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Repressed childhood memories happen for many different reasons. Much research has been devoted to exploring the way we relate to our childhood selves. Some theories postulate we have difficulty retaining childhood memories because the majority of them are innocuous. Memories tend to be subjective based on emotion. Though emotional importance changes per person, generally, the more emotional memories tend to have the strongest recall. Additionally, some research has suggested that it is challenging to relate to our younger selves because when we look at pictures, we cannot recognize who that is- let alone identify with their memories. Sometimes, however, memories are commonly repressed due to traumatic events.

Trauma can be defined as an event or a series of events which changes the way we think or feel about ourselves and our place in the world. Adverse Childhood Experiences, ACEs, can be anything from emotional abuse to physical abuse- of any kind. Research has found that ACEs create long term effects in children throughout their lives. Mental health risks like depression, anxiety, and the symptoms of trauma are common. Another common characteristic is repressing memories. Memory repression can be compartmentalized, meaning you remember some things but not other things. There can be blockages of years, like not being able to readily access memories before a certain age. There can also be a total blank, like not having lived a childhood at all.

The brain shuts down parts of itself in reaction to trauma in order to protect itself from having to process the difficult memories. People might live their entire lives with parts of their mind and memories shutdown, which could be a good thing or a bad thing. While childhood memory repression is seemingly necessary, it can also lead to long-term effects which make relationships, friendships, social interactions, employment, and other areas of life more challenging.

Often, when people have repressed childhood memories and are entering treatment, they are aware that examining their past will be part of their journey to a future of recovery. They ask, “What if I can’t remember my childhood?” Thankfully, clinicians, therapists, and psychologists alike receive training in working with memory blockages, trauma, and the complexities of the human mind. Recovery unveils many thing and brings healing in many ways. You are not alone in your childhood experiences or your inability to remember parts of it. Recovery is possible.

Call The Guest House Ocala today for information on our residential treatment programs for traumas, addictions, and related mental health issues: 1-855-483-7800