How Different Types Of Traumas Influences Our Memory In different Ways

Can Extreme Trauma Be Forgotten?

2 min readSep 13, 2022


Photo by ian dooley on Unsplash

Most of the time people can remember their negative feelings or any type of tragedy that happened to them. However, if something is really traumatic, sometimes it is forgotten.

But if the forgetting happens most often and reaches an extreme level, a dissociative disorder is developed, for instance, dissociative amnesia, dissociative fugue, depersonalization disorder, and dissociative identity disorder.

How Trauma in our memory works

Whatever information we process regularly is stored in various ways. If we had any slight traumatic experiences, sometimes it will appear to be vividly engraved in our memories.

According to scientists, there are certain ways how our different types of traumas can work in different ways in our memories. For instance,

  • Mild trauma can help us in improving our long-term memory. We all have common-sense experiences and this makes things hard to understand how we can forget the memory of any traumatic experiences.
  • Extreme trauma on the other hand can sabotage our long-term memory. Additionally, this stores the memories as emotions or feelings instead of memories.

According to a research study, if this happens it might take up to several days for an event to be fully remembered in long-term memory.

  • Sensory triggers can be integral when it comes to remembering forgotten memories. In this case, any type of material connected with the trigger creates a “state-dependent memory, learning, and behavior.”
  • According to research studies, individuals who had experienced extreme trauma can sometimes forget that traumatic experience. However, their memory of that traumatic event might reappear later in life.

This can happen through sensations, emotions, or sometimes flashbacks of a particular memory. If the person is having flashbacks they feel like they are reliving the same experiences.

  • In terms of false memories, it can be caused by mild traumatic experiences but it is unknown how frequently this happens in different contexts.




Ph.D. Candidate (Mgmt)| Educator |Content Writer | Writing about things that intrigue my curious mind |