Memories Phobia – Mnemophobia


If you read virtually any novel there will come a point where the individuals in the book will need to deal with their past. They will need to come face to face with the dark features of their memory and move forward. This is seen as necessary in a book to help the main character or other characters come to a point of resolution and acceptance. It is also an example of real life and how what we do with our past can influence our future. When we fear our memories we may be living with Mnemophobia.

Certainly not all memories are bad, but the the mnemophobe it may feel safer to keep all memories suppressed than to come face to face with one that can seem truly frightening.

What Causes the Fear of Memories?

This fear may be the result of a personally traumatic event. The sheer severity of the initial incident leaves the individual feeling as if the only way to exist is to find a place where denial may be preferred to actually having to allow the mind to relive the details of the trauma. This may be true of war experiences, physical or emotional violence, or even a horrific accident.  It could even be witnessing something horrific happening to someone else. Initially this approach allows the brain to deal with the terror of the incident. In most cases memory of the event will return and this is when a phobia of memories can kick into high gear.

It is possible the fear can be modeled, but this fear can and does  develop because of personal experience that may seem too terrifying or heartbreaking to go through again.

Symptoms of Mnemophobia

This phobic personality will seek to avoid any conversation that encourages them to revisit their past. They may sever friendships because the former friend encouraged them to think about their mutual past. They will deny events took place if they feel it will somehow protect them from pain.

Other symptoms may also include…
  • Loss of control
  • Feeling as if they are losing their mind
  • Air hunger
  • Trembling
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • An urge to flee
  • Temporary elevation in body temperature
  • Sweating
  • Elevated heart rate
  • Weeping
  • Screaming
  • In severe cases, a psychotic break

The fact that this fear exists makes a strong case for finding a way to confront the fear and deal with the memories in a healthy and appropriate way.

How to Overcome Mnemophobia

It is important to remember that the memory of an event cannot hurt you. It can and will bring up emotions that were experienced during negative memories, but the memory itself is just a reflection of what already took place.

A therapist can help you deal with the pain of the memory, the mental anguish you live with, and a better way to react to the fear that may erupt when the memory pops up uninvited.

While most people would never wish bad memories on others those memories can evoke a sense of fright and anguish. Seeking the help you need will be an important step towards recovery.

The fear of memories is also referred to as:

  • Memories phobia
  • Memories fear
  • Mnemophobia
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