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Mind Matters | Memory problems

Mind Matters | Memory problems

Lately, I’ve been feeling like I’m losing control of my mind. I’m 22 and I can’t seem to remember things I’ve done just moments ago. It’s very hard to keep up with college stuff, and I’m even considering dropping out, but I’m trying my best as I’m in my final year. Even simple tasks feel difficult to focus on. I’m so scared of what might happen if things get worse. Forgetting important things in life is my biggest fear right now. I’m trying my best, but it feels like nothing’s working. It’s not that I completely forget, but it takes a long time to remember things. What can I do?

Answered by Tashi Gurung, counseling psychologist

I’m really sorry to hear that you’re going through this. It sounds extremely difficult and understandably frightening to feel like you’re losing control of your mind, especially at such a young age. I appreciate that you’re reaching out for support and sharing what you are going through.

I’m curious as to whether you’ve faced this before as a child too. You mentioned taking a long time to remember stuff. It might be a difference in learning styles: visual learners tend to absorb information through visual cues, rather than verbal or written. When a visual learner wants to take in information through writing, that’s where the difficulty might lie. Knowing your learning style can also be a good way to start getting more clarity.

You might have heard about mnemonics? When we create associations between new information and existing knowledge or experiences, it becomes easier to remember. For example, “My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Noodles” is a very common example used to remember the order of the planets in the solar system (Mercury, Venus, and so on).

Chunking can also be very helpful. I used it a lot as a student, breaking down large amounts of information into smaller, more manageable chunks. If I have to remember a large number, let’s say, 456345123, it’s much easier to remember three chunks of numbers as 456-345-123. This makes the information more digestible and easier to remember.

You can also try spacing out your study time to reinforce memory retention. Even a short break of 10 to 15 minutes can help your brain consolidate the information more effectively. Also, try your best to limit distractions while studying or trying to remember information. Having a quiet, comfortable space can do wonders to focus your full attention on the task at hand.

Also, I wanted to ask: Are you feeling stressed? How is your sleep? Do you feel you are doing ok mentally? Memory and concentration issues tend to be associated with a lot of factors, especially mental health issues. Aim for at least seven to nine hours of sleep every night to optimize your brain’s ability to retain and recall information. If you’re experiencing stress, practicing stress relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, or progressive muscle relaxation can help calm your mind and improve focus.

Please remember that everyone’s memory works differently, and it’s normal to take longer to remember certain things than others. Be patient with yourself and experiment with different techniques to find what works best for you. If you continue to struggle with memory issues despite trying these strategies, please consider seeking guidance from a mental health professional for further support.


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