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My memory is terrible. In fact, I don't remember much of my life up until the age of 21. I've cycled in and out of manias and depressions and psychosis for over a decade now. And day to day my memory is awful due to the medications.

How much of a problem is memory for you? I've started to feel really sad about the years I lost.

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I guess I have three points to make about my own memory....

1) I'm sure part of it is my major depression/bipolar features getting in the way. Depression-induced dementia* is more common than we'd like to think (or less common than we'd like to forget).

2) The meds. I think Lamictal might be hitting me on the head (though it's not as bad as what I've heard from Topamax users). The clonazepam I take to avoid getting out of bed and running into walls during my dreams (I have REM motor sleep behavioral disorder, i.e., acting out dreams) probably doesn't help, either. OTOH, I would theoretically have a very low risk of seizure should I ever become epileptic...

3) I'm recovering from a systemic infection (chronic, of 10 years in the periphery and 3 years in the brain) infection with those 3 years in the brain being encephalitis. During the worst episodes of brain infection, I couldn't find my own apartment. More specifically, I couldn't choose it out between the four options I had on my floor.

So there's my 3 (IQ) points, I hope I've been of help to you.

*[EDIT: I can't believe I typed in "depression-induced depression" initially before catching it much later... hehehehe. vicious cycle, eh?]

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I lose my place when I am in conversation. Esp when something or someone distracts me. I will even lose track of where I am at when I am typing (as you'll see or have seen) my fav way to be funny about it is truly "what was I saying?"

A lot of my adult life is not memorable because I was loaded in one fashion or another.

During manic my days sort of run into each other in fast forward because I can't wait to get "there" - wherever there is. Then, when I am depressed I am either gritting my teeth trying to not lash out at people, or just simply trying to get through the day.

does that make sense?

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I know my memory loss definitely sped up with the addition of topamax four years ago, but it has significantly sped up in the last year, when my BP has raged out of control, despite my meds. I literally cannot remember events that occured two or three days ago. My husband hates watching TV with me, because I watch everything I TiVo - it's all new to me, even though I may have watched the same episode of "How It's Made" four times before. At first my husband would talk about something, and I would say, "I don't remember" and he thought I was making it up. Now, he just feels kind-of bad for me, I think.

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There are definately parts of my life that are very fuzzy or just don't seem to be there at all. I would say that's just how my memory is, only there are periods that are just crystal clear to me. I think overall my memory is good, it just malfunctions from time to time because of the episodes I experience. When I go into mania or depression it is effected to the point where sometimes I can only remember bits and pieces. I find my ADD is an issue in the creation of memories as well. When that isn't under control, my short term memory is crap.

Now that my bipolar episodes aren't as severe as they were, I don't seem to have as many gaps in as recent memory or be as confused with recent timelines, but the confusion is still there a bit.

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My long term and short term memory are shocking. I no longer attempt to tell jokes as I inevitably forget them mid-stream!

There is a benefit to all this memory loss... there are a lot of bad things that I don't remember and a lot of grudges that I've let go (by forgetting them!). I was having a conversation with a friend just last night - he dwells on things and bitterly holds onto every slight that anyone has ever caused him. I told him he'd be much happier if he had a crappy memory like I do. He agreed ;)

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I have the memory retention of swiss cheese. Large blocks of my life are almost totally gone.

I journal a lot, so there's a record of some things.

And some of the things that are gone, I am glad for. There's some things I don't need to remember. There's pen and paper for the things I do need to remember.

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my memory sucks. Even worse - I have an incredibly bad perception of time. I couldnt tell you when a particular event happened without some form of cue (eg what house was I living in? Who was I dating? what job was I in?) even the *year* it happened!

It means I am the queen of post-it notes, reminders in my outlook calendar, and notes on my phone. I also blog over at LJ, which gives me something to help place me on a timeline.

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I have a bad memory for certain things, number, names, faces, etc... I suck at learning a language or subjects like History where I have to remember names or dates.

I remember jack shit about my childhood before the age of ten, and between the ages of ten and eighteen my memories are pretty spotty. After eighteen, my memories are okay - what I remember I remember very well, but if I've forgotten something, I've forgotten it.

My thing is I don't remember *when* things happen. I'll remember what happened just not when, like what year. My sister has the same problem, and my kids understand this because we always mark our time by where we've lived. "Don't you remember, we lived in the little apartment on such and such street when that happened?" or "Wait, we lived in the big red house then."

My short term memory is okay enough to function. I remember doctor's appointments and such, even if they're a month away. Though I have walked into a room and not remembered what it is I was going in there for - but I understand that's a common phenomenon. ;)

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I just remembered that I had to deposit my final rent check at my old apartment on my way out of town the last time I moved, and had to write "RENT CHECK" all over my forearms so I could see it as I was driving out of the apartment complex, past the office, and out onto the main road. I had gone a couple blocks down the main road before realizing my mistake of forgetting to deposit the final rent check.

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my memory sucks from not sleeping for so many years

thus during those years my memory is almost nonexistent

as i have learned recently our memories are solidified, planted so to speak when we sleep after the day's events

no sleep or tiny amounts then no memories during those times

also when i was on 200mg lamictal the memory for recent events took a nosedive

better on 100mg

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My memory is bad, especially when I am going through an episode. I have a good long term memory, but my short term memory is horrible. Lamictal makes me seem like a stoner, but I refuse to go off of it. It controls my depression too well.

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Names, page numbers.... hell for me. [Come to think of it, I was a lousy fundie-Xtian because I couldn't quote chapter and verse (while reciting texts just fine, until I started contradicting the English translations that are literally taken and started reciting in Hebrew.... doh!). Judaism treated me better because I only had to remember a couple of rabbis and if I fuckd those up no one gave a shit as long as I argued well.]

Faces, dates (ironically), events I remember in vivid detail. Xanax kills my short term memory like a pachyderm stomping a rodent.

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I used to have this really cool ability to remember numbers after hearing them only once.

School came easily b/c I could memorize like a fury.

Now, as Defrazld2 put it, I lose my place in a conversation. There are lists and post-its all over the house, but I forget to look at the lists.

For me, the loss of my memory is like losing a dear friend. I feel dumb now.

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My short-term memory is somewhat mediocre.

My long-term memory is worse. I have holes in my history, the biggest are episode related, but other stuff that should be there is missing.

I have a real hard time judging time.

When faced with many options or many things to do sequentially, I space or get confused.

I can't concentrate long enough to read a novel.

There's more.

Meds may be part of the problem but I switched thru enough meds to know that at least some of it is not. I didn't used to be this way, at least not as bad. I had an excellent short-term memory and a pretty good long-term one, too. I used to be able to concentrate, at least when I really wanted to do so.

I'm having a hard time adjusting, too.

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I used to be like Phoenix. I had a mental filing cabinet. I could remember file and client numbers at work, phone numbers - about 50 or so stored in my head...never missed appointments or forgot to do minor things.

Now if I walk into a room I can forget why I went there in the first place, can remember only a few phone numbers and as for file numbers or client numbers, forget it.

I had a lawyer give a document to me this evening and as she was giving me the instructions of what to do with it, my mind went kiting off somewhere else and I had to ask her again about 5 minutes later what it was she wanted me to do with it. It's a good job she knows about my illness and is understanding. I'm actually starting to think that I really do work with quite a great bunch of people!

Like Stacia I have huge holes in my history. Some of that I'm sure is due to the abuse I suffered at home and my mind is blocking it out, but there are gaping holes - 5 or more years at a time! I actually went to a hypnotherapist a couple of times to try and unlock those memories, but he couldn't really put me into a trance...my mind was going "Nope!" and that was that.

When I was on lithium I was worse...and had trouble remember the words for common things when I was in the middle of a sentence. Lamotrigine seems to have less of a cognitive dulling effect on me, but I still feel as though I'm losing my mental agility by increments. I'll continue to mourn it's loss until I can't remember what it is I lost!

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