Memory loss can be scary and frustrating. It can feel like you’re losing control of your world. You know you should remember where you left your keys, but you can’t. You know you had an event today, but you can’t remember what or where it is.
It’s a serious issue that many people deal with. So let’s talk about memory loss – what it is, signs that it’s affecting you, and how you can treat it.
Memory Loss Definition
It may be obvious what memory loss is, but it does involve some nuances. So let’s define it clearly.
Memory loss (AKA amnesia) refers to the partial or total loss of the ability to recall or retain information from the past. It can affect short-term memory and long-term memory. Memory loss can range from mild to severe and may be temporary or permanent, depending on its underlying cause.
There are different types of memory loss, which include…
This type of memory loss affects past memories, making it difficult or impossible for a person to remember events or information that occurred before the onset of amnesia.
With anterograde amnesia, a person has trouble forming new memories after the onset of the condition. They may forget events shortly after they occur, making it challenging to retain new information.
Transient Global Amnesia
This is a temporary form of memory loss that can last for a few hours or days. During an episode, the affected individual is unable to recall recent events or form new memories, but their long-term memories remain intact.
What Causes Memory Loss?
Memory loss can be caused by a variety of factors, and the underlying cause will determine the type, severity, and reversibility of the memory loss.
But here are some of the most common causes of memory loss…
As people age, it’s normal to experience some degree of age-related memory decline. However, severe memory loss or cognitive impairment is not a natural part of aging and may indicate an underlying issue.
Conditions such as Alzheimer's disease, dementia, and Parkinson’s disease are among the most common causes of memory impairment in older adults.
Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) resulting from accidents, falls, or sports-related injuries can damage brain structures responsible for memory formation and retention.
A stroke occurs when there is a sudden interruption of blood flow to the brain, leading to brain damage and memory loss, among other cognitive deficits.
Alcohol and Drug Abuse
Excessive and prolonged alcohol or drug use can damage the brain and result in memory problems and other cognitive impairments.
Certain medical conditions such as epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, HIV/AIDS, hypothyroidism, vitamin deficiencies (e.g., vitamin B12 deficiency), and infections affecting the brain can cause memory loss.
Some prescription drugs, particularly those affecting the central nervous system, may have side effects that impact memory and cognitive function.
Stress, anxiety, depression, and other emotional or psychological issues can interfere with memory recall and formation.
Chronic sleep disturbances or disorders like sleep apnea can impair memory consolidation, affecting the ability to retain information.
Tumors in the brain can cause memory loss, depending on their location and impact on brain function.
Transient Global Amnesia (TGA)
A rare and temporary form of memory loss that is sudden and characterized by an inability to form new memories or recall recent events.
Common Signs of Memory Loss
Let’s state the obvious: if you’re forgetting things, you’re experiencing some form of memory loss. But let’s also talk more specifically about what to look for.
Here are some commons signs of memory loss:
- Difficulty remembering names and faces
- Repeating the same questions or statements within a short period, often without realizing it
- Misplacing items, like your keys or phone
- Difficulty learning new information
- Getting lost in familiar places
- Difficulty following conversations
- Difficulty making decisions
- People telling you you have memory problems but you don’t recognize it
- Increased irritability, anxiety, or withdrawal from social activities
How You Can Support Someone With Memory Loss
Supporting someone who is experiencing memory loss can help them remember things and also make them feel less alone and confused.
Here are some practical ways to provide support to someone with memory loss:
- Create a structured environment
- Encourage memory aids like writing notes, calendars, and phone reminders
- Maintain a consistent routine
- Avoid correcting or quizzing as this can cause more stress and embarrassment
- Provide social and emotional support
- Encourage physical activity
- Encourage brain-stimulating activities like puzzles, reading, and hobbies
- Communicate clearly without yelling
- Ensure their safety by making any necessary adjustments to the living environment
- Involve healthcare professionals as needed
Memory Loss Treatments and Tips
Let’s say you start to notice yourself experiencing memory loss. Little things slip your mind, like where you left your keys or whether or not you called your friend back.
Here are some things you can do to help ward off memory loss…
Engage in Lifelong Learning
Continuously challenge your brain by learning new skills or taking up hobbies that stimulate cognitive function.
Establish a Daily Routine
Follow a consistent daily schedule to promote better organization and reduce cognitive overload.
Incorporate Memory Tools
Use helpful memory aids like calendars, notes, and to-do lists to remember important tasks and events.
Keep Essentials in One Place
Develop a habit of placing your wallet, keys, phone, and glasses in the same location daily to minimize the risk of misplacing them.
Stay Active and Eat Healthy
Engage in activities that are mentally and physically stimulating to support overall well-being. Also, a balanced diet can improve cognitive performance and overall brain health.
Volunteer and Socialize
Contributing to your community and spending time with loved ones can foster social connections and positively impact cognitive health.
Aim for seven to eight hours of sleep per night to support brain function and memory consolidation.
Manage Blood Pressure
Take steps to prevent or control high blood pressure, as it can be detrimental to brain health.
Limit Alcohol Consumption
Avoid excessive alcohol consumption, as it can impair memory and cognitive function.
Seek Help for Depression
If you experience persistent feelings of depression, seek professional help, as it can affect memory and cognitive abilities.
Try Microdosing To Fight Memory Loss
Microdosing is when you consume sub-perceptual amounts of psychedelics or functional mushrooms. So you don’t experience hallucinations but you do reap the health benefits from the plants. And there are adaptogenic microdosing formulas that target brain health and memory retention.
For example, you can find a liquid plant formula that can:
- Strengthen your memory
- Support your long-term brain health
- Regenerate your brain cells
- Assists with nerve damage repair
- Help you solve problems
- Wards off symptoms of depression and anxiety
And Soul Drops offers a tincture that does all this. It’s a liquid plant formula called Lion’s Mane Tonic. One dropper of this formula each day and you’ll start to experience the benefits listed above.
If you’re worried about memory loss, every little thing can help. And microdosing is one of the best methods to fight off the effects of memory loss.
Memory Loss FAQs
What causes memory loss and forgetfulness?
The most common causes of memory loss are Alzheimer’s, dementia, Parkinson’s, head injuries, stroke, heavy alcohol/drug use, certain medications, lack of sleep, and brain tumors.
What are the signs of memory loss?
Some of the most common signs of memory loss include difficulty remembering names and faces, repeating the same questions or statements within a short period, misplacing items, difficulty learning new information, getting lost in familiar places, difficulty following conversations, and difficulty making decisions.
What are the 10 warning signs of dementia?
Here are 10 warning signs that could mean you or a loved one is developing dementia: 1) memory loss, 2) difficulty with planning and problem-solving, 3) challenges with familiar tasks, 4) confusion with time or place, 5) trouble with visual images and spatial relationships, 6) new problems with words, 7) misplacing items and unable to retrace steps, 8) decreased or poor judgment, 9) withdrawal from social activities, and 10) changes in mood and personality.