Bipolar Disorder Community
MEMORY LOSS
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Bipolar Disorder is also known as "Manic Depressive Disorder". This forum is for questions and support for people with, or for loved ones of people with Bipolar Disorder. The forum covers topics ranging from Aggressive Behavior, Affect on friends and Family, Alcohol and Drug Abuse, Appetite Changes, Chronic Pain, Denial, Depression, Difficulty Concentrating, Euphoria, Guilt, Manic Depression, Medications, Mood Swings, Poor Judgment, and Sleep Disorders

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MEMORY LOSS

I suffer from Bipolar disorder and have found that many of my memories of the past are gone.  This is very disturbing to me.  Has anyone else felt the same way?

Thanks.
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Avatar_f_tn
I have problems remembering a lot of things. Names of relatives or friends. Things I did in the past. My children (grown) will talk about things that I was a part of and I draw a complete blank. I forget word terms, even  the name of some things. It seems like bad memories are imbeded in my brain though. I remember most all of that, in detail. Yet I can watch two movies and can't remember what they were. It takes me a while. So, believe me you are not alone. The more time that goes by it seems like I get worse. I don't let it bother me though. Any one that questions my actions, I just say what do you expect I am on drugs! I am on medication, a lot, and they know it, so it gets passed off and jokingly forgotten. Sometimes people knowing you are on meds help relieve the situation.
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581210_tn?1220838380
I asked my doctor about this recently.  He said that when you are depressed it is harder for your brain to record memories.  It may be part medicine, but it may be part depression, too.
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539694_tn?1298833732
It certainly happens to me, if they are unpleasant memories youve likely repressed them. It is true your memory does become worse when your depressed unfortunately i have very few memories of school or college thats a 8 year chunk of my life missing.
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Avatar_f_tn
Oh yes, my memory is shot.  Its not just past memories but I can't even remember recent stuff, this is why I keep a journal for when I see my psych otherwise I can't even remember how i've been feeling!!!

My memory used to be great, especially for conversations, I could recall them from years previous - not anymore though.

Depression definitely has an impact, I have lost whole chunks of my life when I've been depressed.

Like RJ223 though I don't let this bother me too much, I just look at my journals!
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Avatar_f_tn
I got married to a man with custody of a 6-yr old daughter that was taken from her family due to massive amounts of every type of abuse.  We have her in counseling, and she has been diagnosed with Biopolar, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and ADHD.  
She has been forgetting everything.  She used to know all of her math addition facts.  Now, she can not even understand the concept of adding one to anything.  She also used to know how to tie her shoes.  Now, she does not do that either.  She forgets our names and our pets' names.  She has even forgotten how to write.
I know that her biological mother did drugs while she was pregnant...  
Is the memory loss normal?  I do not know if this is a mental health issue or an actual medical issue.  (We are getting her into the doctor for this; I just wanted to see if there was anyone else experiencing anything like this.)
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi, welcome to the site.

It sounds like your daughter has been through some horrific ordeals for such a young child.

I don't think anyone on here would like to take a stab in the dark about this.  Yes those of us with BP do have ocassional memory loss, usually following mania or psychosis.  We also talk about our memories not being as clear as they once were.

With everything your daughter has gone through though it could be that her brain has just "shut-off" in an attempt to cope, mend etc.

I am not a psychiatrist though as I'm sure you appreciate.  It sounds like you are doing all the right things in helping her recover.  Time, patience and lots of love with the support of good psychiatrists and counsellors will hopefully help her heal.

I feel so sad for her and wish her and you and your partner all the best.
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1011826_tn?1274496312
My father and I both have BP, and we both have trouble remembering things, words, and events. He doesn't remember a lot of my childhood or his own due to his depression and mania throughout. I don't remember a lot of my college years. We both also have trouble with word recall.

He is on Tegretol and I am on Trileptal (and now Lamictal too), so it could be meds, but I think it is part of being BP as well. When I forget things, it seems like there is always so much in my head that one word just isn't that important. Or like my brain gets stuck. I am very forgiving (most of the time) and try to give myself time in order to allow myself to recall the word, phrase or event. I love Google for that, so I cheat too. :) I have also worked with a hypnotherapist before to recall past memories and that has helped a lot with digging through my past and recalling things.

I think forgiveness of yourself with BP, depression, or any mental illness is really important. Healing is a long process.

Peace.
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Avatar_m_tn
My memory is bad too and it got even worse after I started Geodon.  Some medications are going to cause you to have really bad memory loss.
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952564_tn?1268372247
I've noticed my memory getting worse over time. When I was in high school I could remember everything. Every appointment, assignment, birthday, phone numbers of friends and relatives, birthdays, past events etc. Slowly over time I seem to be losing this. It seems to be something with my short term memory. I don't remember things I say or conversations I have. I can forget things as soon as they happen. I have trouble remembering birthdays and phone numbers.

I know my "really good" memory is still in there and it works randomly. I can remember patients names and faces, why they came in, things they tell me. But randomly. It is one thing that drives people around me crazy, and it really bothers me a lot. I just feel like I'm losing something very important. I would say it is old age, but I'm only 30.
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Avatar_f_tn
I began counseling and medication for BP with anxiety disorder when I was a teenager. I am now 42. I have been on more meds than I can count over the years, mostly trying to find the right combination. I am currently on Lexapro, Trazodone, Wellbutrin XL, and Topamax. This has been working well enough now for quite a few years, but I have noticed more and more that my brain is turning into mush. I am in a fog most of the time, and I can't concentrate for more than a few minutes (with absolutely no distractions) so I take forever to do things. I struggle to hold on to anything that goes into my brain. Even if I write it down, I can't remember that I ever wrote something, so it doesn't matter. I've been a teacher for 19 years, but I feel like I'm brand new at this everyday. I can't even connect well with my students, because I can't seem to remember things they tell me. I'm always taking notes, but when I read them, they don't remind me of what they were taken for. I don't want to change meds again (the withdrawal process really messes me up and is hard on my family.) I can't see me continuing my career in the state I'm in, but that isn't an option. Is there any advice out there?
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Avatar_m_tn
I'm really glad I found this string. I very recently lost a job because I was unable to "on the fly" produce, update, and publish client-facing documents.  I'm 51, and have had the same types of jobs since I was right out of college.  In this situation, I was updating a Powerpoint presentation over the phone with my boss.  She would request a change to a page, and I couldn't even recall the page or even the specific document.  Looking back over the past five years, it seems that this has happened more and more frequently, but ironically, I wasn't able to remember the lapses. I was diagnosed with depression since early twenties. Diagnosed bipolar in my 40s. Now have added ADHD.  Recent events have really taken a toll and I'm significantly depressed now.  I take lithium, wellbutrin, Xanax, and now amphetamine.  Just stopped taking lamictal.  
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