While forgetfulness may be a laughing matter (or at worst mildly frustrating) when it occurs once in a blue moon, the script quickly gets worrisome when you start losing track of important things oftenly. A good example is finding it difficult to remember your best mate's phone number when in the past you had no problem reciting it offhead and backwards.
Forgetfulness in young adults is even more unsettling because unlike in older people, the dendrites and axons of the neurons of 20/30-something-year-olds are supposed to be firing from all cylinders. That being said, increased forgetfulness is still a bit of a mythical and misconstrued subject with experts still being unable to agree on one common factor to blame for frequent or constant forgetfulness. Part of this also has to do with the fact that the brain is arguably the most complicated machinery in the human body - even the brightest of our top neurologists are yet to entirely comprehend its inner workings.
What Causes Forgetfulness?
Just like most health problems that are difficult to accurately evaluate, there are many myths, misconceptions and half-truths about what causes forgetfulness and confusion, especially in young adults. It's not unheard of for people to blame all manner of things for their short memory loss ranging from stress to aging or even a medication that they are taking. That said, here is a collection of some of the most plausible explanations about what causes forgetfulness in young adults.
- Underactive thyroid: A weakening thyroid has been linked severally to a short memory as well as mild depressive episodes and bouts of insomnia. A lot of this has to do with the fact that the thyroid hormone is the centerpiece of many neurotransmitter processes responsible for the retrieval and storage of both long term and short term memories. The good thing, however, is that it is easy to tell whether or not your thyroid gland is working as it should through a simple blood test.
- Anxiety and stress: Stress and anxiety stimulates the release of cortisol (a fight and flight response hormone) and adrenaline. This gives you the familiar nail-biting-and-nerve-wracking 'butterflies in the pit of my stomach' feeling that we are all accustomed to ahead of an anticipated event. While this does not appear to be detrimental to our ability to recall things in the short-term, it sure makes it incredibly harder to concentrate and shelve new information/skills in our long-term memory centers. Now you know why last minute studying is a bad idea.
- Depression: The nexus between stress and forgetfulness becomes even more relevant if you consider the injurious impact that chronic depression has on our memory centres. Stress forgetfulness is actually one of the many signs of clinical depression that psychiatrists use to diagnose mental health issues alongside other familiar patterns like lack of drive, stifling sadness, and insomnia.
- Poor sleep hygiene: Not getting the recommended 8-hours-a-night sleep has more consequences than we tend to take into account. One of them is the chronic forgetfulness observed after spending many nights in a row without getting ample sleep. This also opens up a Pandora's box of mood changes, jittery nerves and spiking anxiety levels that makes it even harder to maintain a sound memory.
- Being on certain types of medication: Antidepressants, tranquilizers, and a few hypertension drugs are notorious for causing short-term forgetfulness. Experts mainly attribute this to the sedative effects of some of these drugs that can precipitate mental confusion and inability to recollect past information accurately. If you have been wondering what causes forgetfulness and confusion, then you probably need not look further than this.
- Alcohol abuse: Anything that can alter the state of your mind can potentially trigger short-term memory loss and habitual forgetfulness, alcohol included. While recreational alcohol intake (within the set healthy limits) does not appear to impair one's memory faculties, taking too much alcohol regularly and within a short spate of time can wreak all manner of havoc on your information retrieval ability, even after the effects of the drink have worn off.
- Using hard drugs: Just like alcohol, drug abuse can severely impact your memory retrieval capacity thus making it exceedingly hard to keep track of events or things in the short-term. Even worse, some drugs like heroin, fentanyl and methamphetamine interfere directly with the neurotransmitter chemicals employed by the brain to lock in or retrieve information. Being hooked on hard drugs is actually one of the leading answers to the question of what causes forgetfulness in young adults.
Treatment For Forgetfulness
If you are experiencing various symptoms of forgetfulness such as difficulty recalling very basic information like your pet's name or performing quick mental sums, then you may want to look seriously into the treatment for forgetfulness. Fortunately, as much as memory loss and persistent amnesia can be a little frustrating, there are a few natural treatments of forgetfulness that you can explore to keep your recollection aptness as sharp as a tack.
- Adopt a mentally stimulating hobby/habit: The brain, just like your biceps, triceps or quads is a muscle that gets stronger when put under controlled exertion. This is why the treatment of amnesia often includes tasks like solving interesting puzzles, playing chess/bridge, driving on new roads, learning a new musical instrument or volunteering teaching at a local school. Keeping your brain active is, in fact, the most potent medicine for forgetfulness. Speaking of which, you may need a natural energy booster like Wellabs' Elderberry’s Syrup to fuel your new mentally-challenging pastimes.
- Adopt a healthy diet: A balanced diet is as good for your mental faculties as it is for your heart and other life-supporting organs. Go for low-fat and high-quality protein sources such as legumes,skinless poultry, lean beef, pork, fish or eggs. Intersperse these with plenty of cruciferous and green vegetables, not forgetting complex carbohydrates and fresh fruits. Steer clear of highly-processed foods, simple carbs, refined sugar and alcohol. Even better, it does not hurt adopting a brain turbo boost in the form of a supplement like Wellabs' Lion's Mane Extract.
- Physical activity: Adding physical activity (even if it is something as simple as walking for 20 minutes a day) can work wonders for your short term memory health. Apparently, researchers believe that the feel-good endorphins that are released post workout strengthen the natural pathways that the brain utilizes to retrieve and store memories.
- Socialize frequently: Human beings are, at their core, social animals who thrive in an equally socially-stimulating environment. Scientists who have spent a lot of time studying the damaging effects that long-term solitary confinement has on the human brain have reported inability to easily recall new information as being one of the most affected areas. Besides, socialization has been shown to ward off stress and depression, both of which are also major causes of forgetfulness in young adults.
- Get ample sleep: Your brain and body in general carries a huge chunk of its routine repair work when you are deep asleep. Besides, a restful slumber plays such a fundamental role in the consolidation of new information from short term memory centers to long-term memory caches. This makes it easier and more fluid recollecting newly-acquired data and learning new skills.
- Get organized now: It may sound a bit presumptuous but lack of organisation could be contributing to your forgetfulness more than you presently realize. You are, for instance, more likely to lose your wallet or car keys if your apartment is dishevelled and cluttered. The same applies to recalling new subjects taught in class if your notes are in a gross disarray. So, get into a habit of having some form of orderliness in how you approach every aspect of life; have an electronic planner, jot down appointments and maintain a to-do list for important tasks to be accomplished daily.
- Limit distractions when studying, writing or learning a new skill: We often underestimate the power of focus and concentration in the consolidation of new information. But it is the reason no masterpiece art was drawn or best-selling novels were written amidst chaos and disorderliness. The brain works best when it does not have to juggle several tasks at a go.
- Get chronic and underlying conditions under control: It may not seem obvious the consequences of not managing health conditions such as depression, high cholesterol levels, obesity, diabetes or hypertension can spill over and impact your capacity to retrieve/store short-term memories. Now that we are here, if you are looking for a natural aid to help you relieve chronic pain, these Turmeric Ginger capsules from Wellabs' exclusive store fit the bill nicely.
The promising advances in modern medicine and neuroscience have made it significantly easier for us to devise a lasting treatment for forgetfulness. And if you sprinkle a few lifestyle changes and healthy mental habits into these, you can stave off habitual memory loss and dementia for as long as it is humanly possible.