• 💖 [Donate To Keep MyPTSD Online] 💖 Every contribution, no matter how small, fuels our mission and helps us continue to provide peer-to-peer services. Your generosity keeps us independent and available freely to the world. MyPTSD closes if we can't reach our annual goal.

Brainwashing? Does it work?

Not open for further replies.


New Here
Erm hi I'm new to this forum so please pardon me if this is the wrong spot to place this thread. :confused:

Anyways I have a question. Possibly for people who have had PTSD for longer, like 10 years.

If one has PTSD from a number of incidents in life and gets flashbacks is it possible to brainwash oneself to believe some of the incidents were a figment of my imagination? I'm so desperate to decrease the number of incidents to a more manageable number. I just want them to disappear from my mind even just for a week at a time. So far most of the time I manage to convince myself that I just imagined the whole incident but sometimes I get full-on re-enactments totally uncontrolled.

Has anyone done this before? Have you succeeded and does it last? Please advice!
I haven't heard off anything to that affect under those circumstances. Honestly, I don't know if doing something like that would be a good, or bad thing! I suppose one could get hypnotised to change their thought, but the problem as I know it, is that memories cannot be erased as such, and regardless how much you try and dispell them, they will return at some point in your life. It would only take a smell, touch, sight or sound to trigger the memory, which could be more detramental than previous, as it has been suppressed for so long.

I have multiple traumas from war service, and peace keeping service, different countries, different places, a varied events, none of which I believe I could ever erase as such. A counsellor once said something similar too me, in that if I could forget them, then maybe I could get over them... at which point I about laughed, and left. If it where possible to erase a memory, hell... everyone would be doing it, from family deaths, trauma, bad incidents, abuse, rape, etc etc etc... I think most would probably have to fight the rape and sexual assault victims for the front of the line!

The only way that I know of logically to help with memories, is to face each one head on, so that its no longer such a significant trauma in your life, and memories.

If you find an answer to that one though, please do tell us all.
As I was unpleasantly reminded yesterday, I can't change history, however much I try to forget or avoid it. I think Anthony is right - the only way to deal is to face it head on. A lot easier said than done though, specially when you've spent most of your life trying to forget....I'm pretty sure that the reason we get nightmares is to try and deal with things that we can't or won't voluntarily deal with.

I do get what you mean about having a lot of incidents. I have a lot that I can distinguish as distinct events, but a whole lot more that seem to mesh together yet don't quite feel as if they should be together. It's probably just the brain cells trying to make some sense of a senseless situation - doesn't necessarily mean things are made up, more like confused or mixed up.

Anyway, this is all far too sensible thinking for this time of day (8am here). I'm going to go and find something vaguely edible. :)
I've often been asked if I could wipe the memory would I want to, and I have always said no.

It's not because I don't want to forget it, or because I wouldn't want to keep reliving it... but... everything I have grown from over the past 20 odd yrs has been because of it. If it had never happened, I wouldn't be who I am today... so maybe I would have evolved into being someone not as nice.

It's a bit like if you could go back in time & stop the events.... would you? Where & who would you be now if you could have?

As much as these memories suck big time, they give us a point of reference in our lives. If you forget that point of reference, and as Anthony said... if you smell something & it resorts you to tears.... you wont know why it has had that effect. Which could probably have more dire effects, because you really would think you are going crazy.
Thanks for the replies.

I guess in a way I do know that I wouldn't be the same person but it's just so exasperating. Like, I'm just 20 and as a doctor said when I was 16- "so young and so many problems", so what will my life be like when I grow older? I'm in a long term relationship now but its so difficult to not burst out in tears for no reason, out of the blue- I don't really cry apart from that. It's like I'm nuts or something, just going from angry to teary to numb to I don't give a s***. It just feels like I'm out of control. Then sometimes I think my boyfriend is from an incident and just freak out and start screaming.

I do admit that I am confused about some incidents that are in my mind, but there are others that have been witnessed my people (but I can't remember). I used to get flashbacks every day but now I get it 1-3 times a week. So I have made progress from my therapy in public mental health system (I was a useless wreck) but now its just stagnant (I actually live).
It is really positive to hear that you have progressed from your worst state, to a more livable condition... the more you tackle the traumas head on, the better you will get at the end of the day. Your life in 40 years time should be quite well compared to if you try and dismiss the problems, as they will still be haunting you in 40 years time otherwise. You are really in an optimal time within your life to take these things head on, as your young and strong. Saying that, yes, their are other pressures upon you at that age, though if you keep focused, you will have a better life in the years to come, with very little relapse into past trauma.

It sounds as though you are doing really well now, and hitting the worst with all you got through your counselling... which is the positive method to achieve a better life outcome. Well done... keep up the good work.
Not open for further replies.