Forgetting or simply not remembering? Which is it? Well, forgetting is something you have in your memory. Or maybe it is not that simple. It could be something you tried to memorize but could not, then you forgot what it was. It’s all a matter of intrepretion. Remembering is questionable. Was it ever in your memory to begin with, or was it something you tried to remember and could not have. The question is more complex then anyone could believe…until you’ve been there.
In any case. If you or a loved one is having problems with either memory, forgetting, not remembering regardless of the cause or diagnosis start by getting pen or pencil and a notebook. If you have not been diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury, start taking notes as to what causes your problems. What makes them better and what makes them worse. Document any symptoms you have. Take this initial symptom list to your physician and have your medical doctor help diagnose and treat. If you have had a recent injury please get yourself to seek medical attention asap. This physician should refer you to a specialist with knowledge of conditions that cause memory difficulties. If you are not satisfied, let your physician know…then move on for another opinion. Do not settle for anything less…you are important and life is fragile. Many symptoms are often overlooked, but you can help others by just telling them how you feel. Sometimes a good friend is a great listener, and you might need this friend to be your advocate at this very difficult time.
This was my first key to cognitive therapy. Start documenting everything that happens in your day. Include telephone numbers and who you talked to, time and date. Keep this in a daily journal. A small side bind 4 x 8 notebook with pockets is easy to take anywhere. You can put mail and other information into the pockets within the notebook. This is a very inexpensive way to put yourself back on track. Be cautious because you may forget you took it somewhere.
Put your name, address, telephone number and make a note to return it if found. I have been very fortunate to have my notebooks and purses returned to me, among numerous things I have left behind. I’m sure many things have never been returned, but don’t sweat the small stuff. They are just things. Label everything you need to, including coats and jackets if this is a problem for you. Do not feel embarrassed, keep yourself on the right track and limit the level of frustration. No one knows what it is like to keep loosing things all day long. Trying to remember things is a mind-boggling task in and of itself.
If you feel anyone is poking fun at you…don’t worry they are not worth the time of day and energy it takes to explain yourself. It is their job to educate themselves while you recover and struggle with this invisible injury.
If this is a new problem do not start with trying to learn a palm pilot, complex telephone or a computer. These are all things that take a higher level of thought and things need to be extremely simple at first.
Do not place post-it notes all over the house. Believe me, you might not remember that you even had a note. I wrote on my arm or anything I could not loose. Writing on your hand will only work until you wash your hands in the washroom. Wear a pen around your neck if you keep loosing your pen. The next thought is you might not remember you are wearing a pen around your neck. I know this, that is why I’m giving you these tips. Or you could use post-it notes, if you have been successful at journaling and are more advanced to learning after a brain injury. It is so individualized. Remember…or maybe not….you are the only person like you! Thank goodness for that! If you know a nurse, contact that person for help. It is the most trusted profession.
- Forgetting is part of remembering (esciencenews.com)
- Forgetting Is Part Of Remembering (tricitypsychology.com)
- Memory (Or lack thereof) (hanmintah.wordpress.com)
- Memory in the Brain: Visit the places that help you remember – and forget – in Scientific American Mind’s tour of the brain (libraryindus.wordpress.com)
- Inspiration for Brain Injury Self Rehabilitation Blog (BISR) (braininjuryselfrehabilitation.com)
- Injuries to the brain tear at hearts (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- Letter: After a Brain Injury, Relearning Who You Are (nytimes.com)
- After Brain Injury: Learning to Love a Stranger (psychologytoday.com)
- The radical mindfulness of the everyday (brokenbrilliant.wordpress.com)
- Is memory loss common for people who’ve had brain aneurysm treatment? (zocdoc.com)
- Mommy, Why Does Daddy Forget Me? Parenting with a Traumatic Brain Injury (blogher.com)
- HandTutor Shows Improvement in Cognitive Impairments (handtutorblog.wordpress.com)
- Children With Brain Injury Benefit From Tutor System (handtutorblog.wordpress.com)