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  1. #11
    Honor Thy Inferior Such Irony's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Santtu View Post
    It's been said that people can forget some events that were too traumatizing for them to remember. The concept seems interesting.

    I've got a personal example of this; I've forgotten the name of one woman who harassed and stalked me for almost a year. I had known her for two years by that time. And no, that harassment wasn't a small deal. It was a big deal.

    Thoughts, opinions, experiences? What to make of it?
    I can't recall this sort of thing ever happening to myself but then again I've been fortunate enough so far to not have experienced anything really traumatic. I can't say that everyone who experiences a traumatic event will suppress memory of it but I could definitely see how it could be used as a defense mechanism. If memory of certain details of an event is going to make the person traumatized by it even psychologically worse off, then it might be in the best interest of the person to have some memory of the event suppressed- especially if they are in no state of mind to psychologically cope with it at the time.
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  2. #12
    Head Pigeon Mad Hatter's Avatar
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    Hmm ... I can imagine that you strongly refuse to remember something or repress unpleasant memories, but I'm not sure if it's possible to completely forget certain events completely. It seems like it would require either a) tremendous conscious effort or b) your brain itself would take care of it, but not in a conscious way as a means of self-preservation.
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  3. #13
    Senior Member ICUP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mad Hatter View Post
    Hmm ... I can imagine that you strongly refuse to remember something or repress unpleasant memories, but I'm not sure if it's possible to completely forget certain events completely. It seems like it would require either a) tremendous conscious effort or b) your brain itself would take care of it, but not in a conscious way as a means of self-preservation.
    I do know of times when I know that the reason I forgot something was because I wanted to. More like "motivated forgetting".

    "Motivated forgetting is a debated concept referring to a psychological defence mechanism in which people forget unwanted memories, either consciously or unconsciously.[1] There are times when memories are reminders of unpleasant experiences that make people angry, sad, anxious, ashamed or afraid. Motivated forgetting is a method in which people protect themselves by blocking the recall of these anxiety-arousing memories.[2] For example, if something reminds a person of an unpleasant event, his or her mind may steer towards unrelated topics. This could induce forgetting without being generated by an intention to forget, making it a motivated action. There are two main classes of motivated forgetting: repression is an unconscious act, while suppression a conscious form of excluding thoughts and memories from awareness."
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  4. #14
    this is my winter song EJCC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mad Hatter View Post
    b) your brain itself would take care of it, but not in a conscious way as a means of self-preservation.
    Yes. This is totally what it is. For me, anyway. It's a subconscious coping mechanism, and I'm really good at it. Always have been. No idea why.

    I don't relate to the concept of turning negative memories into positive ones, though. I can't do that. I always remember the pain I had, but I don't remember the little details that caused the pain. Either that, or I remember every detail but completely disassociate myself from any emotional connotation. Makes it easier to talk about bad moments in your past, if you don't relive it emotionally every time.

    p.s. I just remembered that I made a thread about this a while ago:
    http://www.typologycentral.com/forum...ss-denied.html
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  5. #15
    filling some space UnitOfPopulation's Avatar
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    I've pondered if this forgetting process could make large areas of brain "unusable" as a snowball effect. Someone has bad memories about X, doesn't want to remember Y that reminds about X, anything that reminds about Y, etc..

    I've wondered how some people start to hate or avoid some piece of music, some place, or something other that they associate to bad memories. I avoid some ideas that have bad associations. But I wonder what's behind those ideas..

    Edit: so, wouldn't people's curiosity make them fill the forgotten areas?
    Edit2: Well of course they wouldn't be curious about something that feels devastating to them..
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  6. #16
    Senior Member Little_Sticks's Avatar
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    Yeah, this is a form of dissociation. It's a defense mechanism. It's a last resort effort to keep your sanity when there is no sane way to proceed.

    I know people like to think that because we all have a will that people can get through anything as long as they try and are willing to do so. But sometimes this is out of our control (like being a prisoner of war or having the people that you have to depend on abuse or ignore your needs, or really anything that can cause you to feel so fearful and horrified you have to lose yourself). So instead of accepting the horrifying insanity of it all, you lose yourself in forgetting, sometimes completely throwing away and redefining your personality into different fragments of personalities (can form Dissociative-Identity-Disorder or in a lesser evil ComplexPTSD/PTSD). This is helpful because it allows you to move on or survive long enough without succumbing to suicide or in some cases allows you to 'play dead' so that whatever is hurting you 'will give up' or put down 'their defenses' for you to recoup your faculties and get away.

    The problem with this though is that nobody can really forget things. What ends up happening is that things you encounter or witness in your day-to-day life will trigger memories or feelings of horror in having no control and the thought of it is so painful that you dissociate (or forget). This can lead to someone becoming borderline as well. And it sucks because people don't understand that you really don't know if you can trust them in the case of a borderline. So for them it's even harder (probably similar to DID, but not nearly as bad) in that they need to have these feelings and events that happened to them validated for what they were, a situation that they saw no escape from. But if they can't trust the people around them, that's not going to happen, because instinctively nothing has shown them that there's a possibility for what happened in the past to not happen again in the people they encounter.

    Despite our complex brains, at the heart of our unconscious, we're still Pavlovian dogs.

    So this isn't really ever a good thing, in my opinion.

    anyway...

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