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Memory Question

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Old 10-17-2006, 09:11 PM   #1
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: San Bernardino
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Apercen HB User
Memory Question

Hi I am new to the boards and have a general question about memory for which I have been unable to find an answer for. I am a 21 year old male single child. Have had some minor drug use however not extended. From my understanding from some doctors it should not pose any problem however they are not memory doctors so to say.

My question is what is a 'normal' memory like. I have no recollection of any childhood experiences what so ever. Maybe a 'picture' you could say of around 5 at Disneyland but I do not remember what I even did really. I cannot recall what I did in elementary, junior high almost entirely(and I really do mean nearly entirely any memory of any situation I cannot recall). I graduated from high school around the age of 18.

I do now however remember some high school memories but they are very limited. I can remember no names of people, I can barely remember Prom (which is a very big deal to a lot of people - but I do not take many interests in things I suppose, which should however not have any impact on my memory in such a substantial way as far as I see it but that is why I'm here). I went to college and have more memories than I did in High School (I say I have memories but I cannot express how limited they are, 'pictures' of what I was doing but no recollection of any conversations or any of the other sort). I can barely remember a conversation sometimes a day later or a week or so. I do not believe that I have a typical memory and so I am seeking advice.

Just as a side note: (I have no idea if there is any importance in the fact but I do not think. I mean when people are talking I never think about what they are saying and so I respond without thinking about what they said. I do this constantly without a thought. It may seem hard to understand but may be of relevance. I don't know how else to put it as of this moment.)

I appreaciate any help or advice in advance. I am at a loss for any explanation. I need advice.

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Old 10-17-2006, 10:06 PM   #2
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georgie04 HB User
Re: Memory Question

Hi there, that sounds like a pretty unnerving situation to be in and I would urge you to follow this through thoroughly with a doctor/specialist.

There are any number of medical/environmental conditions that could be causing this (happily, all of them fixable ) and if I were you I would get them checked out thoroughly - thyroid problem, B12 deficiency, prescription drugs, autoimmune conditions, depression......

I have a thyroid problem and experienced memory problems with that, even though my tests results were only slightly 'off' at that stage. That meant the doctors weren't taking it very seriously at all - which is why I urge you to really persevere until you get an answer. What you describe sounds pretty similar. Some people call it brain fog. Memory problems caused me all sorts of trouble in my work and personal life - couldn't recall conversations, commitments I had made to people, total lack of interest in even sticking my nose out the door, and, eventually, lack of confidence. (I am a senior consultant in a very complex area and I truly didn't know what I was talking about for a while there ).

Given your age, sadly you may have a problem trying to get a doctor to take this seriously, but please persevere - there are so many things in life you will be limited in doing if you don't get a proper diagnosis and treatment now. Things you cannot even see if, indeed, you are in that brain fog.

One other thought as a kind of benchmarking thing, is for you to take something called the Mini Mental State Exam - it is a short test that your doctor can give you which gives you an indication of whether or not you have some level of cognitive (or memory) dysfunction. That might be a starting point to see if there really is a problem (from a doctor's perspective I mean).

I can't answer your question about what a normal memory is like - but I do love reading about it - it is a fascinating and complex subject and there are some very learned and articulate authors/presentations (Oliver Saks for one, and a downloadable British series on types of memory for another) that it would be a great disservice for me to even try.

I hope you get to the bottom of this - all the best

Old 10-18-2006, 07:06 AM   #3
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needtoescape HB User
Re: Memory Question

I don't have any answers for you - but I can relate to much of what you say. I have always felt my brain had something missing where memories are concerned. When I was in high school, I would forget my locker combination over Christmas break. I remember almost nothing about childhood, highschool, college, earlier years of my marriage, etc. In college, I forgot the name of a ROOMMATE over the summer. I can't remember any of my college friends names (except a guy I was crazy about). I know what you mean about only having a few "picture" memories. I have a few of those, but nothing specific or detailed. In literature class in high school, I would have to pull an all nighter and re-read/skim the entire book before a test or else I would have forgotten major characters and plot. No one has ever taken my concern about this seriously because I did well in school through a LOT of last minute cramming. I did well in courses that you could figure things out rather than have to memorize them. I had trouble with Biology (memorizing names, etc.) but loved math.

On the job, I have done ok in terms of memory. I really don't know what the difference is. I kind of wonder whether I have selective memory - in thinking some things just aren't important.

I forget what year my husband and I moved to our current house, what year he had a heart attack, etc.

If you ever figure out what is impacting you, please post and let us know. I really haven't thought about my own issue with this in some time because it doesn't impact me nearly so much now as it did when I was in school.

Good luck.

Old 10-18-2006, 02:57 PM   #4
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angel_bear HB Userangel_bear HB Userangel_bear HB Userangel_bear HB Userangel_bear HB Userangel_bear HB Userangel_bear HB Userangel_bear HB Userangel_bear HB User
Re: Memory Question

This thread got me thinking ... and yeah .. I have a selective memory too I guess ..

But .. I have justified it over the years, cause I sorta worked it out like this.

My brain is a GIGANTIC filing cabinet .. right? Everything get's stored in a little spot ... ready to be pulled out as needed ...

but ..........

1) sometimes the memory get's crushed under others (which means I find it later)
2) sometimes I filed it in the wrong spot (which means I find it later)
3) Sometimes I have to do a clean out cause there's no room left (won't find it later)
4) and sometimes, I just plain don't file it cause it's not important (won't find it later)

I think the biggest worry is your short term memory loss .. which could be from a poor diet, lack of sleep, busy life, other committments and plain just not wanting to remember stuff!!!

Don't sweat it .. worrying isn't going to achieve anything, but if your truly concerned .. go to a doctor, dont' 2nd guess yourself and DO NOT diagnose yourself !!!!

My advice .. and my 2 cents **cheers**

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