1. isaac223

    isaac223 Active Member

    May 19, 2016
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    Writing a Character With Mnemophobia (Fear of Memories) and/or the "Fear" or "Rejection of the Past"

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by isaac223, Jun 4, 2016.

    I've done some research on mnemophobia, the fear of memories, which tells me that typically one inflicted with this will be in constant denial concerning memories they used to have, but my questions about this are:

    1: Will they be in utter denial for all forms of memories, being stuck with something akin to a self-inflicted amnesia? As denial is the"unawareness of the existence of something or is incapable to accept it, or accepting it as it is.." Would they either be in self-inflicted amnesia, or would they have completely different memories all together that their brain unconsciously concocted to prevent the one inflicted with this from being aware of their "old" memories.

    2: What kind of events could cause one to be afraid of memories, or to be afraid of their own memories.

    3A: Making mnemophobia be apart of the antagonist's motives behind their... antagonizing? Could this be done?

    3B: On the subject of motives, what kind of thoughts would a person inflicted with mnemophobia have and how would they handle them? How would they react if their "old" memories are brought up or if they're reminded of it somehow?

    I've also tried to think of ways a character could be brought into the plot who fears or despises the past, or rather, has an obsession with making the future, or perhaps a goal that deals with preservation of the present. Whichever, I'd like to ask similar questions as above, rather with the past instead of "memories," though the two could be similarly.
    cydney likes this.
  2. Malisky

    Malisky Fortune cookie Contributor

    Apr 11, 2012
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    Where still days stand eternally.
    1) The human psyche is an abyss. There is not a specific way to answer this because whatever manifests with psychological "amnesia" (it's not exactly amnesia) is out of the patients control. Meaning it's quite subconscious. Even if the patient tries and struggles to remember consciously, he can't. So either it is a complete blank of memory or a distorted memory, it's up to the person of interest. It's never self inflicted in a conscious manner. It's always subconscious. Consciously, either you remember and know what happened (even if your data is wrong) or you don't and hypothesize.

    2) Traumatizing events. Rape, extreme violence, near death experience, brain injury. In other words, a shock experience. Victims of any sort of these events might get temporary or even permanent amnesia. It's usually short termed amnesia though. Permanent is very rare and it's usually caused by brain damage. When patients have brain damage, it usually affects other aspects of their cognitive functioning as well.

    3) Of course! What a great motive! (I use it in my W.I.P. as well. But it's a MC thing). ;)

    3b) Like it's a bad dream. Their worst nightmare. They are not able to handle the truth. They usually need help to do so. It's very traumatizing shit. Who could blame them? They'd be in denial. (Have a look in P.T.S.D. It's connected). Memories of such events make somebody really vulnerable. To the extend of committing suicide. They need help in order to overcome it. That's why fake memories take place. Because the brain tends to need to fill in the blanks (not remembering something important makes somebody feel really uneasy and confused. It's a traumatizing event already). So it fills them in a more acceptable way.

    Oh, and another thing. It's very rare to have full, lifetime amnesia. This is due to severe brain damage. I would not recommend this in a novel. The time extend of not remembering anything at all, not even your name does exist in reality but it doesn't last that long. Some days in some incidents, but usually it lasts for a couple of hours at best. At traumatic events it manifests as memory blank spot and it may last for a lifetime (if you are that fortunate). When memory starts to come back it's always distorted, because of all the distress it brings you. Meaning that the emotion you felt stays but the memory might and will probably be distorted due to the shock experience. It's a very confusing and difficult to make sense time filled with paranoid thoughts and self loathing.
    cydney likes this.
  3. agasfer

    agasfer Member

    Apr 29, 2016
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    Check out the novel "Mnemophobia: All-Age-Thriller " by Kaja Bergmann. That might answer some of your questions.
  4. cydney

    cydney Banned

    Jul 31, 2016
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    Sydney, Australia
    Eye-opening thread! Glad I found this. Hope it's ok to bump it. It hasn't been long....

    I think it's hard to understand ptsd or anything like it unless you've been there. Little tiny things - a word, a color, a smell, a name - can spin you off into a world no one can explain but you. The experience can be great or small. Doesn't matter. It still happens.

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