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On Forgetting Mechanism

Additionally, it is hypothesis of the paper that several forgetting mechanisms help humans in forgetting memories of traumatic events, and repression is not the only one psychologically, whereas, inhibitory controls play a crucial role in producing such defense mechanisms neurologically. Moreover, it is an understanding that Freud’s psychoanalytic theory will be very helpful in identifying and analyzing different mechanisms. Specifically, Freud (Velicer, 2003) identified human mind as a matter of three components that are id, ego, and superego where each presents in the unconscious, preconscious, and conscious levels of the mind. Freud proposed that ‘id’ stays in the unconscious level, superego in the preconscious level, whereas, ego flows in all the three levels indicating its active role in taking care of demands and needs of both id and superego (Velicer, 2003). From this understanding, it is an indication that ego deals with reality and all the practical principles, and whenever, an individual goes through a traumatic event, he/she feels the anxiety, depression, and similar effects due to overwhelming impact on the id and the superego. This inclines the ego to arrange reduction of the trauma that becomes possible with the help of forgetting mechanisms. This understanding of the three psychological components has now created a fundamental basis that will now make it easier to have an understanding of different forgetting mechanisms. Forgetting Mechanisms From abovementioned discussion, it is evident that ego plays the leading role in facilitating humans to forget memories of traumatic events. In this regard, psychologists and experts have identified a number of defense (forgetting) mechanisms of ego (Hentschel, 2004) that will be under discussion in this section. In particular, repression is the most common defense mechanism that refers to the process of pushing back of unpleasant and traumatic impulses from conscious to the unconscious level of the human mind. For instance, a girl goes through a traumatic event of her rape, and she feels that she will not be able to live with memory of such a shocking incident that results in her intentional forgetting, known as repression. However, repression (Hentschel, 2004) is not the only defense mechanism, and psychologists have indicated several other mechanisms that become helpful in forgetting process. For instance, denial is another defense mechanism that involves absolute negation of something whose occurrence was causing anxiety and distress. Besides, analysis has indicated that traumatic events often are results of our own mistakes, and in this situation, another defense mechanism ‘projection’ (Hentschel, 2004) becomes active that involves transfer of responsibility on someone else to avoid the feeling of being guilty. Scrutiny of psychological studies (Hentschel, 2004) has identified the defense mechanism of reaction formation in which, a person tries to forget the memory of a traumatic event by behaving or acting in opposite manner completely. For instance, a boy after a fight with a best friend gradually starts to interact with him affectionately to hide true feelings that indicate the defense mecha