My own bad brain!!!
My name is Deb and I have a very bad memory. It's also very unpredictable.
I remember very little from the past, and when I do it is all out of order. It makes me seem like I don't care or as if I'm lying about things.
I have such gaps in my memory that my brain just draws conclusions from what is there... I also have to wonder if when I was younger, and used to remember my dreams (I go months without being aware that I dream, and never remember them when I am aware I have been dreaming) that I may have gotten my dreams and reality mixed up.
I'm able to write well as I'm not actually stupid, but I don't really think quickly enough to speak nearly as well as I write. I don't know... could it be I was exposed to something that has ruined part of my brain?
I have very adverse reactions to chemical odors... I can't stand chlorine or bromine in swimming pools and hot tubs, I can only swim in lakes or rivers.
Most household cleaners make me feel ill for days. I can usually only use vinegar to clean with... it makes me wonder.
My condition is not as debilitating as others might be, but I do feel it holds me back quite a bit!Doug's Reply.
I have to ask: have you ever seen a doctor about this? A physician could perhaps run tests to determine whether your condition is the result of exposure to chemicals or some other identifiable cause.
Much of the mental deficit you describe seems related to "episodic memory". One way of classifying memory is by information type:
Episodic Memory. Ability to remember events and experiences from your own life. Requires conscious recall.
Semantic Memory. Ability to remember facts. For example, remembering that Ottawa is the capital of Canada. Also requires conscious recall.
- Procedural Memory. Ability to remember procedures such as physical skills. For example, how to read and write, how to ride a bike, how to drive a car, how to tie your shoelaces. Does not require conscious recall; for the most part, you can either perform the action automatically or not.
Exposure to chemicals and toxins can result in poor memory. You might also want to consider some of the other causes of memory loss
. That page also explains in brief how doctors test for those causes in particular individuals.Keeping a journal
is one way to improve episodic memory. I have some issues with episodic memory, though not as profound as yours, and I've found that writing in my journal and then periodically reviewing previous entries has helped with this. (I've kept a journal since 1996.) So this is something you might try.
As for remembering specific events (at least going forward), consider taking a mental snapshot
during special moments. This may help you form clearer mental images of those moments for future recall.
I really do think you should consider consulting with a doctor, in particular a neurologist. As you may know, neurologists specialize in diagnosing and treating issues related to the brain.
Thanks so much for sharing your story. Even though it is normal to assume you are the only person in the world with this problem, there may be thousands of others in a similar situation. Obviously a "bad brain" as you call it is not something one typically draws attention to; it is natural to conceal it, and to compensate for it somehow.
It is always helpful to know that someone else shares the same pain and challenges; your story will help others realize they are not alone and encourage them to search more actively for solutions.
This is information only. It is not medical advice
, diagnosis, or treatment.
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