Why painful memories linger with us

Hi everyone after watching the short presentation on memory by Joshua Foer, it got me thinking a lot about how I myself process me own memories. I Found it amazing that just the process of turning words into pictures (Baker/baker theory) helped the memory process so much. It just so happened that I went to my high schools wrestling match which was an away meet at another school. Long story short this was the gym I had been injured in in my high school career, and every time i step into this gym I get a weird sensation in the same place that my injury occurred.Last week BBC released an article about why painful memories stick with us longer. They went over a Swedish study that tracked the pain of child birth. Now since childbirth is a long process it is difficult to know when or were to start testing for the pain. So the researcher decided instead to have the test subjects report their experience two months after birth and then again five years after the birth. They find that in most cases women who experienced average pain would remember slight recollections but for the most part would forget most of the experience. These women were also more likely to have a second child. The interesting part to me at least was the mothers who reported the highest severe pains during childbirth. Five years after it seemed that the pain really never went away, and these mothers were highly less likely to have another child. I believe that the traumatic experience has detoured these women, why this interested me is because my injury was also my last match I ever participated in, yes it was my senior year but I never steeped foot on a mat again. I feel it was because when I see a mat or the gym that I don’t jut remember ohh yea, I got hurt hear but I can in-vision every last moment and see it vividly from the people in the room who I had never met or seen before to the music playing. This also promoted me to change the way I study in school. Although it has not been long enough to see the full results, I feel with these tips and tricks my memory has improved marginally.



One thought on “Why painful memories linger with us

  1. I thought that this article and concept was interesting because it is also the same for people who get tattooed very often. Although they recognize the process as painful, they often forget how painful it is and are more likely to get more tattoos. Our unconscious memories stick with us and often seeing other people in the same situation will remind of us how something felt. This can be seeing something traumatic, painful, and emotional and bringing us back memories. This is also interesting with woman who give birth to more than one child, often forgetting how painful the experience was.


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