Imagine being able to erase all of your painful memories, both big and small, with the simple click of a button. While this may sound like something out of science fiction, a lot of research has been done that points toward how to achieve this feat in real life. The key is known as DARPA’s Revolutionizing Prosthetics program and involves the implantation of devices that can interact directly with brain tissue through electrodes. For now, however, it’s just science fiction—but how long will that remain true?
What are traumatic memories?
Traumatic memory is an emotional event that is so intensely negative and shocking that it can cause a person to experience physical sensations, such as rapid heartbeat, sweating, muscle tension, nausea, or fear. These memories are stored in various areas of the brain. When they’re severe enough they can even cause a person’s brain to go into shock and shut down. When we experience some type of trauma our brain releases chemicals that create vivid memories for us. The more intense the traumatic event is for us, the stronger these memories will be. There are many techniques and therapies that have been created to help people cope with their painful memories. One of these techniques is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). CBT helps people get through bad events by altering how they think about them. It also helps them develop new ways of reacting when faced with stressors because traumatic memories stay within the amygdala, which controls our fight-or-flight response. Psychologists use this technique by exploring what happened during a traumatic event and then teaching patients about different ways to react when faced with stressful situations in their lives now
That time you forgot everything you knew
The last thing I remember is talking on my cell phone at a red light, then waking up in a hospital bed. My parents were there and told me that I had been in an accident. My dad had been following me and was about 10 feet behind me when all of a sudden, some guy came out of nowhere and pulled me out of my car and onto the pavement. He knocked over my car too, but it wasn’t too damaged because it was smashed against the curb. As they were telling me this, I couldn’t believe what they were saying to be true–I couldn’t even remember how I got into this condition or where we were or anything else! Suddenly, a nurse came running in and shouted, What’s her name? My mom said Hannah and the nurse grabbed something off my neck.
Then she said to someone on her walkie-talkie It’s Hannah. And that’s all I know…
The price of traumatic memories
Research has found that emotional memories are stored in a different part of the brain than other types of memories. Traumatic events can lead to PTSD, which is a mental illness that causes re-experiencing symptoms, such as flashbacks and nightmares. Furthermore, people with PTSD suffer from constant anxiety and mood swings. The price of traumatic memories also includes impaired social functioning and increased risk for depression and addiction. Light therapy may be able to reverse this process. One study examined the effects of natural light on those suffering from PTSD by comparing their responses during three sessions of either sitting in front of an open window, sitting in front of a closed window, or just reading inside their house. Those who sat near an open window had reduced stress hormone levels, more relaxed muscles, less fatigue and tension in their bodies, more smiles, and more feelings of joy while they were outside.
However, even if light therapy doesn’t work out for you or you don’t have access to it, there are still some things you can do yourself to help erase painful memories like these.
The cost of repressing a trauma
Repressing a trauma comes at a high cost. It can lead to mental health issues like depression, anxiety and PTSD. The act of self-preservation often requires victims of trauma to adopt coping mechanisms that can be harmful. Luckily, there are techniques that researchers have found successful in reducing or even eliminating traumatic memories. These include exposure therapy, thought stopping techniques and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR). Exposure therapy involves exposing an individual with PTSD to what they fear most while monitoring their reactions in order to address the triggers causing them pain. Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing is a psychotherapy technique used for treating patients with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) by having them recall distressing memories while following the therapist’s finger as it moves back and forth across their field of vision. Patients typically hold an object, such as a small ball, which helps them focus on something other than what they’re thinking about during the process. In recent years, people have been turning to therapeutic hypnosis for help with erasing painful memories
steps to get rid of your bad memories forever
Most people think that painful memories are just a part of life and there’s nothing you can do about it. However, this isn’t true. There are a few ways in which you can get rid of these bad memories for good. Here are eight steps to help you erase your painful memory from your brain forever.
1) Identify your problem areas. The first step is identifying the problem areas in your life that need work, especially if these issues have lead you to feel depressed or anxious.
2) Write down what’s bothering you and why it’s got you down. It’ll be easier for you to find solutions if you know exactly what’s bothering you so make sure to write it all out so when we move on, we’re more prepared!
A word on prevention
One of the best ways to avoid developing PTSD is by not experiencing it in the first place. Knowing what kind of events are likely to lead one down that path can help a person stay clear of those situations. For some, this may be as simple as avoiding combat with enemy forces, while others may need to seek counseling for how they cope with past trauma. For those who have already been exposed, there are some things that can help reduce the likelihood of developing PTSD and other mental health disorders in future years, including staying physically active and maintaining strong relationships with family members and friends who support them.
The question of whether or not memories can be erased has been an intriguing one for scientists and psychologists alike. In this blog post, we explore the process and what it takes to erase a painful memory. We also take a look at how this might help patients with PTSD, Alzheimer’s disease, and dementia.