Monday, March 27, 2006

Memory Loss

I am experiencing significant memory loss. Mostly short term, but long term also. I can't remember what I worked on Friday. I can't remember what we talked about in meetings last week. I can't remember what we did Saturday, the wife and I. For long term, if I try to remember what my best friends looked like in high school, what our house looked like, and so forth, I can't remember. Long term may be happening anyway, and may not be a good example, but it is a real problem for me. But my short term memory is ABSOLUTELY affected. This is scary. I can't afford to lose this, particularly with my job.

I have been doing some research on this, and I have read that memory loss can occur with meds like Lamictal, but it generally returns once moods stabilize. Frankly, I don't think I can wait, or am willing to gamble that it returns. I hope that permanent damage hasn't already been done.

I'm going to talk to my wife, but I'm fairly certain I'm going to be med-free very soon here.

I don't think things are going to be bad without meds. I'm not normally suicidal, so that's a very minor risk. My hypomanias are controlled, I'm not one who will die of a drug overdose or alcohol poisoning while chasing a high. I'm cognizant of my moods, I am understanding of what happens to me, and I'm becoming more knowledgeable about the disorder itself. That understanding and knowledge should allow me to react accordingly to the people around me. And afterall, that is the ONLY reason I'm on meds - the people around me.

This may all change after I talk to my wife and sleep on it, but I really doubt it.


Joel said...

OK, first about long term memory: that's not as perfect as you think it is. Most people cannot remember what their friends looked like in high school. We continually revise those memories and are completely surprised when we look back at a photo.

The short term memory is more problematic. If you can't remember Saturday, then it is time to call your psychiatrist and see about a med change.

Good luck. I'll drop in to see how you're doing.

C A D said...

Hi, in addition to what Joel posted, I'd also look at the stressors in your life. The two major times I've been stressed in my life I've had such bad short term memory loss that I couldn't hold a coherent conversation because I would forget half way through what I was supposed to be saying! Also, this has happened to other people I know when they're under alot of stress.

Take care of yourself.

jane said...

My gosh you poor man, you're really going thru hell right now. My heart really goes out to you as I know all too well the agony. I hope a solution is soon found.

Sharla said...

I too just went through a major stressfull period two weeks ago and I can't remember three whole days at ALL.

Yes. Talk to your psychiatrist. And if you don't want pills (who DOES?) set up appointments to see a psychologist. I used to see one once a week. You MUST have someone monitoring you. Your judgement is not what you think it is. I always think that I'm fine and then realize OMG... that's what the Egghead Listener is for. They are really good at getting to know you and then they can tell you if you're going haywire and to check yourself. :)

Jon said...

Thanks to all for your comments.

Joel, thanks for the encouragement on long term. That's been slipping for years. My grandmother died of Alzheimers, I hope this isn't an indicator.

CAD - welcome! I read your blog, and you sound like a one-in-a-million person. The smile in your picture confirms it. Thanks for taking the time to comment.

Jane - thanks for your kind comment. I know it's a cycle, in a day or a week tops I'll sail back up and be on top of the world again.

Sharla - thanks for your input. Perhaps some of this is stress related. That's a good thing to keep in mind. And since I've posted this I've had a conversation with my wife. It was like pulling teeth, but she finally admitted she would be happier if I remained on meds. And if mama ain't happy...

Anonymous said...

Remember, Jon, bipolars are capital T~ terrible ~ at assessing how OK or disturbed they are...but I know where you are coming from because we are hyperalert to our moods/feelings/impulses,etc. good luck to you...what are the meds you are on?...have you ever been the abilify route? You sound like you are experiencing the effects of Electro-shock...I get this when I am cycling rapidly and/or am very emotionally unstable....

DramaPrincess said...

oh - it never occurred to me that short term memory loss is related to the meds. I take Lamictal too. If I don't immediately send myself an email about something when I think about it, I'll forget it for sure. My Outlook calendar at work is so crazy full. lol I'll dial the phone and then panic as it rings - who am I calling?