Need Advice on Remembering the past Events

Updated on January 20, 2011
S.D. asks from Peoria, AZ
11 answers

okay, strange question. Do you find that you can not remember events anymore. Like a place you went to years and years ago or a friends wedding or vacation..... ?? Do you forget little things about high school and how people treated you or how you treated people? Or even times that you had disagreements with friends and you forget how you had a falling out. I am struggling with NOT REMEMBERING the past. Do you believe in hipnosis to get memory back or what can I do to retrieve memories. I feel so dumb that I can not remeber events that happen 15-20 years ago. Is anyone feeling this way ? Is the day to day so fast past that we forget ? I hope I am not alone. What are some comments ???

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So What Happened?

no I am not on medication .... just an average mom with two kids and feeling sad that I can't remember things of my hs years, friends, events. Thanks for all the advice. Have not been sold that hipnosis is an option. Not sure I would do it anyway LOL.
Thanks, keep up the great questions

Featured Answers


answers from Dallas on

I've never had a great memory, but it wasn't horrible until this year (I'm 40). I had some family trauma last spring and had trouble sleeping, and ended up hooked on Ambien CR. I took it every night until a month ago. Now I've noticed my memory is really improving. This has been an interesting topic to read about. Thanks for posting the question!

1 mom found this helpful

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answers from Minneapolis on

I took a Learning and Memory class as part of my current work on my PhD in Psychology. What I learned is - our memory is not nearly as good as we even think it is. It is also very suggestible. In other words, we build memories from stories we hear, until we swear that we were there and saw it happen, etc. None of us are good at remembering names, especially. So, it's not unlikely that we would forget, or remember incorrectly, events that happened 15-20 years ago.

If you are concerned, though, you could talk with a mental health doctor or a regular doctor. True memory difficulties can be a symptom of several physical problems.

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answers from Portland on

Hey Mama

When I was young I watched my grandmother try to remember who gave her... or who was in a picture. I started then & there labeling what I got with a year & person who gave it to me. I did the same with pictures.

I can't tell you what a help that's been. Looking back on old gifts, I just have to flip it around and the memories flood back.

Nope, you're not alone = )

R. Magby

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answers from Seattle on

Just a word of comfort:

In one of my psych classes my prof gave us the following yardstick against memory lapses due to aging and alzheimers:

"If you forget where you put your keys, it's a memory lapse. If you forget what keys are FOR... get an eval."

With the brain, however, it's a "Use it, or Lose it" kind of phenom. The number ONE "warning sign" for both dementia and suicidal depression is retirement. (Another "tell" for major depression is having graduated from college 6 months prior... it takes about 6 months of using your brain in a radically different / "less" way than you used it before for it to start "twitching". As a matter of fact, for psych position, the person who is supervising the intern hours is usually required to send their intern to conferences, or put them in charge of some sort of research right around the 6mo mark, and slowly "taper them off" to ease the transition between the hecticness of school and the consistency of a work a day job.) How to "Use it or Lose it?" Keep reading. Debating. Doing math. Learning languages. Keep up on your field or keep a hand in. Learn new things. Go into more depth in things you already know. If you want to KEEP your mind, use your brain as much as possible, as often as possible. Challenge yourself. The brain is really big on recycling. Neural pathways that don't get used for a period of time get "turned off" or reprogrammed for something else.

SAME TOKEN: "Mommy brain" is half the not using your brain as you used to and half sleep deprivation. And why returning to work is pure unadulterated joy for many new moms. They still have the sleep dep aspect, but they're using their brains and keeping them in "shape". Our brains ACHE when they're not being used, particularly when they're not being used in a way to which they are accustomed. The BIGGEST TRICK for SAHPs who loooooooove staying at home isn't that they're "super people" by any means, but it's ***usually*** that they've found ways to keep their minds engaged and active.

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answers from Phoenix on

Thank you for that question. I was beginning to think I had a problem, but all the answers seem to point to some kind of normalcy. My kids, now in their early forties, sometimes ask me about how they were as children at a certain age and most of their growing up times seem to be a blur to me. I remember specific things like they happened yesterday and others escape me. I think when you are in the throes of motherhood your mind is doing a lot of things at once and just getting through the day is challenging, so memories are kept of things that are out of the norm and the rest is forgotten.

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answers from Phoenix on

What were we talking about?

You are NOT alone. People who have great memories amaze me. The ones that really get me are the ones who can say...That was the spring of 1984...or something like that. I just what to ask how they are doing that. I have never had a good memory. I am a huge fan of brain teasers, crosswords and other brain/memory building games but I still have the worst memory of anyone I know. I'm used to it. It doesn't mean you're stupid or anything like that. It just may not be your gift. We all have God given gifts, and for some people it is a good memory.

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answers from Norfolk on

It's common. There are things we can do to trigger distant memories (smell is a powerful one) but a lot of the time we need picture albums to remind us.

It's in our nature to remember the best/good and forget the worst/bad - the 'Good Ole Days' syndrome. My Mom will talk about how things were so good during her childhood. Yeah, right. It was the Great Depression - they almost starved to death. Sure, they weren't worried about being over weight. They were worried about polio, whooping cough, other deadly diseases and malnutrition.

I look at it this way. My brain has an ultimate capacity. As I learn new things, some old things/memories fall out. Also, if you don't use it - you tend to lose it. Skills I had when I was a programmer 20 years ago I don't remember so well now that I'm not a programmer anymore. I don't remember some things about my childhood because I'm remembering things about my son's childhood.
For the most part, what we forget - it's good we forget it.
I don't worry about it.

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answers from Dallas on

Depends on your age, your meds, and I don't know what else. If you're talking to a 60+ person, chances are you are in the same ball park with many. They find it shocking until they talk to their same age friends. I have found out that medications to help you sleep like Ambian and Lunesta can give you memory problems and it says so on their sheet. I have heard people on some antidepressants say the same thing on some blogs.

Still, wh en you go in for your annual checkup, ask. Then ask what you can do about it. Then ask a nutritionist what you can do about it. Then ask a herbalist. No one wants to lose their memory, especially when the person that brought it up is as old as you are. Course, it is easier to remember the bad stuff that happened to you because it lingered in your mind. Easy to forget that you were treating someone else poorly unless it was a long term harassment.

When my mother lost her sight at the age of 85, her memory went straight down hill. She couldn't keep her brain stimulated enough because she couldn't read, see TV, move along with an exercise video. She could have done so much more though and we were willing to help her. But she declined. Her memory was slipping each month.

Bet you can get much of it back by improving circulation, your diet, and your brain with exercises. Don't just practice something or do the same thing over and over (crossword puzzles, etc). Make it new, brand new, the studies say. I'll be interested to see the other answers you get and perhaps most interesting was someone that tried and succeeded in getting it back. I don't think I've ever heard of hypnosis bringing back a person's memory (unless it was from a tragic event). They say they can bring back a memory, or random memories -- but not your memory in general. But who knows. Anyone?

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answers from Kansas City on

Sometimes there is a reason why we don't remember the past and that is why I say the past is the past look forward!


answers from Austin on

Depending on your age I'm not sure.

I have a sharp memory, almost to the point I annoy others! But I recall that when I began taking a certain medication I'd fumble on silly things like vocabulary. I'd be in the middle of a sentence and then suddenly not be able to finish it because I couldn't think of a simple word. I felt SO dumb.

So maybe ask yourself if you have been on any medication that might have that "brain fog" side effect. Anxiety and anti depressants can do this, also anti seizure meds can do it. I'd check with your doctor.

But in all reality, I wouldn't feel dumb for not remembering things THAT long ago. If you begin forgetting stuff from a week ago or 2 days ago, maybe then you should worry?

Don't sweat it too bad.



answers from Portland on

I suggest that you start writing about early experiences that you're trying to remember. Putting it on "paper" sometimes jogs my memory so that I gradually remember more and more. I frequently forget something but after thinking about it most of what I want to remember gradually comes to me. The details of events 15 years ago rarely do.

The things that you're having difficulty remembering sound to me like things that are normal to forget. New memories are laid down on top of old memories. It takes longer to get to the earlier memories. And some things, such as things from high school lose their significance as we age and do other things.

I'm 68 and I find that I don't remember as well as I used to. Some recent memories take several hours to become clear. I've been told by my mental health professional that is normal. When to wonder about our health and memory is when we increasingly are unaware that we don't remember.

I have a friend who is 75. She has memory problems and frequently is unaware that she no longer remembers. We have a conversation one week and the next week she tells me I didn't give her the info I gave her the week before. that sort of thing. That's dementia.

Otherwise, just keep thinking about the event and gradually what is important will rise to the surface.

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