Repressing Memories as a Form of Protection


Q: I got molested as a child and i just got the memory back of what happend. I am now at the age of 21 and this happened when I was 10 and a half. Do you know why i blocked this out for so long?


A:   Nobody knows for sure why memory repression occurs but their are some theories.
A popular theory is that the brain is able to block out memories of traumatic events as a form of self defense.  It allows the individual to function in social and work situations and be a productive successful member of society.  This possibly spares a person from suffering anxiety, depression or phobias.  Some believe the mind is able to block out events as they happen and dissociate the person from the event.  This may be why some victims have difficulty describing their accusers even minutes after the traumatic event has taken place.  Why the repressed memories become "released" later in life ... no one knows.
Skeptics against this theory point out that there are no examples of repressed memories in fiction or non fiction literature from ancient writings.  This has lead some to indicate that this is a new cultural phenomenon and not an innate human ability.
The point is nobody knows why some memories become repressed and then later released but if they are causing you problems in the present, you should seek professional help before they become more severe.

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