This woman from Brisbane has made it to the news after she revealed she is one of the 80 people in the world to have suffered from an extremely rare health condition that enables her to remember everything she has ever experienced in life.
Rebecca Sharrock, 25 years old from Brisbane, Australia discovered 4 years ago that she had Highly Superior Autobiographical Memory (HSAM), and can remember everything from when she was born.
She is now trying to raise awareness of the condition and has started her own YouTube page called A Life Journal which documents what her life is like. She has a huge social media presence with a following of 12,600 Twitter followers and has authored two e-books on her condition and autism.
Rebecca’s amazing trick is that she can remember all the seven Harry Potter books by memory. Whoa!
“I remember my mum Janet placing me in the drivers seat of the car and taking a picture of me when I was 12 days old, that’s my earliest memory. I remember every day since then. Some of them I can’t date exactly because I was too young to understand calendars, but I remember what I did that day, what the weather was like and so on.”
Ms Sharrock not only remembers the details from each day but also the emotions she experienced in each situation. She talks about the thoughts and feelings in videos posted at her YouTube page.
“When I relive memories, the emotions come back. So if it’s something from when I was younger it’s like my mind is an adult but my emotions are the age that I was then. I also re-experience pain. For example, I remember falling over when I was three at my grandparents’ house and grazing my left knee. Talking about it now, I’m getting an echo of the sting in my left knee cap.”
However, there are times when Ms Sharrock’s memories prove to be too overwhelming requiring her to learn relaxation and mindfulness techniques to cope.
She further revealed she also has no control over which memories she will remember or when. Some are so painful that she has been diagnosed with PTSD or post-traumatic stress disorder.
One day, her mom; Janet Barnes, 51, was watching an episode of 60 minutes when the condition was featured it’s when the family work out that she might have HSAM. Ms Sharrock and her mum got in touch with researchers at the University of California who were featured on the program and after tests was accepted onto the study in March 2013.
“As I also have autism and anxiety, it has made it very difficult for me to have a typical sort of career. However I have always liked doing writing and research, and it’s great that there are so many places where one can self publish eBooks. My goals are to be able to write and sell eBooks about my medical conditions and interests.”
Rebecca has written one ebook she called – Streams of Memories, and she is also writing one on Autism to raise awareness about her condition.
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