How Do People Who Have Lost Their Memory Live?

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How Do People Who Have Lost Their Memory Live?
How Do People Who Have Lost Their Memory Live?

Video: How Do People Who Have Lost Their Memory Live?

Video: What's It Like To Have No Memory? 2022, December

"Who am I?" - a question with which those who have lost all or part of their memories wake up every day. Some lose their memory as a result of accidents, others due to serious illness or psychological trauma. The RIA Novosti correspondent has collected the stories of those who can forget everything at any moment and tells how they cope with their daily problems.


Life in two

Christina lives in Moscow. She is 29 years old, and for almost seven years now she has anterograde amnesia, that is, she cannot remember everything that happened to her after a certain date. At 23, she, along with her parents and younger brother, got into an accident. The girl survived, but when she woke up, she found out that the whole family had died. Christina did not speak for almost a month. Doctors diagnosed her with post-traumatic stress disorder and later amnesia.

After that, her life was divided into before and after: “I remember everything that happened before the accident, in great detail: what perfume my mother used, that my brother ate carrot puree on the day of their departure and how my father did not like fish cakes. many, I perfectly remember my childhood, but everything that happened after is emptiness."

Christina has been living this way for almost seven years. Her only saviors are notebooks, stickers around the house and a smartphone. Three years ago, the girl gave birth to a child, but does not remember how the pregnancy went. "Every day is new for me. On the wall opposite the bed is written:" Christina, you are 29 ". Every year on my birthday, this number changes. Next to the nightstand is a note:" You have a child and a husband. "Such reminders reproduce my feelings connected with them, and I understand who I am ", - explains the heroine.


RIA Novosti / Konstantin Chalabov

Girl in hospital ward

Despite her illness, the girl works - she writes freelance texts for a corporate newspaper of a small company. "My memory does not interfere with work at all. I remember faces, but I do not remember the names and how we are connected with this person. That is why I have such a stack of photographs in my bag, printed from social networks. It is written on the back who it is, who he is to me. They are all sorted into categories: friends, colleagues, neighbors, doctors. When I go somewhere, I prepare for a long time: I take out photos, take, for example, doctors, and go to an appointment. It's difficult, but I can handle it, "she says.

Recovery for Christina is difficult. Now she has completed a course of therapy: hypnosis, pills and special techniques. Thanks to all this, Christina can remember events that occurred during the day, and sometimes even a week. Even the last year she remembers with spots of vivid memories: "These are mostly memories based on strong emotions. For example, I fell down the stairs - it hurts, so I remember. My husband gave me a huge bag of sweets - it was too sweet, I remember."

According to her, doctors, husband and child played a huge role in the recovery. "The birth of my son changed me. I began to remember more because of the fear that I could harm him. For example, he is allergic to prunes. If I forget this, then the child will have problems. Or if I forget to take him to the doctor, he is may die. I cannot allow this: there will be enough deaths in my life ", - Christina shares.

The stress experienced forever affected Christina's life, and so far doctors cannot 100% guarantee that the ability to remember events will fully return to her. According to clinical psychologist and cognitive-behavioral therapist Olesya Frantsyna, unpleasant memories from life affect memory subconsciously and crowd out what is happening in real life.

"Any association with that terrible event will cause a person to feel unwell, up to somatic disorders (any disease, except psychological. - Ed.).Repressed memories interfere with a person not only by the very fact of memory impairment, but also by the fact that these memories continue to traumatize a person, although he may not be aware of it, "says Franzina.

After a glass of vodka

A person who has not experienced stress and does not suffer from diseases can lose memory. For example, memories can be lost due to alcohol abuse. This happened with 37-year-old Stepan. He was a regular office worker for a small travel company. At first he drank one can of beer a day, then one can turned into ten. Stepan lost his job and drank himself to death.

"I have Korsakov's syndrome due to the fact that I drank a lot of alcohol. Now I" remember here, I don't remember here. " every day I forget something from the past: the name of my aunt, the number of the school where I studied, and the name of my first love, "says Stepan.

Stepan not only does not forget the details, he has already entered the stage when he forgets entire periods in life. For example, he cannot remember a single event that happened at the age of 30: "This does not greatly interfere with living, because I understand where I am and who I am. But ask me about the places where I worked, and I will not remember anything: nothing I studied, no one was my colleagues. Sometimes I am afraid that I will wake up and do not remember anything about myself at all, so I began to prepare for the "apocalypse" - a complete loss of memory."

The man keeps an electronic diary, records important events that have occurred during the day. Doctors say that while he has nothing to worry about, he cannot completely lose his memory. Now Stepan has completely abandoned alcohol, because there is no more sense in this: "I will drink a glass of vodka, just one. And after that I won't remember anything at all - that's it, the end. Nothing will remain from my drinking: no smiles, no faces, no love."

Stepan is not married - and is not going to. He developed a fear that the one who loved him would leave because he would not be able to remember some detail from their life together. "I am to blame for everything. I am a fool myself, there was nothing to drink. But now I appreciate everything, every moment of life, without plans for the future. I just live to live," the man shares.

Woke up without a wife

Nikolai from Irkutsk completely forgot seven years of his life: when he was 35 years old, he got into an accident and received a head injury. As a result, the man lost most of his memories before the accident. “I woke up in the ward, I remembered my name, who I was, in what city I was born, I remembered my parents. A woman was sitting next to me, crying, saying“Kolenka, you woke up.”And I just didn’t understand who it was. Then she told that she is my wife, "he says.

Now Nikolay is already 40 years old, he is a happy father of three children. But he still does not remember how he met his wife and how his first-born was born: “The last vivid memory I have is fishing with friends, I was about 28 years old. I recognize my wife. A year after the therapy, I remembered in fragments the wedding and my wife. She jumped with happiness that day."

Nikolai visits a psychotherapist and a neuropathologist who are jointly treating. They believe that such a localized memory lapse can be rooted in childhood and affect some kind of social contact. "My therapist is constantly asking if there was anything painful during these years. He even conducted hypnosis sessions, but it is still not clear. I, in fact, take my loss calmly. To be honest, I don't even want to restore all this. ", - the man confesses.

Recovering memory in any situation depends on the nature of the damage, says Franzina. The reasons for memory loss can be different, therefore, a high-quality diagnosis is carried out first. “If we are talking about the psychological causes of memory impairment, such a person will need at least psychotherapy, and possibly pharmacotherapy prescribed by a psychotherapist,” continues Franzina."If it was mechanical damage, the person will need the help of a neurologist and neuropsychologist."

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