From Hayes, et al. (2012)

Some researchers have suggested that patients with PTSD have an enhanced ability to forget information, which may explain amnesia for important details of their traumatic event. This idea, mainly evolving out of the child sexual abuse literature, suggests that repeat trauma survivors with PTSD cope during their trauma by dissociating from their surroundings and disengaging attention from the event, sometimes leading to amnesia for large stretches of time (Terr, 1991). This avoidant coping style may manifest in adulthood by increased ability to forget new information presented in an experimental setting (McNally et al., 1998).


Suppressing bad memories from the past can block memory formation in the here and now, research suggests. source

Note: This question appears to be asking for people who want to explain their experiences with patients as well as providing extra information.

I think one's courage is strongly related with remembering crucial parts of life that does matter, I think, and remembering is, in fact part of memory and a thousand of processes that influence that. If you can't remember yourself good things because you used to suppress traumatic memories in the past, you will get struck in your void and the bad happenings and this automatically predicts what situations you will face in future to include careless actions and taking unwanted risks.

(no cites to official documents)

Question: Patients have a coping style to forget bad memories as well as good memories fast, but does this explain the functioning of the courage system, in other words can memory influence courage in patients with PTSD?

So my conclusion is, if memory gets trained intense, only then courage will build up and related symptoms such as anxiety, annoyance will disappear.


courage: the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc., without fear; bravery.

courage system: in fact, this is the biochemical system that produces chemicals and processes in the brain that keeps us motivated.

intense training for memory: techniques whereby memory is trained to do tasks that are trivial for daily life. This can be done by a therapist, neurofeedback or individual training with online resources. However I'm not sure how well memory plays a role here, that's my question.

annoyance: a person or thing that annoys; nuisance.


Hayes, J. P., VanElzakker, M. B., & Shin, L. M. (2012). Emotion and cognition interactions in PTSD: a review of neurocognitive and neuroimaging studies. Frontiers in integrative neuroscience, 6, 89. doi: 10.3389/fnint.2012.00089 pmcid: PMC3466464

McNally, R. J., Metzger, L. J., Lasko, N. B., Clancy, S. A., & Pitman, R. K. (1998). Directed forgetting of trauma cues in adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse with and without posttraumatic stress disorder. Journal of abnormal psychology, 107(4), 596. doi: 10.1037/0021-843X.107.4.596 pmid: 9830247

Terr, L. C. (1991). Childhood traumas: an outline and overview. The American journal of psychiatry, 148(1), 10-20. doi: 10.1176/ajp.148.1.10

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for the clarification @xfactor - Although your definition for discourage is actually the definition of courage dictionary.com/browse/courage - I would also be careful using media sources (newspapers etc.) as they can be very unreliable in providing accurate information. However, in this instance, they have unusually provided source information for their claims, so you can check what was actually said by the source. I am voting to reopen this question. $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 14, 2020 at 12:21
  • $\begingroup$ I think I am starting to understand what you are asking here, but this question still seems full of unfounded assumptions. I think you are asking if memory affects courage - ie, "Do people with poor memory take more risks?" I don't see what this has to do with PTSD, other than that's where you got the idea from. If I understand it correctly, then please change the question to the one I suggested; otherwise, it looks like I will need more clarification. $\endgroup$
    – Arnon Weinberg
    Commented Mar 14, 2020 at 17:17
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ "courage system" doesn't seem to be a thing anyone talks about - certainly not something I've ever seen discussed. Where are you getting your definition - is this something you've made up? Maybe there is a translation issue here? $\endgroup$
    – Bryan Krause
    Commented Mar 14, 2020 at 21:32
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I think this question has a lot of merit @ArnonWeinberg considering the background literature. I am seeing that the question is asking if the fight/flight response affects memory - literature is pointing to amnesia as a result of coping mechanisms. It's a huge subject which will take time for a good answer to be formulated but it's not impossible. $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 15, 2020 at 8:21
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    $\begingroup$ @ChrisRogers It's not helping me, no. In the question title you have courage = coping mechanisms, and in the body you have "Patients have a coping style to forget ... can memory influence courage in patients ...?" which I read as "For people who cope by forgetting ... does forgetting affect their coping?" ... and that's not making much sense. $\endgroup$
    – Arnon Weinberg
    Commented Mar 16, 2020 at 17:57


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