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gamefu91's avatar

What could be the possible reasons of a weak memory at 19?

Asked by gamefu91 (588 points ) January 2nd, 2011

I don’t know if this is normal or I have weak memory. I feel this many times.
Just few days back I studied some concepts and understood them very well. After 3–4 days now when I am studying something which applies them, I can’t recall those concepts. I understood them and mastered them completely, but now I don’t remember much about them. It may just feel normal, but I can notice something is not as it used to be,learning used to be say effortless to me and its like pain. Its not like I am bored, I forget what I studies interestingly.
• What could be the possible reasons of this?
• Has anyone felt this way? Though it may just feel normal to most of you but its not.
• What could I do about this? (Other than going to a doctor, I want to understand this and see if really is a problem of some kind, because doctors just need money and they would give medicines to any normal person who goes to them)

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19 Answers

Eggie's avatar

Focus. Try to think of one thing only. Also use repetion, say the same thing to be remembered at least twice. Write things down if you have to.

Judi's avatar

Could you be suffering from depression? That is a symptom.
How have you been sleeping?

incendiary_dan's avatar

It’s possible your brain is malnourished. Do you get enough Omega-3 fatty acids? A lot of people don’t.

gamefu91's avatar

@incendiary_dan I don’t know about that,how can I know if my brain is malnourished? It never speaks this :P
What can I do to ensure proper nourishment?

gamefu91's avatar

@Judi why link every problem we see with depression? o.O

Winters's avatar

@gamefu91 you can purchase omega 3 fatty acid supplements, also a dramatic lack of sleep could also be a major factor in which case you need more sleep or review the material much more than what you normally do. Depression is a plausible factor, though for me I remember things better when I’m depressed/filled with regret/feeling down.

Also, any recent trauma? that screws up memory pretty bad for a while.

JLeslie's avatar

Assuming you don’t have, God forbid, have some sort of disease or syndrome, or that you are not taking medication that can have a side effect of interferring with memory. I would say part of the problem might be you are memorizing straight rote, rather than putting ideas and concepts into how they apply practically, or using more than one way to remember one piece of information.

Also, if you really have no interest in a topic, you might be less likely to remember information for a long time.

gamefu91's avatar

@JLeslie How to use more than one way to remember?

JLeslie's avatar

@gamefu91 It can be using a trick like ROY-G-BIV to remember the colors in the light spectrum. Or, when memorizing which blood type is the universal donor, not only memorizing blood type O is the donor, but understand why, so it is logical, and more likely to stay with you, or what your own blood type is and what you could personally get or who you could give to, so it has more meaning. Another thing is to think about how something looks, not just words on a page in a textbook. It depends on what you are studying. Also, to remember an appointment for instance I don’t just think Januray 4th. I remember I have a lab appointment to get my cholesterol tested before my Tueday Zumba class, and I need to remember not to eat too much dessert over New Years. I make the information to remember part of a story that relates to me in a bigger way than just a date on a calendar. When I learned the basics of the digestive system in anatomy class, I learned it as my esophagus, stomach, liver, intestines, etc.

Judi's avatar

@gamefu91, I don’t link “every” problem with depression. That strange response makes me think that a professional may have suggested that as a cause? It’s a crappy, non glamorous diagnosis, but it is the cause of a lot of memory issues. If you were having blurred vision or ringing in your ears I wouldn’t consider depression, but alsheimers in young people is very rare and it is a valid symptom.

kess's avatar

Without a practical real Life purpose to know a thing..There would always be a struggle to recall it.

That is the way of exams…. You study to pass exams…but exam is not necessarily a ” practical real Life ” situation. Therefore there is a struggle to recall the concepts.

That is normal especially with students.

The reality is that You already have all the knowledge necessarily for “practical real life” situations and it is worked while living and not necessarily in a school.

Remember most of your learning in school, if you cannot apply it in a practical real life situation will be forgotten.

JLeslie's avatar

It is true that depression interferes with memory. I think it is our minds way of protecting ourselves from difficult events being permanently engraved in our minds. Helps avoid an obsessive thought process in my opinion. I am not saying that is the problem here, but just supporting it as a reason for memory difficulties sometimes.

Coloma's avatar

I think, short of some biological diagnosis that it is just plain lack of attention, focus.

To be fully present with the moment at hand.

Most people don’t realize they can train their minds to be more focused.

The mind is meant to be a tool not a run away horse of rapid fire thought.

Meditation and self awareness are two paths towards taming the wild horse of thought. :-)

Yes to @kess

Knowledge without application is useless.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

Is it just studying that you forget, or other things? For example, can you normally remember what you had for breakfast, but now can’t? Do you find yourself repeating stories to friends? Does time seem kinda fuzzy and strange (kinda like you were stoned all the time)? If you’re having memory problems outside of studying, then it’s an entirely different issue. If it’s just studying, then you just need to figure out some info-retention techniques.

Not_the_CIA's avatar

Sex on the brain. It makes you all kinds of stupid at 19.

incendiary_dan's avatar

You can get more Omega-3 from healthy sources of fat, like olive oil, tree nuts, wild fish, and wild or free-range animal products.

Omega-3 deficiency is also linked to depression, by the way.

gamefu91's avatar

@Judi I have some kind of buzzing sound in my ears sometimes,its not loud and becomes noticeable only when I am alone,or when I intentionally try to check it by trying to hear it.I started feeling it few months back.Does it mean something?
@JLeslie If mind wants to protect us from difficult events being permanently engraved,why doesn’t it let us memorize new and useful things then? They don’t cause any harm.
@papayalily I didn’t understand what you meant by time seeming fuzzy? I can’t keep track of timed activities,poor at time management.

JLeslie's avatar

@gamefu91 It is not that specific. Depression kind of causes an overall fog, not for everyone, but it is very common. In fact a very effective treatment for extreme depression is electroshock therapy ECT, and one of the side effects is you lose about 3 or 4 months of recent memory. The is also a drug, can’t remember the name of it, that can be given to ease the memory of bad event, and try to dull the connections between the memory of the event and the emotions it stirs. There is theory now about people who suffer great trauma, like wartime trauma, bombs going off, being wounded, that calming the person down before they go to sleep that night is believed to be very important to avoid PTSD. To avoid a kind of engraving, or connection, in the brain that will cause the individual to create triggers in their brain that bring them right back to the fear, anxiety, and terror of the moment. The current though is that during REM sleep the reactions of the brain become more permanent.

So, it seems, although some of this is just my own conclusion, that a dulling of the memory during traumatic events would be useful. Maybe it is like a chemical release, and the body cannot just release the chemical in one specific area of the brain? I don’t know, I have not read enough about neuroscience.

Do you think you are depressed? I think it is more likely you are not focusing enough on the material, and not relating it to real life.

hotgirl67's avatar

I’ve had this happen to me before when trying to remember something I have learned that I just can’t seem to grasp.Try to talk about exactly what your learning with one other person to help reinforce it.

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