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What’s the deal with intrusive memories?


[Mi...]

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I alternate between having very or no thoughts floating around in my head to having strong intrusive memories of random events. It’s the strong variance between no thoughts and then a bombardment of memories that is distressing as day to day I don’t know what to expect. Intrusive thoughts are a bitch in general and I find myself so often thinking “why is my brain actively working against me”. Ok, that’s my venting for the day!
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Intrusive memories can be hard to deal with, especially when regret is involved.  There's often a lot of feelings to process and it feels like a "bombardment" as you say.  I don't think of it as my brain actively working against me.  I think of it more as my brain trying to make sense of things that were blanketed over by benzos and now need to be processed.

 

Here's what Dr. Ashton says about intrusive memories:

Intrusive memories. A fascinating symptom in patients undergoing benzodiazepine withdrawal is that they often mention the occurrence of what seem to be intrusive memories. Their minds will suddenly conjure up a vivid memory of someone they have not thought about or seen for years. Sometimes the other person's face will appear when looking in the mirror. The memory seems uncalled for and may recur, intruding on other thoughts. The interesting thing about these memories is that they often start to occur at the same time that vivid dreams appear; these may be delayed until one or more weeks after the dosage tapering has started. Since recent sleep research indicates that certain stages of sleep (REMS and SWS) are important for memory functions, it is likely that the dreams and the memories are connected. In both cases the phenomena may herald the beginning of a return in normal memory functions and, although sometimes disturbing, can be welcomed as a sign of a step towards recovery.

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This often occurs in benzo wd. Always keep in mind that everything about you originates in your brain. And benzos "work their magic" on your brain. So when you get off them, almost any kind of weird symptom can occur. Intrusive memories or thoughts are common. They are annoying and sometimes might frighten you, but but because you KNOW what they are, this proves you havent gone insane. When I started having them I panicked. I was distressed as hell. I "researched" this and found some ideas on how to deal with this. What worked for me might sound silly, but.....When those thoughts intruded, I would mentally speak and say "Go away! I dont need you, and I dont want you." In other words, I DISTRACTED myself long enough for those thoughts to fade away.

 

How are you doing otherwise?

east

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This often occurs in benzo wd. Always keep in mind that everything about you originates in your brain. And benzos "work their magic" on your brain. So when you get off them, almost any kind of weird symptom can occur. Intrusive memories or thoughts are common. They are annoying and sometimes might frighten you, but but because you KNOW what they are, this proves you havent gone insane. When I started having them I panicked. I was distressed as hell. I "researched" this and found some ideas on how to deal with this. What worked for me might sound silly, but.....When those thoughts intruded, I would mentally speak and say "Go away! I dont need you, and I dont want you." In other words, I DISTRACTED myself long enough for those thoughts to fade away.

 

How are you doing otherwise?

east

 

I’m doing my best to stay active between working full time and family activities. My symptoms are more mental than physical and I feel grateful that I at least appear “normal” even though I don’t feel it. Trying to ride out this healing process...just didn’t expect the storm to last this long

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[af...]
I always ask for mercy when I get them...it helps, anyway you can change the thought...it takes practice though.  This was not a skill I had early on as the thoughts would swallow me whole. 
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Isn't it a crazy symptom? Mine has lessened as time has gone by...now it may visit in a wave.

Stuff you totally haven't thought of since it actually happened, or things you thought you resolved (but maybe didn't...). It was really intense at first.

 

Let it "float " away...don't give it meaning..its just your brain taking inventory, trying to sort out things.

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In both cases the phenomena may herald the beginning of a return in normal memory functions and, although sometimes disturbing, can be welcomed as a sign of a step towards recovery.[/color]

This was true for me although I didn't make the connection until I saw someone mention it here.

 

It's a helluva symptom to deal with... doesn't sound as bad as it actually is IMO. But immediately after going through this for upwards of a month, my memory was definitely improved. Hopefully anyone dealing with this right now experiences the same benefit.

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