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Old 10-15-19, 05:42 PM
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Memory Issues

Over the course of the last few months, I've been sorting through and packing up my elderly parents' belongings to move them closer to where I live and came across a few thousand pictures and slides that go all the way back to before I was born and extend up to about 5 years ago.

My parents were prolific picture takers and I appear in many of these pictures and slides. There are numerous baby pictures of me and pictures of me over the years in exotic places we visited: castles in Germany, at the Coliseum in Rome, in Paris, etc. And there are numerous pictures of me at various family gatherings such as during Thanksgiving and Christmas, at birthday parties, weddings, etc. It's been interesting to look through all these pictures, but the more I do, the more it bothers me because I have almost no memory of many of these events. And yet I can see from the pictures that I was obviously there. And this lack of memory includes events that took place when I was a teenager and an adult, i.e. my cousin's wedding, my grandmother's 80th birthday party, etc. I don't think that this memory issue is something new

I'm not sure if this lack of memory is an ADHD thing or not. Does ADHD affect what gets saved to long term memory as well as short term memory? Do others here in these forums also have long term memory problems?
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Old 10-16-19, 02:44 AM
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Re: Memory Issues

Well, recently my memory also got mixed (I'm still 29, mind you). Even worse, sometimes the mixed memory comes from a dream.
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Old 10-16-19, 05:58 AM
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Re: Memory Issues

ah yes, the dream memory issues. Also, living in a mixed bunch of seniors is a real problem with me and names. Add in all the dogs and cats turns into me making up names for everyone.
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Old 10-16-19, 06:26 AM
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Re: Memory Issues

Memory is a funny beast. My SO and I both have ADHD traits among other things. If something unpleasant happens, he’s pretty skilled at putting emotion aside and blocking things out to the point where if I ask him something about the situation later, he actually has no memory of it. I, on the other hand, can’t forget and will replay things over and over again. I can remember tastes and smells. Sounds will trigger memories I’d rather forget. I am also sometimes the only person in my family who remembers certain events.

I’m not great with actual dates and times, but I’m ok with general sequence. I could see my SO blanking out on things or just not having a good sense of how much time elapsed.

From a brain perspective, if things don’t make it past short term memory or the get jumbled up there, it’s hard for them to get encoded into long term memory in a meaningful way.

Sorry for rambling. I guess my point is that memory is weird, ADHD is weird, ergo ADHD memory is especially weird.
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Old 10-16-19, 10:38 PM
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Re: Memory Issues

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Originally Posted by TygerSan View Post
I can remember tastes and smells.
Glad that I'm not the only one who can remember tastes, though I can't do so with smells.
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Old 10-16-19, 10:54 PM
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Re: Memory Issues

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Originally Posted by TygerSan View Post
From a brain perspective, if things don’t make it past short term memory or the get jumbled up there, it’s hard for them to get encoded into long term memory in a meaningful way.

Sorry for rambling. I guess my point is that memory is weird, ADHD is weird, ergo ADHD memory is especially weird.
I appreciate your response and didn't feel that you were rambling.

I'm wondering if, in my case, the events that I don't remember just didn't get encoded into long term memory, perhaps because they didn't interest me or because there wasn't much emotion attached to them. The only thing that I remember about a trip I took with my parents to Rome when I was 8 is that my father taught me how to catch lizards in the ruins there. But I don't remember anything else about Rome. Apparently, catching lizards was very interesting to me as an eight year old whereas a bunch of Roman monuments weren't.

The only thing I remember from the 6th grade is when a teacher singled me out and said something that humiliated me in front of the whole class. Feeling humiliated evoked a lot of intense emotion in me at the time and perhaps that's why I remember this. But I don't remember any of the other students in my class or even what the teacher who humiliated me looked like. I do seem more likely to have remembered other events from my past that involved a lot of emotion.

But I guess that going to a relative's wedding or even to my grandmother's 80th birthday party must not have been that interesting to me. Maybe they seemed like a lot of other family gatherings to me and nothing special or memorable. I also find that I sometimes have a general notion about some things that happened in my past but I don't remember any of the details at all or the sequence that events occurred in.
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Old 10-17-19, 07:09 AM
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Re: Memory Issues

Big on the smells and tastes,
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Old 10-17-19, 10:33 PM
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Re: Memory Issues

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Originally Posted by PoppnNSailinMan View Post
Apparently, catching lizards was very interesting to me as an eight year old whereas a bunch of Roman monuments weren't.
I think that applies to most eight year olds.
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Old 10-18-19, 01:01 AM
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Re: Memory Issues

I have trouble remembering much details of the grade school years. My family stayed at one place until I started first grade. Then we started moving every year or so. The elementary school years are blurred a bit. New kid, no real friends, just gave up.
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Old 10-18-19, 01:40 AM
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Re: Memory Issues

Your post reminded me of my son, he is diagnosed with ADHD.
He doesn’t remember anything from his childhood! He is a teenager now.
I think it’s something related to ADHD, I remember the dr. asked him a particular question about his childhood memories.
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Old 10-18-19, 11:36 PM
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Re: Memory Issues

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He doesn’t remember anything from his childhood!
I also have a memory gap. I don't remember anything that happened when I was in second grade.
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Old 10-19-19, 09:36 AM
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Re: Memory Issues

Quote:
I'm wondering if, in my case, the events that I don't remember just didn't get encoded into long term memory, perhaps because they didn't interest me or because there wasn't much emotion attached to them. The only thing that I remember about a trip I took with my parents to Rome when I was 8 is that my father taught me how to catch lizards in the ruins there. But I don't remember anything else about Rome. Apparently, catching lizards was very interesting to me as an eight year old whereas a bunch of Roman monuments weren't.
That makes sense to me. I was a pretty emotional kid, and some of the things I remember that my family has forgotten are things that would make more of an impression on a 6 year old than an adult.

The story I remember that no one else does (and that bugs me no end because I can still *see* it clearly in my minds eye) was from when I was 6. We were coming home from somewhere, and someone ran a stop sign right by our street. They clipped a cyclist and knocked him off his bike. I don’t remember the actual accident, but I do remember my parents taking him into our house and waiting for the police to come and make a statement. The guy had a scrape on his wrist and I asked him if he needed stitches because I had just needed them myself. He said no. My parents weren’t impressed with his recollection of what happened when he spoke to the cops.

My dad acknowledges fuzzy memory of something like my story occurring. My mom has asked me if I’m sure it wasn’t a dream. I’m sure. I don’t know how I would’ve dreamt something so detailed and held onto it for 30+ years.

We also moved a lot when I was a kid and I remember every move, every class change and every teacher. Sometimes I wish I could forget. I wonder if it’s an anxiety/hypervigilance thing?
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Old 10-19-19, 12:34 PM
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Re: Memory Issues

Quote:
Originally Posted by PoppnNSailinMan View Post
I appreciate your response and didn't feel that you were rambling.

I'm wondering if, in my case, the events that I don't remember just didn't get encoded into long term memory, perhaps because they didn't interest me or because there wasn't much emotion attached to them. The only thing that I remember about a trip I took with my parents to Rome when I was 8 is that my father taught me how to catch lizards in the ruins there. But I don't remember anything else about Rome. Apparently, catching lizards was very interesting to me as an eight year old whereas a bunch of Roman monuments weren't.

The only thing I remember from the 6th grade is when a teacher singled me out and said something that humiliated me in front of the whole class. Feeling humiliated evoked a lot of intense emotion in me at the time and perhaps that's why I remember this. But I don't remember any of the other students in my class or even what the teacher who humiliated me looked like. I do seem more likely to have remembered other events from my past that involved a lot of emotion.

But I guess that going to a relative's wedding or even to my grandmother's 80th birthday party must not have been that interesting to me. Maybe they seemed like a lot of other family gatherings to me and nothing special or memorable. I also find that I sometimes have a general notion about some things that happened in my past but I don't remember any of the details at all or the sequence that events occurred in.
I think you are right on track. I remember events that were the most stimulating whether it was from excitement or trauma.

I wish, I could remember all the important events and knowledge I’ve learned that has been forgotten. Some how, I got a degree from Uni and all I recall from it are the parties and all the fun we had. My degree is literally just a piece of paper. I have no recollection or knowledge from my studies.

It’s a shame we can’t decide which memories stick and which get discarded. I guess it comes down to what stimulates us and unfortunately, we can’t control that.
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Old 10-20-19, 11:39 PM
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Re: Memory Issues

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Originally Posted by Greyhound1 View Post
It’s a shame we can’t decide which memories stick and which get discarded.
And what's annoying me is sometimes my brain chooses to remember dream memory rather than events which actually happened.
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Old 10-21-19, 06:30 AM
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Re: Memory Issues

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Originally Posted by Greyhound1 View Post
I think you are right on track. I remember events that were the most stimulating whether it was from excitement or trauma.

I wish, I could remember all the important events and knowledge I’ve learned that has been forgotten. Some how, I got a degree from Uni and all I recall from it are the parties and all the fun we had. My degree is literally just a piece of paper. I have no recollection or knowledge from my studies.

It’s a shame we can’t decide which memories stick and which get discarded. I guess it comes down to what stimulates us and unfortunately, we can’t control that.

Clearly it is important that our memories work best for highly threatening/traumatic events and for highly rewarding situations.

Most of us do not understand well how our memories work.

The neurologist Antonio Damasio notes that the idea of some sort of perfect memory of any "thing in itself" that is like an image on celluloid is incorrect.
In fact we remember "our interactions with the object (of memory) or, to be precise-- how it clobbered us.
(IE Highly threatening or highly rewarding events are marked very strongly in the amygdala and the memory is tagged as being of "high importance")

He also makes the comment that it is easier to form a memory if the brain is more fully engaged- and the more sensory and/or motor formats are engaged the fuller the memory will be.

ie- If you go to a lecture and take no notes, nothing much will stick.
However, if you take notes, attempt to re-format them and come to your own understanding while whispering the key features to yourself-- the chances are that they will stick.

A couple of follow up revisions will further cement the memories.

I hope that the following does not consist being inappropriately religious- it is not meant to be. The only reason I am mentioning it is that it is an example of a great memory technique. I hope to be able to translate the following to a form which is not dependent on the content, because some will not want to look at this.

The Tibetan culture is well known for producing masters of memory-- it had to be, as at the time the main works were done, many were illiterate.

One of the key reasons for my interest in that particular culture is because of their reputation of having superb memories.

Now the Tibetans tack their teachings sort of like a pyramid.
An example.
One set of teachings is called the prajna paramita.
That is 80,000 pages-- if you really want to be over obsessive.

However it condenses down to several shorter works, then above that "The Heart Sutra"-- which is about 1.5 pages of A4, quite rhythmical, and which finally condenses down to a 19 syllable mantra.

So the point of this is that you can regularly recite the sutra (including the mantra) while sitting in front of one of those lovely tapestries, which conveys the meaning of that material in a visual form.

So you have a good hierarchy of the important material, expressed in about 4 different forms, combined with a tapestry which also carries the same information, and a technique of chanting which is rhythmic (another layer of information) and which is often combined with sets of hand movements (called mudras).

The meditation techniques also enhance mental alertness and stillness. That does no harm.

Another technique is called "memory palaces" It has been used in both the West (Ancient Greece) and in the east in the form of Mandalas.
This one is well worth looking at:
Develop Perfect Memory With the Memory Palace Technique
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Last edited by namazu; 10-21-19 at 10:27 AM.. Reason: Replaced link to commercial website with link to print-friendly/ad-free version of article.
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