Amnesia is a form of the psychological-neurological disorder where a person is rendered incapable of forming new memories or remembering the old ones. It is not about forgetting a few things in our daily routine, Amnesia is about forgetting about major life events, life details, places or facts that are prominent in one’s life. Due to the inability to recollect the past information, one is often left incapable of building up new memories or imagining their future – as the process of future imagination is related to the past information already stored in the brain.
People with Amnesia find it hard to remember their family members, the place they live, their career or even their house. There are varieties of brain complexes involved when one tries to recollect their memories. While the people with Amnesia are mostly lucid and have a sense of their self, their mental health suffers because of prolonged periods of memory loss.
Symptoms of Amnesia
Failing to recall someone’s name or certain things isn’t attributed to the condition, Amnesia symptoms include:
1.Confused or disoriented mind and behavior
2. Short term, partial or total memory loss
3. Failure to process or remember new information
4. Inability to recollect important life events, memories or people
5. Uncoordinated movements or neurological problems when stressing on memory
6. Confusion and agitation when talking about experiences
7. No lasting memories
Causes and Types
There are different types of Amnesia known to occur for different reasons. Here are some of the types that are triggered by some of the other causes.
Anterograde Amnesia: Anterograde Amnesia is one where a person has difficulties remembering new events that are mostly stored in the short term memory of the brain. Things that have happened in the recent past are forgotten. This happens due to a severe blow in the head, some trauma attack or brain damage. One remembers the past data but not the current past i.e. one month, 6 months or a year.
Retrograde Amnesia: Much like the opposite of Anterograde Amnesia, here the person forgets everything that happened before the trauma and only remembers the events that occurred in the recent past. A person cannot remember anything that happened before the trauma.
Transient Global Amnesia: Temporary loss of all memory, past and present while having difficulties to process the new information that comes with time. This condition is a lot rare and often occurs with age.
Traumatic Amnesia: Due to a severe accident or blow in the head, the person experiences a complete loss of memory, consciousness or coma. It can last for days or sometimes even years, depending upon how severe the accident was.
Wernicke- Korsakoff’s psychosis: Habits like alcohol consumption or even malnutrition can cause people to have progressive memory loss. This condition builds up with time and even leads to disorientation between body movements and neurological problems.
Psychological Amnesia: If a person has experienced an emotional shock like violent crime, sexual abuse, terrorist act, shocking news, etc, they get dissociative and forgetful of certain movements. They may fail to recognize themselves, forget their childhood, blackout between moments and more.
Therapies and treatments
In most of the cases, amnesia gets recovered on its own. But if it has happened due to a severe shock or accident, Amnesia treatments become necessary.
Amnesia Therapists help patients through hypnosis and conversations to make them remember things from their past. The therapists teach the patients how to connect their present information with their past data to easily organize their information and remember them. Techniques and strategies to store the new information are applied to keep one’s memory updated.
Currently, there are no medicines that can help restore the memories lost due to amnesia. However, a well balanced nutritive diet, healthy habits, and active lifestyle are recommended for the best functioning of the brains.
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It is a psychological disorder that gets triggered by some shocking news or accident where a person forgets their past or recent memories. It can take days, months and years for a person to return to normal. While time is construed as the best medicine, therapies from psychologists and doctors do help in addressing the situation!
© Ruchi Verma
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