Memories are part of us and make us who we are. Each of us have different memories and no two are alike. For some of us, having to remember things in the past brings back pain and they may suffer from fear of memories called Mnemophobia. Others may not only fear remembering but also losing their memories such as in certain diseases like Alzheimer’s. This can be due to a traumatic event that one wishes not to remember. This can also be due to stress especially in stressful life situations. This phobia can cause severe anxiety for these persons suffering the disease. In cases where mnemophobia comes on slowly, psychologists often can’t pinpoint a single reason for the disorder.
Physical symptoms of this anxiety often include rapid breathing, irregular heartbeat, increased perspiration, dry mouth nausea, shaking, and shortness of breath. This personality will seek to avoid any conversation that encourages them to revisit their past. They may sever friendships because the former friend encouraged them to think about their mutual past. They will deny events took place if they feel it will somehow protect them from pain.
Psychologists generally treat this and other phobias with exposure response therapy, in which patients are gently encouraged to face the object of fear, with the goal of understanding that the object of fear is not as dangerous as patients may believe.