Here are some instances to ponder about.
You have reached a room and suddenly don’t remember what you have come there for.
You want to address a person and you find you don’t recall the familiar name.
You have the phone number in front of you. You forget the matter you have to speak about.
Is it alarming?
Is it the case of the dreaded dementia of Alzheimer’s creeping up upon you? Are you losing your mind? These are familiar symptoms to a lot many people who get these very sudden bouts of forgetfulness.
Doctors or those from the medical fraternity attribute it to “squeezing too many things” in an already bursting box of ‘thought junk’ that leads to these situations. Those who have a lot to do within deadlines, or stressed from always being on the move, not getting enough of peaceful uninterrupted sleep, or too much of physical exhaustion and not getting proper rest could all be victims of these sudden ‘bouts of forgetfulness’.
But let us not forget that factor called aging which slows us down in very many things as we progress in our lives. If we age gracefully and allow the mind to understand the body’s need to rest or slow down, things would be OK. But if we are active souls not out of choice but more due to need, it is but natural to experience this sometime or the other in our lives when we ‘overdo’ ourselves.
Fatigue and stress are two of the worst enemies of our memory. Overdose of either of the two or moderate doses of their combined attack could lead to whatever has been described above or worse.
Feeling fine? Good.
But on a more serious note one should also study the pattern closely for these signs, be it for self or loved ones or close acquaintances, since we are able to observe and discriminate between normal and alarming in such cases.
1) If the forgetting of something suddenly, follows with recall slightly later it is OK, if not even after a few days it is alarming.
2) If the forgetfulness is aided to recall through somebody’s prompting or a diary of written down matter, it’s fine. If not it’s definitely cause for concern.
3) Repeated forgetfulness once or twice or thrice about a thing or event in detail could be put down to lack of instilling it properly in memory. If the matter is complex it is still put down to lacking interest in committing to memory. But repeated attempts to remember and lack of co-ordination in remembering needs serious attention.
4) Sometimes mundane tasks of remembering what one ate last night or whether you got the vehicle filled with fuel on the way last evening are acceptable if you recall some time later or even after a day or two through jogging the memory. But if you actually forget the date and day repeatedly there could be a hidden message from the brain that all’s not well.
The former scenario in each case is the fore-warning to take things easy. Do ease out on your stress by talking to friends, relaxing physically and mentally, take long walks as a regimen each evening after dinner and keeping the mind away from disturbing thoughts (easier said than done, but manageable) etc. etc. Anything that could get the mind to its original thinking or logical thought process!
It is the latter that rings the warning bells and should be heard early enough to get something done to reverse or retard the onset of dementia.
Why not just visit a specialist right away?