Our memories begin as children, continue to develop into adulthood, and don’t stop until we pass on. We develop important memories as children. They imprint in our minds and form who we are as individuals. They carry over into adulthood and influence us in all of our future relationships. Memory is important force that influences our identities and how we see the world. Here you will find articles that help you understand what memory is, how it functions, and what are some signs of memory loss or dementia. It’s crucial to maintain a functional memory throughout your life so that it doesn’t rapidly decline in old age.
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Medically Reviewed By: Aaron Horn, LMFT, MA
Memory is an integral part of our everyday lives. You use it when from when you wake up until when you go to bed. There are so many things to remember. We all have memories, some of which date back to our earliest years. What is your earliest memory? Is it a memory from your childhood? Some of us even have memories that date back our toddler years. As we grow from children to adults, our memories wane, but there are exercises that we can use to preserve our memories.
Some Memories Are Good, Some Are Bad
We might have pleasant memories of being with our parents, siblings, or friends from when we were kids. We can also have traumatic memories that change our behaviors. Some memories are good, and some are bad, but what we know is that we continue to build memories throughout our life.
The Purpose of Memory
Memory helps us each day. Ironically, we often forget how much we have to remember on a daily basis. There are hundreds of things to remember each day. It starts at a young age when you first set foot in a classroom. Learning to read is predicated by remembering the letters of the alphabet. Learning math requires recognizing patterns and techniques. Memory helps us academically, but it also helps us socially. You need to remember the names of your classmates and teachers when you’re a child. When you’re in school, you memorize specific facts for exams and assignments. You retain those facts so that you can build knowledge. Memory is an essential function in your daily life, both short term and long term, and even eidetic memory.
There are many apps out there that promote memory preservation. Some of them have games that you can engage in to exercise your mind. Stretching your mind by playing memory games is one way to keep your mind agile. Another way you can preserve your memory is by learning new things. Keep active, read books that interest you, and learn about new topics. When your mind is processing information, learning about new subjects, you use the part of your brain where memory is located. That’s a great thing!
It's crucial to work to preserve our mind, and there are things that you can do to ward off diseases that impact the brain. Memory loss can be caused by conditions such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's, and so on. Some memory diseases are preventable, but some aren’t. Alzheimer's is a hereditary condition, and it’s not something that you can stop from happening. There are however, some medications can be used to slow down its development.
When It's Time To See A Doctor
If you start to notice that you are experiencing memory problems, it’s important to see your doctor. You need to address these issues immediately because there are things that can help slow their progression. The first step to addressing memory problems is seeing your general practitioner. It can be anxiety provoking to see a doctor about your memory issues because you might be afraid that something is seriously wrong with you. But waiting, and not doing anything about your memory issues, isn’t the solution. When there's a medical problem, it’s better to know now and get it taken care of, rather than letting the issue get worse. You can also discuss your memory concerns in counseling or therapy.
How Online Counseling Can Help
You might be feeling emotional about memory loss, and that’s understandable. Maybe it’s part of a condition you have or perhaps you’re experiencing memory issues as a result of aging. Whatever the case may be, it’s important to talk to a specialist about your memory concerns, and also discuss your problems in counseling. An online counselor can help you work through some of the anxiety or depression you’re experiencing as a result of memory problems. You don’t have to go through this alone. Search the database of experienced counselors at BetterHelp and find an online counselor who is right for your needs.