Written by Lee Stevenson
People can deliberately suppress memories of guilt from deception, lying or doing something immoral. But it comes at a price it effects and even starts damaging the brain causing personality alterations, changes in behavior and it negatively impacts their health.
These is not to be taken ans something to diagnose someone with or treat them or oneself. Therapist are best for healing mentally. I am writing this so people can be aware when they start seeing changes in others behavior, but you should not assume because they show some of the symptoms they are being deceptive, lying are being immoral. Some illnesses and toxins can cause some of these symptoms. This usually occurs suddenly and more and more of the symptoms occur with the longer the suppress the guilt or memories of guilt.
Ever notice those people who are prejudice , or who may steal or may commit immoral sexual acts. They cannot recall the things they have done. It is called ethical amnesia. They develop cognitive dissonance because they do not want to admit that they were capable of such things and they conflict with their own self image of who they believe they are morally. They intentionally suppress their memories of guilt. These ones will be ale to recall all the days events but not the time that the immoral act took place. They have memory gaps and cannot tell you all that occurred. For example if a wife spent time with another man. And she committed infidelity. She would remember all the things she did that day but would have memory lapses of the times the event took place that caused the guilt.
These ones subconsciously try to cleanse or remove their guilt by being more prosocial. They will start doing many acts of charity and kindness. They are trying to restore the image they perceived of themselves. They will start speaking out for victims such as children who have been sexually abused or wives who have been abused. They stop talking about their lives in fear it will bring back the memories of guilt or that something they say will expose their guilt and they will have to face it. Even though they have suppressed the memories of guilt they will have Freudian slips of things that can revel they are suppressing guilt surrounding something.
But you may say we all do that. The difference is those ones continually put themselves in positions to fail morally. They also continue to have more and more memory lapses it takes a lot of mental energy to suppress guilt. They will often times start being paranoid and start thinking everyone is out to get them and start pushing people away except those involved with approving of their immoral behavior. They will surround themselves who approve of immoral behavior to make themselves feel they are no different them anyone else and may even be better morally.
If someone does something that reminds them of their guilt they will get angry at them attack them , hate them and resent them. Studies have shown this damages the mind and they continue to lead double lives but the morally decline more and more. They start believing rules and morals do not apply to them. They make up stories that others are the cause of their unhappiness and the convince themselves of it. It becomes easier and easier for them to lie and believe their own lies. This cause even more moral decline. Sadly the quality of their friends continues to decrease as their morals decrease. They stat comparing their morality to others and start looking for flaws in others to make themselves feel like their actions were not immoral and that they are more moral then others. The decline in their morals is a result of them losing their ability to learn from past errors causing them to make even more immoral decisions.
Lying takes a toll on their health because in suppressing the lies they are still aware of the consequences subconsciously so it keep their limbic system upregulated and their HPA upregalted which has dramatic negative effects on their health. In time their minds can adjust to lying and the limbic system and HPA will normalize but the negative effect of them supressing their memory causes them to not only become more deceptive to themselves and others but they lose the ability to detect when someone is is being deceptive or lying. The person’s lies eventually come out even it they suppressed the memory . To try and cover for that lie they have to tell more lies until eventually most will lose trust in them because it become clear they are an untruthful and non remorseful person. People will start avoiding them and distancing themselves from them.
When people have done something that makes them feel shame and guilt. They sometimes will go into a state of denial and avoidance. They avoid, deflect, create fantasies and experience frequent episodes of anger, they will refuse to look at fact and this habit can carry over to other areas of their life not just with the act them committed to make them feel guilt, they also experience psychological projection. This is to try and hide the pain, and trauma from realizing what the long term effects of their actions would be if their immoral act is found out.
Psychological projection is a result of the person trying to disown a part of themselves they do not like, it is a form of self denial. They will blame shift, start shame dumping trying to humiliate the victim, they will over idealize things such as animals or even people. They will refuse to look at the fact. Narcissist and those with Border Line personality disorder are the most prone to doing this.
They project their guilt on others accusing them of what they are actually guilty of. They feel vulnerable because of what they have done so they start bullying the victim. This usually comes from them being insecure or fearing what they may lose because of their actions. This makes them develop disassociative personality disorder, if they do not admit their guilt or continue to add to their guilt. Meaning they may develop two personalities. They can experience amnesia of the events of the immoral acts they had done, they will have gaps in memory, lose their sense of identity to will seek out people with qualities they like and try to imitate them to establish their identity. They have a reduced emotional response, so cannot connect emotionally with others. They compartmentalize their thoughts. They separate their thoughts from their feelings and also thoughts that are not compatible with what they think such as thoughts of guilt. They lose the concept of who they are and their ability of self assessment. Self assessment is how we identify what we like and what we do not like, what we feel is right and what we feel is wrong. They become people pleasers in and attempt to reestablish their identity. They could even experience a change in the sex they identify with. This is in an effort to try and hide the guilt and shame. It is also an attempt to hide the guilt because they fear what the long term outcome will be if they get caught. This is also a sign of being neurotic.
Manipulation and responsibility avoidance. They will create false stories to try and make the victim believe what they saw is not what had occurred. They well act surprised or offended and even angry that it was suggested they had done it. They are hoping the person has insecurities or self doubt. If they do then it can provoke guilt and shame in them, this causes the victim to false reason and start believing they were wrong even though they were right in their assessment. If lying and excuses do not work they will start diverting the blame and making excuses this is involved in impression management.
Impression management the more they do this, the more difficult it gets. They have to remember all the excuses, lies and deception they have done. This causes them to start forgetting things and become easily confused. So if something is sprung upon them quickly they have a difficult time separating the guilt, and suppression of the memories of guilt in their brain making them more prone to slipping up.
They use impression management to persuade people to think a certain way. This is where the increase in their sexual activities come in. Because of their suppression of the guilt memories and has increased other areas of the brain causing them to start seeking out multiple sex partners, because they cannot get joy from little things anymore they start getting thrills from the ability to manipulate and deceive people. This causes them to mostly feel anger and envy especially towards their victim or anyone who could remind them of their guilt even the person they may have committed the immoral act with. They are cool and calm if they believe they are deceiving someone but if they cannot deceive that person then they get very angry towards that person and may even hate them. They lose the ability to feel remorse or shame so their morality declines and so does their empathy and compassion. At this point they try to give people gifts, fake showing them positive emotions, and even act like they are concerned for them. If these things do not get the person to do their will then they will experience their full furry. They will have many people they do this with. They will do everything they can to gain power over them even using sex to draw them in. These ones are the ones who will excessively complement someone. They are trying to convince those around them that they are the greatest. They get very good at hiding who they really are but in private around their families . They can be very mentally and physically abusive. They become very sensitive if someone points out a short coming and will severely attack them and even get violent with them. Anyone they feel can expose their guilt they will smear their reputation and push them out of their life. They go to extremes to try to make it look like they have integrity, and will self promote their integrity.
If all else fails they will try to use anger and intimidation. They will threaten people. Try to put them in a vulnerable postions. They develop many defensive and assertive strategies that usually are subtle and not obvious. They will do things like shaming and belittling someone and pretend like it is a joke to down play what they are really doing. If it comes to solving a problem together they will try to make the other person look as if they are unreasonable or not cooperative. In actuality they are they want the person they are disagreeing with to surrender to their terms. They do this in an effort to make the victim admit everything was their fault and they will not acknowledge their own guilt. They will do things to try to make you feel inferior such as pointing out your short comings and even fabricating them and using errors you made in the past as evidence. They may even us that as evidence that you have a mental illness. We all show since of mental illness at one time or another it is when these symptoms persist over a very long period of time it is a problem . Stress , trauma or illness can all cause us to have mental issues at times. But those who are mentally ill the symptoms last much longer and are more pronounced.
It is all about control so they try to shape your personality and how you think to be like theirs. If they do something that is offensive to you are disrespect you they will accuse you of being too sensitive. They will never apologize because they feel nor remorse or guilt. If you ever meet someone who does not apologize no matter what , it does not matter how nice they are be very careful. When they have been guilty of an immoral act they will try to get you to over think it. Do not do that it will cause you to become confused, which is what they want. If they see you are not thinking about it then they will try to do things to keep your thought focus and over thinking things. If you make them justify why they are reacting the way they do and why they feel the way they do, it usually shuts them down because they know they cannot, they sometime throw things at someone to try and convince them they do not deserve to have any guilt , usually it is pretty obvious. Best to walk away because when that fails they will resort to violence. All these things they are doing is because they are trying to maintain their self esteem.
Situational avoidance they will avoid people and place or activities that could remind them of their guilt.
Cognitive avoidance they deliberately turn their minds , thoughts and memories and avoid thinking about them to suppress their guilt. It is a conscious decision, so they are deliberately choosing to block the memories and lie to themselves. They will do things to try and distract themselves so they will not think about those thoughts. They will take an interest in things and try developing hobbies or get pets to distract themselves.
They will also use toxic positivety. They They will try to convince themselves things are better then they are. They feel insure because they realize the bad outcome and long term effects that their immorality can cause if they are found out. There are things they will refuse to discuss problems or concerns because it is not in compliance with the positive view they have. They blame others for the problems they created and refuse to hold themselves accountable. If they did then it would disprove the false image they have developed of themselves of being moral. They will believe others problems or struggles are their fault because they did not try hard enough or they somehow failed, or are flawed. They have difficulty expressing emotions when they are at this point. They cannot handle stress or unpleasant thoughts because it takes a lot of the brains resources to suppress the guilt and the memories of guilt. They will avoid things that can remind them of their guilt. They will refuse to acknowledge problems and struggle to cope with them especially if they are hit with a new unexpected problem. This can cause them to feel powerless and can make their guilt and shame return resulting in depression and anxiety.
They also will fantasize and day dream a lot as part of their toxic positivety. To avoid their guilt they will start playing out different scenarios in their head of problems and how they can gain control over them. They are not about solving problems but about controlling them. They may day dream on how they can protect their reputation as things are found out. How they could manipulate things so the victim looks like the villain.
Somatic avoidance they will avoid things that bring them joy. Lose the ability to feel remorse, guilt or shame. These are replaced with anger, sadness, resentment, frustration, depression extreme grief. They do this in an effort to exchange the feeling of guilt and shame. This is substitution avoidance.
Substitution avoidance is to avoid feelings of guilt or shame. They replace the feeling of remorse, guilt and shame with anger, resentment, hatred, sadness, depression, and grief. They also try to releive their guilt by increasing their immoral sexual activities which only farther increases their guilt but they have learn to suppress it so it gets easier and easier for them to cross the lines of immorality. They also find other distraction like painting the house. Getting pets, developing a hobby. Sometimes they turn to drugs, and alcohol or develop and addictive type compulsive behavior such as gambling.
When all else fails they will start blaming and accusing the victim and others for the negative effects their immorality had on their lives. They will accuse the victim, people they associate with. They do this and many other things like blame shifting to try and convince themselves their immoral act was not their fault or was justified. They will refuse to play and down play the severity of what they have done. They will start looking for shorting comings and flaws in others in order to make them feel better about themselves.
This is sad because their morals decline more and more. They surround themselves with people who have lower morals and compare themselves to them. As their morals decline they have to choose friends with even lower morals. Eventually they reach the scum at the bottom of the barrel. Usually by then they have experienced violence, have gotten sexually transmitted diseases and was in dangerous situations that almost cost their live many times if they survive that long.
Studies have shown if they confess their guilt , and face it their brain can heal and they can become trust worthy and honest again. Studies have shown that partial confession actually damages the brain more then fully confessing. Their ability to recognize moral boundaries can be restored and their ability to inhibit immoral behavior becomes restore. Also their ability to learn from past error is restored , and they learn to be more cautious when it comes to things pertaining to morality. When their actions show they have truly turned their life around many of their friends and families trust in time can be restored. That note was based on my experience and when I had tried to suppress my guilt.