Forgetfulness is one of the commonest symptoms or a phenomenon. At times, we are fine with it but sometimes, we feel bad when we forget to do something important. People try to forget unpleasant memories but always try to remember good or happy moments. Forgetfulness becomes a problem when it starts having a negative effect on our quality of life. Although there is a progressive memory over time as we get older people known as senescent forgetfulness, which is not a disease at all but part of the aging process.
However, in this complex world, one of the observations is that even teenagers, young people forget things. In elderly, reasons for memory decline could be different than younger ones. People in younger age normally tend to forget if they are in distress. Do you feel the same thing? Do you forget things? For a moment, I would like to ask you to close your eyes and think about it.
• Do you struggle with everyday tasks?
• Do you have trouble finding things like TV remote?
• Do you forget things in the kitchen on the gas stove/microwave etc?
• Do you have difficulties in finding your keys?
• Do you have difficulties finding your spectacles?
• Do you have difficulty remembering dates and days?
• Do you forget after walking into a room and can't remember what you were doing?
• Do you have difficulty in remembering names or words sometimes?
• Do you forget why you have entered the mall or shop sometimes?
• Do you have difficulty in recalling what you have read?
• Do you feel absent minded?
• Do you have difficulty in remembering office related work?
• Do you have difficulty being attentive?
• Do you feel your brain blocked?
• Do you recall an experience but get details wrong?
• Do you forget where you have parked the car?
• Have you ever found yourself standing at your open refrigerator with a laundry basket full of clothes in your hand, unsure of why you were there in the first place?
You need not to worry much if these things are happening to you occasionally as these could be consequences of the stress in the present-day fast-moving world particularly in the last one and half year when the normal routine life has been out of gear due to COVID-19 and its effects on day-to-day life. However, it is noteworthy here that if your forgetfulness becomes a regular part of your life and impairs significantly with your day-to-day routine life, we need to look for reasons for the same and get them addressed.
Reasons for forgetfulness in young people
It is very important to know the reasons for the forgetfulness in young people and the common ones are:
• When you are emotionally disturbed.
• When you have problems with sleep.
• When you feel depressed.
• When you have hormonal problems such as hypothyroidism.
• When you take some medicines which can cause reduced sleep.
• When you are addicted to nicotine, Alcohol etc.
• When you don’t take an adequate and balanced diet.
• When you are dependent on technology.
• When your brains are bombarded with too much information.
• When you are too stressed with workplace related burnout.
• When you are inattentive.
• When you are suffering from high BP/Diabetes.
• When you have a sedentary lifestyle.
When people have memory problems, it is not only distressing but time consuming also which affects quality of life. In one survey, about 14% of those aged 18 to 39 reported problems with forgetting, as did 22% of those aged 40 to 59. These things can happen to anyone if not everyone among younger generation and they might blame themselves for getting older. But the truth is, not all memory loss problems are necessarily age related but may be a consequence of above symptoms.
How to beat forgetfulness in your day-to-day life
• Take care of your health. Address any medical or psychological issues you have.
• Make positive lifestyle changes. Exercise more, improve your diet, get enough sleep, and reduce stress. Don't smoke.
• Avoid using drugs of abuse like alcohol, cannabis etc.
• Interact with others.
• Take multiple breaks during work.
• Do crosswords and puzzles daily.
• Don’t be totally dependent on technology.
• Use social media judiciously.
• Spend time with your family and friends.
• Practice meditation, mindfulness and religious activities.
Tips for students
Peer-to-peer explanations: When students explain what they’ve learned to peers, fading memories are reactivated, strengthened, and consolidated.
Revision: Instead of covering a topic and then moving on, revisit key ideas throughout the school year.
Practice: As we know “Practice makes a man perfect”. Regularly reviewing material, giving frequent practice tests can boost long-term retention.
Group your concepts: Instead of grouping similar problems together, mix them. Solving problems involves identifying the correct strategy to use and then executing the strategy.
Combine text with images: It’s often easier to remember information that’s been presented in different ways, especially if visual aids can help organize information.
When to seek help from Health professional?
• When a person's age is more than 50 years.
• When memory problems are deteriorating day by day.
• When memory problems are associated with other physical symptoms.
• When it deteriorates the quality of life.
• When memory problems start after trauma head.
• When you were suffering from drug abuse.
• When you have severe anxiety and depression.
• When a memory problem jeopardizes the safety of a person and others.
• When you have difficulty organizing your tasks, managing finances and problems in handling day to day routines.