Date

5-13-2020

Description

Trauma is largely responsible for shaping personalities and self-concepts. Tragedies in life can cause shifts in behavior or can negatively affect mental health in the way of disorders such as PTSD, anxiety, or depression. Furthermore, the effect of traumatic events on identity depends on a plethora of factors including spirituality, values, gender, the details of the event (e.g. a natural disaster vs. sexual assault), and whether justice was reached. In this regard, whether a traumatic event will help or hinder identity development is nebulous. Any helpful changes due to trauma can also come at any point after the event occurs, whether it be one week or ten years. Thus, the ways that traumatic events are processed and dealt with are incredibly holistic and unpredictable. In recent years, the study of memory reconsolidation to erase fear memories has gained traction, introducing the use of shock therapy, pharmaceuticals, and other agents to disconnect fearful emotions from traumatic events. Though this has great implications for PTSD treatments, the ethics of this science should be carefully examined. Emotions associated with traumatic memories have large effects on decision-making, morality, and identity. As these effects are not solely negative or positive, the relationship between identity and trauma (as either a moderating or mediating factor) needs to be carefully examined, especially as it pertains to the role of emotion in memory.

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May 13th, 12:00 AM

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind: Is Trauma Too Important to Be Erased

Trauma is largely responsible for shaping personalities and self-concepts. Tragedies in life can cause shifts in behavior or can negatively affect mental health in the way of disorders such as PTSD, anxiety, or depression. Furthermore, the effect of traumatic events on identity depends on a plethora of factors including spirituality, values, gender, the details of the event (e.g. a natural disaster vs. sexual assault), and whether justice was reached. In this regard, whether a traumatic event will help or hinder identity development is nebulous. Any helpful changes due to trauma can also come at any point after the event occurs, whether it be one week or ten years. Thus, the ways that traumatic events are processed and dealt with are incredibly holistic and unpredictable. In recent years, the study of memory reconsolidation to erase fear memories has gained traction, introducing the use of shock therapy, pharmaceuticals, and other agents to disconnect fearful emotions from traumatic events. Though this has great implications for PTSD treatments, the ethics of this science should be carefully examined. Emotions associated with traumatic memories have large effects on decision-making, morality, and identity. As these effects are not solely negative or positive, the relationship between identity and trauma (as either a moderating or mediating factor) needs to be carefully examined, especially as it pertains to the role of emotion in memory.