If you could remember every single moment of your life … how would it change things? We recently read a Vice article that got us wondering just that.
The article was about a woman with a condition called Highly Superior Autobiographical Memory (HSAM). Translation: she can remember her whole life with a ridiculous level of detail, including scents, exact conversations, and sometimes even physical pain.
For example, her first memory is of being in the womb (she says, “I remember being in a dark place, with a reddish light and I had my head between my legs, so I’m assuming that’s when I was in the womb.”). Yup, she's serious. And she’s one of only 80 people in the world to have been diagnosed with this condition.
Sounds exciting, right? How amazing would it be to remember everything that’s ever happened to you?
Well, some people with HSAM say it's a burden. For one woman, whenever she sees a date pop up, she automatically goes back to that day, remembering where she was, who she was with, and what she was doing. She describes the experience as “non-stop, uncontrollable, and exhausting.”
Others with this condition struggle with anxiety and depression, which may be linked to their inability to let certain things go because they remember them so vividly.
This got us thinking about what life would be like if we remembered everything about our lives …
? If you had HSAM, would you avoid certain situations or experiences that could be negative, knowing you would remember them in vivid detail forever?
? Would remembering every moment of your life be super helpful … or is there actually a good reason we forget certain things?
? How would having HSAM affect who you are as a person?