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Centerpointe Research

Unconscious Emotions

amygdalaimagesassocwithamygdalaI recently read an article that suggested that when something traumatic happens, the thinking brain is not involved and the amygdala, a part of the brain involved in emotional response, gets set off and the person is flooded with feelings about which him or her doesn’t know what to think.  it is not always think first then act.


That is why sometimes the cognitive memories of abuse can not be obtained and the emotional responses can come on their own unasked for.  This can account for people who when overwhelmed by emotions don’t think straight and have strong urges to do something about them.  They often do not understand where they come from.   A long, long time ago a boy broke up with me while introducing me to his new girlfriend  It was very humiliating and all I wanted to do was stop feeling.  In the scheme of things that incident wasn’t important but the rush of emotion led to suicidal thoughts and even an attempt which I survived without telling anyone at the time.


face-partsThis does explain why memories of abuse can not be found and why people acquire fears that can control their lives.  Also if something happened that was so traumatic that there were not words to describe it, just an overwhelming flood of emotion.  No matter it explains why it is too painful for some people to recover such memories.  It is a little like a surgeon deciding to reopen an incision just to see if the surgery left any scars.

Earlier I wrote about don’t ask don’t tell.  always expecting the worse to happen.  This may actually be true in some cases.  Young children are very fragile and they take threats seriously.  If there is no place to go for love and comfort or at least they think so, lead to not being able to talk about something for fear of being rejected and where is a small child to go? when their own family rejects them.

Take little children’s fears seriously.  They don’t understand things as easily as adults do.  To them their fears and emotions are real and should be taken seriously and the child helped to cope.

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