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Embarrassed by Bad Short-Term Memory

Discussion in 'General' started by FlyLadyFan, Sep 10, 2006.

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  1. FlyLadyFan

    FlyLadyFan Member

    I often don't say things because I'm not sure if they were said before or to whom (everyday stuff, not ptsd related). People's names?? Ha-ha. For example, my favorite older lady at church has been out for a couple weeks but I haven't asked about her because I can't recall her name, although we've had many conversations and prayers together for almost a year.

    I just go along with stories my family tells me about things we did or places we went from a couple weeks ago to years and years ago. I just say, "Oh, yeah, that was great" or such. Though I try to hide it sometimes they'll say, "You don't remember that, do you?" and I have to admit I cannot jog up the memory no matter how hard I try.

    I ran into my next-door neighbor at Costco a few weeks ago with her kids and couldn't place her, so I did the smile and light talk stuff hoping she wouldn't realize I couldn't place her. Didn't realize until I saw her in the yard a week later it was the lady from Costco!

    My dd's boyfriend just got a job with Verizon so I was agreeing with how much I like their service and blah, blah, maybe I should get a newer phone, etc., when I realized I switched from Verizon over a year ago (although I had it for 10 years before that).

    I don't dare put a pot on the stove or in the oven without setting the timer -- never.

    I feel brain damaged. Really. Like I want that label so people would really understand it isn't funny or made-up when I give blank stares. I need a valid reason why I can't remember people's names at church ... not because I don't care but because I just CANNOT retain it!

    I wonder if ptsd will actually contribute to future Alzheimer's.

    Can anyone here remember if their memory is this fried?


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  3. cookie

    cookie I'm a VIP

    oh my goodness! what memory? it's a little better now, but i have trouble pulling out names of people i know. and the word i want sometimes just won't come. my therapist will ask if i remember talking about something with her, and i usually don't have a clue til she reminds me a little. i forget where i'm going, i have to leave the curriculum out where i can see things, because i forget what my notes in my lesson plans mean????? i call things the wrong word, like the post office--keep calling it the library, called a yard sale a soap opera(my kids got a kick out of that one) crazy stuff. you are not alone!
  4. DesertDweller

    DesertDweller Active Member

    Here is a good one for you guys! I was leaving the grocerie store and as soon as I walked out I didnt remember what city I was in, and when it hit me... I realized that I also forgot where I parked!! :smile:

    I would say fried!
  5. anthony

    anthony Silently Watching Founder


    Short term memory loss is normal with uncontrolled PTSD. Our trauma clouds our memory, or consumes it for a better word, thus what goes in to our mind is actually stored and memorized, the problem is though, is that we have these constant memories and thoughts that are related to our trauma stimulating our brain, thus when we try to remember where we are, what we just did, how to spell our name even, our trauma is often clouding our access to this very basic information. I have been there with this myself, and only get it very mildly nowadays if something is playing on my mind, which is a key identification factor for me, that something is not right in my life for me to not recall as quick as I normally do now.

    One way to get that short term memory back.... deal with your trauma.
  6. permban0008

    permban0008 Policy Enforcement Banned

    On a lighthearted note, that is not exclusive to PTSD........pregnancy does that too!! Although, I grant that it is probably much more short lived than what you guys experience. Still drives me nuts with Anthony but what can you do?? Like Anthony said, I guess unclutter the mind as much as you can by dealing with the trauma.
  7. YoungAndAngry

    YoungAndAngry Well-Known Member

    You took the words right out of my mouth with this one.
    Last time I attempted to bake without the timer...
    well, lets just say I personally know that Banana bread should never be baked for 4 hours now....
    And the worst part is... I've lost most of my sense of smell.
    So I didn't even smell it burning, totally forget it even existed.
    Luckily I just happened to lean against the hot oven while I was getting ready to leave the house.

    As soon as I felt the hot stove... I remembered.
    (heck... the smoke in the kitchen should of been hint enough...)

    It's scary, but I've learned to use timers for everything (running bath water, washing laundry, etc.) just to keep me sane.
  8. kimG

    kimG Well-Known Member

    I brought this very subject up with my therapist today and I felt as if he trivialized it.:mad:

    He said it was a combination of normal aging and the fact that our lives are so filled with stimuli that sometimes our mind forgets!

    He went on and on...I got more and more frustrated...I finally said (in a not-so-nice tone), "This happens every day! (memory loss)" "It shouldn't happen as often as it does, but it does!" "I'm tired of living this way!"

    All he had to say after that was, "Have you ever had your memory tested?"

    Nothing about how my past trauma might have something to do with it.

    Damn, I was mad...:angry-fla I felt like he was discounting my feelings towards my memory problems.

    In fact, today's session was pretty much a total waste of time. So much so that I'm considering trying to find another therapist to work with...:mad:
  9. Kells

    Kells Active Member

    For some reason, I don't have a lot of trouble with my short term memory (I know I have some significant blocks of time taken out from the past, though, because of things during different timeframes my mother or my ex husband would bring up that I simply cannot remember at all), but I DO know that I cannot articulate the way I used to. I have trouble coming up with the correct words when I speak, and I stumble over my words a lot more than I used to... I used to be so quick and articulate when I spoke, what happened?! Only when I type am I able to express what I'm thinking the way I want to and used to, although I have to actually set down and think about it unlike before.
  10. cdunny

    cdunny Active Member

    OMG... The memory thing is so annoying. My husband has a big problem with memory loss playing such a part in his PTSD. Work is incredibly hard for him cause there is so much to learn and with millions of dollars at stake it is high stress. The annoying thing to me is that I often think he uses it as an excuse. I saw right after our daughter was born that he had been browsing this singles site online. I Flippled the F* out. And to this day he says he doesnt remember going there. Even though he still gets emails requesting him to "Upgrade" to full membership. It still makes me angry when I think about it... but hes been a good boy lately.

    Or I will tell him to mail something and 3 days later he hasnt mailed it. Or he spends money without telling me and the check bounces. It is so frustrating. My memory has been afected less than his, but mine is very short term memory... like I wont remember what someone just said to me, or what I was doing 3 seconds ago. So dont feel like your the only one.:crazy-blu
  11. carpediem2006

    carpediem2006 Active Member

    Could you also have Post Concussion Syndrome/Mild Brain Trauma?

    I have had a lot of memory issues, and problems organising things. It is now much better, but used to be really bad in that I didn't know my age at times, or anyone's name who I worked with (and most everyone) from the last years. It wasn't a case of not knowing the day, rather looking out the window and deciding it was hot, therefore summer before nipping off to the newsagent to pick up a paper to find out which month it was. At the time I was so far gone as to not recognise this was not normal...I am sure that this was concussion related, as I could not read either and developed a stammer immediately after impacts to my head. I also had strange physical symptoms in the early days, as well as being disturbed by noise, having low headaches, or rapid pain then nothing in my head.

    The thing that remains now is problems with day to day organisation and fatigue with insomnia to varying degrees.

    For some here, you may also have gone through a concussion if your ptsd onset is related to accidents, violence, or being near explosions (helmet/head imact).

    Note that over 20% of head injury is never reported and as soon as depression/PTS or anything similar is diagnosed, it is almost impossible to be taken seriously...regardless of whether it is PTS or mTBI (mild traumatic brain injury) where forgetting names is one of the key indicators, the best that can be done is both dealing with the traumatic experience(s) over time, and also slowly taking on more as and when you can accepting temporary limitations can be there.

    I have realised that it was only when I stopped fighting my limitations and accepted that this is where I am now that I felt better. The depression that I was diagnosed with in my mind is reactive, and without going into great detail hardly surprising...we all like to be mentally capable of running our lives, so concussion syndrome is hard (without the other issues that cause PTS, fuzzying up the background even more).

    Finally, symptoms of brain trauma normally last 6-12months, but can be longer. I still feel that I have some remaining symptoms but have essentially given up trying to discuss them, as it leads nowhere. The therapist will always refer to textbooks, the neurologist will look at meds (from that time, now med free) and depression. Meanwhile, off meds, feeling happy, but annoyed at the current changes in my life. But refuse to let it beat me down right now...and hope to keep it that way.
    Hope that may be of use to some of you.
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