According to Frued, the ego interacts with defense mechanisms in order for out unconscious to avoid anxiety. Repression is known as the most critical defense mechanism. Repression is defined by forced forgetting of emotional events that occurred. This defense mechanism is intentional because we are trying to forget something that we don't want to remember. Repression becomes important for people who had an emotional childhood, such as myself. For me, its important to recognize that we are forcing these memories away from reality because we want to ignore the pain but I think that it should be noted that the events still occurred. This particular defense mechanism may be a way for people to avoid the truth and suffrage of their past.
In my personal situation, I can hardly remember my childhood because I have done everything to forget. I strongly repressed those images of my parent's divorce because that caused anxiety that I didn't want to encounter regularly. Repression occurs much more often than I realized in our everyday lives.
In this article, there is a description of repression as a defense mechanism and also examples that are similar to my real life experience.
In this video, all of the other defense mechanisms are explained. Each mechanism is driven by an unconscious effort to decrease anxiety. This article points out an interesting fact. They suggest that people can have various levels of repression. One could force forgetting a single event in their past and others could force the forgetting at such a high level that it would result in amnesia.
I'm curious if there is any way that we can avoid these defense mechanisms and face our fears and memories without instant anxiety? Is it possible to avoid the unconscious efforts of forgetting?