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False Memory Syndrome

Memory, defined by the dictionary: is the mental reaction of containing and recalling past experiences. A repressed memory is: one that is retained in the sub conscious mind, where one is not aware of it but where it can still affect both conscious thoughts and behavior. When memory is distorted, it can be what is called the False Memory Syndrome: a condition in which a person’s identity and interpersonal relationships are entered around a memory of traumatic experience which is objectively false but in which the person strongly believes.

This syndrome is not characterized by memories that are not true. We all have memories that are inaccurate. Rather, the syndrome may be diagnosed when the memory is so deeply ingrained that it orients the individual’s entire personality and lifestyle, in turn disrupting all sorts of other adaptive behaviors. The analogy to personality disorder is intentional. False memory syndrome is especially destructive because the person assiduously avoids confrontation with any evidence that might challenge the memory. Thus it takes on a life of its own, encapsulated and resistant to correction.

The person may become so focused on the memory that he or she may be effectively distracted from coping with real problems in his or her life. John F. Kihlstrom, Ph. D. There are many theorys that try to explain how memory works, still we are not sure thats how memory works. One of the most amazing theorys of how memory works, is the one which says that every experience a person has had is ‘recorded’ in memory and some of these memories are of a traumatic event that is too terrible to want to remember.

Then traumatic memories are put away in the sub conscious mind, i. e. pressed, and are remembered in when you grow up and some event brings it back from the unconscious. This causes physical, and mental disorders in a person. Some persons have tried to explain their pain even on things like cancer, as coming from repressed memories. Scientists have studied related wonders like people with hands that bleed in some religious settings. Apparently some people, called stigmatics, are not showing unconscious memories of being crucified as young children, but are showing a psychogical anomaly that comes from their conscious obsession on the sufferings of Christ.

It is possible that conscious obsessions on the idea that you were sexually abused might increase the frequency of some physical symptoms, and it doesn’t matter if whether or not the abuse really occurred. There is no evidence that shows we remember everything that we experience. In fact, there is alot of evidence to show that it is impossible for us to even notice all the things of an experience, much less to recall them all. There is also no evidence that shows that all memories of experiences happened as we remember them to have happened or that they have even happened.

And there is no evidence to show any accuracy of memories or that vividness of memories has something to do with accuracy. Although, a connection between abuse and health or behavior does not mean that bad health either mental, or physical, is a ‘sign’ of having a bad experience. Here are a few of the unproved, unscientifically researched things that are being said around by some child abuse experts: If you doubt that you were abused as a child or think that it might be your imagination, this is a sign of incest.

If you can not remember any specific instances of being abused, but still have a feeling that something abusive happened to you, it probably did. When a person can not remember his or her childhood or have very blurry memories, incest must always be considered as a possibility. If you have any suspicion at all, if you have any memory, no matter how vague, it probably really happened. It is far more likely that you are blocking the memories, denying it happened’. There have been many symptoms suggested as the ones that show that there was of past abuse.

These symptoms range from headaches to irritable bowls. In fact, one psychologist of a list of over 900 different symptoms that had been presented as proof of an of abuse. When he reviewed the the list, he found that not one of the symptoms could be an inclusive indication of an abuse. Because of his lack of missing a scientific evidence, the therapists must be very careful in saying that abuse has in fact happened. Whole industries have been built on the hysteria that usually goes with the charges of the sexual abuse of children.

Therapists who are supposed to help children recover from the trauma of the abuse, are hired to ask the child, in a hard way, in order to find out if they have been abused. But very often this therapist suggests the abuse to the child and the child then gains ‘memories’ of having been abused, but none should think a parent or a caretaker are guilty of this. [note 1] With time, more and more children are going trough therapeutic programs, and have started to believe that they suffered from “repressed memories” of sexual abuse or insest.

Even though some reports of incest and sexual abuse are true, most of them are because of of False Memory Syndrome caused by a really bad “therapeutic program. False Memory Syndrome has a devastating effect on the victims and normally produces a sort of dependency on the program. False Memory Syndrome then destroys the psychological part of the child, and not only of the victim but through false accusations of incest and sexual abuse also some other members of the victim’s family.

The American Medical Association considers recovered memories of childhood sexual abuse to be of uncertain authenticity, which should be put into external seeing. The dangers of this are very obvious, because not only that false memories can be thought to be real memories, but also, real memories of real abuse may be though to be false memories and may provide real abusers a good defense. In the end, no one has benefits from encouraging a belief in memory which is doesnt exist. So it does not matter what the child may recall of the memory, because the new version can only bring harm.

Carl Jung, an early Freudian believer, added to this theory of the memory by saying that there was an area of repressed memories in the unconscious mind, an area that was not based on individual past experiences at all: the “collective”unconscious. The collective unconscious is the storehouse for acts and patterns shared ether by members of a culture or universally by every humans. Under some conditions these acts and patterns show themselves as stereotyped: images, patterns and symbols, that are usually seen in dreams or fantasies, and that appear as themes in mythology, religion, and fairy tales.

The stereotype of the stereotype Model can be traced back to Plato’s various beliefs about the eddies, witch are forms of reality that have alto described by Plato but were always held up as ‘more real’ than the world of sense experience that, in some ways was always inferior to and dependent on the eddies. Why would someone remember something so horrible if it really did not happen? There is a belief in our society that there is relationship between sexual abuse and the individuas pathology. Maybe in this climate, people are more likely to believe that things happened when they didn’t.

When people enter therapy, they do want to get better, they want to change. People also have the tendency to look for some kind of explanation of why they have a problem. Clients get to trust the person that helps them. Because they are trying to get better, clients have the tendency to rely on the therapist’s opinion. If the therapist believe that the reason that the client has a problem is because of some past trauma, and especially if the therapist believes that the patient will not get better unless he remembers the trauma, the patient will try to find what he thinks is a trauma memory, in order to get better.

“No one — not the patients, therapists, parents or critics of recovered memory therapy — question that this therapys an intensely difficult and painful experience. That the pain of therapy is real should not be accepted, however, as an argument that the memories uncovered are accurate. One’s emotional reaction to a perceived memory need not correlate with the veracity of that event, but rather only to whether one believes that event to be true. “

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