Some people and scientists foolishly think that repressed memories are a modern myth. They believe that the idea that memories of trauma can be banished into the unconscious and then reliably recovered years later as pseudoscience and the people who claim to recall these events are liars who are part of some dangerous fad or trendy witch hunt.

But the facts are science is proving that a new and safe treatment can suddenly invoke the recovery of repressed memories such as childhood sexual abuse (CSA).

Repressed memories, also known as dissociative amnesia is defined as the “inability to recall autobiographical information” and disproportionate retrograde amnesia with or without identity loss which normally happens in the context of psychological trauma such as child sexual abuse. It has also been given the term ‘functional amnesia’ to describe the condition because it appears to be a method of the brain to block these memories so the person can normally function as an adult as if the event never happened. (1)

Some people recover these memories during psychotherapy or events similar to those preceding the amnesia or never and in some cases, it is said that distraction or sedation may trigger these memories. A new method is being reported by researchers that is having surprising results.

Researchers have found that the recovery of repressed memories such as childhood sexual abuse (CSA) of patients with Fibromyalgia Syndrome (FMS) can be treated with hyperbaric oxygen therapy. Fibromyalgia Syndrome (FMS) is characterized by chronic widespread pain and along with symptoms of fatigue, non-restorative sleep, and cognitive difficulties. FMS can be induced by trauma, infection or emotional stress.

It’s as if the hyperbaric oxygen is awakening dormant brain regions.

A 2018 research paper shows a series of 9 female fibromyalgia patients who received HBOT and then suddenly recalled repressed traumatic memories of childhood sexual abuse (CSA). They found that these repressed (dissociative) memories occurred suddenly with no warning decades after the sexual abuse events. No psychological intervention was involved.

Amazingly, as the patients recalled their memories, the physical pain related to the fibromyalgia subsided. In one patient who had brain single photon emission CT (SPECT) before and after HBOT, the prefrontal cortex appeared suppressed before and reactivated after. The 3 cases reported in this article are representative of a total of nine fibromyalgia patients who experienced a retrieval of repressed memory during HBOT.


1. Dissociative amnesia: Disproportionate retrograde amnesia, stressful experiences and neurological circumstances.

2. Recovery of Repressed Memories in Fibromyalgia Patients Treated With Hyperbaric Oxygen – Case Series Presentation and Suggested Bio-Psycho-Social Mechanism.

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