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It is normal to not be able to remember much detail at all from an incident that happened? Why does this happen?

11 Answers
Last Updated: 01/16/2018 at 1:32am
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
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Elena Morales, LMHC

Licensed Professional Counselor

I believe silence creates a cycle. With empathic and collaborative therapy, we break the cycle. I help clients feel validated and supported passed anger, shame, and anxiety.

Top Rated Answers
January 20th, 2015 1:58pm
At every moment we get bombarded with information -- all of our senses plus everything we are thinking or remembering...and we can only pay attention to a small number of things at once. And what we pay attention to may not be the part of the incident that becomes important when we are trying to remember it. For instance, if you were trying to figure out a song that was playing and, in the next minute, someone came out of a building in front of might not remember what that person looked like, if asked at a trial six months later. Plus...our minds like to complete things and may "fill in" the details of his face inaccurately.
January 26th, 2015 1:44pm
Yes, it is normal. While some people report flashbulb memories, remembering something in its entirety, others completely forget. This is an act of repression. Repressing is the brain's way of pushing the bad memories to the back of your mind. It could be a coping mechanism, as to protect oneself. That's why it's important to tell someone right away when something traumatizing has happened.
February 20th, 2015 4:30pm
I think its perfectly normal, sometimes if the incident was painful or traumatic, our minds will often block it out temporarily as we can continue to go on with our daily living but then when the mind feels safe to deal with those things, sometimes a person will start to experience flashbacks around that incident.
March 11th, 2015 11:46pm
It is totally normal not to remember details from past incidents, especially if they are traumatic or painful. Some of these details may never return as our minds try to block out these experiences. However sometimes a person will experience nightmare and/or flashbacks of the trauma.
March 28th, 2015 4:07pm
It's very nomal for that to happen. Sometimes, especially when it was a very difficult incident, the brain projects us until it's something you're ready to process and work through. You're not alone with this.
March 29th, 2015 2:02pm
I believe it happens to protect us. When we're more ready to deal with it, the memory will begin to come back. Generally we need help when that starts happening, so I would encourage you to get some help.
June 29th, 2015 9:51pm
It might be due to a trauma experienced in this said accident. Maybe you should go to a specialist to talk about it
July 13th, 2015 9:15pm
Your brain actively tries to block out memories that may be too difficult for you to handle, for the time being. It is a protective measure.
March 14th, 2016 2:43am
Some times those incidents wipe out your memory from knowing what had happened or those incidents happened to fast that you don't know what is going on.
August 16th, 2016 3:42am
personally, i happen to forget most of the things i wanna forget. its like my defense mechanism. i learned that if i forget things, i also forget the feelings i had knowing them. so i make one always. when i want to be happy with a person, i tend to forget what made us happy last week so i make a new one and make both of us happy. same goes with pain but i dont make a new one, i tend to heal as fast as i move on
January 16th, 2018 1:32am
Yes, this can happen! The simple version is that it's our unique way of coping. Our brain says "oh I don't like this! It's too hard' and it pops all the memories in a little box in the corner. So although it may seem like it's all forgotten, in reality it's just that our brain has suppressed all the memories.