Why keeping your secrets is harmful
David Eagleman, a neuroscientist at Baylor College of Medicine, has developed one of the most widely known theories explaining how keeping secrets hurts the brain.
“The main thing known about secrets is that keeping them is unhealthy for the brain,” writes Eagleman in his book Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain. “The reason a secret is experienced consciously is because it results from a rivalry.”
According to Eagleman’s theory, two brain regions are responsible for harboring a secret, and they become engaged in a “neural conflict.” One region wants to get the information off your chest to relieve stress and the other wants to bury it deep into your subconscious. Ultimately, one region wins, but all that fighting wears your brain down. Mic reached out to Eagleman for greater detail regarding the exact neurobiology, but he declined to comment.