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  (#1 (permalink)) Old
~Radio Flyer~ Offline
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refocusing, remembering, recalling tips? - November 5th 2017, 09:31 PM

So in the past I've been the clumsy type of forgetful but I've always struggled either losing my train of thought. When I was younger my mind would bounce back and remember it, even like 20 minutes later I would be like yep now I remember.

I even used the rhyme from little Bo peep "leave them alone and they'll come home wagging their tails behind them"

Bit those thoughts do not return anymore.

I tried telling my mindfulness instructor this in hopes he had tips how to bring it back. He basically said humans have 16,000 thoughts a day and that we give over importance to our thoughts and if we forget the thoughts it probably wasn't important.
That was frustrating to hear.

Other people told me that feeling as though I've forgot something (this happens too, so then I get confused if I really lost my thought or if I'm just getting that sensation because I have a kind of fear about it)
that that is a symptom of severe anxiety.

I also feel like I've forgotten so much that I have fragmentation of identity. It is so hard to cope with. Sometimes I feel so alienated in the present because I can't remember who I was yesterday.

It is hard to explain and I'm probably not explaining if the best. But basically it isn't just what I did on a given day but also I lack the continuity of identity, I lack the ability to pick up where i left off from a project and still feel focused.

It is more about the forgetfulness of my inner world, the feelings, the thoughts, even the inspiring quotes I might know perfectly one day but then spiral into hopelessness and be unable to recall it.
It is like everyday I wake up wondering if my brain will feel foggy and everyday it does. So I stay in bed thinking I just need to feel a little more refreshed. But my brain never gets re-energized. It only gets wiped out sometimes and I have to like "start over" with what my goals were and I have like several sets of goals. So each day I might be a different person but it isn't connected to the person I was the day before.

I hate this feeling so much.

But back to the question-when I am brainstorming and write down a list and then feel myself lose a thought before I can write it down. Are there any things I can do in my surrounding to help me recall it? Or if I can't recall it, to at least determine if I'm having this as a sensation and that I didn't actually forget anything or if I really did forget it. Because there are times when I would have the feeling I lost the thought and then tiny broken pieces of thoughts would flow back and u can't determine if that was the original thought or if that was just an associated thought.

Maybe there's certain music I can listen to or maybe certain temperatures are better? Idk I'm guessing. I try putting the blankets over me and I try taking them off. And there doesn't seem to be a significant difference in ability to remember. It just makes me irritated that I'm either too hot or too cold =/

So yeah just venting, doubt there's any real rips out there besides improving for long term.

Ironically people often tell me i have good memory as a kid. But that's just because I spent so much time memorizing things for school, as that's what we would be tested on. Which studies show that regurgitating information isn't the best indication of the person having learned something.

Don't know where I'm going with this but I need help. If I told my therapuat, so you think she might have practical tips?
She might laugh and say I'm young and to not be overly concerned. Or she might say lack of concentration is part of my depression, anxiety, stress symptoms.

And though she didn't agree with my bpd diagnosis. In semi-agree with it. I think the bpd and the ptsd is what's contributing to the ongoing identity crisis mixed with existential crisis part. But I am often questioning if the abuse and traumas is real/was real. Which I've done less since the ptsd diagnosis but still do it. And I stigmatized myself for being diagnosed with bpd because it is said "real or imaginary" and I'm like yeah probably imaginary.

Thank you for listening.
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Celyn Offline
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Re: refocusing, remembering, recalling tips? - November 8th 2017, 12:13 PM

I see where your mindfulness instructor is coming from, but it is more complex than that, and I can't imagine how frustrating it must've been to hear him simplify it like that.

Memory problems can definitely be a part of depression, anxiety, PTSD and BPD. Our emotions can also affect our sense of identity e.g. we can feel like two different people on our good and bad days. It can be hard trying to grasp who we are and our overall sense of self when we struggle with memory and emotions. Maybe making an 'about me' note can help; just writing down some facts about yourself and perhaps some long term goals. These things may change slightly over time, but can help in our day to day life when we feel disconnected.

As for short term memory, it can be annoying when we are brainstorming and have loads of thoughts all at once. Maybe picking one word for each idea might help? Then you can come back to the words and expand. Or make bullet points for each idea, and then fill in the ideas, rather than trying to write each idea down one by one. You may still find that by the time you reach the last few words or bullet points that you can't remember quite clearly (e.g. When brainstorming for an essay, I might quickly have 7 ideas, and would put down 7 bullet points and then start writing the ideas down, but find that by the time I reach number 5, I can't remember what the last two ideas were). As frustrating as it is, maybe try accepting that our brains have limitations. You can always come back to the brainstorming later and see if you remember anything and have any new ideas.

I'm not sure about music or temperatures, but I have heard that associating words with colours can help with memory (helps with making a mind map).

Totally know how you feel about memorising things for school though! You are right that being able to memorise things isn't a good indicator for learning. But at least you know you had a good ability for memorising!

I think that anything that bothers you is worth talking about with a therapist. She shouldn't laugh or say you are too young to be concerned with memory at all, and she may be able to help you find practical ways of dealing with memory related issues.

Doubting the abuse, is probably more to do with the abuse, rather than memory. We can often question our memories, especially when they are upsetting and difficult. But we may also doubt the abuse as a way of minimising it and perhaps being in denial about the affect it has had on us. That doesn't make it any less real or imaginary though.

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