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WhiteOwl 01-03-18 09:17 PM

Horrible memory
 
This is so frustrating for me. It's bad enough being forgetful in day to day life, like forgetting to pick up a certain item from the store. But what frustrates me the most, is my inability to remember most of the things I read that really interest me. I want to be able to recall the facts later, but then I realize I have forgotten most of them. For instance, I am fascinated by natural disasters. Last summer, we visited Mt St. Helen's and I bought a big book about the eruption and recovery. I've thoroughly enjoyed what I have read about it, but don't ask me any details because I don't remember! I only remember the very general details that I would have already known even if I hadn't bought the book. Am I the only one with a memory this bad? Is there any way to improve it?

aeon 01-03-18 09:29 PM

Re: Horrible memory
 
Nutrition, exercise, and sleep all have quite significant effect upon both memory formation and recall.

High levels of cortisol and other stress hormones and neurotransmitters will degrade both those things.


Cheers,
Ian

Greyhound1 01-03-18 10:15 PM

Re: Horrible memory
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by WhiteOwl (Post 1980900)
This is so frustrating for me. It's bad enough being forgetful in day to day life, like forgetting to pick up a certain item from the store. But what frustrates me the most, is my inability to remember most of the things I read that really interest me. I want to be able to recall the facts later, but then I realize I have forgotten most of them. For instance, I am fascinated by natural disasters. Last summer, we visited Mt St. Helen's and I bought a big book about the eruption and recovery. I've thoroughly enjoyed what I have read about it, but don't ask me any details because I don't remember! I only remember the very general details that I would have already known even if I hadn't bought the book. Am I the only one with a memory this bad? Is there any way to improve it?

You are certainly not the only one. I have the same problem with many memories unless they are ones Iíve obsessed over. Those I seem to never forget.

I canít remember what I had for dinner last night and many things which arenít overly stimulating. I canít tell you how many times, Iíve rented a movie weíve seen before and bring it home only to have my wife tell me. :doh:

I have a degree in English from a major university in the form of a diploma only. I remember nothing from college, I supposedly learned. I only remember all the wild times and adventures we had like it was yesterday.

I often feel cheated from all Iíve done and learned in my life that I canít remember and use when needed.

Fuzzy12 01-04-18 04:50 AM

Re: Horrible memory
 
I have the exact same problem. I've posted about it before and was going to start another thread just a few days ago about my exactly this.

I love learning new things and keep listening to videos of lectures on subjects that interest me but I don't retain anything. Maybe for a few days then it's gone.

I try refresh it's few days later or sometimes I tell hubby about things I've learnt to anchor it in my memory but it still won't last. I'm listening to this audiobook on stress by my most favourite human being and I just have listened to the first few chapters at least 3 times but I still don't remember much. I've also read these chapters a couple of times but I still can't remember more than the very general gist (stress seriously affects the body) and a few odd snippets.

I love museums and historical exhibitions. I always drive vwryone crazy because I want to read everything in detail...several times but I still don't remember much. The next time I visit it all looks brand new to me.

It's so frustrating...and such a waste of time. There's so much to know and learn but I can't even remember.

Hubby has got a memory like an elephant. He just reads something once and then he remembers. I think this is why his general knowledge is s amazing whereas line sucks though I spend so much more time reading (or watching listening learning etc).

DeClutter 01-04-18 05:30 AM

Re: Horrible memory
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by WhiteOwl (Post 1980900)
This is so frustrating for me. It's bad enough being forgetful in day to day life, like forgetting to pick up a certain item from the store. But what frustrates me the most, is my inability to remember most of the things I read that really interest me.

Yeah, i have that too. One of the things it frustrates me most is with songs. As much as i love a particular song, i can't seem to remember the lyrics, and ussually am at a loss when asked about a title or artist of a particular song.

It seems my brain is always remembering the tune and arrangement of the song in great detail (and probably that is because i remember the emotional flow of the music), I can even recall the sound and expression of the voice, but when i try to remembering the words, it's like i am staring into a big void.

Quote:

Originally Posted by aeon (Post 1980902)
Nutrition, exercise, and sleep all have quite significant effect upon both memory formation and recall.

High levels of cortisol and other stress hormones and neurotransmitters will degrade both those things.

Funny thing is that for an ADD person, to obtain the healthy lifestyle that improves memory, stress is needed to bring up the required self-discipline.

Cortisol and adrenaline have been the compensating forces throughout my life to keep up with my goals and adhere to a somewhat structured life. It's a fairly new insight for me.

And a bit spooky to realise that i kind of sought out a life for myself where stress and risk is/was always present. I seemed to be "doing ok" on the surface, high-functioning if you will, but at the mercy of an ever present low level flight or fight response.

WhiteOwl 01-04-18 02:14 PM

Re: Horrible memory
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by aeon (Post 1980902)
Nutrition, exercise, and sleep all have quite significant effect upon both memory formation and recall.

High levels of cortisol and other stress hormones and neurotransmitters will degrade both those things.


Cheers,
Ian

Oh great, the three things I don't get enough of, lol. I'm working on those things, though.

WhiteOwl 01-04-18 02:19 PM

Re: Horrible memory
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Greyhound1 (Post 1980905)
You are certainly not the only one. I have the same problem with many memories unless they are ones Iíve obsessed over. Those I seem to never forget.

I canít remember what I had for dinner last night and many things which arenít overly stimulating. I canít tell you how many times, Iíve rented a movie weíve seen before and bring it home only to have my wife tell me. :doh:

I have a degree in English from a major university in the form of a diploma only. I remember nothing from college, I supposedly learned. I only remember all the wild times and adventures we had like it was yesterday.

I often feel cheated from all Iíve done and learned in my life that I canít remember and use when needed.

Yeah, I remember next to nothing from all my years in school and have forgotten a lot of stuff from my job that I worked at for 8 yrs. It seems I only learn things through doing them repeatedly and having to constantly use the knowledge, or it just falls out of my head. Like, the things I'm "learning" in school now, it's mostly just to get me through the tests. I had a pharmacology class last semester and was like, "Yeah right, like I'm going to remember all these medications, what they're for, how they work, what class they fall under, etc. Who am I kidding?" I need to use it in the context of my day-to-day life/job, and even then......I hate always feeling so stupid.

WhiteOwl 01-04-18 02:25 PM

Re: Horrible memory
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Fuzzy12 (Post 1980922)
I have the exact same problem. I've posted about it before and was going to start another thread just a few days ago about my exactly this.

I love learning new things and keep listening to videos of lectures on subjects that interest me but I don't retain anything. Maybe for a few days then it's gone.

I try refresh it's few days later or sometimes I tell hubby about things I've learnt to anchor it in my memory but it still won't last. I'm listening to this audiobook on stress by my most favourite human being and I just have listened to the first few chapters at least 3 times but I still don't remember much. I've also read these chapters a couple of times but I still can't remember more than the very general gist (stress seriously affects the body) and a few odd snippets.

I love museums and historical exhibitions. I always drive vwryone crazy because I want to read everything in detail...several times but I still don't remember much. The next time I visit it all looks brand new to me.

It's so frustrating...and such a waste of time. There's so much to know and learn but I can't even remember.

Hubby has got a memory like an elephant. He just reads something once and then he remembers. I think this is why his general knowledge is s amazing whereas line sucks though I spend so much more time reading (or watching listening learning etc).

I'm the exact same way. I love learning things. I want to see/read everything in the museum, too. I don't know where all that information goes, but definitely not to my brain, lol.

My bf is the same way. He's obsessed with history, particularly wars/battles and has been reading about it since he learned to read. He will just randomly spout off facts, numbers, details, etc. like a freaking walking encyclopedia. I'm like, "How do you do that?!" and he just shrugs and goes, "Idk". I just hope he doesn't ask me something history related that everyone should know, cause I probably won't know it, lol.

WhiteOwl 01-04-18 04:17 PM

Re: Horrible memory
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by DeClutter (Post 1980923)
Yeah, i have that too. One of the things it frustrates me most is with songs. As much as i love a particular song, i can't seem to remember the lyrics, and ussually am at a loss when asked about a title or artist of a particular song.

It seems my brain is always remembering the tune and arrangement of the song in great detail (and probably that is because i remember the emotional flow of the music), I can even recall the sound and expression of the voice, but when i try to remembering the words, it's like i am staring into a big void.

That happens to me a lot, too. I sometimes want to look up a song and sit there humming the tune to myself, unable to conjure up the lyrics.



Quote:

Originally Posted by DeClutter
Funny thing is that for an ADD person, to obtain the healthy lifestyle that improves memory, stress is needed to bring up the required self-discipline.

Cortisol and adrenaline have been the compensating forces throughout my life to keep up with my goals and adhere to a somewhat structured life. It's a fairly new insight for me.

And a bit spooky to realise that i kind of sought out a life for myself where stress and risk is/was always present. I seemed to be "doing ok" on the surface, high-functioning if you will, but at the mercy of an ever present low level flight or fight response.

Very true. I often procrastinate because I need that rush of adrenaline to kick me into action. I was also much more motivated at my stressful job, than at the boring and tedious one.

anonymouslyadd 01-04-18 05:22 PM

Re: Horrible memory
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by WhiteOwl (Post 1980900)
This is so frustrating for me. It's bad enough being forgetful in day to day life, like forgetting to pick up a certain item from the store. But what frustrates me the most, is my inability to remember most of the things I read that really interest me. I want to be able to recall the facts later, but then I realize I have forgotten most of them. For instance, I am fascinated by natural disasters. Last summer, we visited Mt St. Helen's and I bought a big book about the eruption and recovery. I've thoroughly enjoyed what I have read about it, but don't ask me any details because I don't remember! I only remember the very general details that I would have already known even if I hadn't bought the book. Am I the only one with a memory this bad? Is there any way to improve it?

People with ADD have this problem, from short term memory issues to memory recall (long-term?). These symptoms are part of the Executive Functions of the brain. For a long time I used to become infuriated at my inability to recall information as I'd like to.

Padawan 01-04-18 06:16 PM

Re: Horrible memory
 
I don't have enough knowledge to know about whether you can improve your memory, but I do feel your frustration. My memory has always been subpar, but now after entering menopause, it is worse than ever.

Something I heard today on an otherwise so-so webinar was "Donít depend on your memory for anything. Thatís a waste of time." (How did I remember that? I stopped the webinar and typed it in a Word doc ;) ). This dovetails with the advice to outsource our working (and other) memory as much as possible. I'm realizing that I've thought I could remember better by sheer strength of will, and that I could think my way to figuring out my life. The truth is that I may never have those fascinating details stored inside me, and maybe I need to learn to accept that.

Somewhere I heard that "Planning is not thinking. Planning is writing." For people with ADHD, memory might work in a similar way.

Just a few ideas I've thought of for myself that might resonate:
  • Use my phone to take photos (when permitted) of museum exhibits and information placards.
  • In fact, use my phone to record anything I want to be able to refer to later. A few dollars a month for extra cloud storage is worth the outsourced memories.
  • Keep a daily journal (something I've tried to do for years but never succeeded--I'm not sure how I'll succeed this time, but I want to try), and instead of writing in it at the end of the day, after I've forgotten important details, jot it in as I can throughout the day--anything that I wish I could remember.
  • Or, if that doesn't work, maybe send the same info as texts to a friend or family member, then back up and store the texts periodically?
  • For topics like Mount St. Helen's or anything else that's interesting, keep those books close by and re-read them often just to enjoy them again. Or read other books on the same topic, in case a variety of perspectives and approaches eventually might come together. Or see if image-heavy books or audio books help with memory of details.
  • Read with the goal of enjoying the information in the moment rather than trying to commit it to long-term memory.

sarahsweets 01-15-18 06:35 AM

Re: Horrible memory
 
Personal question that you dont have to answer....were you ever a victim of trauma?

diagoro 01-15-18 04:16 PM

Re: Horrible memory
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by DeClutter (Post 1980923)
Yeah, i have that too. One of the things it frustrates me most is with songs. As much as i love a particular song, i can't seem to remember the lyrics, and ussually am at a loss when asked about a title or artist of a particular song.

It seems my brain is always remembering the tune and arrangement of the song in great detail (and probably that is because i remember the emotional flow of the music), I can even recall the sound and expression of the voice, but when i try to remembering the words, it's like i am staring into a big void.

Very much the same, which can be a pain when trying to recall something for my radio show.

Not so odd how I can't recall words (unless the song is playing), but can play air drums along with it. Also why I suck at karaoke, I can never recall the way the lyrics are meant to be sung in. That, and most of what I listen to is never offered as a choice (self admitted indie snob).

stef 01-15-18 05:48 PM

Re: Horrible memory
 
I have he same thing with music;
my short term memory is terrible; yet I have a vivid almost photographic memory. But it's completly random. I can still "see" some notebooks I used for classes 30 years ago. History, was yellow narrowlined and I took notes in pencil, then wrote in pen over the titles. I releber what I wore on the first day of high school ( each year).

I can't always recall my work cell phone. Even though when I go out, I have to transfer calls from desk phone to cell phone. I do this several times a day.

The other day I knew right away, the zip code of Manhattan. a colleague needed a document back from the days of the merger, they all had a codeword, I remembered that.

aeon 01-15-18 06:24 PM

Re: Horrible memory
 
I have an insanely good memory for sound, melodies, harmonies, chord changes, timbre, and so on. :yes:

But the words to/lyrics of a song?

Overall, perhaps above average...but for sure, with even a single drink, that kind of memory is just...gone. :doh:

I can remember scenes from movies/tv series, in terms of the cinematography, the mood, the dynamics of the character engagement, and sometimes, even long bits of dialog.

But the names of the actors? :doh:

Iím like my father in that I remember all kinds of trivia much in the way he did.

Things from my personal life more than a year ago? Goodness does it all get hazy, and past 5 years it is disjointed and most all sense of the timing of things is lost.

Ah well, it is what it is. I donít worry about it much.

Because...I forget about the things I should worry about. :doh:


Cheers,
Ian


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