Repressed memories are memories that have been pushed into the unconscious mind. These memories may be of a traumatic event, such as child abuse or a car accident. They may also be of more everyday events, such as a fight with a friend or a bad grade on a test.
Symptoms of repressed memories can vary depending on the individual. Some people may have very clear memories of the event, while others may only have vague recollections. Some people may experience physical symptoms, such as headaches or stomachaches, when they think about the event. Others may feel anxiety or depression when they think about it.
It is important to remember that not everyone who has experienced trauma will develop repressed memories. And not everyone who has repressed memories will experience all of the symptoms listed above. If you are concerned that you or someone you know may have repressed memories, it is important to seek professional help.
Sleep issues, including insomnia, fatigue, or nightmares
For many people, the idea of repressed memories is synonymous with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). While it is true that people with PTSD may have difficulty recalling certain aspects of their trauma, it is not necessarily indicative of repression. In fact, research on the matter suggests that repression may not be an entirely accurate concept.
That said, there are still a number of people who believe they have experienced repression. And for those individuals, the effects can be very real and debilitating. If you suspect you may have repressed memories, it’s important to understand the potential symptoms and seek professional help if necessary.
One of the most common symptoms associated with repressed memories is difficulty sleeping. This can manifest as insomnia, nightmares, or simply fatigue during the day. People who are struggling to remember something may find themselves obsessively thinking about it at night which makes falling asleep difficult. Alternatively, they may relive their trauma in nightmares which can also disrupt sleep patterns. Either way, this symptom can lead to a host of other problems including decreased productivity at work or school and strained relationships due to irritability or lack of patience.
Another common symptom is avoidance behavior. This refers to both avoidance of places or things that remind you of your trauma as well as avoidant behaviors in general such as substance abuse or risky behavior. For example, someone who was sexually assaulted in an alleyway might avoid dark alleys from then on. Or someone who was in a car accident might start drinking heavily to avoid having to deal with their anxiety around driving. This avoidance can become all-consuming and severely impact your quality of life.
Feelings of doom
Most people who have repressed memories are not aware that they have them. However, some people may start to feel a sense of unease or foreboding for no apparent reason. They may feel like something bad is going to happen, even though they can not remember what that thing is. These feelings can be very intense and can cause a great deal of anxiety. Sometimes, people with repressed memories will begin to have nightmares or flashbacks in which they relive the trauma that they have forgotten. These experiences can be very disturbing and may make the person feel as though they are going crazy. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to seek professional help as soon as possible.
Low self-esteem is a condition in which an individual has a negative view of themselves. This can be due to past experiences or to current situations. Low self-esteem can lead to depression, anxiety, and other mental health disorders.
Mood symptoms, such as anger, anxiety, and depression
Mood symptoms are often the first indicator that something is wrong. When our moods are off, we may feel irritable, anxious, or depressed. We may have difficulty concentrating or sleeping. We may lose interest in activities we used to enjoy. Our appetite may change. We may cry more easily than usual. All of these changes can be signs that something is wrong and that we need help.
If you are experiencing any of these changes in mood, it is important to see a mental health professional to talk about what might be going on. It could be that you are dealing with a difficult life event and just need some support to get through it. Or it could be that you are experiencing symptoms of a mental health disorder, such as anxiety or depression. Only a professional can give you a diagnosis and recommend treatment options.
Confusion or problems with concentration and memory
It has been nearly two decades since I last saw her. I was six years old then, and she was my babysitter. She was kind to me, always playing games with me and making me laugh. But one day, everything changed.
I don’t remember what happened that day exactly. All I know is that I suddenly found myself in a dark room, surrounded by strange people wearing masks. They were chanting something, and waving strange objects around my head. I was terrified, and tried to scream for help, but no sound would come out.
After what felt like hours, they finally stopped and left me alone in that room. I curled up into a ball and cried until morning when my mom came to get me. When she asked me what had happened, I couldn’t tell her. I couldn’t even speak at all for weeks afterwards. The only thing I could do was draw pictures of that dark room with the masked people in it.
For years afterwards, those memories haunted me in my dreams but during the day they were buried so deep within my mind that I couldn’t think about them or even remember them happening at all. That is until recently when something triggered those memories to resurface again.