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Mental Mondays: 7 Of The Most Common Causes Of Forgetfulness In Young People

Mental Mondays: 7 Of The Most Common Causes Of Forgetfulness In Young People



hen a young person notices they have become forgetful, they are likely to go into panic mode. From a soft thud on the door reminding you of a meeting you scheduled weeks ago to your sister rolling her eyes because you’ve asked the same question five times in one day. Or perhaps, your boss is beyond herself, as you’ve forgotten to make the modifications to a document for the umpteenth time. Now, you’re beginning to lose your mind, as remembering things has become a chore. The truth is, it’s normal (for the most part) for individuals to become forgetful as they age.

In simple terms, your adulting is beginning to show, and you might have to write things down to avoid forgetting them. It’s easy to ascribe random forgetfulness at a young age to mental illnesses like dementia, but it could simply be a sign you need to improve your lifestyle. If you notice a persistent decline in the way your brain retains information, it’s time to visit a doctor to rule out serious memory problems.

Signs you should see a doctor

While on some occasions, forgetting things here and there isn’t necessarily a cause for alarm, in some instances, it could be a sign to pay your doctor a visit.

• If these bouts of forgetfulness are starting to disrupt your daily routine.

• Constant mood changes for no obvious reason.

• Familiar tasks become hard to complete.

• You often get lost on a familiar route.

• You’ve become repetitive with questions/comments.

• A decline in speech articulation.

• If you’re worried, there might be more to you being forgetful.

Check out 7 common causes of forgetfulness at a young age…

#1. Stress

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Think about it: if you’re stressed daily, there’s a high tendency to be forgetful. Imagine you have a table full of deadlines, and your partner has scheduled date night. You eagerly agree to this arrangement, but your manager requests a task be finished before closing hours. The sound of your phone ringing and a sharp glance at the clock might be what juggles your memory. When a person is stressed, they forget appointments, names, important dates, and might even forget to pick up the kids from school.

Quick tip: Set up a new time management plan to manage stress and learn to prioritize tasks. Also, learn to take breaks in-between work to relax your brain. When you’re stressed, it’s hard to focus and retain information. To avoid toxic productivity, learn to schedule your day’s tasks and allocate time to rest your mind.

#2. Medications

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When a person is on certain medications like paroxetine, cimetidine, or desipramine, one of the side effects might be occasional memory impairments.

Quick tip: Consult your doctor about these symptoms as they might prescribe an alternative. Also, eat healthily and of course, try to exercise.

#3. Alcohol

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Heavy drinking is one of the common causes of forgetfulness at a young age. We often forget that alcohol is a drug and should be taken in moderation. A binge drinker is likely to become forgetful and disoriented over time.

Quick tip: If you notice this is an issue of alcoholism/alcohol dependence, it’s time to get professional help. If you still have a hold of it, consider reverting to the standard; “At most 2 drinks in a day for men and 1 drink for women daily.” You can also choose to undergo an alcohol fast, which helps detoxify your system and rejuvenate your body and mind. Be sure to replace alcohol with a healthier beverage, as nature abhors vacuum.

#4. Sleep issues

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I once heard a man say nature can’t be cheated, and I’ve found this saying true in more ways than one. When we deprive ourselves of sound sleep, the repercussions would eventually surface to haunt us. This could vary from lack of coherent thoughts to temporary memory loss. This is a way our system relates to us the need to shut down and recuperate. It’s in your best interest not to ignore this sign.

Quick tip: This might be hard, but setting healthy and firm boundaries will save your life and mental health. If you’ve had a 24-hour mentality towards work, it’s time to apportion your time rightly. Treat sleep time like the holy grail of your day. To be realistic, there will be days you work into your sleep time, and find ways to make up lost nap time. Perhaps, nap in between your tasks. It would surprise you what a 15-minute nap could do to your brain.

#5. Thyroid problems

Photo: Karolina Grabowska | Pexels

There are manageable medical conditions like hypothyroidism that could facilitate forgetfulness at a young age. This occurs when the thyroid gland isn’t able to produce the required amount of thyroid hormones in the body. When left untreated, this leads to the hippocampus decreasing, distorted concentration, and memory issues. Other infections like HIV, tuberculosis, and syphilis can also affect brain health.

Quick tip: Early diagnosis is a lifesaver. Go to the hospital for diagnosis and treatment.

#6. Head injury

Photo: Karolina Grabowska | Pexels

If you’ve recently been in an accident that affected your head, this could impact your memory and brain health.

Quick tip: Follow your doctor’s instructions, rest, and stop trying to be a hero — the world needs you relaxed and sound. In addition, take analytical brain tests and play mind games to train the brain and improve your memory.

#7. Nutritional deficiencies

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As busy adults, we tend to compromise on nourishing our bodies with the right food and supplements. Our breakfast is sometimes a hot cup of coffee, and we dash out to catch up with the bus. We nibble on snacks during lunch and then are too tired to heat up our cold dinner, which was served hours before our late-night return.

Quick tip: This is a sad reality, but isn’t a lost cause. Pre-planning our meals, having the ingredients handy (yes, this means grocery shopping), following a meal timetable, and of course, lots of discipline can help alleviate this issue of malnutrition. It goes without saying the importance of a balanced diet, even before forgetfulness at a young age becomes an issue. Ensure you add healthy fats and protein to your meals while stocking up on your vitamin B1 and B12 supplements.

Featured Image: nadia_bormotova | iStock

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