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I have this weird way of obliterating almost all my memories of depressive periods. Mania/psychosis I can see in crystal clarity. My psychosis symptoms are easy to recall and discuss. They are often ongoing in small ways even when well, so it's not an issue to look back and identify them.

But depression, it's like I have these long blank periods in my life when I can't recall much of anything. I vaguely know I was depressed and that's it. Trying to remember doesn't upset me, I simply can't do it.

I am starting to feel depression symptoms, I think. Unfortunately I honestly can't remember what depression was for me, so I might not be anything at all.

Does anyone else have this? Do you find certain elements of your disorder much easier to recall than others?

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I have this to a surprising degree, both for mania and depression. it has actually been a huge problem in terms of getting a diagnosis and proper treatment, among other things.

it's a long story, but I had been diagnosed when I was 17 as bipolar, then quit treatment at 19-20. last year - more than a decade after my initial diagnosis - I went in for OCD treatment because my partner requested that I do so (I was driving her crazy). when going over my history I insisted, insisted, that mood-wise nothing was wrong with me. in part I did so because of negative experiences with psychiatry that I had when I was younger, and in part because I honestly couldn't remember what it was like to feel either depressed or manic. the result of my memory lapse was ending up on an SSRI that led to a very difficult period of mania and mood fluctuation.

I can usually remember some aspects of what I did when manic or depressed, but I can't remember how I felt or why I did them. then there are weeks, months even, when I remember almost nothing. my sister will often say to me: "hey, remember that super meaningful thing we did together?" and I'll have to tell her "no." bipolar has taken away so many moments that I should hold dear today, and for this I am very angry.

even now I can look back on papers I wrote last December while manic and have no clue at all what I was thinking. this is NOT good for graduate school. I have professors approach me to ask if I'm still planning to work on some project that I was rambling on about while manic and I have no clue at all what I said or was thinking. it's super embarrassing.

oddly enough, when I am in a mood episode, I can more clearly recall other such episodes. state dependent memory, I suppose.

anyway, sorry this got long, but it's a really emotional topic for me. I really hope the treatment I'm on now will help with my recall issues

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I have this problem when I'm symptomatic. Every time I'm depressed, I say "it's never been this bad," and my husband usually says it has. I've started blogging almost every time I'm hypo so I don't have to remember completely, but I don't always blog when depressed. 

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I get this for mania and hypomania. Whole events happen without me remembering, which is bad because I usually think I'm better than I am. I don't remember yelling at people, screaming that "I want this to end" or anything like that. I only remember the beginning euphoria before everything turns to chaos. 

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I get this when I am depressed. There are whole years that I hardly recall anything, including my son's wedding. I always say I'm going to journal so I remember, but when I am depressed I don't do much of anything so I don't.

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In the past, I've definitely blocked large amounts of my memories, and I've always presumed it's due to trauma/depression/something psychological rather than something organic. 

BUT...I swear I've been recalling more memories about my past since having started on mood stabilizers (~6 months). It almost seems like, now that I'm more able to cope, my mind has decided I'm allowed access to those memories. Sounds a bit nuts, eh?

Sorry to hear you're starting to feel symptomatic.

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even now I can look back on papers I wrote last December while manic and have no clue at all what I was thinking. this is NOT good for graduate school. I have professors approach me to ask if I'm still planning to work on some project that I was rambling on about while manic and I have no clue at all what I said or was thinking. it's super embarrassing.

Yes to all of this. I am all about ideas ideas ideas when I'm psychotic/manic. Some of them are nuts, some of them I actually wish I had the energy and resources to act on. I'm often asked about things i said in the past and I don't know how to break it to my superivosrs (I'm in grad school too) that most my big ideas were just a passing psychosis riddled fantasies. I have no idea how to realise them when sane.

I get this when I am depressed. There are whole years that I hardly recall anything, including my son's wedding. I always say I'm going to journal so I remember, but when I am depressed I don't do much of anything so I don't.

I'm sorry you lost such an immensely meaningful moment. Does it help to look at photos of the wedding, even if you can't remember the event yourself?

In the past, I've definitely blocked large amounts of my memories, and I've always presumed it's due to trauma/depression/something psychological rather than something organic. 

BUT...I swear I've been recalling more memories about my past since having started on mood stabilizers (~6 months). It almost seems like, now that I'm more able to cope, my mind has decided I'm allowed access to those memories. Sounds a bit nuts, eh?

Sorry to hear you're starting to feel symptomatic.

It doesn't sound nuts to me. Trauma tends to hide itself deep down, maybe before bipolar treatment you weren't well enough to handle the past, so your mind protected you from it. Now that you are getting more stable, your mind is unlocking those doors because it thinks you might be ready to deal with what's been hidden. Just my thoughts, though, nothing more.

I'm really not sure if I'm having symptoms or I'm just feeling a bit off in a way that will resolve itself on its own. I can't tell because I don't remember how depression starts for me. Frustrating.

 

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When I find papers that I wrote on years ago when psychotic, or certain specific songs, I am embarrassed as to WTF I had written and WTH I had been thinking back then. 

And with music (specific songs), when I hear the songs, it is like a light switch turns on and all these past thoughts start to flood my brain with info that I remember from before but have chosen to forget.  In the music, when I hear the thoughts I am like 'I can't believe I thought all of this."

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I get a lot of this in all stages. Complex memories are not too bad but short term or specific (like forgetting ingredients or names) are a complete loss. I have talked to my psych before but she claims it's just stress.

Forgetting stuff is a problem for me too.  I have repeatedly told my pdoc about it also, and he doesn't comment much on it.  I would be pissed if he said it was only stress. 

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I've lost months to years from episodes, manic, depressed, psychotic. The most memory loss was from a 4 month psychotic episode (I was living 4 hours away from my friends, family and pdoc, at school, I don't remember much from it until I was back in my hometown, in the psych ward, voluntarily, coming out of it)

I have waaaay more memory loss from that one psychotic episode (and other episodes) than from ECT. That was just the worst one for me.

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I get a lot of this in all stages. Complex memories are not too bad but short term or specific (like forgetting ingredients or names) are a complete loss. I have talked to my psych before but she claims it's just stress.

Forgetting stuff is a problem for me too.  I have repeatedly told my pdoc about it also, and he doesn't comment much on it.  I would be pissed if he said it was only stress. 

Short term memory is crap for me. I always assumed it was the larger dose of quetiapine since that is around the exact time when it stopped being reliable. I have brought it up before, they said I just needed to develop coping mechanisms for it. Sigh.

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I'm kinda lucky in this regard. I remember it -- mania, hypomania -- no problem. But I thought long and hard before answering this question about remembering my depressive episodes in any detail. And I don't. If I'm BP, I'm now in my twentieth year of a manic episode. I've never been depressed. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

I'm grateful to say I don't remember in detail the horror of how my depressions felt. The downside to this is not being able to compare them and learn from them when working to get better. I can recall events which took place. I do believe the mind protects us from accessing and experiencing the worst painful sensations of depression repeatedly when not in the cycle. The one I am in   now...over 1 year...seems completely unlike the others, but it probably isn't.

Hypomanic and manic cycles I can remember quite clearly. I try not to recall them with too much fondness nowadays, though.

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It's a trip, isn't it? This go around the depression has been haunting me with "so much time is being wasted now which you will never get back", etc. When I get stable again, though, I will have a whole other set of things to focus on and won't be concerned with such depressive crap.

Hallelujah!

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  • 1 month later...

I also have problems with memory - especially long term. It's like parts of my memories have been completely wiped. I only later realised it happened every time I was at my worst or went through my darkest times. I was worrying that this only happened to me and that there was something (else) terribly wrong. 

It's so scary that parts of my life is just missing. I can't even remember the names of people I met during those times and sometimes not even the person. 

My pdoc said it should get better as the depression passes. I hope that it will. Most of the year in which I was diagnosed is a blank. Even my hospitalisation is only vague snippets. 

I want to cry when other people talk about memories with me in them and I can't recall any of it. Most of the time I just act like I do remember...

Has anyone tried journaling? I've been wondering if that will help. 

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It's like parts of my memories have been completely wiped.

My short term memory is "better" than my long-term memory when it comes to actual memories.  But words coming to me I always am forgetting the word, but I can describe it.  I hate that though, that I can give the definition of the word I am trying to think of!

I have tried to use a journal, and it can help, but aside from people finding mine in the past and reading them, I also don't want to look back at all the things I do.  Sometimes I just want to forget on purpose.  That is just me, though.

But based on posts here on CB, many people here journal and find it helpful. 

You can also blog on this site too.  I'm not sure how to set it up, but a staff or admin or anyone who knows how could help you.  I've just never done it before.  You can keep it private or open (letting others read it).

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It's like parts of my memories have been completely wiped.

My short term memory is "better" than my long-term memory when it comes to actual memories.  But words coming to me I always am forgetting the word, but I can describe it.  I hate that though, that I can give the definition of the word I am trying to think of!

I have tried to use a journal, and it can help, but aside from people finding mine in the past and reading them, I also don't want to look back at all the things I do.  Sometimes I just want to forget on purpose.  That is just me, though.

But based on posts here on CB, many people here journal and find it helpful. 

You can also blog on this site too.  I'm not sure how to set it up, but a staff or admin or anyone who knows how could help you.  I've just never done it before.  You can keep it private or open (letting others read it).

I'm sorry to hear people treated your private stuff like that!

Luckily I've never had anyone read my stuff (that I know of...), but I was thinking on doing a password protected doc. Don't know if I'll remember the password though! I must say there's a bunch of stuff I also want to forget, but I wish that was the only thing that just goes poof whenever my brain decides to clear some space. 

Hopefully I can look back later and see that I've gotten better with the meds and everything. 

But then again when I do read or remember old stuff from when I was either manic or severely depressed I just want to go and sit in a corner and cry. Or just disappear. And then I hope other people have forgotten about all of that... 

 

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