Horrible Memory

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    • #174730

      Hi Everyone,

      I’m 35 and I’ve always had a very bad memory. I want to know if the stuff I experience is normal for adults with ADHD. I don’t know what categories all these memory things fall under (long-term, short-term, association, whatever IDK). I just know a lot of things I struggle with, are what “old people” struggle with (whenever I hear older folks describing how forgetful they are cuz they are “old,” and they never used to forget like that…WELL I’VE ALWAYS BEEN THAT WAY. So what’s MY excuse? It makes me wanna cry every time). But my memory IS getting worse as I age. Anyway, here are examples:

      Example 1: I can be having a conversation with someone, and ONE distraction makes me forget it all. The distraction could last one second. Seriously, its dumb and embarrassing. I even forget what I’m gonna say mid-sentence occasionally.

      2: I forgot WHOLE events that happened in my life. Sometimes if I see pics it will bring it back (I TAKE LOTS OF PICS NOW CUZ I KNOW!!!!), but friends will be all “remember when this happened?” and I pretend to remember, but I don’t.

      3: I meet people ALL the time when we go on wheeling trips we do, and when they see me, they remember me, but I never remember then. I have to pretend I remember and not use names.

      4. It takes me a SUPER DUPER long time to learn names, WAYYYYYY longer than the average person. I have to write down names a lot, cuz if I don’t, I WILL forget. (Sometimes I don’t write it down, thinking how easy to remember it will be….HAHAHAHA). Also, I can forget the name seconds after being told, even if I repeated it back to them.

      5. Once I ran into a co-worker at a party for my wheeling friends. Here’s the problem: I knew her face, but I couldn’t recall her name or where I knew her from. SO EMBARRASSING. (I kept thinking: Do I know her from church? my neighborhood?). I was just like “good to see you!” (then wondered awkwardly if she’s someone I would normally hug, so I decided not to). It took me over an hour to remember who she was and how I knew her. Someone I had worked with (not closely, but we are both teachers in same building) for 2 years. –This kinda thing happens A LOT. In fact, I dread running into people I know for this very reason.

      6. I’m a music teacher and I routinely forget names of famous composers I’ve studied for years. It’s happening MORE AND MORE frequently. I can’t remember famous people names. I can’t remember history stuff or dates.

      7. Example of something I forgot I shouldn’t have: I live in Vegas. In a year, like IDK 2-3 years ago, on October 1st there was a shooting at the MGM. OKAY I CAN’T EVEN REMEMBER WHAT YEAR AND I LIVE HERE. WTH.

      8. I can’t recall things if I try. Okay how can I explain this. Have you played “Scattergories” where you have to name something in the category that starts with various letters? I SUCK AT THIS GAME K. Like my brain won’t pick stuff out I’m trying to recall. It’s not just in games this happens to me, it’s life. I just can’t think of a good example, well cuz my brain sucks.

      9. You know how they say if you loose something “retrace your steps?” Well forget about it. I’ve tried and I’ll have put something somewhere I DON’T EVEN REMEMBER GOING.

      I have so many more I just can’t think of them. I just hate these memory issues, it’s embarrassing. I just want to feel I’m not alone.

    • #174733

      Okay I also forget names of people I once was close to. Like I can’t remember ANY of my private music instructor’s names right now. I can’t remember the names of mentor teachers I worked closely with. It’s like, I’ll know their name while I associate with them, and if I don’t see them for years, I eventually forget their names. People I should NOT forget their name. It makes me sad. Because these are people who influenced me and were great people. Whyyyyyyy.

    • #174760

      I am exactly same age and have exactly the same problem. I think part of it is being prone to anxiety, but anxiety pills usually make my memory eveeven worse. I am wondering if you have had any recommendations on how to improve memory or if its even possible?

    • #174761

      Thank you for your response, I am SO glad I am not alone!!!!

      I’ve told my doctor about it but he doesn’t take me seriously. It ticks me off. I think I need to find a new doctor. But I’m currently seeing a psychiatrist and so maybe he will help me. I’ve had it my whole life, but my memory loss has gotten so bad over the last few years.

      I’ve been on anxiety pills for years, and I have wondered myself if it causes more memory loss. That could explain why I am exrpiencing it so badly the last few years…IDK. But I can’t function without those pills. I took Lexapro for years, and it stopped working so I just switched to Paxil. It seems to be working. But my memory still sucks.

    • #174763

      I think part of it is the anxiety and the pills. I used to be on clonazepam and it gave me memory lagoons and erection problems. So i now only take it very occasionally if I am experiencing a terrible day. Like once or twice a year.

      I cant help you with the memory, but for the mood swings (which i also have), weight lifting helped me a lot. Also another change has to be a mentality change, you have to be able to forgive yourself for your flaws and mistakes and just focus on improving your situation. Sometimes when i feel very bad, i jsut think “what can i do to make this better, or at least what can i not do to prevent making things worse”. This of course takes time, so part of the trick is also allow yourself to take your time to change and reminding yourself of the improvements you had in this area, instead of focusing only on the negative.

    • #174814
      Penny Williams

      I do NOT have ADHD and I have the exact same problems and to this severity (age 45). It’s so bad I’m going to see a neurologist and get some baseline testing done when we get past COVID. So, it could be totally unrelated to ADHD.

      (If you’re a woman, it can also be triggered by pre-menopause, and you’re not necessarily too young for that.)

      ADDitude Community Moderator, Parenting ADHD Coach, Podcaster & Author, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism

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