When the brain is faced with an intense overwhelming life event, like threats to life, an accident, or a catastrophic act of nature, the processing of the event is “put on hold”. The brain re-routes the incident’s recording, and hides it from the conscious mind for protection. The recorded incident is then held in a temporary compartment set up by the brain.
The unprocessed memory remains in the alternative storage area for months or even years, until something triggers it to resurface. A trigger may be defined as any event, feeling, thought, or place that initiates a reaction or sets of reactions. At some point, when the memory is triggered, the brain will bring the memory out of hiding back to consciousness with all its intensity in an attempt to process it, or “put it into order”. The brain is seeking to make emotional closure, integrating the memory of the incident into long-term storage.
When the memory of the incident is rejected or repressed, the memory is then forced back into the temporary location.Unprocessed traumatic experiences may result in frozen, fragmented memories in our human brain. Similar to a computer memory, fragmentation may affect the performance and/or reliability of the system in which the memory is stored.
PTSD (Post-traumatic stress disorder), emotional and physical dysfunctions, sluggish performance, and information freeze (among other disorders), may all result from unprocessed trauma. The reprocessing (or defragmentation) process could be facilitated by several well-known and proven therapeutic methods.
Wishing you all the best, please don’t hesitate to make contact if/when required.
From your partner in Mental Health,
Master of Counselling (Counselling Psychology), C.C.C