Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Memory Repression: A myth?

Those of you who know me, know that I am a skeptic, I try not to be too dogmatic, at the same time, I don't want to be gullible, that's why I was a little upset at that document The Lost Tomb of Jesus. Anyway, today I was reading this site called Skepdic, and it's filled with goodies, I read the first chapter of a book about critical thinking, in it, I found this passage:

Even more controversial is the case of repressed memory. Some psychologists believe that a person can
experience something extremely unpleasant and then almost immediately forget it. Many years later another experience may trigger a recollection of the horrible event. Many people forget things and intentionally repress memories of unpleasant experiences. But all the evidence on memory
supports the notion that the more traumatic an event, the more likely one is to remember it.
(Schacter 1996).

Now, I saw some crap in Iraq that I rather not think about, nothing like seeing my best friend blown to pieces, (all my friends came back alive) but, I saw human suffering at the worst degree. I did see human bodies blown to pieces, and I saw what bullets do to the human body. I remember all 4 IEDs that me and my crew survived. But I noticed that I've forgotten many details pertaining some incidents and other memories are foggy.

There was one incident in particular that I had forgotten the details about. But when I talk to some of my friends they say "Hey, remember whe..." and I honestly didn't!

So does this mean that I have been lying to myself? Deluding myself into thinking that I forgot?
or maybe these things were not traumatic enough to be forgotten.

I am very lucky that I seem unaffected by it. The worst thing I ever had was nightmares and they went away within the first year. Most of the time they weren't even that ugly of a dream, I'll just be back in Iraq chatting with old friends. Sometimes I'd be in a firefight and I look beside me and there's Martha with the cats. But dreams are like that, just a brain dump. Nothing to it.

Now I am confused, I am supposed to remember these things for the rest of my life. Apparently I am lying to myself.



Froyd said...

don't believe everything you read on a computer screen.

unless it comes from Froyd. Then you may believe.

Loralee Choate said...

I think that the human brain is something we really know ZERO about: How it works, why, and the extent of its capacity.

I really think that in the next centruy the most staggering discoveries will be centered around the human mind.

You might want to see if you can block out the terror of having your cat kick your ass. :)

Jose said...

what cat?