Research has shown that traumatized individuals respond by using a variety of psychological mechanisms. One of the most common means of dealing with the pain is to try and push it out of awareness. Some label the phenomenon of the process whereby the mind avoids conscious acknowledgment of traumatic experiences as dissociative amnesia . Others use terms such as repression , dissociative state , traumatic amnesia, psychogenic shock, or motivated forgetting . Semantics aside, there is near-universal scientific acceptance of the fact that the mind is capable of avoiding conscious recall of traumatic experiences.
- Aug 17, 2015: New study confirms neurological pathway for inaccessible traumatic memories. Special brain mechanism discovered to store stress-related, unconscious memories. Science News
Some stressful experiences — such as chronic childhood abuse — are so traumatic, the memories hide like a shadow in the brain and can’t be consciously accessed. Eventually, suppressed memories can cause debilitating psychological problems. Scientists have discovered how and where the brain stores those stressful memories and how to retrieve them. The findings could lead to new treatment for patients with repressed traumatic memories.
- FAQ on Traumatic Memory
- Recovered Memories: True or False? – Statement by the Leadership Council on recovered memories.