incredible-marketing Arrow

Trauma and the MindWe all have moments we wish we could forget. Is it possible to intentionally block out a painful memory? While bad memories are a strong symptom of trauma, the mind can also be a tool to help you cope.

How Memory Works

The cerebrum makes up the largest part of the brain and is covered by the cerebral cortex, where memories are stored. Short-term memories like remembering a phone number could often be forgotten by the brain, unless there is constant repetition. Long-term memory is about retaining information for long periods of time, like remembering the birth of your child. It is hard to tell if we forget about something completely or if it is just too hard to remember.

Memories like how to ride a bike become unconscious through repetition and practice (even when it has been a long time), and are known as procedural memory. Declarative memory is knowing facts, experiences, and events. Even though every experience does not turn into a memory, your brain tends to let a memory slip away if it is a traumatic one, for its own protection.

How the Brain Works with Trauma

If the brain is dealing with an overwhelming trauma, it will block out that memory through dissociation. Dissociation causes you to lack connection to your thoughts or detach from reality. Just like the body can reject a foreign substance that enters the body, the same can be done for a memory. When you are traumatized, the brain will wander off and try to avoid that memory.

How everyone deals with trauma depends on how they grew up. For example, if you were raised in a loving environment, processing a scary moment like a natural disaster, war combat, or abuse could be handled much better since you feel safe with the people you love. People who were raised with distrust, fear, or abandonment could respond to trauma with dissociative properties.

How to Cope with the Trauma

When a person becomes distant after a moment of trauma, the brain lets the memory be released in packets, so the flashbacks may be short. Dealing with trauma can be a very scary experience that no one should have to go through alone. You can take the first step now by seeking therapy to learn how to handle emotional experiences and memories that feel beyond your control. As soon as these traumatic memories arise, it is important to talk to someone.

At The Guest House, our skilled staff can help you work through your trauma and work towards a happier, healthier life. We offer a variety of treatment options for addiction and mental illness caused by trauma, including individualized and group therapy, breath work, grief therapy, equine therapy, art therapy, and cinema therapy mindfulness. Call us today at (855) 876-3884 to get the help you need.