The brain is considered as one of the complicated parts of the body which is liable for equally complex mechanisms that include how it stores information as well as how it helps in retrieving memories. This article discusses whether forgetfulness is a disease and what might be the causes.
Memories are highly important as they are considered the base of your learning. A person who forgets how to eat suffers from malnutrition. Additionally, memories help create relationships and reveal your identities.
Is Forgetfulness a Disease?
Memories happen to be short-term or long-term and they get stored in various ways. Your short-term memory is ruled by pre-frontal lobe and these kinds of memories aren’t instantly transformed into long-term memories. Actually, it takes time prior to being processed by the hippocampus. On the other hand, hippocampus depends on other spheres which regulate sensory perceptions for storing an entire variety of the memory. For instance, a woman after giving birth would develop a long-term memory comprising of what she heard, observed, and felt at the time of the event. Memories help in enriching your lives and make you more connected to your emotions.
However, when a person is unable to recall the information once learnt or experienced and stored in the brain, it can be called as forgetfulness.
Forgetfulness is viewed as memory lapse or your incapability to regain stored information in your brain. Though it can become a usual portion of the aging process, yet it can also indicate a symptom or condition or side effects of some medications. Hence, forgetfulness itself is not a disease; however it can indicate an existence of a disease or disorder, aging process or for women it could also be symptom of menopause.
Some studies have reported that primary care physicians often come across such conditions earlier, hence the need to identify patients of forgetfulness. History taking, analysis of the person’s behavior and changes in their day to day activities often help in understanding the chances of forgetfulness.1
What Might be the Causes of Forgetfulness?
Forgetfulness happen to be frustrating, aggravating, and at times, worrisome. When a person suffers from forgetfulness more than they should be then it can give rise to fears of impending Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.
Some common conditions that might be the causes of forgetfulness include
Lack of Sound Sleep: Not getting sufficient sleep is considered as one of the greatest unappreciated causes of forgetfulness. Very little restful sleep too can lead to anxiety and mood changes that in turn, do result in issues with memory.
Medicines as the Cause of Forgetfulness: Antidepressants, tranquilizers, blood pressure drugs, and various other medications are capable of affecting your memory, which is commonly caused by confusion or sedation. This makes it tough to pay heed to the novice things around you. In such cases, medical advice is necessary, especially if you experience forgetfulness after beginning a new treatment.
Alcohol: Drinking too much of alcohol can interfere with your short-term memory. Surprisingly, the effects of memory loss remain active even when you have worn off alcohol. Though, the concept of ‘too much’ differs from person to person, yet it is the best to remain glued to the advice of taking not more than a couple of drinks daily for men. For the women, it is advised to take one drink every day only. One drink is commonly described as 1.5 ounces of 80-proof spirits, 12 ounces of beer, and 5 ounces of wine.
Underactive Thyroid Causing Forgetfulness: Faltering thyroid does affect memory and also disturbs your sleep besides causing depression. This too is one of the commonest causes of forgetfulness. A small blood test is capable of telling whether or not your thyroid is doing its task properly.
Depression: Some usual signs of depression comprise lack of drive, stifling sadness, and lessened pleasure in things which you generally enjoy. In fact, forgetfulness can also be a sign of depression or a result of it.
Anxiety and Stress: Anything which makes it tough to focus and lock in novice skills and information can result in memory problems, and here, anxiety and stress fit the bill. These things can interfere with your attention and hinder the construction of novice memories or retrieve the old ones.
Multitasking as a Cause of Forgetfulness: Multitasking forces a person to do nearly one-tenth of the task that a person does with any of them if they had focused. It is one of the popular causes of forgetfulness. However, the spread-thin focus is not only bad for a decent job but also extremely bad for your memory. When you overextend yourself to do too many jobs then it causes stress and it results in failed memory and recurrent interruptions do make it tough for your brain to develop new memories.
Thus it is clear that forgetfulness is not a disease, but it hints are some change in your lifestyle, health or an underlying medical condition. This needs proper evaluation and treatment, as appropriate. When your forgetfulness is bugging you, it is necessary to talk to your doctor to see if a reversible cause is the root of this problem. Again, something, like getting adequate sleep, refraining from alcohol, following a healthy diet, stress reduction program, or switching a medication could get back your memory on track.