Engulfed in My Memories and Fears

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

I don’t know. It’s like, I’m sitting in class, then a memory of something frightening or maybe something that didn’t even happen, just begins and I grow fearful and then the memory just starts to grow and it’s like if I’m living it again. Everything else is nearly blocked out and I have to stop myself from screaming and then it disappears and I’m back where I am. I don’t get it. I’m scared.

A. Based on a very short letter, it is difficult to know what you are experiencing. What you have described may be consistent with flashbacks associated with trauma. A flashback essentially is a re-experiencing of a traumatic event. During a flashback, an individual may literally feel as though the traumatic experience is happening again. In a flashback, a person may lose awareness of what is going on around them. Flashbacks are associated with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

It is important that you inform your parents about what you are experiencing. I would also recommend seeing a primary care doctor for a medical evaluation. It is important to rule out a medical cause. In addition, speak with your primary care physician about being evaluated by a mental health professional. He or she can refer you to a local clinic or specialist. Working with a mental health professional can help you gain a sense of control over these experiences. In addition, there are treatments that can prevent such experiences from occurring. Medication may also be helpful. Please take care. I wish you well.

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 27 Oct 2010

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2010). Engulfed in My Memories and Fears. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 22, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2010/10/27/engulfed-in-my-memories-and-fears/