for developing captivating content in a range of formats. Her commitment to thorough research and producing top-notch material has contributed to over 4 years of professional writing and editing experience. Outside of work, Maria finds pleasure in solitary activities and immersing herself in nature. Her introspective nature and passion for self-reflection inspire her creativity. She believes that spending time alone and observing the natural world can provide valuable insights and foster personal growth, broadening her perspective as a writer.


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