Not insomnia. An aggravating sore throat from the flu won’t let me rest for longer than a few minutes.
For night owls and transatlantic readers, here’s a cool bit of psychology/neuroscience to think about while murkans dream of electric sheep. It seems reasonable to think that memories don’t go away when the hypnotist tells you to forget or the subconscious swallows them up for emotional reasons. After all, tricks exist to bring them back in either case. In fact the memory is there just like other memories, the brain knows that it’s there, but when the mind tries to put it ‘on screen,’ so to speak, a brain region called the rostrolateral prefrontal cortex steps in like an internet filter blocks porn.
This makes sense because a memory isn’t like a DVD on a shelf, it is a learned experience. “Buried” memories often have a profound influence on the lives of people who bury them. In the same way that everything that we know about the world we know because at some point we saw ‘A’ and heard someone say “eih” or we pressed a pedal and the car went forward, psychologists proved a long time back that even if you can’t remember the time you touched a hot stove you will still avoid laying a hand on it.
Unfortunately the Psych field recently went through a cringe-worthy fad for bogus repressed memories. The phenomenon is hardly as pervasive as some hyperventilating therapists tried to claim, but there is no doubt that some have unrecallable memories that act like learned reflex arcs just the same. Say that you react to a friendly handshake like a hot stove and can’t explain why; it can be a major component of PTSD. Adam Sandler’s one good movie takes the point to a logical extreme, but the film is right to show that before you break the unhelpful reflex arc you need to bring its source into the light. Hypnosis and talk therapy can do that, but for a generalized therapy it will be great to know that the filter has an off switch.
Use the space to chat about things you just remembered, or whatever.