What Are Suppressed Memories?
Suppressed memories are memories that are stored deep within your mind. They have been buried and forgotten. Almost like taking a picture to create a memory and then placing it in a photo album that you rarely look at. You’ll eventually forget that it is there until you open that photo album again, years later, and stumble across it and then BAM that memory is back.
Most of the time they are caused by traumatic events that have happened to us; especially when we are young. They can become suppressed as a natural as a defense mechanism to keep us from reliving the trauma or painful memory. Just because they are buried does not mean they are not there and that they will never be able to creep into our conscious mind.
I, personally, have had suppressed memories come to the surface that was hard to deal with at the time. I am sure there are plenty more still suppressed somewhere in my subconscious mind.
Out Of Sight, Out Of Mind
It may sound enticing to leave a bad memory lodged away in the deepest depths of your mind; Out of sight, out of mind, right?
Not necessarily, because those suppressed memories can harm your well-being and mental health even though you don’t even know they are there. It can cause things like stress, anxiety, insomnia, nightmares, and even depression.
Retrieving And Releasing Suppressed Memories
The healthiest and safest way to retrieve, release, and finally let go of suppressed memories is by talking with your therapist. That is the key element in letting the past be the past. If you feel like you may have some repressed memories or traumatic experiences, or if you know deep down inside of yourself that you have something going on but cannot figure it out please talk to your therapist.
Your therapist may be able to help guide you in the right direction so that you are able to access those suppressed memories. Then they will be right there with you to help you process the information.
Once things begin to surface, they may be hard to deal with… at first. You have to learn how to deal with those emotions now so that you can begin the healing process – exactly like the grieving process; denial, anger, bargaining, depression – and then finally – acceptance.
Once you have finally come to terms with your memories and you have accepted them for what they are, you will finally be able to let them go and move forward with your life; feeling like a weight has been lifted off of your shoulders.
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Samantha is the author of "My Bipolar Mind: You're not alone," she is also a freelance writer, blogger, and mental health advocate who runs and manages her own mental health blog MyBipolarMind.com.