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How To Forget Bad Childhood Memories And Reclaim Your Life

How To Forget Bad Childhood Memories And Reclaim Your Life

Many of us have suffered from certain childhood incidents that are haunting us, even today. Traumas come in various shapes and forms. They can be physical and psychological abuses, bullies back in school days, unhealthy family affairs, and parental divorce. These traumas have geared up the negativity in us and implicitly affected our life, lifestyle, relationships. But this is not the end of our lives. We must not let our past rule over our present as well as our future. The best way to overcome our traumas, and to get on with life is to leave all the bad childhood memories behind and start afresh. You are thinking it is easier said than done, right? Well, this article will help you (I sincerely hope it will help you) to deal with how to forget bad childhood memories and to lead a normal life.

Impacts brought by bad memories

There are many memories that cannot be shared with anyone, not even with the closest and the dearest ones. These memories are so etched into your heart that it is impossible not to think about them all the time. Some of the memories have left you feel insecure about yourself, lack of self confidence, make you distrust people easily, some may even confuse you about you and your surrounding. These are the impacts that you can not deal with and for these you need help. You have to start to believe in yourself, gain confidence, and try to remember that there are many out there who you can trust and their influence can make you be yourself again.

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Zeigarnik effect on us

Bluma Zeigarnik, a Lithuanian-born psychologist, first came up with ‘open loops’ and ‘unfinished business’ in 1927, explaining how these two terms can help us to learn from the ‘unfinished business’ or ‘open loops’. For example, you have an uncle who used to molest you when you were young. You never talked about it, not even to your parents. You wake up every morning and think about how you could have stopped your uncle, or how you could have exposed him. This is your ‘unfinished business’. There is an ‘open loop’ for you to come back to that point, and if you have time, and if he is alive, you still have the opportunity to unmask him.

We are wired in such a manner that we hardly forget our bad childhood memories. Mulling over the past can affect your mental stability, and your physical health, leaving you distraught at all times.

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How to forget bad childhood memories?

Let’s start with talking. It is always effective if you get to share your bad experiences with someone, or a group of people. It is not necessary for this “someone” to be your best friend or your sibling. You can seek professional help. A psychiatrist, or a counsellor can guide you to an enlightened path. Or, find out if there are any groups that involve individuals talking about their personal traumas. You will know you are not alone in this world, and there are many cases as worse as yours.

Try to approach life in a positive manner. Your childhood is your past. The people and the events concerned are no longer in existence. Even if they are, you are no longer a dependent individual. You are free. You have a life and you are leading your life. You are in a relationship. Contemplating on your bad memories can affect your partner and your children. Build a better and a secured future for your children.

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Talking about security, if you feel threatened by your own security, again, talk it out loud. Not everyone is the same. Being reserved or skeptical about things or people will not help you overcome your memories. I know it is extremely hard to throw away what has been bothering you, but kindly don’t allow them to shape your life. After all the things you were through, at this point in life, you deserve happiness.

Depression, anxiety, anger are all parts of growing up. You grow up every day, no matter what your age is. And each day, we encounter new experiences, some good and some bad. We make mistakes and we learn from them. We brush them aside and we move forward. How to forget bad childhood memories? Let those unacceptable recollections be the force to drive you towards your happiness, towards your success.

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Featured photo credit: Pezibear via pixabay.com

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Last Updated on June 24, 2019

Why Social Media Might Be Causing Depression

Why Social Media Might Be Causing Depression

A study [1] published in Depression and Anxiety found that social media users are more likely to be depressed. This was just one of the huge number of studies linking social media and depression[2] . But why exactly do platforms like Facebook and Instagram make people so unhappy? Well, we don’t know yet for sure, but there are some explanations.

Social Media Could Lead to Depression

Depression is a serious medical condition that affects how you think, feel, and behave. Social media may lead to depression in predisposed individuals or make existing symptoms of depression[3] worse explains[4] the study above’s senior author Dr. Brian Primack. So, the problem may not be in social media per se, but how we use it.

Signs You’re Suffering From “Social Media Depression”

If you feel like social media is having a negative impact on your mood, then you may be suffering from “social media depression.” Look for symptoms like:

• low self-esteem,

• negative self-talk,

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• a low mood,

• irritability,

• a lack of interest in activities once enjoyed,

• and social withdrawal.

If you’ve had these symptoms for more than two weeks and if this is how you feel most of the time, then you are likely depressed. Although “social media depression “is not a term recognized in the medical setting, social media depression seems to be a real phenomenon affecting around 50% of social media users. As explained in a review study[5] published in Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, if a person has a certain predisposition to depression and other mental disorders, social media use may only worsen their mental health.

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Social Media Could Crush Self-Esteem

We know that social media and depression are in some way linked, but why is this so? Well, according to Igor Pantic, MD, Ph.D.[6], social media use skews your perception about other people’s lives and traits. To explain this further, most people like to portray an idealized image of their lives, personal traits, and appearance on sites like Facebook and Instagram. If you confuse this idealized image with reality, you may be under the false impression that everyone is better than you which can crush your self-esteem and lead to depression. This is especially true for teens and young adults who are more likely to compare themselves to others. If you already suffer from low self-esteem, the illusion that everyone has it better off than you will just make you feel worse.

Causing Social Isolation and Other Negative Emotions

Another commonly cited reason for the negative impact of social media on mental health is its link with social isolation. Depressed people are more likely to isolate themselves socially and chose only to interact indirectly through social media platforms. But communication online tends to be superficial and is lacking when compared to real-life interaction explains Panic. What this means is not that social media leads to isolation but the other way around, possibly explaining why we find so many depressed persons on these sites.

Lastly, social media use may generate negative emotions in you like envy, jealousy, dislike, loneliness, and many others and this may worsen your depressive symptoms.

Why We Need to Take This Seriously

Both depression and social media use are on the rise according to epidemiological studies. Since each one has an impact on the other, we have to start thinking of healthier ways to use social media. Teens and young adults are especially vulnerable to the negative impact of social media on mental health.

Advice on Social Media Use

Although these findings did not provide any cause-effect explanation regarding Facebook and depression[7], they still do prove that social media use may not be a good way to handle depression. For this reason, the leading authors of these studies gave some suggestions as to how clinicians and people can make use of such findings.

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One suggestion is that clinicians should ask patients about their social media habits. Then they can advise them on how to change their outlook on social media use or even suggest limiting their time spent on social media.

Some social media users may also exhibit addictive behavior; they may spend too much time due to compulsive urges. Any compulsive behavior is bound to lead to feelings of guilt which can worsen depressive symptoms.

Having Unhealthy Relationship with Social Media

If you feel like your relationship with social media is unhealthy, then consider the advice on healthy social media use provided by psychology experts from Links Psychology[8]:

Avoid negative social comparison – always keep in mind that how people portray themselves and their lives on social media is not a realistic picture, but rather an idealized one. Also, avoid comparing yourself to others because this behavior can lead to negative self-talk.

Remember that social media is not a replacement for real life – Social media is great for staying in touch and having fun, but it should never replace real-world interactions.

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Avoid releasing personal information – For your safety and privacy, make sure to be careful with what you post online.

Report users who bully and harass you – It’s easy to be a bully in the anonymous and distant world of social media. Don’t take such offense personally and report those who abuse social media to harass others.

The bits of advice listed above can help you establish a healthy relationship with social media. Always keep these things in mind to avoid losing an objective perspective of what social media is and how it is different from real life. If you are currently suffering from depression, talk to your doctor about what is bothering you so that you can get the treatment you need to get better. Tell your doctor about your social media use and see if they could give you some advice on this topic.

Reference

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