Everybody forgets things. I often forget where I left my keys, or what I’m about to say… sometimes I can’t remember entire conversations I’ve had (wow, that sounds awful). And don’t even get me started on names. I’m fully aware of how bad my memory can be. But I’ve never really explored whether or not it’s something I should be concerned about.
An article published by the New York Times back in 2016 looked into this very thing, however. And it shared that while most memory lapses are normal, and nothing to worry about, there are some symptoms you should pay attention to.
Here’s what we learnt:
According to Dr. Thomas Wisniewski, director of the Center for Cognitive Neurology at NYU Langone Medical Center, forgetting minor things is a perfectly normal type of memory loss. It’s not a big deal to draw a blank on somebody or to forget you set the keys right by the door. But as Dr. Wisniewski explained to The New York Times, there are more serious issues you should be aware of:
“…it is one thing to forget where you left your car keys, but it could be something more serious if you don’t know what the keys are for or how to use them. Getting lost in familiar places can also be a warning sign…,” he said.
Ann Norwich, director of the adult gerontology nurse practitioner program at York College, also suggested that giving objects alternative names is another sign of something serious — like saying the mail is in the oven when it’s actually on the counter.
Norwich added that becoming irritable or explosive when questioned about your memory, or becoming suspicious of friends and family, can be early signs of dementia.
Most memory lapses are normal, however:
The piece went on the share that while there are certain memory problems that could indicate a deeper problem, but most mistakes – like calling someone by the wrong name – can be boiled down to an overloaded mind. So, nothing to worry about, there.
Dr. Suzanne Salamon, associate chief of the gerontology division at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School shared in a recent article for the university:
“Things that do not usually suggest Alzheimer’s disease are the things that most people worry about, such as forgetting names or walking into a room and forgetting why you’re there,” she said.
Just be sure to keep an eye out on any odd occurrences and if you’re concerned, go and chat with your doctor.