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Failure In The Matrix. Why Are Confabulations Dangerous? - Self-development
Failure In The Matrix. Why Are Confabulations Dangerous? - Self-development

Video: Failure In The Matrix. Why Are Confabulations Dangerous? - Self-development

Video: Failure In The Matrix. Why Are Confabulations Dangerous? - Self-development
Video: Why self improvement is ruining your life 2023, April

Confabulations (lat. Confābulārī - to talk, to tell) are false memories, in which facts, which were in reality or modified, are transferred to another (often in the near future) time and can be combined with completely fictional events

Confabulation is one of the most common cognitive biases. Truth is bizarrely combined with fiction, and now we are absolutely convinced of a certain fact and even remember how it happened. But in fact, the cat Matroskin knows how to embroider not with a cross, but simply embroider. And the Lion Cub turns to the Turtle with a request to ride without specifying its size. And you and your friend did not discuss your mistakes at work.

Modern psychiatry combines two states under the concept of confabulation. These are actually confabulations - hallucinations of memories - a state in which a person comes up with something that did not exist. And the second state is pseudo-reminiscence, the illusion of memory. In this case, memories are transferred from one period to another, from the past to the present.

Normal or upset?

Almost every one of us has come across confabulations to one degree or another. This also applies to quotes from films and historical events that we have witnessed.

The simplest example of confabulation in healthy people is inventing events or places. Or chronological confusion about the time of the incident. Surely, you have come across the phrase of an acquaintance: "Do you remember, you told me about this?" Of course, you don't remember, because it never happened.

Of course, confabulations can also be a symptom of a mental disorder. For example, as a delusional component of schizophrenia (stories about a worldwide conspiracy, buried treasures). A person suffering from schizophrenia in the acute stage is poorly oriented in time and space. In bipolar personality disorder, confabulations are specific to the manic state, when the person is in an agitated state. And in clinical depression, confabulation can act as a defense mechanism.


The emergence of confabulations is directly related to the peculiarities of human memory. When a memory is created, the brain seems to re-create the whole event. He uses the "puzzles" of the stored information. At the slightest system failure, memory distortion can occur. For example, the work of the body's protective resources in a post-traumatic situation. Or organic damage to the nervous system.

In a perfectly healthy person, confabulations are also possible. This is due to an overabundance of information, frequent stressful situations, lack of focus, and a decrease in memory function (for example, age-related)

Suggestibility, gullibility, desire for social activity are predisposing factors of confabulation. If a person is dependent on the opinions of others, is prone to doubts and is not able to make decisions on his own, his true memories may well be partially replaced by the information that he absorbs from the outside.

Serious medical reasons for confabulation are:

  • Organic lesions of the central nervous system. These include traumatic brain injury, Alzheimer's disease, strokes, aneurysms.
  • Deep psychotrauma. To survive, the brain replaces traumatic information with more acceptable information. What threatens mental health is gradually being replaced from memory. It is a defense mechanism and compensation.
  • States of altered consciousness: alcohol and drug intoxication. Lack of critical thinking. Confidence in what has been said and a desire to make an impression remain. For example, in order to justify their behavior and actions.

5 signs and symptoms of confabulation

  1. First and foremost, there is no intention to lie.

    Lies are aimed at distorting facts in order to achieve a specific goal. During confabulation, a person has no purpose to hide the truth, he is 100% sure that he is right and can only be offended that they do not believe him and dispute his statements.

  2. "Confusion in testimony." What the confabulated person claims needs to be verified. Interview first and then verify facts, with the help of relatives or friends who are aware of the episode.
  3. Fantastic nonsense, reasonableness. The invasion of galactic monsters, the pursuit of special services, the invention of biological weapons are fantastic stories that are gradually turning into resonance. A similar symptom is characteristic of schizophrenia. And confabulation is one of its signs. When such symptoms appear, there is practically no doubt about the diagnosis.
  4. Emotional disturbances. Aggression, depression, anxiety, excitement - these emotions are experienced by the person suffering from confabulations when they try to convince him or her. Aggression can become overt, especially if the cause of the disorder is mental.
  5. Dreaming. Parasomal disorder in which a person speaks (makes sounds) at different stages of sleep. False memories can also be played back in dreams. This is a characteristic symptom in depressive conditions, obsessive-compulsive disorders.

Treatment of confabulations

In healthy people, confabulations do not require specific therapy. As a rule, they are isolated and occur against the background of emotional stress and stressful situations. Therefore, adjusting the lifestyle and restoring the body is enough. This includes:

  • Physical activity.
  • Sleep normalization.
  • Exercises for training memory.
  • Elimination of emotional and physical overload.
  • Getting rid of bad habits.

Treatment of the pathological disorder depends on the treatment of the underlying disorder. This can happen on an outpatient basis and in a hospital.

Correction of pathological confabulations occurs with the help of:

  • Medication support. The drugs are prescribed depending on the underlying disease.
  • Psychotherapy, which is carried out while maintaining critical thinking. The sessions are aimed at developing the correct assessment of memory disorders.
  • Psychocorrection, which is aimed at restoring memory functions.

Even if confabulations are caused by a pathological mental disorder, they can and should be corrected. The success of treatment depends on the underlying disease, but most often the prognosis is favorable. Prevention that is good for everyone includes exercise, memory enhancement, and a healthy lifestyle.

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