Amnesia can be one of the most devastating things a person can go through. I cannot even begin to imagine how it must feel to be unable to remember the past or to be unable to create new memories. Amnesia can be caused due to brain damage, tumors, harmful substance use, and even an extremely poor diet. There are plenty of movies that poke fun at those with amnesia, such as Finding Dory. However, there is one movie that I feel provides a true example of what life must be like for those who have retrograde amnesia: The Vow.

This movie is based upon a true story. In this movie a husband and wife get into a serious car accident and the wife suffers brain injuries. When she finally wakes up, she doesn’t recognize her husband. Due to the car accident, she is suffering from retrograde amnesia which is when one cannot remember anything past a certain date. In her case, she can’t remember the last 18 months of her life. While her husband insists that it is best for her to return to her usual life, her parents think she should go back to living at home and attends to law school since that is the last thing she remembers.  Eventually, she sides with her parents and returns home. This movie raises the question as to whether someone who essentially has a chance to re-do the last few years of their lives will still become the same person. In her case, she does become the same person she was before and she falls in love with her husband again.

It turns out that her husband was right in his opinion for her to return home. The doctor in the film also advised that she try to fill the blanks in her memories rather than be afraid of losing those years of her life. This is what doctors would recommend in real-life situations in addition to meeting on a regular basis with a counselor since there is no actual cure. Exposing the person to their forgotten past should help resurface those forgotten memories.

One thought on “Amnesia

  1. kvincent

    It was super interesting you brought up this movie since it was so main stream but also showed some very realistic events. It is astounding the idea that someone could basically relive their lives, however the idea that one would end up exactly the same seems quite rare, since every decision we make can change us just ever so slightly. Besides this the movie did seem to do a fairly adequate job at showing the effects of this kind of amnesia. Besides this I think it would be interesting to think about what makes certain amnesic events longer or shorter than others, since one could get hit in the head and lose a couple minutes or in this case over a year.

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