How Are We Affected by Bad Memories?

The human mind can think and process the past, present and future at the same time. We continue our lives by building many positive and negative memories from the past to the present. From childhood to the present, we first work with the stimuli in that moment and then record it as a permanent learning. This recorded learning; It may contain an emotion that makes us feel uncomfortable, that we would like to escape, to be protected. Therefore, the mind is on full alert with intense anxiety from the repetition of such a situation.

While we can find the opportunity to resolve some of the negativities in the past, we carry some of them to the future by burdening ourselves. With such a heavy load, it becomes more and more difficult to continue on the road, and we begin to think that we are tired and even that we are turning around in a never-ending vicious circle.

Every moment that has not been left behind, that has not been viewed as an experience, always remains an agenda item for us and begins to govern our lives. To explain with an example; If a person who was exposed to peer bullying in childhood, humiliated in the classroom, and made fun of by his friends, considered this memory as a way to be kept in his approach towards people, a risk to be taken, if he did not receive sufficient approval, appreciation and acceptance in his environment and family; He tries to read the thoughts of others in his interpersonal communication, makes an effort to control and realize what is thought about himself, avoids speaking that he believes to be humiliating, and sometimes fails to communicate. When a memory is also fed by various sources, it may have formed a thought system that manages, determines and controls all interpersonal communication, it may think and experience that it cannot establish deep emotional bonds, cannot be understood, or that it is always in communication that is open to misunderstandings.

One of the effects we get from a bad memory is our anxiety about re-experiencing it. However, the developing avoidance and control mechanisms complicate the work and thus strengthen its place in our daily lives. A situation that we try to evade is actively remembered and reworked in our minds.

In order to cope with our bad memories, talking about the event, situation and emotion, reprocessing and evaluating it with a present perspective; It is necessary to avoid making over-generalizations, reading minds and trying to predict the future. In the psychotherapy process, it will be possible to realize and rearrange all these.

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