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Is it Possible to Black Out and Not Remember My Behavior?

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I was told that I sent a violently threatening email to the police last week saying I would kill a girl I know and care about. Supposedly I sent it early on a Saturday because I was told about it the following Tuesday, and this girl and I had been talking a lot in between that time and I thought things were fine, I had no idea about this. They say I said a bunch of nasty things and said I was afraid I’d kill her. I have no memory of this and still do not believe I did it, especially since I had no motive to. I wasn’t harboring secret feelings like this and am investigating who could have sent this.

However, I am worried that I somehow blacked out and did this. I’ve never had such an incident before, and the really crazy thing is that I remember what I was doing-not perfectly, but I remember being at the computer and just relaxing when they said I sent this email. The girl lives in a different county than me – far away. In fact, I actually thought she lived in a different one prior to this happening, then I just learned the other day that she lived in a different country, yet this email went to the police in the one where she lives. Is it possible to not only black out and do something like this, but to imagine doing other things like just surfing the internet? Because I did not black out and wonder what I was doing when this happened and am very scared and hurt.

I’m bipolar, though my symptoms haven’t been bad lately, but I’ve been under a lot of stress due to lack of sleep from talking to this girl a lot, not eating much, and worrying about my mom’s health. I was not using any medication, drugs, or alcohol. I have to emphasize I’ve never had a black out before and did not even have any memory loss when this happened. So is it possible to black out and imagine doing other things like this?

Is it Possible to Black Out and Not Remember My Behavior?

Answered by on -


Anything is possible but the situation you describe is extremely unusual. It’s possible that you were intoxicated or using drugs and this could explain why you do not remember the event.

It’s is also possible that you suffered some kind of dissociative episode in which it could have been possible for you to send this e-mail and not remember it. There is a condition known as dissociative amnesia in which a person blocks out certain information, associated usually with a traumatic or stressful event and then are unable to recall any memories related to the event. People with dissociative amnesia report having long gaps in their memory and have no ability to recall anything involving the traumatic event.

According to the WebMD website: “Dissociative amnesia has been linked to overwhelming stress, which might be the result of traumatic events — such as war, abuse, accidents, or disasters — that the person has experienced or witnessed. There also might be a genetic link to the development of dissociative disorders, including dissociative amnesia, because people with these disorders sometimes have close relatives who have had similar conditions.”

I would highly recommend seeing a doctor or a psychiatrist regarding this situation. A doctor may be able to determine the source of your blackout or inability to recall this event. He or she may also be able to help you recover these memories regarding the events of that day. Please see a doctor to further investigate this disconcerting situation. I wish you luck.

Is it Possible to Black Out and Not Remember My Behavior?

This article has been updated from the original version, which was originally published here on March16, 2008.

Therapists live, online right now, from BetterHelp:

Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW is a licensed psychotherapist and Assistant Professor of Social Work and Forensics with extensive experience in the field of mental health. She works in private practice with adults, adolescents and families. Kristina has worked in a large array of settings including community mental health, college counseling and university research centers.

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2019). Is it Possible to Black Out and Not Remember My Behavior?. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 5, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 30 May 2019 (Originally: 16 Mar 2018)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 30 May 2019
Published on Psych All rights reserved.