Memory problems

I was wondering if some people could give me advice. I have some fairly bad memory probems. I have trouble remembering things I read, both in the short term and in the long term. Oftentimes I’ll be reading a paragraph and I’ll start getting confused, not because I don’t understand the language, but because I don’t remember what I had just read seconds beforehand. Anymore I underline every single word I read with a black pen. I also highlight every word of a book just trying to focus and remember.

However, even this doesn’t seem to help. My mind forgets. I read a lot, but when a friend or teacher starts talking about a book I just read a day before, my mind can’t grasp onto what I know I read and understood.

I’ve tried Ginkgo Biloba before, but that didn’t help. I’ve also been having some depression problems the past nine years or so. I don’t know what is wrong, but I hope it ends soon because it’s really causing me a lot of frustration and depression. I don’t know who famous politicans or actors are, much less famous writers, because I can’t remember anything–even what interests me :frowning:

Does anyone know of ways to increase memory, other than by those memory-systems (loci, peg, etc.), which I’ve tried but still don’t work for me? Any help would be great.

[quote=Madaglan]I was wondering if some people could give me advice. I have some fairly bad memory probems. I have trouble remembering things I read, both in the short term and in the long term. Oftentimes I’ll be reading a paragraph and I’ll start getting confused, not because I don’t understand the language, but because I don’t remember what I had just read seconds beforehand. Anymore I underline every single word I read with a black pen. I also highlight every word of a book just trying to focus and remember.

However, even this doesn’t seem to help. My mind forgets. I read a lot, but when a friend or teacher starts talking about a book I just read a day before, my mind can’t grasp onto what I know I read and understood.

I’ve tried Ginkgo Biloba before, but that didn’t help. I’ve also been having some depression problems the past nine years or so. I don’t know what is wrong, but I hope it ends soon because it’s really causing me a lot of frustration and depression. I don’t know who famous politicans or actors are, much less famous writers, because I can’t remember anything–even what interests me :frowning:

Does anyone know of ways to increase memory, other than by those memory-systems (loci, peg, etc.), which I’ve tried but still don’t work for me? Any help would be great.
[/quote]

Has your memory always been this way or is it something new?

It could be that your memory is bad because you have depression. I used to be very depressed in the past and experienced the same problems. I would even look at the wall and forget the word “wall.” It was very terrible.

Also, are you sleeping well? (Not sleeping well will destroy your memory) Are you eating well, are you exercising?

I can tell you (and studies confirm this) that leading a healthy lifestyle increases a person’s mental faculties. I’ve even read this about people whose IQ’s jumped 20 points after they went from being out of shape to being healthy.

Have you ever done anything to treat your depression?

Hello Madaglan –

It might be helpful to say a prayer to Saint Dymphna, the patron saint of those afflicted with a mental or emotional illness. Loss of memory is a serious illness and I hope you will have a speedy recovery. If the problem persists, I would also consult a medical doctor immediately if you haven’t already.

Here is some information on Dymphna:
catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=222
newadvent.org/cathen/05221b.htm

I will say some prayers for her intercession on your behalf as well.

Blessings!

Man, you are too young to be this old. I walk around in a fog most of the time. I know from previous bouts of depression that memory problems are a real part of it. Find the medical cause and therapy for the depression and that will help the memory.

when I am getting real bad, I turn it all over to God, say a prayer for trust in Divine Providence, and ask St. Anthony to find whatever I was looking for or whatever I forgot, he never lets me down.

I also talk out loud to myself, telling myself what to bring, what I need for whatever job is next, doing an inventory: keys, bag, briefcase, calendar, etc. Oddly enough, when they changed my BP medication my memory improved somewhat.

I don’t know much about causes and such, but for studying it helps me if I write down notes while I’m reading and try to make an outline of sorts…it helps me remember what I read as well as giving me something shorter to refer to later.

I had this really bad when I was pregnant. As soon as I would pop the kid out, my memory would come back! However, I did go through a bout of postpartum depression at one time, and my memory was the first to go. The doctor described it as my body was moving faster than my mind could keep up. A very low dose of Zoloft cleared it right up!

Magdalen–This sounds like something you should talk to a doctor about. You don’t say how old you are or whether you are male or female. I am not a doctor. But what you describe could be hormonal (if you are a woman) or related to depression or associated with other conditions such as thyroid deficiency or other underlying conditions. If you haven’t had a physical exam in a while (with blood tests), you should–if only to reassure yourself.

I am with everyone that suggested a check up first. Diabetes at the onset can cause some trouble with concentration- at least it did with my brother. It happens any time he has low blood sugar.

So, rule out medical reasons and then we can all tell you tips on how to remember.

For lost items, I pray to St. Anthony. It has worked every time. Sometimes it takes a few days but it has always worked. Best of luck to you in ruling everything out.

Yes, you need to work with a medical doctor and a psychologists to help you out with your depression. Sometimes memory loss is connected to depression. Please seek some help. :slight_smile:

Peace,
Jen

Dear Madaglan,

You are not alone in worrying about your memory. I myself have the same th. . . .what did I do with that pencil? It was right here a sec. . . . .Oh goody, the Super bowl is finally sta. . . . . .What’s for dinner to. . . . . .

I have memory problems, and that causes me much concern.I do not drink or take illegal drugs, nor do I smoke. I’m only 47, and have had problems all my life, but it has gotten worse in the past 4 years so. I’m going to physicians, am on medications,so I do know what to do in that respect. I have been diagnosed with Seizure Disorder ( Epilespy and Dissociation ( NOT DID ), and I know that contributes to most of the problem. I have both short-term and long term memory loss, but I deal with it and don’t have pity on myself, nor do I want anyone to pity me. What does concern me and my spouse is that when I have memory loss/total blackouts that can extend to a whole day and and experience dissociation and an altered state of awareness. Luckily I haven’t wandered off anyplace, but my wife and I make sure that she is with me at all time, crack more jokes, and more sarcastic than I am in my normal, conscience life. ;o)
I do have a serious question that relates to by condition (s),because I have no memory and sometimes undergo personality changes, which I do not do under my own free will, to what extent am I guilt or culpable of sinning when I do sin when I’m in this altered state of awareness? I have gone to confession and confess my sins and those sins which I may have committed unknowningly. Once, due to my memory loss, I overdosed on one of my medicines, and my wife had to bring me to the hospital. I did not purposely overdose, but did so because I had taken my medicine as prescribed, but must have forgotten each time I took my pills, then took them again, and again, forgetting each dose that I had just taken. Luckily the overdose wasn’t fatal nor did it cause me to go into a coma or have any bad side effects except for be behaving differently and sleeping for many hours once I got home. Also, because it was an accident and not an intentional overdose with the intent of suicide, I was released after 6 hours in the hospital.
One thing that does baother me in when my wife insisted on bring me to the hospital, she said that I was awfully mean to her verbally, and that is totally unlike me. I absolutely love my wife, and without her, I don’t think I would be here now due to my problems. I know that this behavior can be analyzed psychologically and psychiatrically, but that is not what I want to address here. I acknowledge that I can and have committed sins when I had this type of memory loss, and I have confessed like I stated earlier, but I don’t do it on my own free will, so to what extent am I culpable and where would this fall in our theologially?

Many things could be causing what you’re describing, including a vanilla case of too much stress. Still, if you’ve lost previously-attained mental abilities, it is worth consulting a doctor. Keep a diary of what your experiences are, so you can give an accurate history.

    Thanks, but I have been diagnosed by physicians with PTSD, Seizure Disorder, Dissociative Disorder, and a few other things. You are correct when you suggested stress, as that has definitely been a major cause. I am still going to physicans regularily. I have taken CAT scans and MRI's, and luckily, my brain is normal ( though some may disagree...haha), with only a slight physical abnormality, so we can rule out anything like that so far. I should be lucky that I made it this far in life with my issues regarding such things as working ( I'm been approved for S.S. Disability) for 30 years, even becoming an grocery department manager at Walmart, earning a B.A., etc.  But what do you think about sins that I may commit while I am in a state of memory loss?

This is a very old thread. But to answer the question about behaviors while in a memory loss state - while it may be grave matter (although I don’t think being mean to your wife as described is truly grave matter), you did not do these things with free will.

Please continue to follow your medical treatment. Speak to your priest while lucid to get his advice about what is and isn’t sinful during a memory loss episode. I also recommend you consider respite care for your wife. If you can spend a bit of time each week with another trusted caregiver than she’ll have time for something like a hairstyling without being worried about you (and you won’t have to hang out at the salon.)

Doing what you cannot do is never a moral requirement, although we are often capable of more good than we know.

Do your best and regard others with mercy. The measure you use to measure with will be measured back to you. As John Paul II put it, “Do not accept anything as the truth if it lacks love. And do not accept anything as love which lacks truth! One without the other becomes a destructive lie.” Be honest but always with mercy and be as merciful as the truth allows, whether you are regarding yourself or others. If we do that, we can then trust the blood of Christ will surely more than suffice to make up the difference between what we were and what we ought to have been. We can, in fact, trust that God will make us into what we ought to be, into saints.

Rasoleil, I would agree with previous posters that you need to check with your doctor and a priest. I went out on SSDI a few years ago and things did improve somewhat although it took a long time. When I left work my memory and concentration were nonexistent and the doctor was concerned how oriented I was, so I got the tests of counting back from 100 by 7s, explaining proverbs, and being asked what year it was, who was President, and what country I was in. I was asked these on a few visits and got them right so the dr. didn’t worry about dementia (I’m now 45 and this was about 5 years ago). So I’ve been in a pretty bad place.

I also have dissociation that is not DID. I don’t lose periods of time but I do have difficulty with fragmentation and feelings of very different emotional states. I’ve found that both therapy and medication are essential b/c I also have bipolar.

Best of luck to you as you work through this. While I still have problems it’s not what it used to be.

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