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Repressed Memory

Question:

I have developed an extreme fear that I have repressed a memory of myself committing a terrible act against another. Is it possible that I could have done something so horrible that my brain has epressed any memory of it? If so, would I have repressed the memory shortly after the incident?

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Answer:

I rather doubt that you have repressed a memory of something terrible you have done to someone else. Forgotten memories usually have to do with trauma that occurred to your self. Even then there are some residual memories in the form of a vague event or emotion connected with trauma.

When someone has suffered a severe head injury resulting in brain damage it is possible for them to fail to access memories. The memories are stored in the brain but damage due to the head injury makes access to those memories impossible. I doubt that you have experienced a head injury so severe that it caused brain damage.

The fact that you are experiencing fear indicates that either something traumatic happened to you a long time ago or that you are experiencing an anxiety disorder. Anyway, it appears very much that you are feeling extremely uncomfortable. That is why I want to urge you to seek psychotherapy so that you can learn about your anxiety symptoms and resolve them.

I want to impress upon you that, while I do not believe you would forget something terrible you did, I cannot say that with absolute certainty because anything is possible. Again, I really doubt it. Instead, my guess is that you are terrifying yourself with this thought and making your fear symptoms worse.

Psychotherapy with a Licensed Clinical Psychologist and one who has expertise in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy should help you a lot.

Good Luck

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