Depression & Regression

Oh when you look at me like that my darling, what did you expect?
I’d probably still adore you with your hands around my neck,
or I did last time I checked…

One of the worst symptoms of my mental illnesses, one which I am unfortunate enough to experience, is memory loss. Certain things from the distant past (my childhood, school days), I manage to dredge up from the bottom of my brain. Other old memories I can recall with ease, perhaps because I’ve told the story to so many people, so many times. Sometimes I surprise myself: visiting an area I used to frequent with an old boyfriend can evoke memories that I didn’t even know I had. But other times, most of the time, I am at a loss.

My short-term memory truly suffers. I can be on the train and suddenly have no idea where I’m going, which stop I’m meant to get off at, which pub I said I’d meet my friend in, which friend I’m actually meeting. I receive an email saying “Please come down to HR to collect your payslip” and I stand up and walk out of the office door, and then realise I have no idea what I’m doing. Where was I going? I can’t remember if I’ve eaten. I can’t remember if I’ve taken my medication. I can’t remember if I paid my bills.

The novel which I’m writing next month is about my life, my experiences, the strange occurrences that took place during May of this year. If you’ll remember, I had the most crippling writer’s block and I had my final university essays and exams to write. I am going to write about my inability to write. But, I can’t remember a lot of what happened in May because I didn’t write it down (because I couldn’t physically write). So now I’m kinda fucked when it comes to content. I just can’t remember. I lost my mind in May and it doesn’t look like it’s planning to return any time soon.

My mother is a hypnotherapist. I sent her a crazed text message this morning:

Can you do regressive hypnotherapy? Like, take me back 6 months and help me to remember things? Does such a thing even exist?! Help! X

Her reply:

I do not believe in regressive hypnotherapy.

Thanks, Ma. Really helpful. So, darling followers, allow me to pose a question to you…

Do any of you have any personal or secondhand experience or knowledge of regressive therapy? Or indeed any techniques for transporting oneself back in time to remember certain events?

Any help/feedback/thoughts would be much appreciated xxx



  1. It probably would be best to avoid regressive hypnotherapy for the fact that apart from viewing scenes of your life normal memory you would also be accessing memories through subconscious memory also. I would hazard a guess that this could also involve accessing dreams that you have had and looking at things like that again vividly could cause confusion as to what was reality or a dream or maybe a brief wishful thought that you had. Even the most professional and well intentioned regressive hypnotherapist couldn’t say 100% that this would not happen. There are numerous other problems that could occur when dealing with memory this way as memory is extremely complex and not fully understood.
    A safer option would be akin to what the previous comment alluded to in looking at pictures and mementoes of the time that you are trying to recall. This technique is commonly known as reminiscence therapy and is used predominantly in people with dementia. I have used it myself when I was a care worker for people with learning disabilities it can be a very effective method of recreating a time in a persons past when they were happier. Most of the information that you will find on the net about reminiscence therapy is connected with dementia but don’t let this make you think that it can’t be used effectively for your own use.
    In some ways you may be able to utilise it better because you don’t have dementia and therefore you will know better than anyone the triggers that you may need to open the floodgates of your memory banks, whereas people with dementia have to rely on others presuming what key triggers will be and therefore they tend to be more general. So you need to be a specific as possible and only you will know those things. It could be music that listened to in a club and if you can’t remember what the tunes were you can use good old Google to help you out by giving it specific dates, you may even be able to get playlists from a certain gig or similar. News events, local news and occurrences, adverts that played on local radio at the time, you need to think as diversely and creatively as possible and you may be surprised what you can come up with. Smells, sounds, sights, colours, books you read, clothes you wore and the way the texture felt against the skin, don’t leave any stone unturned…..

    Remember… think as diversely and creatively as possible.

    Good luck,


  2. I’ve never suffered from the kind of memory loss that you are describing, but a few years ago I had thyroid cancer. While the doctors were trying to balance my meds, I was suffering from significant memory loss. I mean, like I would make the same comment to someone I was with about four times within an hour because I didn’t remember saying it the first, second, or third time. This went on for months. A good portion of 2011 is a fog to me. I’ve never tried regressive hypnotherapy, but I found that looking at pictures from weddings, parties, and nights out, and double checking with friends and family has helped piece together some significant moments.

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