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My short-term memory especially has been awful lately.

Over the past 6 months I've had huge increase in stress, anxiety, depression...which then has led to more medications and such.  

On some level Effexor effects memory, and Ativan especially...

I'm wondering how you deal with it when it becomes really bad?  Like should I be training my mind with something to keep it active?   Anyone else run into this...it's causing me even more distress.

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My memory is awful as well. I attribute it to the medications as well. 

I use alarms on my phone for really a ton of stuff. It's not ideal but without those reminders I'd be lost. I probably have like10 alarms set on my phone during the week going off.

I also have a small planner which I carry around in my purse and a calendar which is hanging in the kitchen to write notes and appointments on. When I remember to look at them and use them this also helps me.

And I know I should keep my mind more active but I have no motivation. I should do cross word puzzles or read books/study or challenge myself but I don't. I know I should because it would help my memory. My 83 year old grandma does cross word puzzles. Her mind is sharp for an 83 year old. 

This causes me distress too. Sorry you are feeling the same. I hope what I've written helps.

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When I was on Lamictal monotherapy, my short-term memory was getting bad. I believe that any kind of stress, anxiety, depression or intense emotions cause your brain to reverse into a sort of "flight/survival mode" and perhaps your cognitive "executive" functioning and memory goes out the window (this is just a hypothetical theory, no idea).

For me Ritalin has been a savior. I remember lots of little things, I am more detail-oriented than I've ever been in my life. Lazer-like focus and ability to stick with a task. However, without adding yet another med to your combo - I would focus on treating your main emotional symptoms, and try your best to keep your mind engaged. Exercise regularly. Take omegas. Take a different walking path from time to time, with different scenery, do different activities that you've never done before at the gym...do word or number puzzles...There used to even be apps that are "brain games" like Luminosity, mobile games - I don't know how effective they are, but the brain does have plasticity, its very much a "use it or lose it"

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When I’m more symptomatic my memory suffers but when I was on seroquel it made things much worse. I used to carry around a small notepad with me everywhere where I’d have a page for each day listing what I needed to do and I’d just make reminders on it whenever something important came into my head because it sort of became my short term memory. That and a day planner to put appointments into. I had to use a paper one because I was too avoidant of the one on my phone. 

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Thanks for replies guys...

It's just been so bad lately, it's something I didn't need.

I need a clear head if I'm ever going to climb out of this...

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I think memory problems can be a symptom of depression, in both of my last two big episodes, I couldn't remember anything.  I ended up carrying a notebook or planner everywhere, otherwise I'd forget everything I was supposed to do.  Bills stopped getting paid, I got in trouble at work, I'd go to stores and have no idea why I was there once I got inside.  I have had the same worries as you, that the meds are doing it  but I know after all the symptoms lifted the last time, the memory got better again (I was able to stop carrying the notes around).

I am worried this time because it seems to be taking longer for my memory and concentration to come back, but I did some googling around and read somewhere that the cognitive impacts from a mood episode can take some time after the mood is resolved to fully come back.  And I feel like in the last few weeks I'm getting better at remembering again.  My concentration is starting to come back a little too.  

It's hard when an episode goes on for months though.  

I will say I took effexor and seroquel as a combo for many years and my memory was still good then.  It's only been in the last five years I've really noticed the memory problems.

I've read a lot of those brain training things are a sham, what is important is to keep learning and doing new things.  

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Posted (edited)
Quote

I'd go to stores and have no idea why I was there once I got inside.

This happens so often to me and ramps up my anxiety...When it happens i'm sure that I'm losing it...

Thanks for your reply, learning and doing new things isn't always easy, but I'm gonna try.

Edited by BrianOCD

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I have been getting bad lately too. I will tell someone something one day and then tell them the same thing the next day and not ever remember telling them the day before, it's gotten really bad. I cant remember due dates, cant keep track of time, cannot for the life of me manage to remember what i was thinking 10 minutes ago. I am hypochondriatic so i feel like im having early early early onset alzheimers. 

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On 3/10/2018 at 11:49 PM, mmaryland said:

I have been getting bad lately too. I will tell someone something one day and then tell them the same thing the next day and not ever remember telling them the day before, it's gotten really bad. I cant remember due dates, cant keep track of time, cannot for the life of me manage to remember what i was thinking 10 minutes ago. I am hypochondriatic so i feel like im having early early early onset alzheimers. 

I'm a hypochondriac as well, and yes, the other night I was on the internet doing dementia/alzheimer online tests ... lol.

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Hi. For years I had memory issues and brain fog that I always just attributed to depression and the meds that kept me sane. The past few years I noticed my memory was deteriorating. I would forget complete conversations from one day to the next, sometimes even the same day. I lost my language skills, I know that I know things but can't recall or express them, I can no longer read anything longer than a short article without forgetting what I read and then rereading it. It is becomming increasingly difficult to make choices and my reaction times fine motor skills are slow. And the worst thing that happened was when I became disoriented and got lost driving to a doctor's office I've been to a hundred times. That happened twice. I started wondering if I was getting Alzheimer's. I began having some balance issues so my doc ordered an MRI. It showed moderately extensive white matter changes. Neurologist said the damage was due to small vessle disease (brain) and that it was caused from years of taking psych meds. Not common, but it can happen. He told me that I can no longer drive. Had a cognition evaluation and the findings were that I had a mild vascular neurocognitive disorder or mild cognitive impairment. I went from being highly intelligent to gifted to being of low average intelligence. They said it's not dementia yet, and it may never be, but it's really shaken me. Doc put me on Aricept to slow progression of damage. It won't make anything better but it may help keep it from getting worse. I say if it's worrying you, see your doctor, your pdoc, anyone who will help you find the answers.

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Lamictal has seriously affected my memory. I will make a cup of tea leave the room and go and make another. Even with a diary I forget appointments so I've put a whiteboard in my hallway with a weekly to do list so I know what I'm supposed to be doing. I also now have problems with reading and writing.  I feel like my IQ is dropping everyday. 

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I know that meds can cause memory problems, but mine got worse. And my IQ did drop significantly.  All I can say is use every tool you can to function and watch your symptoms. I kept a running diary of issues - replacing words with other words, all types of memory issues (forgetting words, conversations, repeating myself, forgetting recipes (substituting wrong items thinking it's something else or forgetting to add significant ingredients, forget cooking, forget what I'm doing while I'm doing it, and problems with decision making, hesitation when engaged in activity (almost had a horrific accident), trouble reading (rereading the same thing and not knowing what it was), slow dexterity, and becoming disoriented, getting lost. The meds caused narrowing of the blood vessels in the brain, damaging my white matter. It took me a long time to seek help. Even if I would have known my crazy meds were going to cause this, I wouldn't have stopped them. They have literally saved my life. I just wondered if this has happened to anyone else.

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I'm glad that you are on medication to slow the damage but I'm also glad that even with the problems the meds helped you so much. 

Are you able to take CBD with it? I try and take cbd because of its neuroprotective properties but I'm not consistent with it and often forget to. Turmeric and curcumin is also being studied for this and has shown a lot of positive results in preclinical studies. There is a lot or research being done on its affect on epilepsy, cancer, arthritis, dementia and inflammatory conditions. Coconut oil is also supposed to protect the brain but I can't stand the stuff. I did try to go the whole healthy eating lots of research into different foods route, but then I realised I like cake to much.

 

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My pdoc said that the Lamictal is probably the med causing it but you would have to pry them from my hand!

 

when I went out on disability a few years ago my memory was horrible and I couldn’t even read and retain  what I had read. After about 1.5 years later I was finally able to read again. I was determined  to relearn how to read again and started out with books meant for HSchool level.

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