I have this feeling something happened to me, like a memory when I was younger like 8 or 9 maybe even 10. However the incident is quite embarrassing and I don’t wish to disclose it. Yet it’s an event that I can see in my mind and my memory and re-play it out in my mind like any normal memory. However as I’ve gotten older I don’t Ii can still re-play it out in my mind but it doesn’t seem real or like it really happened. I don’t know whether it’s because it would be really weird or Taboo if it was true but I just don’t feel like it’s true. Is it possible for your mind to completely make things up? (age 17, from UK)I Think I Remember Something, Can Our Minds Make Things Up?
I Think I Remember Something, Can Our Minds Make Things Up?
Thanks for writing in with this question. Our minds and our memory and very complicated, so unfortunately, there is no simple answer to your question. Memory can be influenced by many things, including emotion. It can also be influenced by repetition, such as you describe here.
If someone describes a vague memory to me in therapy, I typically would say that it’s important to trust your intuition about it and proceed as if it is true, because even if some of the details are missing or hard to believe, there is a reason you are having the memory or feeling. It is also a good idea to get another opinion if possible, such as asking another family member who may have been involved or who may have information that you don’t. But regardless of whether or not you can ever find out if the memory really happened, do what you need to do to heal from it as if it did, so that you can move on with your life. I hope this helps.
All the best,
Dr. Holly Counts