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Depression and Suicide If you or a loved one is feeling depressed or suicidal, you are not alone. Talk with other users about your feelings here.

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Unhappy Depression is making me lose my memory? - August 28th 2021, 01:10 AM

I've been depressed for almost 5 years and I have realised that recently, now that I am alone with my thoughts in lockdown, that I am forgetting things. I can't remember basic things like chores, what someone said to me a mere 5 minutes ago, and the worst part is that I can't remember content from school.

My exams are in a few days and I can't remember the content and it's really scary. My parents think it's because I'm lazy but the point is that I don't have energy and my brain can't hold any more information.

What should I do?
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Re: Depression is making me lose my memory? - August 28th 2021, 01:46 AM

I definitely feel you there. I have the same problems with memory, focus, and concentration.

As far as things like chores go, I tend to have to set reminders on my phone in order to remember to complete them. I do that with other important things too. I sometimes even set the reminders to go off hourly so I continuously see it.

I'm not sure what your current study style is, but make sure you set out chunks of time to study instead of trying to cram it in all at once, or you'll never be motivated and will never process anything. For me, I find that repetition helps. That means that sometimes I write things out over and over again when studying until it kind of sticks in my brain. Even if I don't fully remember the concepts, at least it's in my brain. I also will read things out loud. If you have friends who are willing to study with you, talk it out with them so you have several forms of communication.

Reward yourself when you're done studying too so you have something to look forward to. "When I'm done studying, I can play that video game," etc. At least then there's some form of motivation!

You're not lazy, but remember that your mental health is what matters the most. Grades are a number, but mental health is forever.

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Re: Depression is making me lose my memory? - August 28th 2021, 01:15 PM

I definitely understand what you're saying here and I've experienced this too. It's such a hard thing to deal with and it makes how you feel even worse sometimes.

I find having a to-do list is really helpful when I'm worried I'll forget things like chores. I'll often make the list as I go, so that any time I think of something I need to do later, I can make a note of it and then cross it off once it gets done. Would something like this help?

In terms of studying, I'd definitely recommend varying your studying habits. The mind tends to remember things more if there are memorable circumstances sometimes, so maybe you can study in different locations, such as in the garden, at the coffee shop, at the library etc, rather than just in your bedroom or living room. You can also try to make studying interactive - this is something which really helped me. I would put flash cards up in different areas around my study space so that I could move around whilst working. If you have people you can study with, maybe you can make this into a game too. This might help your mood lift a bit while you're working, but it'll also give you s different kind of learning to do.

From the outside, sometimes people don't get that we're not being lazy, we're just not coping well with life. I'm so sorry that people aren't recognising your problems here, but you're not doing anything wrong by not coping well. Do you feel able to tell anybody how you're feeling? Maybe your parents could help you find new ways to study or do chores which are engaging, or they can provide you with some encouragement to reassure you that you're doing the best you can.

It might also help to have a chat with somebody at school too. If you have a teacher you trust, or a guidance counsellor, maybe have a chat with them and let them know what's going on. They may be able to help you with coping skills, and could help get you some support with studying to make sure that, even if you're finding it harder than normal, you don't feel the stress of working this all out on your own.

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Re: Depression is making me lose my memory? - August 28th 2021, 03:03 PM

Hollie and Dez have given great advice. Brain fog and forgetfulness are super common when experiencing depression, anxiety or other mental health concerns. Lots of people are noticing it more given the pandemic as well, since we're all dealing with more feelings of loss, lack of control, isolation, etc.

To-do lists, block scheduling, and setting reminders on your phone are all extremely helpful suggestions for making sure you stay on top of important things like chores and studying.

Like Dez mentioned setting aside time dedicated to just studying and doing your best to remove any other distractions can help and rewarding yourself in small ways can boost your motivation. Things like "if I study for an hour I can watch one episode of my favourite show or the show Im bingeing right now" etc. Additionally, if your studying is reading heavy, taking notes as you read can be helpful for retaining information and giving you a summary that you can look back at if you find that you have forgotten some things.

Unfortunately, if our friends and family haven't ever experienced something similar to what we're experiencing with our mental health it can be difficult for them to understand. It's often hard for us to express exactly how we're feeling and why it's showing up in ways that, to them, make you appear lazy. While it's hard to ignore what the people we love are thinking about us, trying to accept that they may not have experience with these types of feelings can help their opinions impact our self-esteem and what we know about ourselves a little less.

As Hollie said, bringing this up with a teacher or guidance counselor can help. They may be able to help either with extensions on important projects or suggestions for helping you manage these symptoms. And really, sometimes it helps when we're not met with understanding at home, to have someone that understands and validates our feelings.

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