Decoding Forgetfulness: Here’s Why We Tend To Forget
The concept of memory is quite an intriguing one for the most part. From recalling the distant past’s minutest details to reminding oneself about the approaching examination, complex functions are difficult to decode. Psychologists have segregated memory into parts to help understand how and what we tend to forget.
There is nothing abnormal with forgetfulness, for the brain is hardwired to function that way. However, the science behind forgetfulness is quite intriguing. Here are some of the reasons why we tend to forget even the most important matters and people in our lives.
Childhood Memories Wither Away
There’s a reason why the early years of our lives are hard to recall. For instance, the events that took place when we were around 3 to 5 years of age. Researchers say infantile amnesia is common. Traces of childhood events are present, but children lack the required language skills to contain them in their memories. The continuous growth of the brain helps generate more cells, which eventually pushes off childhood memories.
Brain Injuries Can Wreak Havoc
Strange as it may sound, but losing memories even before storing them is possible. Several injuries and ailments manifest in the form of memory loss and other psychological disorders. Few structures in the brain dealing with the formation of memory or recall are generally the worst affected.
So much so that they remove parts like the hippocampus during surgeries to restore normalcy in patients. Damage to such sensitive regions leads to severe amnesia bouts or complete memory loss after the virus, causing brain inflammation.
Stress, Anxiety, And Depression
Emotional problems are a significant factor that drives you to forget things. Forgetfulness can occur when you go through a lot of stress and anxiety. Cases like a death in the family or a sudden retirement can weigh your mind down, and coping with these issues can be an uphill task. People suffering from depression tend to have lower serotonin levels.
Serotonin is responsible for regulating blood flow in the brain cells. That can have a direct impact on your memory. A deceleration in brain cell activity can also cause a deficit of inattentiveness. Though forgetfulness is temporary in this case, you should consult a doctor if the problem persists. You might need to see a mental health counselor find a solution.
Transient Global Amnesia
This is a rare one, but not unseen or unheard of. Few tasks produce a condition called ‘transient global amnesia,’ which is ideally temporary loss of memory coupled with brain fog. In such cases, patients battle with themselves to recall recent or newly formed memories.
There aren’t serious side effects of transient global amnesia. That’s because this happens and disappears into oblivion a few hours later or can be shorter than that. During such phases, mental turmoil is quite evident. As per reports and brain scans, it is impossible to trace the real reason behind this condition. The reports did not show signs of a stroke or brain damage too!
Memory Destruction Via Doorways
It is quite common for people to enter a room and not remember how and why they got there. And these are what you can classify as short-term memory failures. The ‘doorway’ concept, as researchers say, hints that passing via a doorway marks the onset of a new scene and pushes away old memories, resulting in such weird lapses.
However, you cannot disregard mental event boundaries. This helps arrange our ‘mental time-lines’ that help figure out the ‘how,’ why,’ ‘where,’ and ‘when’ of specific events.
Memories Live On
Neuroscientists are almost on the same page that certain traces of an event or anything that becomes difficult to recognize later on are always present in our memory. It could be that the particular memory is in a dormant state but is always present in fragments that you store in the brain, and your brain might or might not access it later.
Forgetfulness is a common phenomenon, yet it can arise from the strangest of situations. If you are forgetful, it’s nothing you should be too worried about. It might be because of a variety of reasons. But if your forgetfulness persists or becomes more severe or life-changing, do not hesitate to consult a psychologist at the earliest.
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