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When forgetfulness is a problem

May 05, 2020

We all forget things. We do not remember whether we locked the door, turned off the iron, we check the time on the phone and after a while, we do it again because we don’t remember what time it is, sometimes we cannot recall the word we used hundreds of times. It’s normal. Sometimes, however, forgetfulness becomes more frequent than usual, and then we start to wonder if our health is still fine.

Why do we forget things?

Each of us sometimes forgets something, and this happens the more often the older we are. In addition to age, there are other factors that can affect the more frequent forgetfulness. These include lifestyle, diet, emotional problems, health problems, but also dementia.

Reasons for forgetfulness

Wondering what can make you forget things? It can happen by:

  • not enough sleep that is key to proper functioning. Its deficiency or low quality negatively affects many aspects of our lives, including memory.
  • alcohol abuse that can make our memory, especially short-term memory, work worse.
  • stress that makes it harder to concentrate and absorb new information so it may cause forgetfulness.
  • depression which can also cause memory problems.
  • many medications that can cause confusion and forgetfulness. If you notice that this is the case for you, please inform your doctor.
  • some head injuries.
  • deficiency of vitamin B12, which is responsible for maintaining healthy nerve cells.

When is forgetfulness normal?

It is natural that we become more forgetful as we get older. It is also completely normal when we are stressed or weak. When people notice that they increasingly forget some information, learning takes more time, they begin to wonder if these are signs of a serious illness. Usually, however, these are the effects of natural processes in the brain, not diseases. Which symptoms are normal?

  • Forgetting where you put your keys or phone from time to time
  • Occasional forgetting of appointments or names
  • Easy distraction and forgetting what you just talked about or what you read
  • Forgetting which day it is for a while
  • Once in a while, you forget what word you wanted to use

When is forgetfulness not normal?

Sometimes the symptoms that we observe in ourselves or our loved ones are not a sign of ageing, but the beginning of a disease. It is worth observing them and in case of doubt, consult a doctor. Some of the worrying symptoms are:

  • constantly asking the same questions
  • loss of sense of time
  • losing things often
  • forgetting about important events
  • getting lost in places you know well

Can forgetfulness be cured?

There are many exercises and activities that will help you maintain a good memory. Below you will find a list of a few examples, but don’t limit yourself. Find the activities that give you the most enjoyment and do them to stop forgetfulness.

  • Play games like bridge, chess or Scrabble. You can also try crossword and Sudoku.
  • Read newspapers, magazines, and books and try to remember information from them.
  • Keep learning new things. Try new games, go home a different way than usual, learn to play an instrument, try to learn a new language. You can try whatever you want. Think if there is something you always wanted to learn, but there was always something more important. This thing can help you now!
  • If you have mastered a particular skill at an elementary level, try to develop it. It will help you take care of your memory!

Take care of a healthy diet, rest, learn new things, and you will help yourself maintain good memory and general health. However, if you want to see if your symptoms are a sign of dementia, you can do a free dementia test that will help you decide if it’s worth visiting a doctor.

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