Various things, such as anxiety about the memory lapses, can interfere with the ability to remember. It takes a lot of effort and concentration to compensate for short-term memory loss. It drains energy levels and can often result in chronic fatigue. Intellectual functions may then deteriorate causing feelings of inadequacy, discouragement, irritability and possibly even depression.
There are strategies to help with short-term memory loss, other than the obvious ones of using a diary, calendar or day timer. They are to: live in the moment; learn to trust your instincts; focus on one thing at a time; use repetition; use a system of reminders; plan ahead and be prepared; be organized; avoid alcohol consumption; eliminate distractions and have a routine and stick to it.
There are different types of memory. They are the following:
– Sensory-motor which are things like remembering how to walk, tie a shoelace, get dressed or make a cup of coffee.
– Semantic memory is the ability to retain general knowledge like how to add numbers or how to read.
– Narrative or episodic memory is remembering experienced events in any sort of detail.
– Short-term memory loss is the inability to remember what one did the day before or even earlier in the day, recent conversations or appointments.
Short term memory loss may cause difficulty in remembering faces of those met recently, reading for pleasure or in watching television or a movie.
It can also interfere with educational and personal goals. It is the inability to store and recall current information. Current information is not being recorded. Conversations can be held based on long term memories as long as it doesn’t relate to recent conversations or events. There may be difficulty in learning new material and remembering it or forming new memories. Some brain injury survivors may fill in the forgotten details with imagined events or memories. Others may only have difficulty remembering words and thoughts.
One brain injury survivor said that the benefit of having short term memory loss is that it is difficult to carry on an extended argument or to hold a grudge so they appear much more forgiving of others. As well, she won’t need to rehash the argument and get upset about it over and over again.
To help improve short term memory loss, besides the benefits of using memory aids such as diaries and calendars, increase mental activity and challenge your brain. Reading also helps with concentration and memory. Cognitive therapy is also necessary when someone is suffering from short-term memory loss.
There are things that can be done when someone who has suffered a brain injury experiences short-term memory loss. The difficulty sometimes is in motivating them to get into the habit of doing the things that will assist them.
Sylvia Behnish has written numerous articles relating to family issues, motivational topics, entertaining, travel and brain injuries. For more information on any of these topics, go to her site listed below. She has recently published her first non-fiction book entitled “Rollercoaster Ride With Brain Injury (For Loved Ones)” and her first fiction novel entitled “His Sins”, a three generation family saga.
Either of the above books can be ordered by e-mail at the following blog: