The Folklore of Buried Memories

How victims remember trauma is the most controversial issue facing psychology and psychiatry today. Many clinical trauma theorists believe that combat, rape, and other terrifying experiences are seemingly engraved on the mind, never to be forgotten.

Others disagree, arguing that the mind can protect itself by banishing memories of trauma from awareness, making it difficult for victims to remember their most horrific experiences until it is safe to do so many years later. While acknowledging that trauma is often all too memorable, these certain clinical trauma theorists assert that a condition known as “traumatic dissociative amnesia” leaves a large minority of victims unable to recall their trauma, precisely because it was so overwhelmingly terrifying.

However, these clinical trauma theorists do not argue that “repressed” or “dissociated” memories of horrific events are either inert or benign. On the contrary, these buried memories silently poison the lives of victims, giving rise to seemingly inexplicable psychiatric symptoms, and therefore must be exhumed for healing to occur.

To continue reading, please log in or enter your email address.

To access our archive, please log in or register now and read two articles from our archive every month for free. For unlimited access to our archive, as well as to the unrivaled analysis of PS On Point, subscribe now.

required

By proceeding, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy, which describes the personal data we collect and how we use it.

Log in

http://prosyn.org/UOvLmy9;

Cookies and Privacy

We use cookies to improve your experience on our website. To find out more, read our updated cookie policy and privacy policy.