Emotional Amnesia

Many people suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) have difficulty remembering significant portions of the actual traumatic event, including important details just prior to and during it. This is called Emotional Amnesia or Dissociative Amnesia. Whether this disconnect of events is intentional to prevent painful thoughts or an automatic switch in the brain triggered by the event as a safety defense mechanism, has yet to be proven. There is some speculation of a connection to panic attacks in reverse. With panic attacks, the brain produces uncontrolled eruptions of feelings and memories while the brain prevents emotions and memories, thereby causing emotional amnesia.

Painful Details

The individual cannot remember specific, painful details of the event. This phenomenon also deprives the person of emotions that were vibrant before the event. For example, an individual formerly viewed as warm, loving and outgoing before the trauma, became emotionally detached with family members after the event. 

No More Romance

Emotional Amnesia can also rob an individual of their former interest in recreational activities and the hobbies they enjoyed. Even sexual intimacy becomes boring and unpleasant and they may have no long-term interest in romantic relations favoring short-term affairs instead.

Tough to Plan

Planning for the future with this individual becomes difficult. They don’t offer any meaningful input or long-term ideas, showing a definite lack of enthusiasm. They also have a depressed view of their life and consequently don’t take care of their health and can’t imagine living a very long life.

Help Understanding

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and behavioral therapy, are often used to treat the disorder. Question-and-answer sessions are used to spark the ability to retrieve memories, which can help patients understand how trauma may have caused their amnesia.

This report is not a diagnosis. We hope this information can guide you toward improving your life.

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