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Old 04-17-2011, 04:57 PM   #1
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I have extremely bad memory and feel slow/stupid. Other problems. Please help.

I've convinced myself that there must be something wrong with me. Some sort of mental or psychological disorder. Its something that's hung around in the back of my head for a while now, but now I'm almost sure of it.

First, I'll say that my memory is lacking severely. I can watch a movie and forget a lot of it by the next day. I remember very few events from my childhood. I could possibly count them on my two hands. Of those events, I don't really remember anything in vivid detail. Everything is a blur for me. I've had relatives mention things to me, "oh, you remember so and so?" and I have absolutely no recollection of it, despite it being something that should have stuck in my mind. And I'm talking like.. in my teens. I'm 22. I remember nothing from when I was less than 10 years old other than that I played baseball at some point and I used to have some scary nightmares.

My memory seems to really hinder my experience in school and my ability to learn, well, anything. Even things I'm really interested in. I've forgotten almost everything I learned before college, and even most of what I learned in college. Actually, scratch that, I usually don't remember the page I just read in my textbook. This leads me to something else. I never really feel like I'm focused on anything. I can sit down to read a book in a house with complete silence, start reading, and just constantly be distracted by my thoughts or just anything. I'll get up and walk around if there's nothing else to do. I'll start thinking about anything and everything. Its not a lack of motivation to learn or read, and its not a lack of interest. Its something else.

This inability to focus carries over into many things other than reading books. I feel like I'm never focused in a conversation. I can be talking with someone one-on-one, and I won't even be listening to them. I'll be drifting off into some other world. Staring at the wall, blindly saying "yeah, mhmm." Even when I put the effort into it and consciously try to focus, I find it difficult. Since we're talking about conversation, I generally have problems conversing. I stumble on words frequently. I often can't think of the word I'm looking for. I often blurt out the wrong word--something completely irrelevant to what I was thinking of. I have a lot of trouble with conversing and I know others can tell to some degree but I don't know how much. I'll often just stop mid-sentence because I either lost my train of thought, drifted off into some other world, or just can't think of the right word. I feel like my cognitive abilities in general are lacking.

I've never been good at anything. My coordination is terrible. I've never been able to beat friends at video games. I always end up in last place in everything. I am pretty much the LEAST creative person in the world. Beyond my inability to focus and remember things, I just have a hard time understanding a lot of things. Intuition is not a quality that I possess.

Lately I've considered getting checked out for ADHD. I think there might be something that goes beyond ADHD, unless I'm just being crazy, but I do exhibit almost all of the ADHD symptoms and that could explain a few things. I experience all of the typical ones, you know, the ones that most people do, when they jokingly say they have a little bit of ADD, or a lot of people think they have it just because they get distracted from their homework. But then there's the other ones. Things like "fidgets with hands or feet or squirms in seat." I can never sit still in a seat. I'm constantly fidgeting, with my hands or my feet, squirming around in my chair, feeling like I absolutely NEED to get up and walk around some. When I had an MRI done and had to lay still for 20 minutes it was one of the most difficult things I've ever had to do, to keep my body still. A lot of the symptoms are just things that everyone probably experiences, but they seem to be magnified for me.

I don't know if I have ADHD; I don't know if I have a learning disability; I don't know if I have something else; what I do know is that something feels off. I've ignored this for my entire life but I'm really starting to think that I have a screw loose up there or something. And it feels weird as hell talking about this too. And to even begin to explain it to my doctor seems like a nightmare.

I'd like to also briefly explain my physical health problems even though they're probably not related, but they might be. I've had a really bad lower back for probably 3-4 years due to bad posture. I finally went and got it diagnosed within the last few months and an MRI showed 2 herniated discs. I also have bad upper back pain and neck pain which I'm still working on getting checked out (MRI next week). I have severe pain in my hands and numbness/thingling which I thought could be carpel tunnel, but I had an EMG done and it came back normal. It would have showed pinched nerves too but it didn't. I work an office job and type a lot, but still, there's got to be some other cause for that. My legs and feet hurt as well, and most of my joints, and I just had x-rays done on both my wrists, elbows, shoulders and ankles. I haven't heard back about it yet. Everything on my right side seems to hurt the most. I had a general blood test done and it came back normal and just got my rheumatoid factor tested but haven't heard back yet on that.

With all of that said, anyone have any ideas?

 
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Old 04-17-2011, 06:15 PM   #2
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Re: I have extremely bad memory and feel slow/stupid. Other problems. Please help.

You said you feel stupid etc. but if you have gone to college I seriously doubt that. Just because you aren't the fastest one maybe at sports or whatever certainly doesn't make you dumb or stupid.

As far as your memory thing, yes we all have it at some point but you seem to be convinced your memory is really bad. Only way you would get any diagnoses is to talk with a Dr. and explain your fears. Could it be you are so preoccupied with this thought you have it be making you just not pay attention to others conversations? Trying to self diagnose yourself is not the best thing, your problem needs to be addressed to the proper person..a Dr. If you do have ADD or ADHD then let them figure it out and possibly do something to help you.

As far as your back problems and joint aches at least your getting those checked out and so far things don't look too bad. Maybe your bad posture is caused from low self esteem? Remember, not everyone can be the best at things, so don't put yourself down becasue your not as I'm sure you have excelled at other things some can't.

Please talk with a professional, and welcome to the board...JJ..
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Old 04-17-2011, 06:43 PM   #3
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Re: I have extremely bad memory and feel slow/stupid. Other problems. Please help.

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You said you feel stupid etc. but if you have gone to college I seriously doubt that. Just because you aren't the fastest one maybe at sports or whatever certainly doesn't make you dumb or stupid.

As far as your memory thing, yes we all have it at some point but you seem to be convinced your memory is really bad. Only way you would get any diagnoses is to talk with a Dr. and explain your fears. Could it be you are so preoccupied with this thought you have it be making you just not pay attention to others conversations? Trying to self diagnose yourself is not the best thing, your problem needs to be addressed to the proper person..a Dr. If you do have ADD or ADHD then let them figure it out and possibly do something to help you.

As far as your back problems and joint aches at least your getting those checked out and so far things don't look too bad. Maybe your bad posture is caused from low self esteem? Remember, not everyone can be the best at things, so don't put yourself down becasue your not as I'm sure you have excelled at other things some can't.

Please talk with a professional, and welcome to the board...JJ..
I may not necessarily be "dumb" or "stupid" but I certainly don't feel as smart as I should be. I have an ambition to learn and read into a lot of things, but never retain any of it. I've gotten through college so far just by "getting by" and borderline cheating at a lot of things. My memory has always been a problem. I'm not sure what that is though. My thoughts do certainly distract me from paying attention to conversations, but even with a conscious effort to direct my attention at the conversation I still find it extremely difficult sometimes. I know we all drift away not paying attention sometimes, but this is too common for me.

My bad posture was caused from about 5-6 years of sitting in a bad computer chair slouched over for anywhere from 8 to 16 hours every day. I've been going to physical therapy and it's helped my posture and my back a lot. I just felt I should include the whole view of my health in here so that's why I included all of that on there.

I appreciate the input and I will definitely talk to my doctor about all of it when I get the chance. Thank you!

 
Old 04-17-2011, 06:57 PM   #4
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Re: I have extremely bad memory and feel slow/stupid. Other problems. Please help.

Like I said, talk with someone who can shed some light on things. I'm glad your getting some PT for the posture thing, I swear I need some lately. I know darn right well at times I am not sitting here properly.

Seeing you do know your not really paying attention at times and it has been a long time problem convinces me you need to have it checked.

Good luck with your studies and hopefully your tests come back fine. Try and keep us posted how things are going as we are here to listen if you need it.

All the best...JJ...
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Old 04-17-2011, 07:04 PM   #5
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Re: I have extremely bad memory and feel slow/stupid. Other problems. Please help.

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Like I said, talk with someone who can shed some light on things. I'm glad your getting some PT for the posture thing, I swear I need some lately. I know darn right well at times I am not sitting here properly.

Seeing you do know your not really paying attention at times and it has been a long time problem convinces me you need to have it checked.

Good luck with your studies and hopefully your tests come back fine. Try and keep us posted how things are going as we are here to listen if you need it.

All the best...JJ...
Thanks. Will do. As for the posture thing, my therapist drilled that into my head and finally it began to stick with me. If you get back pain while sitting for an extended period of time, a general tip is to use a lumbar roll (or a rolled up towel can work too). One other thing that helped me a lot is my monitor was always sitting too low so I'd be tilting my head forward/down so I had to prop it up and that helped.

 
Old 04-17-2011, 09:56 PM   #6
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Re: I have extremely bad memory and feel slow/stupid. Other problems. Please help.

I don't think self-diagnosis is such a bad thing as long as you do a lot of research into the topic. Professionals do not always know the answer. I have ADD and some other oddities, and went through countless visits with two shrinks who never bothered to even touch on ADD and other things.

Part of why everyone says "only a professional should diagnose you" and yet lots of people are self-dxing these days, is simply because the current system is designed only to send you to the therapist, then the psychiatrist to treat the problem, then the pharmacy etc. There is no system in place that allows for simply getting evaluated to identify a mental difference. I have nothing against being treated, but part of the stigma about self-dxing is that such professionals would attract less business if everyone was going about dealing with the problem on their own, either through self-study or support groups, etc.

I have ADD and anxiety disorder diagnosed, but even that does not all add up; I have some learning and social issues as well. For me, after doing a lot of self-study and talking to people online with various diagnoses, it seemed to look like what I have "at the core" might be a PDD. When I'm talking PDD, I'm talking about Asperger and NVLD (non-verbal learning disorder.) ADD as well as anxiety are common components in pervasive development disorders, so the pieces fit. In my own opinion, I could have Asperger, and while I won't have the certainty that a professional diagnosis will give, the self-knowledge still comes in handy. And I generally do not tell people about my self-dx; that just increases the current stigma going around.

Do you have any problems with social and/or reading comprehension? If so, you may want to look into NVLD or Asperger. Both of them tend to be "systemic" in that many areas of cognition and functioning are affected. A common tendency in NVLD is to be good with words or language, but generally poor with Math, comprehension, and often social skills as well. Generally if you have Asperger there's a good chance you have NVLD, due to the similarity. However there are a few odd cases of NVLD where someone doesn't fit enough of the Asperger criteria.

 
Old 04-17-2011, 10:20 PM   #7
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Re: I have extremely bad memory and feel slow/stupid. Other problems. Please help.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Benit View Post
I don't think self-diagnosis is such a bad thing as long as you do a lot of research into the topic. Professionals do not always know the answer. I have ADD and some other oddities, and went through countless visits with two shrinks who never bothered to even touch on ADD and other things.

Part of why everyone says "only a professional should diagnose you" and yet lots of people are self-dxing these days, is simply because the current system is designed only to send you to the therapist, then the psychiatrist to treat the problem, then the pharmacy etc. There is no system in place that allows for simply getting evaluated to identify a mental difference. I have nothing against being treated, but part of the stigma about self-dxing is that such professionals would attract less business if everyone was going about dealing with the problem on their own, either through self-study or support groups, etc.

I have ADD and anxiety disorder diagnosed, but even that does not all add up; I have some learning and social issues as well. For me, after doing a lot of self-study and talking to people online with various diagnoses, it seemed to look like what I have "at the core" might be a PDD. When I'm talking PDD, I'm talking about Asperger and NVLD (non-verbal learning disorder.) ADD as well as anxiety are common components in pervasive development disorders, so the pieces fit. In my own opinion, I could have Asperger, and while I won't have the certainty that a professional diagnosis will give, the self-knowledge still comes in handy. And I generally do not tell people about my self-dx; that just increases the current stigma going around.

Do you have any problems with social and/or reading comprehension? If so, you may want to look into NVLD or Asperger. Both of them tend to be "systemic" in that many areas of cognition and functioning are affected. A common tendency in NVLD is to be good with words or language, but generally poor with Math, comprehension, and often social skills as well. Generally if you have Asperger there's a good chance you have NVLD, due to the similarity. However there are a few odd cases of NVLD where someone doesn't fit enough of the Asperger criteria.
I don't usually have problems with reading comprehension. If I can get focused some and clear my mind of other things and be free of distractions, I can understand what I'm reading fine. But I won't remember most of it. I looked up NLVD symptoms. The first two listed were great vocabulary/verbal expression and excellent memory skills. I think I experience the opposite, where I lack these skills. A lot of the other ones apply to me though. I have bad social skills but I've improved on those a lot and I think the reason I'm still socially awkward is because I'm a really bad conversationalist. I just have trouble being able to relate to things, find things to talk about, find the words I'm looking for, and I'm just not knowledgeable on a lot of things that people bring up, when I should be. My nonverbal communication is probably lacking a lot. But I'm a lot more extroverted and outgoing that I used to be, it's just stressful keeping up with conversations.

 
Old 04-18-2011, 01:39 AM   #8
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Re: I have extremely bad memory and feel slow/stupid. Other problems. Please help.

Consider sleep apnea, if you snore and do not feel rested in the morning.

 
Old 04-18-2011, 10:01 PM   #9
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Re: I have extremely bad memory and feel slow/stupid. Other problems. Please help.

Not saying you have NVLD/Asperger, but if you look around some more, there's actually a good bit of flexibility found within those two diagnoses. However it does seem that perhaps ADD/ADHD is a better fit for you; and nowadays there's a new thing called SCT which is like "inattentive ADD" only with a stronger component of learning problems and poor short term memory. Maybe you should look into that.

Basically the rule of thumb is that if you have a lot of fogginess and memory/attention issues, but still some hyperactivity, you might have ADHD-I. If you have the memory and learning issues but tend to lack energy, SCT is a possibility.

Last edited by Benit; 04-18-2011 at 10:06 PM.

 
Old 04-18-2011, 11:54 PM   #10
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Re: I have extremely bad memory and feel slow/stupid. Other problems. Please help.

I do not snore so I don't think it's sleep apnea.

Benit, this SCT thing sounds really interesting after looking at it. The symptoms seem to fit me better than anything else. It doesn't seem to be formally recognized as a medical condition though, is it? From what I gather these people are still classified as having ADHD-I. I couldn't find much on it beyond the wikipedia page and a bunch of posts on ADD related forums. But I will certainly look into this further and talk to my doctor about it. Regardless of the subtype, there definitely seems to be a good possibility of ADD/ADHD. You've been a lot of help. Thanks.

Last edited by idontknow55; 04-18-2011 at 11:54 PM.

 
Old 04-19-2011, 07:42 PM   #11
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Re: I have extremely bad memory and feel slow/stupid. Other problems. Please help.

Some of what you are describing sounds like a mineral deficiency, but only some of it. On the theory that helping in one area will make it easier to deal with the others I would suggest that if you are not taking any supplements ask your doctor if it is okay to take a good multi-vitamin with minerals, and magnesium and vitamin d. Those are some that we commonly miss. As for not remembering your childhood, a lot of people don't. I know people who remember everything in detail, but not everyone does. For a lot of us, very little gets moved from short term to long term memory unless there was something about it that made it special at the time (not just looking back). I wish you luck.

 
Old 04-20-2011, 02:18 PM   #12
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Re: I have extremely bad memory and feel slow/stupid. Other problems. Please help.

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Some of what you are describing sounds like a mineral deficiency, but only some of it. On the theory that helping in one area will make it easier to deal with the others I would suggest that if you are not taking any supplements ask your doctor if it is okay to take a good multi-vitamin with minerals, and magnesium and vitamin d. Those are some that we commonly miss. As for not remembering your childhood, a lot of people don't. I know people who remember everything in detail, but not everyone does. For a lot of us, very little gets moved from short term to long term memory unless there was something about it that made it special at the time (not just looking back). I wish you luck.
I will look into that and possibly start taking a multi-vitamin. I have some that I bought but didn't take them more than a few times, but I know I'm lacking in most vitamins and minerals and not getting what I should be daily (I should probably improve my diet). Over the past couple weeks my physical symptoms have gotten a lot worse. I might make another post about it since it's a whole different thing, but I did include some of that in my original post. But since therapy my back and neck have gotten a lot better but my ankles, feet, calves, hands and forearms have all been hurting more. Feels like I have nerve pain throughout my body too. I just had an MRI done on the cervical and had about 10 x-rays done and some blood work so I guess all I can do for now is wait until I see my doctor again and find out the results. The symptoms are never-ending for me though.. it's depressing. New things pop up all the time. Lately I've had some shortness of breath, like something is stuck in my throat and it's difficult to breathe. Well, not difficult, but it isn't flowing like it should be.

 
Old 09-01-2011, 07:55 PM   #13
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Re: I have extremely bad memory and feel slow/stupid. Other problems. Please help.

Hiiiiiiii!!! Finally it seems like I've found someone who feels the same way as I do! I hope you see this and reply. :/

 
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