#PTSDDaddy on Memory Loss
There is a few comments on my discussion of the PTSD cycle I have on some of my worser moments. “PTSD moments” because sometimes they last a day, sometimes they last a week or more. Memory loss is one of the issues I have been dealing with as a side effect of having PTSD. Some of these comments about memory loss mention how others were made to feel that it was all in their head. (pun intended) Lets take a moment to explain why I associate memory loss to my PTSD.
Counselor turns on a light bulb for me
While talking with my counselor one evening I mentioned how difficult it was for me to remember things. Photographic memory, I have never been accused of, but Lord knows I have never had this much trouble. My counselor once mentioned that she noticed I had no outward physical change during one of my PTSD moments except for one thing. A twitch in my left eyelid. She expressed concern about this and let me know that I have so much pent up inside, shoved down (as it should be says every man, let alone special forces with PTSD) and such control over any sort of emotion (for example angry outbursts, sadness, boastful laughter) that it all would manifest itself as a twitch in my eyelid.
I am pointing this out because this is important. I do have quite a bit of control over emotions, I do not feel much other then anger. If I am not angry then I am nothing. Even in my PTSD moments I hold my tongue. My counselor then explained to me that the brain cannot tell the differences between physical pain and emotional pain. Pain is pain to our brains and our brains try to protect us from all pain. A sort of self-preservation mode pre-programmed into all humans. My counselor explained that in order for my brain to protect me from some of my PTSD moments (the causes of them) was to shove all of those memories into the temporary memory location off my brain. I was having memory loss issues because I had nowhere else for me to put that short term information.
Now for those science people out there I know that no human has ever filled their brain or used 100% of their brain. I know this is impossible to do but stay with me here this is experience talking not book talk. The space my brain would typically store the information that I wanted to hear, walk down the street, and recall, is “off limits”. I like to compare this to a detour in which the brain does not remember where it stored it. The information is there I know this because I get random “oh yeah” moments that are not convenient at all to the information I was attempting to remember.
The Good News
The good news about this is that there is a way to work at fixing this. If you can get control of the PTSD moments long enough to unlock that portion of memory. This forces your brain to let it go into long term memory. In turn, this frees up some of the short term memory issues. You can think of this as the same as the hard drive on your computer is full so one by one you have to move the files to an external drive or a backup drive to free up space for the computer to use. I am using the writing of my book for this.
It’s NOT Easy
Long (very long) story short I have been working for years on getting to the point where I could even fathom unlocking memories. You will see as some of my stories I write about here get closer to the “cause” rather than the “effects”. You will also realize that I disappear off the net after a story like this that unlocked memories my brain had “protected” me from. These “unlockings” are mentally, physically, and emotionally exhausting. It takes me a bit of time to recover and then I spend some time telling stories like these until I can manage to attempt again to unlock more.