The Bad Psychology of Repressed Memories

what is up everybody this is Chris from
the rewired soul where we talk about the problem but focus on the solution and
the other day on my Instagram stories I was discussing repressed memories and
some of the ideas behind it some of the bad psychology and science behind it all
that and a lot of you actually reached out to me and you were really interested
in this subject so I was like what the heck let’s do a video diving a little
bit deeper into this subject all right and by the way if you’re not following
me on Instagram you need to all right at the rewired soul okay so anyways my
beautiful girlfriend Tristan and I we’ve been really into this show prodigal son
on fox like if you’re into like serial killer stuff like it’s a great show
love the show it’s really cool like my one critique my one critique is that
it’s like any other kind of crime show where it gets so it’s get a little
repetitive after a while like for example like the character Gil he’s like
right we need you to help solve this case and by it’s like I think I know how
to catch the killer and then Gil’s like your methods are
unconventional and you need to get off this case and it malcolm bright like I found the
killer and then Gil’s like oh my god and that
just happens over and over and over again but anyways anyways one of the the
main parts of the story is that the main character bright he has repressed
memories his father was a serial killer and there’s this memory just stuck down
in his brain and throughout the show he’s trying everything he can to just
yank that sucker out alright so hopefully I didn’t spoil the show too
much if you haven’t seen it but go check it out but yeah I wanted to discuss the
bad psychology around repressed memories as it comes up a lot in the show and one
of the whole reasons why repressed memories are you know kind of a topic of
conversation when it comes to psychology or therapies because a lot of the ways
that it’s depicted in movies and TV shows all right but like I said like
there’s a lot of bad science around this stuff so what is a repressed memory
alright so the idea is that repressed memories are
based on a traumatic experience that you went through and they were just so
traumatic that your brain is trying to protect you from those memories so it
just shoves those down deep into your subconscious all right to keep you safe
and I’m going to do this quite a bit our brains are regularly trying to keep us
safe especially when it has something to do with trauma and I’ll fight flight or
freeze response right like for example PTSD it makes you much more sensitive to
triggers associated with that traumatic event so you don’t experience it again
right so a loud noise might make you just take off or a sight or smell or
whatever that may be so I want you to ask yourself some questions real quick
if repressed memories are based on traumatic experience like let’s look at
large populations of people who have never had an instance of a repressed
memory a great example is Holocaust survivors if you look into it if you
research it there is not one Holocaust survivor who has had repressed memories
and you would think you’d be able to find some because surviving a
concentration camp like that is one of the most traumatic things like any human
being in the history of mankind has been through right or let’s look at natural
disasters one of the biggest natural disasters to hit the United States was
Hurricane Katrina just look at how many people died how many people survived why
is it that if we’re pressed memories are based on traumatic experiences you have
nobody who survived Hurricane Katrina who just they can’t remember it right
like a lot of the children from Hurricane Katrina who survived like
they’re now adults and they’re not experiencing repressed memories and
here’s the thing like any of you watching this video who have experienced
a trauma like those of us who have experienced trauma we know the issue
isn’t that the memories are repressed and way down in our sub
Cantus the issue is is that we can’t get rid of those memories for the life of us
like people who have been through trauma wished they could get rid of those
memories right but traumatic experiences those are constantly constantly in our
memory so although we might forget some of the
specific details of the event that event is just imprinted in our mind okay so
where did the idea of repressed memories come from well they came from Sigmund
Freud and Freudian psychology like like profs the dude he helped moved you know
psychology and you know into the forefront and a lot of new theories came
from it so like that’s awesome but the reality is is that most people today
know that this dude was like a coked-up lunatic and a lot of his theories were
absolutely ridiculous but this was kind of how 40th psychology was he believed
that all of us have these repressed memories thoughts and emotions that are
just deep down in our subconscious and it’s causing us a lot of issues today
all right now the problem with this is that it’s very bad science all right
like today we have a lot of science that backs up psychology and there’s bad
science around these these repressed memories so logically fallacious calm
explains unfalsifiable ‘ti as this alright so unfalsifiable ‘ti also known
as untested bility is confidently asserting that a theory or hypothesis is
true or false even though the theory or hypothesis cannot possibly be
contradicted by an observation or the outcome of any physical experiment
usually without strong evidence or good reasons
so basically somebody like Freud they would say hang you’re depressed because
you have repressed memories and then you’re like no
I don’t think so I’ve never been through anything traumatic or anything like that
and they’d be like oh no this means that the repressed memories are just really
deep down in there right like there’s no way to make that person think otherwise
because anything you do is just evidence that they’re even more right than they
thought you see what I mean like any good science has to be tested to ensure
that it’s falsifiable like remember that scene from like Austin Powers where he’s
like it’s a bad baby and he like tries to rip the wig off that poor old lady
and then when it doesn’t come off he just thinks now it’s just really stuck
on there and he just started yanking her head even more you know what I mean like
the difference between this this fictional idiot character Austin Powers
and somebody who’s trying to pull up these repressed memories is eventually
Austin Powers just stopped he did start picking out her hairs by clumps and just
saying oh this must have been one of those newfangled glued-on ways now he
realized he was just wrong Sameach like well Chris what’s the problem let’s see
it you so in a show like prodigal son where Malcolm bright is dealing with
repressed memories like it’s a fun little storyline nothing really you know
has any effect on real life experiences but in real life that’s not the case
like in real life this whole quackery of repressed
memories has ruined lives all right so when when repressed memories and they
call it memory recovery therapy was really at its height was like in the
1980s early 1990s around the time of satanic panic alright so those of you
who don’t know about satanic panic like that stuff it is whoo it’s nuts the
whole country was just freaking out believing that there were all these
little satanic cults all over the place and they were using memory recovery
therapy to pull up these repressed memories of
people and they were planting in false memories and making people believe that
like their parents were sexually abusing them as a child and they were part of
some sick satanic cult that was like making the kids like witness like human
sacrifices and said they were like eating babies
it was absolutely bananas so not only well a lot of parents falsely accused
but there were a ton of like daycare teachers who were falsely accused right
like all these like therapists and child psychologists were planting these false
memories and kids and then bringing them to the surface like there was one kid
who said like his teachers at the daycare tied him naked to a tree and had
the whole class like watch and it was like right next to a busy street and
like nobody could confirm that that ever happened the same kid he said that like
the teachers took him on a private airplane like think about that and it
was all because a therapist was coercing him into believing that he had repressed
memories so like I I said like the whole you know memory recovery therapy it
ruined a lot of lives and one of the stories that absolutely breaks my heart
is the story of Holly Ramona all right this took place in the 90s and
Holly Ramona who was in her 20s she went to a therapist
because she had an eating disorder as well as depression all right and her
therapist said that eating disorders and even depression are the result of being
molested as a child right and Holly Ramona was like no I was never you know
abused or molested by my father when I was a child and again because this
therapist is such a firm believer in repressed memories and you can’t prove
her wrong she sat back and she was like hmm you saying that you don’t remember
any trauma that just means that the trauma is really down in there
right and the therapist started pressuring her and trying to make her
remember these things and we need to understand like I don’t know if you’re a
fan of these types of shows but I suggest you watch them on Netflix
there’s a series called confession tapes there’s another miniseries called the
confessions killer but this happens a lot where interrogators plant false
memories in the person’s head and eventually the person admits to a crime
that they never even did because they were shoved with all these different
memories right so anyways in the case of Holly Ramona after a while of her not
remembering any of this childhood sexual abuse the therapist ended up sending
Holly Ramona to a psychiatrist who used what’s the name of this drug sodium a
middle as I how you say it anyways that’s aka a truth serum
so when doused with this truth serum and a question by this psychiatrist all of
these false memories that were planted by her therapist Holly Ramona started
remembering quote/unquote that her father did molest her when she was a
child Holly Ramona also remembered that her
dad forced her to have sex with her own dog alright and this resulted in Holly
Ramona accusing her father of molesting her as a child and it completely ruined
this man’s life alright so thankfully this Holly Ramona’s father was one of
the first people to stand up for this stuff right about this whole quackery of
repressed memories and he ended up suing the therapist and the psychiatrist for
negligence and malpractice right and he ended up winning five hundred thousand
dollars and this was a landmark case like you can check it out I’ll put some
links down in the description below anyways when this happened a ton a ton
of malpractice lawsuits started going all over the place all over the country
because so many lives were ruined based on memory recovery
therapy and this whole idea of repressed memories like there were people who were
being sent to jail based on the testimony of somebody who was coerced
into believing that these things that never really happened actually happened
so because of this string of malpractice lawsuits going everywhere a lot of
therapists and psychologists took a step back and they’re like oh my god like we
need to stop doing this like what are we doing you know like like maybe maybe
their depression maybe their anxiety maybe their eating disorder maybe you
know whatever they’re dealing with is not a result of child molestation and
maybe it’s something else right but unfortunately there were a lot
of psychologists and mental health professionals who just doubled down on
this so even though it’s been you know over 20 years since that Holly Ramona
lawsuit there are some psychologists and therapists who still practice this form
of psychology and I think it’s important for any of us who go get help for our
mental health that we know which types of therapy or evidence-based and which
are not right so one of the saddest parts of this story of Holly Ramona that
I want to share is because of these false memories that happen and because
Holly Ramona already you know accused her father like she’s still estranged
from that man and that family is still torn to pieces and we don’t know if it’s
because Holly Ramona still believes those false memories or she started to
believe those false memories because if she were to admit that she falsely
accused her father that would cause her to be in a lot of trouble you know what
I mean like have you ever lied to yourself so much that you believe that
lie or you lied about something and in order to make sure you didn’t get found
out you had to keep selling that lie you know what I mean so anyways it’s a
really sad story and I’m gonna link down in the description below
there’s a therapist a former memory recovery therapist named Linda Ross that
she did an interview with this American life and the transcript I’ve linked it
down in the description below but anyways um she she was part of bringing
up these memories for a lot of people that never even happened and ruining a
lot of families a lot of lives and what happened was Linda Ross couldn’t sleep
at night and she ended up going to a support group for falsely accused family
members of repressed memories and she’s like oh my god like what have I done
you know I’ve destroyed these families you know and I mean so yeah like I loved
learning about psychology and all these different things and I really wanted to
talk about this because this is something I didn’t know so I’m guessing
some of you know but if there’s anything else any other topics around psychology
or anything like that that you want me to discuss let me know I read a ton of
books and I’m always trying to learn so I love talking about them on the channel
alright but anyways that’s all I got for this video if you like this video please
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all amazing and I’ll see you next time

7 thoughts on “The Bad Psychology of Repressed Memories

  1. If you're struggling with overcoming trauma, try the online therapy app I personally use for my mental health:
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  2. My sister is very mentally ill and a couple years ago she got put in a mental hospital& falsely accused our brother of doing things to her because her therapist suggested it. She said something must have happened when she was younger to make her the way she was and sadly my sister believed her.
    It was so horrible for our family. Child services came and interviewed us because she has a daughter who was around my brother, obviously it was dropped. Her story kept changing, she would talk to the therapist and come back with "a different event" but they never happened based on the real memories the rest of the family has (like saying it was at one place but he wasn't there etc) It's been about 3 years now and their relationship is SO strained. She never apologized to him, just never talked about it with him, nothing.
    We had a big family intervention when it 1st happened and she admitted that the therapist suggested it and it sounded like a good reason for her being unstable. It's this big huge elephant in the room and it sucks ass for us. My brother is doing okay tho, he was SO hurt for a long time but we had to come to terms with her mental illness and take precautions so it doesn't happen again.

    Sorry for rambling but I felt the need to share because this is still happening in the world today. Great video!

  3. I don't remember my first time, like next day I was telling my best friend about it when i realized I don't remember anything. I wasn't raped or drugged or drunk. It seems like repressed memory and I often think about it because it just doesn't make any sense.

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