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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Portland, OR
    Age
    36
    Posts
    5

    Seeming stress-related memory loss

    I've heard that one symptom of PTSD can be memory loss, or actual loss of cognitive powers. I'm 26, and in high school I was an editor on the school lit. mag. and wrote poetry and great essays. I competed on the debate team in college on scholarship, and my writing skill has been a great comfort to me as well as something I'm extremely proud of. However, within the last year it is as though part of the map of my brain were erased. It certainly feels like more than what they call "writer's block." In fact the block itself, or whatever it is, is very traumatic to me.
    Some details are that I've lead a somewhat rugged lifestyle for the past 2 years, and have experienced significant "growing pains" emotionally in the past 4 years of my life. What I'd consider the most stressful experience happened about 2 1/2 years ago in a relationship, but I was fine until early last year.
    This may seem like an intellectual complaining about lack of intrigue. Is that what it is? Was my aforementioned writing skill just part of an inflated ego that got deflated? Is mental greyness just part of becoming older and 'wiser,' and more indifferent to lifes' troubles?

    If anybody has any advice or details, I'd appreciate it.

    -Hanna

  2. #2

    Seeming stress-related memory loss

    What you describe might be just simple stress, hon. Perhaps, you're expecting a bit too much of yourself, and the more you push for it, the further away it gets. Try doing some things that relax you. Take a walk, or color in a coloring book, or take up a craft of some kind to keep your hands busy. Also, if you don't do so already, set aside a time for some exercise to get the blood circulating. Brains need food!

    I'm assuming you're not using drugs or medications that might be contributing to the feelings you describe.

  3. #3

    Seeming stress-related memory loss

    At age 26, you should not be experiencing any cognitive decline or "mental greyness" attributable to aging. Your brain probably hasn't entirely finished growing yet at that age (especially frontal lobes).

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Portland, OR
    Age
    36
    Posts
    5

    Seeming stress-related memory loss

    Quote Originally Posted by David Baxter
    At age 26, you should not be experiencing any cognitive decline or "mental greyness" attributable to aging. Your brain probably hasn't entirely finished growing yet at that age (especially frontal lobes).
    Thank you. That's reassuring to know. 'That Lady' said some useful things too. Although I do get regular excercize, I have to admit I'm not that great at staying busy with my hands, or playing mental games. I am too serious often times and have been accused of over-multi-tasking. For instance, I'll have a cup of tea sitting on the table and get up to do the dishes. My Argentine brother in law thinks this is absolutely ridiculous and says I'm like my father- who has high goals and is intelligent, but always has several different projects and rarely finishes them.

    Don't know if I hit the nail on the head w/ my first entry, though. I've never been to a counselor before & this is my first time going outside for help. although I've always wanted to. So it's hard to open up. I feel my problems are perhaps trivial, but they do weigh heavily on my mind, and what are web sites like this for if not for this? I'll try another forum route.

  5. #5

    Seeming stress-related memory loss

    It's not trivial if it's worrying you.

    However, it may well be either an issue of stress or, perhaps more likely, of trying to think of/attend to too many things at once. Some of what you descrive is probably not uncommon. I know it happens to me and that it happens more frequently when I am trying to multitask or think of or attend to several different things at one time. Since they are all competing for my attention, my focus tends to jump from one thing to another.

    For me, the solution, once I'm aware it's happening, is to stop myself, take a breath, and priorize the things I'm trying to do so tnat I can attack them sequentially instead of simulataneously.

  6. #6

    Seeming stress-related memory loss

    Your problems certainly aren't trivial if they're bothering you a great deal, Rumi. It's always hard to talk about what bothers us. We think we should be able to handle whatever comes at us without asking for help. That's just not a practical way to live life. Everybody needs help, ideas and reassurance once in awhile. It's good for the soul. :o)

  7. #7

    Seeming stress-related memory loss

    Welcome Rumi, I just wanted to say that Dr. Baxter has some good info. on this site regarding thyroid medical conditions. One of the characteristics of low thyroid hormone is a slowing of pretty much all the body systems, including brain fuctioning. Have you had a thorough check up with testing for thyroid or other possible physical causes?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Portland, OR
    Age
    36
    Posts
    5

    Seeming stress-related memory loss

    Quote Originally Posted by David Baxter
    It's not trivial if it's worrying you.

    ... trying to multitask or think of or attend to several different things at one time. Since they are all competing for my attention, my focus tends to jump from one thing to another.

    This is a good point Dr. B.. I've been considering my problem for the last few days, and I guess bringing it out in the open to others puts it in a different light. I tend to be way too introverted. However, I'm a private person, and when there's so much going on it is also hard to find the right audience.

    One issue your thoughts bring up is that I've just had alot of compounded experiences over the past few years. Guess I've been somewhat of a serial "choose to live, not to hide" person, and all the collective input to my conscious is pretty heavy. Kind of like multi-tasking, but just a mental overflow of past feelings and difficulties along with present goals and (probably self-imposed) pressures to get over it all. I feel a bit like a wounded animal. I wasn't ready, as perhaps noone can be, for all the stimuli and conflict I'd encounter. I really need to sort it all out. Meditating, perhaps. Unfortunately I'm not in the position to afford counseling for a few more months, something I think is necessary. Do you have any suggestions for the meantime?

    THank you for letting me unravel a bit.

    Namaste,
    Hannah

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