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Treatments for Short-Term Memory Issues During Conversations

I have long had problems following conversations, particularly with my wife but also conversations with others. I find that during conversations, as soon as the person I am talking with finishes with one sentence and moves on to the next, I have forgotten the previous sentence. I have also found that while trying to digest the previous sentence, I find it difficult to begin focusing on what the person is currently saying. I am almost 62 years old, but this has been a problem for me for many years, so it is not age-related. Recent distressing events in my life are making the problem worse. The problem has long been an issue in my marriage, causing my wife to feel that I am not listening to what she is saying or that I don't care about it. I have also been dealing with chronic depression that has not responded to treatment, and wonder if that might be partially causing my problem.

A related issue, though less immediately concerning, is that while speaking myself I find it difficult to keep my comments on track and organized, leading me to often ramble and repeat myself.

I have searched the Web extensively looking for leads to treatments that might help alleviate the problem but have found nothing helpful on my particular issue. I will be discussing the issue with my psychiatrist at my next appointment, but given my treatment-resistance I am doubtful that much will come of it.

I am hoping that someone out there may have found some treatment or therapy, or even self-help techniques that might hold some promise of relief. Any insights or suggestions anyone might have would be most appreciated.

Thank you.
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973741 tn?1342342773
Hello.  Glad you found us and reached out for help.  I understand this problem you speak of.  I could joke and say that my husband has it too but I know it is no laughing matter!

This, for you, is something that has gone on since childhood?  This makes me wonder about your motor planning and processing.  The nervous system is so complex. The brain is doing an incredible amount of things at one time.  When the brain is processing conversation---  it takes in words, makes sense of them, organizes them for you.  When you speak, it does the same thing going the other direction.  If our brain has a little hiccup, that processing in communication is disrupted.  This is all part of our sensory system.  My son has sensory integration disorder and has issues with this.  He received occupational therapy for six years working on this and other aspects.  

Occupational therapy has a way of helping with this that may seem kind of out there but it is known to help organize the nervous system and thought processing (which is obviously needed in speaking with someone) and it is called 'heavy work'.  Here are examples of heavy work:  anything weight bearing so moving a piece of furniture across the floor, carrying something weighted like a big stack of books, weight lifting in general either at home or in a gym.  Deep pressure such as being squeezed, wearing a compression shirt or pants, doing an activity like swimming.  Pulling activities such as hanging from a bar, doing monkey barks, doing pull ups, chin ups, etc.  Push ups are great.  Wall push ups will work too. You can do push ups from your chair pushing up when you are seated with your hands on the chair.  Pressing your hands against a wall and pushing against it with force.  Any type of physical activity such as biking, running, hiking especially with hills.  When you do these activities, they have an AFTER affect of better brain organization and processing.  The neural pathways are strengthened if that makes sense.  

The other thing to think about is if you have an issue with focus.  Like ADD, attention deficit.  Has that ever been brought up to you?

I would think in terms of marriage, what about talking to her at a time in which she is not aggravated and sharing that this is not intentional and something you struggle with. That you wan to improve it and it worries you about yourself.  For her to be patient.

My husband honestly can forget what I say about 10 seconds later.  I've suspected he has similar issues to our son although he is not diagnosed and it is not nearly as pronounced.  

Let me know what you think!
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