Monday, 27 February 2006

'Ordinary forgetfulness'.

"...Many clinical trauma theorists believe that combat, rape, and other terrifying experiences are seemingly engraved on the mind, never to be forgotten.
Others disagree, arguing that the mind can protect itself by banishing memories of trauma from awareness, making it difficult for victims to remember their most horrific experiences until it is safe to do so many years later...
Strikingly, both advocates and skeptics of the concept of traumatic dissociative amnesia adduce the same studies when defending their diametrically opposed views.
But it is the advocates who misinterpret the data when attempting to show that victims are often unable to recall their traumatic experiences...
Consider the following. After exposure to extreme stress, some victims report difficulties remembering things in everyday life.
Advocates of traumatic amnesia misconstrue these reports as showing that victims are unable to remember the horrific event....
In reality, this memory problem concerns ordinary absentmindedness that emerges in the wake of trauma; it does not refer to an inability to remember the trauma itself.
Ordinary forgetfulness that emerges after a trauma must
not be confused with amnesia for the trauma...."
From Folklore of buried memories, by Richard J. McNally.
FMS Foundation Newsletter.
January/February 2006, Volume 15 No. 1

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