psychogenic amnesia

anonymous asked:

Are repressed memories a thing? Cause I recently learned about them in my psych class and the book said that they're unlikely to actually be real and at best they're unreliable

Repressed memories are quite cotrovesial now, mostly because of the satanic ritual abuse controversy in the 1980s and research that suggests that memory can be manipulated and is therefore unreliable even under normal circumstances. Having said that, dissociative amnesia (also called psychogenic amnesia) is well documented and it’s well known that one of the ways our brains cope with trauma is to block it out. Both these terms describe very similar things, yet while the term ‘repressed memory’ has a lot of negative connotations, dissociative memory loss doesn’t (here’s a link to an article about dissociative amnesia, and you may like to compare the wiki article on psychogenic amnesia to the article on repressed memories).

One way of interpreting trauma responses that I think is really valuable is as a spectrum of responses with hyperarousal on one axis and dissociation on the other (I believe Bruce Perry created this). Hyperarousal responses are things like fighting back or running away, panic attacks, exaggerated startle response etc while dissociative responses are things like emotional numbing, the ‘freeze’ response, memory loss related to the trauma, and dissociation as the word is usually used (so feeling ‘unreal’ as if you’re dreaming, seeing yourself as if you were observing yourself etc). 

In terms of how memory problems fit in with abuse, I think one of the main distinctions to be made is that many of the criticisms that posit memory as unreliable are talking about memory as evidence in a courtroom setting or legal context generally. Victims are often called unreliable if they change even a small detail of their recollection or have any conflicting memories, but trauma itself interferes with how we process information, including memory; we’re so focused on just surviving what’s going on, all our brain power goes toward that and very little is dedicated to creating new memories. Additionally, stress hormones (such as cortisol) interfere with the creation of new memories also. Additionally, our memories don’t have to be perfect to be true, but the way the legal system operates is frankly pretty awful yet legal standards have become general standards, which they shouldn’t be. 

Another issue with this is the fact that these situations where memory is deemed unreliable - the legal system and the satanic abuse panic - are situations where other people are deliberately influencing the individual. This is very different to traumatic memories resurfacing on their own (as they often do with time); in these situations, the individual’s memory has been manipulated by other people who want them to believe what they want or say what they want. 

So to summarise, it’s true that memory is changeable and can be unreliable depending on what it’s needed for. Precise information is generally difficult anyway but especially when there’s trauma involved, and people can manipulate others into having ‘false memories’; police are known to do this for example, as are many of the psychotherapists involved in the satanic abuse scandals. This is very different to memories which surface on their own and to memories about general events; even if our memories of our abuse aren’t exact, that doesn’t suggest that our abuse wasn’t real in any way.

If you take a look through the memory tag (you can click here to do that) there’s more information, links etc. I think what your psych book said is .. well, I can see where they’re coming from but they’re oversimplifying a very complex issue. The term ‘repressed memories’ is seen unfavourably but dissociative memory loss isn’t particularly controversial. I suspect - though I could be wrong - that this is more about the associations the different phrases carry, though they describe very similar things. 

I think I understand what happened, now:

It was all a dream, i.e. a “parallel identity crisis” (see: Lost Highway) / fugue state suffered by “Dale Bartholomew Cooper”, which I suspect isn’t even his real name, now. Maybe he really is “Richard”; maybe his unconscious chose a new name reflective of the infamous and mysterious “D.B. Cooper” of true crime lore. Dale/Richard suffered a tragedy involving someone named Judy and is probably institutionalized, now, and doesn’t want to “talk about Judy” (an incident he regards as an ”extreme negative force”; his psyche shrouds the memory in an invented mythology) with his psychiatrist. Instead, he imagines a world in which he is out solving crimes and trying to make things right. He goes so deep into this fantasy that it becomes his only reality; he is “like the dreamer who dreams, and then lives inside the dream.” When we hear Dale whisper Judy’s name in TP:FWWM (some have mistaken this for a repetition of Jeffries, but listen again: that’s Kyle MacLachlan’s voice), there is an image of a monkey’s face onscreen (a primate, perhaps alluding to the primal/instinctual brain, or the primal fear associated with the buried memory of Judy) immediately following the creamed corn scene (consumption of “garmonbozia”/“Pain and sorrow”). Judy is Cooper/Richard’s deepest pain and sorrow; his “garmonbozia”/what his demons feed off of, fueling his unending fever dream. Her story is being retold and reimagined through the Laura Palmer character; it’s “the story of the little girl who lived down the lane,” and the story is being rewritten again and again by a tormented, broken soul who can’t figure out how to fix it in a way that his fractured psyche will accept.

When Dale/Richard becomes Dougie!Coop, he might have just underwent shock treatment (electricity), or have been given a stronger dose of psych meds. The treatment is partially successful, getting him out of the “lodge” (i.e. mental incapacity), but he doesn’t emerge from the resulting stupor until even stronger treatment is administered. Still, the delusions and psychogenic amnesia persist. We know that Dale is canonically wary of doctors… Is Diane his therapist? Does he fantasize about a romance with her?

Bear with me here – but I think Audrey might be a woman he met inside the psychiatric facility (another patient), and maybe she got drawn into the fantasy world along with him. Perhaps all the residents of Twin Peaks and beyond are based off of fellow residents at the facility, their visiting family members, staff, etc (it’s not hard to imagine that’s where Nadine came from), in a Wizard of Oz-esque, epic dream scenario. This would also explain the dreamlike tone of the original series and the bizarre behavior of the characters. I haven’t checked out the other theories that are going around yet and this was probably better articulated by somebody else already*, but wanted to write it down before other ideas could influence my own.

(*EDIT: apparently I’m the only one who has postulated this so far? So I went ahead and expanded this theory in three four parts: 1, 2, 3 and 4)

Chapter 10: Phenomena


Angela helped herself to the kitchen, in part just to see if her recollection was from a memory rather than a dream—surely things wouldn’t be so precisely placed in a dream. Still, her hand hesitated over the cabinet. Self-doubt was something she was accustomed to, especially in her own work, yet somehow it gave her pause in this instance.

“You seem to recall last night,” Widow said from the living room, looking up from the magazine Angela could barely see splayed over her thighs. Her tone was flat, that same emptiness that seemed natural to the assassin—so different than Amelie—yet something in the way she asked hinted to an underlying hope. Or maybe it was Angela that was doing too much hoping.

Angela waited a long time to respond, which Widow didn’t seem to mind as she flipped through a few more pages. The coffee was indeed in the same spot, and she actually managed to get it brewing without having an episode this time. Her fingers ghosted over her bottom lip, remembering the way Widow had been so close. She wanted Widow to tease that closeness again, if not simply for that remnant of Amelie to show herself again.

Whoever she might be, Amelie, Widowmaker, it really didn’t matter the name. If those core traits of her personality remained beneath all to modifications, Angela would be, and was already starting to be, equally helpless to the attraction that remained.

As if reading her thoughts, Amelie looked up, the same confused look that Angela was starting to find a bit endearing on her face. Her gaze shifted into the kitchen, expression softening, “I remember this smell.”

Keep reading


Psychogenic Amnesia: Stems from emotional shock or trauma 

Genre: Smut (Because I’m a slut for Kim Taehyung) /Angst (Bc I’m emo af) 

Members: Taehyung X Y/N


The blistering cold nipped at my exposed skin as I made my way down the busy street… The city was alive and well…I just hoped and prayed that he was too … I didn’t know his name and he didn’t either… but something deep inside of me stirred every time our eyes met.. there was a special type of mystery that seemed to surround him… everything from the gleam of his chestnut eyes when he smiled… to his brown hair which seemed to capture the night light… I wondered what he would look like bathed in the day light that poured through  my second story walk up… his toned chest rising softy… and soft snores spilling from his petal soft lips… I was too consumed in my own thoughts to notice him fall into step with me… “Penny for your thoughts?” he chimes pulling me from my internal monologue… “Hu?” I ask momentarily dazed by his handsome face… “Is something wrong?” he asks… “Of course not” I say forcing a smile onto my lips… “Well that’s good because I have good news” he informs me… “Did you get your memory?” I ask… anxiety and jealousy blossom in my chest at the thought of loosing him… although he was never mine to find the idea of him holding someone other than me close and whispering sinful confessions into their ear makes the bile rise in my throat…. My selfishness and arousal keep my rooted to the ground… our skin is only centimeters away and I can feel his body heat radiating through my cold chilled bones… I look into his eyes in search of an answer… but there is no indication that he remembers… I wait for him to continue…praying to every deity out there for mercy…  

“I remembered my name!” he states matter of factly … I breath a sigh of relief… “Well what is it ?” I ask my own curiosity peaked… “My name is Taehyung” he says… “Well it’s nice to meet you Taehyung” I say stretching my hand out to him as if it’s the first time we’ve met… “The pleasure is all mine” he coos taking my hand in his and pulling me close… “Now what do you say we celebrate this little accomplishment?” he asks suggestively… I nod and connect my lips to his… the kiss starts off gentle but grows hungry … “Your place or mine?” he asks once we pull away… “Mine’s closer” I say  grabbing his hand and pulling him towards the large brick building at the end of the street… Taehyung is a rare case… when we first met he could tell me where he lived but he couldn’t tell me his own name… the problem was that this was a reoccurring thing… Every time I saw Taehyung he would share this “new” piece of information with me… I would smile and play along and then we would  Celebrate his accomplishment… I’ve thought about the possibility of him pretending to be an amnesiac just to get in my pants… but that seems to far fetched seeing as he doesn’t seem like a good actor… However the case… I have an itch only he can scratch and every time I see him the ache in my heart is over powered by the heat between my legs … the primal lust I have for him is the reason I can’t bring myself to confess the truth… our bodies are meant for one another and I can almost feel his own arousal growing… I’m whisked away in thoughts of our previous encounters… our riving bodies consuming one another and pushing us towards a euphoric bliss… 

I should tell him the truth… I should tell him that his name is Taehyung or at least he’s convinced it is… I should tell him he lost is memory this fall after a car accident and that he needs to get in touch with his family….he needs to get in touch with her… At least that’s what I’ve managed to collect from the news paper clippings I keep tugged in my binder… I tell myself there is only a small possibility that it’s him to calm my own conscious …But deep down I know it’s true…. he’s around the same age as the boy in the missing ad but he never seems to remember more than his name and address… However much I want to tell him… I can’t bring myself to do it… it’s only been a month and I figure sooner or later they’ll find him and bring him to his family home… But for now I’m selfish and I want to have him all to myself again and again…. As we reach the entry way of my apartment I’m dragged from my thoughts by his rough hands kneading my clad covered body… his deft fingers undoing the buttons as his soft lips nip along my jaw line… I squirm under his expert touch and palm him through his jeans… Taehyung let’s out a soft moan and I can feel my insides churning… I bite my lip and continue to prod his hardness… Once the elevator comes to a halt I grab his hand and run through the door and towards my flat… he continues to toy with my clothes… removing my coat and unzipping my sweater before we even make it into the door….I walk in… Taehyung clinging to my back like a child… His hands circle my waist and he turns me around… I circle my arms around his neck… Taehyung gropes my bum pulling my flush against him… I kiss his lips trying to pull him somehow closer to me…somehow close enough to show him how my heart beats only for him… But I settle with kissing him deeply… pouring all of my adoration and lust for him into this simple action…

My lower muscles clench at the feel of his lips on mine… I make myself busy with removing his jacket and zip up hoodie all at once without breaking our kiss…He raises his hands above his head and I break our precious contact for a second to remove his t-shirt…. My eyes take in every inch of him … even in the eerie light of my apartment his skin seems to glow…his dark hair is lustrous…but not as dark as his eyes.. they seem to glow with an almost predatory sheen … “It’s a full moon tonight” he whispers into my neck … his nose tracing along my skin giving me goose flesh.. “Hmm?” I reply placing kisses along his bare shoulders and sucking on his collarbones…His skin taste like honey and I’m punch drunk… Taehyung sighs and presses his body flush against mine… I mewl at the friction this brings… the hairs on the back of my neck stand at attention as he plays with the fringe of my sweater before removing the heavy garment… next to go is my undershirt and bra… the room temperature makes my perk buds stand to attention… Taehyung’s warm mouth encasing them and giving a harsh suck… I moan lightly… he’s all fingers and thumbs working my jeans and underwear tugging both garments off at once and letting them pool around my feet…. he places open mouthed kisses down my torso and nips on my hip bones… I can feel myself dripping in anticipation… the urge to be touched and the desperation to cum around him making me bold… I knot my fingers into his hair and raise my pelvis to meet his plush lips… Taehyung smirks… “Someone’s eager” he teases before licking a gentle stripe along my slit… I whimper already feeling my release start to build at his light ministrations  …Taehyung’s wet muscle claiming sex as his… his plush lips sucking on the delicate nub…my hips begin to grind against his mouth at  their own accord … I can feel myself teetering on the edge… his skillful tongue touching every sensitive crevice…. “I–I-I Need You!” I manage to get out… my lips tremble and my body feels wound tight and ready to snap… 

Taehyung is laps at my wetness and continues to torture my cunt… his small purrs sending vibrations throughout my lower body… I cling to him for sanity…  hot tears are stinging at the back of my eyes … the pressure is beginning to build and I feel myself almost dry heaving out of desperation…”Taehyung” I cry out…my prays are answered… Taehyung removes his shoes, pants and boxers in record speed… his cock stands at attention… the tip glowing cherry red… I lick my lips involuntarily …Taehyung’s eyes are locked on mine as he pumps his lenght thrice… I walk forward and wrap my hands around his neck… he lifts my and I wrap my legs around him… his head at my entrance… I moan at the friction that blossoms between our bodies as he walks us towards the bedroom… Taehyung throws me on the bed gently and crawls up in between my legs… I hold my breath as he enters me in one swift motion… we let out a guttural moan in unison as he begins to rock his hips into me… our lips connected once more…  the feeling of him burred deep within me makes my toes curl as his tongue rams into my mouth at the same tempo as his thrusts…. absorbing every moan and screech of ecstasy that my body omits… I grip onto his broad shoulders clinging to him for sanity… the heat between our bodies dulling the ache I feel at the pit of my stomach… It’s hard to tell where my body ends and his begins… our flesh becoming one… Taehyung’s soft grunts fill my ears as he continues to penetrate me… his lenght twitching inside of my slickness… I clench around his girth in hopes to push him over the edge with me …his skillful thrusts keep me teetering but never falling…I cry out… my skin feels like it’s about to fall off of my bones…but I savoir the feel our bodies moving in unison…. reveling in the feel of our slick sweaty bodies slapping against one another… our sighs and whines pushing us in search of or own highs… the feel of him inside of me feels so right… 

my mind is too clouded by the hot pleasure that dances behind my closed lids to think about the pang of guilt that nips at my heart… “I-I’m close Tae” I scream out… “Taehyung bites his lips and bucks into me at a faster pace… his hips bucking at an animistic rhythm… the sudden roughness is enough to push me over the void…I cum around his cock …letting go over any reservation and guilt for at least one moment…the euphoria is short lived… but those few seconds are enough to have my heart racing and my skin crawling with warmth… Taehyung follows close behind reaching his own release and collapsing onto my chest for a few seconds before pulling out of me and rolling onto the mattress… we lay there… both sedated and basking in our post sex bliss… the heat between my legs is placated by the hot seed that drips down my thighs… Taehyung sighs before rising to his feet and running to the bathroom… he returns quickly with a towel and cleans me… my cheeks flush at his feather like touches… “There” he says smiling to himself and then at me…our bodies feel well used and sleep comes naturally… our lids drooping and our limbs intertwining in the most unceremonious way…the darkness engulfs me once more… my heart hammers in my chest and I feel the air leaving my lungs… I wake with a start and turn to my right expecting to see darkness… my heart skips a beat when I recognize Tae’s sleeping form beside me … his legs are almost intertwined with my own and his hands are stretched out to me … I scoot closer in search of affection… Taehyung’s eager arms pull me close… his hands rest on my lower back and his chin finds it’s place on my chest… he’s wrapped around me like a graceful snake… 

The sunlight pours through the windows and engulfs the room in an almost angelic glow… but there is no angle sleeping beside me when I reach out… All I feel is the cold cotton sheets … I open one eye in hopes that it was all a dream and maybe he’s sleeping beside me and I just didn’t reach far enough… But any further and I would be dangling over the edge of the queen mattress… I sigh… my own monotone voice resonates off of the empty bedroom walls… The next night when I walk home from school he falls into step with me once more… and introduces himself as Taehyung … we rush to my apartment intertwined in one another…Despite my best efforts the smallest glimmer of hope that he might stay the whole night blossoms in my chest… But as expected I’m greeted by the cold sheets… I sigh once more… but this time something feels off …The empty apartment seems emptier still… I pad over to the nigh stand and reach for my hair brush… My eyes almost fly out of my skull at the sight of Taehyung’s stoic figure sitting on my balcony…his skin is flushed from the morning cold and he looks to be lost in his own world… I watch him… his shoulders are hunched and there are fresh tears on his handsome face… I can feel my stomach drop… “Oh shit” I whisper… he seems to hear me because he turns and our eyes meet… there is no need for words … his eyes are brimming with hot tears and fresh hatred… It’s not hatred for me for which I am thankful… it’s hatred for himself… hatred for his weakness and the act of betrayal …I can feel my heart breaking… the hot tears cascade down my cheeks… if only I could remember the reason for the sadness I feel deep in my bones and the name of the man staring at me through the window…. 



Abuse and Memory Problems

Since someone submitted a question about this, I thought I’d go ahead and make post about it. Here I’ll be referring specifically to memory problems caused by interpersonal abuse.

Disclaimer: I’m not a Doctor or a Psychologist and nothing I say here should be taken as medical advice. This is merely a guide based on my own experiences and independent research. I’ve done my best to present accurate information, however I cannot guarantee that everything here is correct.

Many survivors of abuse experience memory issues. The problems are variable and can include; large chunks of time missing entirely, fogginess around a specific time period, lack of memory before a certain age where memories should’ve began (usually this is around the age of two years old), and difficulty making new memories, among other things.

The causes of these problems are numerous. One is a psychological defense mechanism; when we experience a traumatic event (or repeated traumas), our brain can’t handle it as it would cause us too much psychological harm. This is called Dissociative Amnesia or Psychogenic Amnesia. The memories around the abuse that cannot be accessed are often referred to as repressed memories. It’s worth noting here that the existence of repressed memories is disputed by some psychologists, however, the existence of Dissociative Amnesia is recognized in the DSM-IV. 

An individual with dissociative amnesia may not be aware that they have it, and may live their lives never knowing they experienced a trauma of having negative psychological effects from it. Some people are aware of memory gaps, or don’t have memories before a certain age and don’t know why. Some people know they went through a trauma but can’t remember it. People with this kind of amnesia may never recover their memories, though many do. This can happen incrementally, often at times where they feel their life is going very well. This is because the subconscious decides that they can now cope with it, however it can be very upsetting to survivors, who feel as if they’re ‘going crazy’ or 'getting sick again’ after finally feeling well. As difficult at it can be, processing these memories and healing from them can result in a greater level of well-being than they had before. Memory recovery can also happen spontaneously, often triggered by external stimuli (e.g. a familiar smell, visiting the place where the abuse happened). Some people may have some memory of abuse or trauma but have 'gaps’ where they don’t know what happened. These gaps, like repressed memories in general, may be permanent or may emerge later on. 

In addition to memory problems surrounding a traumatic event, survivors may also experience retrograde amnesia. This means they’re unable to retrieve memories before the trauma and the onset of the memory problem. As mentioned before, some people cannot retrieve memories before a certain age; they may well be experiencing retrograde amnesia. This kind of amnesia can also result in multiple gaps in memory, particularly during childhood and adolescence. The condition can also lead to 'fugue states’, where an individual loses all memory relating to themselves and their identity. Thankfully, fugue states are temporary.
Some people also experience Anterograde Amnesia, which is the inability to form new memories after an event which causes amnesia, however this is usually associated with other issues unrelated to interpersonal abuse and trauma, such as overuse of certain drugs and brain injury.

In addition to psychological coping mechanisms associated with memory loss, trauma in itself often prevents the formation of new memories. This is because the body secretes certain hormones during times of extreme stress, and these hormones interfere with memory creation. Most notable of these hormones is cortisol, known as 'the stress hormone’, which activates anti-stress pathways in the brain. This is why we may be in an abusive situation for days, weeks, months or even years and be unable to describe what happened; while our minds and bodies are focused on survival, memory becomes a lower priority. In addition, many people who experience abuse suffer from post-traumatic stress. Post-traumatic-stress is a normal response to trauma, however, if it continues without improving and begins to interfere with everyday life, it may become post-traumatic stress syndrome. This disorder can itself interfere with both memory recollection and new memory creation. If you think you may be experiencing post-traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD), see a Doctor if you can.

In addition, many people who experience abuse also have brain injures. Survivors of physical violence may experience concussions, pass out due to lack of oxygen from smothering or strangling, and a variety of other physical attacks. Some people may experience a concussion (now called a traumatic brain injury) but not realize they were unconscious, and some don’t lose consciousness at all. However minor an injury may seem, it can still have an effect on the brain. Currently there are few medical treatments for brain injuries, but there are exercises that individuals can do to improve their memory and brain function. In addition, new research is showing that the brain has the ability to heal itself, even in adulthood. If you think you may have experienced a brain injury, see a Doctor as soon as possible if you can.

All of these reasons and more account for memory problems in survivors. Unfortunately, difficulty in recalling abuse or forgetting/confusing details are often used as evidence, both by individuals as well as the legal system, as evidence that the victim is lying when in fact, they signify the exact opposite. Survivors may recover memories over time, and there are things you can do to help you do this if that’s what you feel is best. Spending time in the place where the abuse occurred (or where you expect it occurred), writing down what memories you have every day, and asking someone you were close to at the time can all help, as can counseling from someone with experience and training helping people with trauma.

Perhaps most importantly, understanding why you have these issues can help you accept the limitations on your memory. If you are missing memories or having trouble creating new memories, you can rest assured that it’s not your fault. Your memory issues have a sound psychological and physiological basis.


[x] [x] [x] [x] [x]

anonymous asked:

could you talk a little about emotional amnesia? i feel like i don't have "dissociative amnesia" or "psychogenic amnesia" because my memory issues arent focused around a traumatic event or anything i just find it so difficult to remember anything about the way i feel or how i act at certain times like when i'm feeling decent i can't remember a single thing about feeling bad & when i'm reading a symptoms checklist for something i can't remember anything about myself or if i relate to the symptoms

Emotional amnesia is something I struggle with a lot, anon, so I’m going to answer this from an experienced perspective!

In my experience, emotional amnesia is never dissociative, although I also do experience dissociation. It’s not a matter of I was dissociating while the feelings were happening. Just, as soon as the feelings are gone, they are gone. I cannot for the life of me remember how I was feeling before other than “it was bad.” I can forget these feelings the second I am no longer feeling them. I was once sobbing and shaking and suicidal, and five minutes later after I had recovered, I couldn’t remember at all why I felt the need to kill myself. Like, I remembered what triggered me. The memories of what actually happened are there, but I cannot remember my feelings

It’s the opposite of trying to remember a dream, where you can remember how you felt, but you can’t remember the details like where you were or what happened.

It’s more like trying to remember a distant memory. I remember being five years old and having my first sleepover and staying up all night playing Mario 64, but I could never tell you what it felt to be a five year old staying her first night away from home with people she had just met. 

This can also make filling out checklists difficult, which is why–if you experience emotional amnesia–you should fill out the checklist multiple times and compare your results. This also makes it incredibly difficult to talk about your symptoms and feelings to therapists! I run into this problem a lot. My therapist will ask me how my week went, and all I can say is, “Well, I’m pretty chill now.” So if you are in therapy, be sure to explain your emotional amnesia to them.


anonymous asked:

Hey I was bored and was looking up mental illnesses and came across complex ptsd and I was reading it but I don't really get it do you get it like I know that it's from childhood but would emotional abuse count? (part 1)

Sorry could you maybe explain if you know anything you were the only one I could think of that might know something about this or where I could get info so thanks (part 2)

I actually hadn’t heard of this term before, but wow, this is pretty fascinating stuff and it could really apply to a ton of people. Since I don’t know anything about it, I’m going to cite a lot from the Wikipedia article and I think that will educate all of us.

Complex post-traumatic stress disorder (C-PTSD) is a psychological injury that results from protracted exposure to prolonged social and/or interpersonal trauma in the context of dependence, captivity or entrapment (a situation lacking a viable escape route for the victim), which results in the lack or loss of control, helplessness, and deformations of identity and sense of self. Examples include people who have experienced chronic maltreatment, neglect or abuse in a care-giving relationship, hostages, prisoners of war, concentration camp survivors, and survivors of some religious cults.

The diagnosis of PTSD was originally developed for adults who had suffered from a single event trauma, such as rape, or a traumatic experience during a war. However, the situation for many children is quite different. Children can suffer chronic trauma such as maltreatment, family violence, and a disruption in attachment to their primary caregiver. The diagnosis of PTSD does not take into account how the developmental stages of children may affect their symptoms and how trauma can affect a child’s development. This developmental form of trauma places children at risk for developing psychiatric and medical disorders.

Some of the symptoms and behavioral characteristics:

  • Attachment - “problems with relationship boundaries, lack of trust, social isolation, difficulty perceiving and responding to other’s emotional states, and lack of empathy”
  • Biology - “sensory-motor developmental dysfunction, sensory-integration difficulties, somatization, and increased medical problems”
  • Affect or emotional regulation - “poor affect regulation, difficulty identifying and expressing emotions and internal states, and difficulties communicating needs, wants, and wishes”
  • Dissociation - “amnesia, depersonalization, discrete states of consciousness with discrete memories, affect, and functioning, and impaired memory for state-based events”
  • Behavioral control - “problems with impulse control, aggression, pathological self-soothing, and sleep problems”
  • Cognition - “difficulty regulating attention, problems with a variety of “executive functions” such as planning, judgement, initiation, use of materials, and self-monitoring, difficulty processing new information, difficulty focusing and completing tasks, poor object constancy, problems with “cause-effect” thinking, and language developmental problems such as a gap between receptive and expressive communication abilities.“
  • Self-concept -"fragmented and disconnected autobiographical narrative, disturbed body image, low self-esteem, excessive shame, and negative internal working models of self”.

Adults with C-PTSD have sometimes experienced prolonged interpersonal traumatization as children as well as prolonged trauma as adults. This early injury interrupts the development of a robust sense of self and of others. Because physical and emotional pain or neglect was often inflicted by attachment figures such as caregivers or older siblings, these individuals may develop a sense that they are fundamentally flawed and that others cannot be relied upon.

Six clusters of symptoms have been suggested for diagnosis of C-PTSD. These are (1) alterations in regulation of affect and impulses; (2) alterations in attention or consciousness; (3) alterations in self-perception; (4) alterations in relations with others; (5) somatization, and (6) alterations in systems of meaning.

Experiences in these areas may include:

  • Difficulties regulating emotions, including symptoms such as persistent dysphoria, chronic suicidal preoccupation, self injury, explosive or extremely inhibited anger (may alternate), or compulsive or extremely inhibited sexuality (may alternate).
  • Variations in consciousness, including forgetting traumatic events (i.e., psychogenic amnesia), reliving experiences (either in the form of intrusive PTSD symptoms or in ruminative preoccupation), or having episodes of dissociation.
  • Changes in self-perception, such as a chronic and pervasive sense of helplessness, paralysis of initiative, shame, guilt, self-blame, a sense of defilement or stigma, and a sense of being completely different from other human beings
  • Varied changes in the perception of the perpetrator, such as attributing total power to the perpetrator (caution: victim’s assessment of power realities may be more realistic than clinician’s), becoming preoccupied with the relationship to the perpetrator, including a preoccupation with revenge, idealization or paradoxical gratitude, a sense of a special relationship with the perpetrator or acceptance of the perpetrator’s belief system or rationalizations.
  • Alterations in relations with others, including isolation and withdrawal, persistent distrust, a repeated search for a rescuer, disruption in intimate relationships and repeated failures of self-protection.
  • Loss of, or changes in, one’s system of meanings, which may include a loss of sustaining faith or a sense of hopelessness and despair.

If you or someone you love have experienced C-PTSD, you should go to the Treatment portion of the article and read about some of the suggested therapies for recovery.

anonymous asked:

Tag Cranberry please. I think I have psychogenic amnesia. I blocked out a lot of abuse for 10 years and then I remembered it. Now I block out/forget every argument I have with my friends, but now I am forgetting pleasant memories too and it scares me! For example I will forget who saw a movie with me or which friend I had which class with, what present a friend bought me, or who I already told a funny story to and who I didn't. What could be done to help? I'm 21 and it seems it is getting worse.

Hi darling,

I’m really sorry to hear you’ve been struggling with this! It sounds like it’s having a big impact on your life at the moment, and I can definitely imagine how scary it can be! I think it’s possible that because of you blocking out a lot of unpleasant memories, you’re now blocking out pleasant memories as well, but I also think there’s another possibility. Often you hear that people really easily forget things, like the things that you’re mentioning, when they’re struggling a lot. I’ve personally gone through that too, and am going through it currently. I don’t know the exact reasoning and explanation behind this, but I think it has to do with the fact that you’re already working so hard to simply hold on, to function and to do those things such as going to a movie, telling funny stories, etc. that it just is too much to remember all those small details! I’m not saying that this is for sure what’s happening, I’m not a professional so I honestly can’t say, but it could very well be a possibility, as well as what you mentioned, psychogenic amnesia (or dissociative amnesia).

Psychogenic Amnesia is a type of Dissociative Disorder: “The main symptom is difficulty remembering important information about one’s self. Dissociative amnesia may surround a particular event, such as combat or abuse, or more rarely, information about identity and life history. The onset for an amnesic episode is usually sudden, and an episode can last minute, hours, days, or, rarely, months or years.” (source).

I think it´s very important that you speak to someone about what’s been going on. Is there someone you trust that you could reach out to? Perhaps one of your friends? Reaching out to someone is very scary, but it can also be of great help, as it can get you the first well-deserved support, and they might be able to help you in the process of getting professional help. About that, are you currently seeing a therapist or other mental health professional? Because I really think you could benefit a lot from that! It sounds like a lot has happened in your life so far that you’re still needing to process, and it’s more than okay to need a little help with that. You can read about getting help here, and you can also watch this video.

Something that might be of help for you is to keep a journal, in which you write everything that happens. You can try to write everything down at the moment it happens (for example in your phone), but I understand that’s really time consuming and might not always be possible. You can also pick out specific moments during the day that you take some time to write down all those small details that you’ve been forgetting lately. Or you can do it at the end of the day before you get into bed, if at that time you still remember some stuff. I also think it’s good to try to keep in mind that it’s okay to forget those specific details. They are very specific, and while it’s not nice to forget them, it’s not a big disaster (I don’t mean to downgrade your feelings, because I really do understand that it’s upsetting, but I’m trying to help you get more realistic thoughts). It’s also more than okay to ask your friends about things that you’re forgetting! I’m sure they won’t mind <3

Sometimes what seems impossible, is just hard.

Keep fighting beautiful <3

Love Pauline


I. Had the weirdest. Dream of human Dolly in this damn AU last night.

Didn’t understand it fully, but it hurt quite a bit, and I haven’t drawn Dolly having a full breakdown in a while sooooooooooo-

I mean, why would she be excluded from her mental condition?

I think the reasoning behind it in this au could be a little different, perhaps come later down the road after something traumatic, but I didn’t exactly write that out, heh heh… But, Dolly’s pretty lost and that anxiety’s gonna take over and wipe that slate clean I’m sure. Very interesting to try and sketch @w@