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Re: Memory--Long Term vs. Word Finding

Posted by Andy on October 21, 1999, at 9:45:59

In reply to Memory, posted by Adam on October 20, 1999, at 10:30:25

Adam: I have a job that requires alot of analytical skill and the ability to recall a large store of knowledge accumulated over many years. Since I have been taking meds I have found that I have word finding difficulties. I know I know the word--I just can't get it out of recall. It can be maddening when you are used to immediate recall of such simple things. I also notice some impairment of short term recall, such as what I was doing yesterday or earlier today. It's there, it just takes longer to access it.

Significantly, however, I have seen no diminution in my job performance. My analytical ability and recall of important concepts and facts necessary to do my job is unimpaired. My job performance has actually improved quite a bit since it was impaired by depression. My ability to concentrate has returned.

Judging from the posts I read here these word finding difficulties are common. If you stay cool they will not be apparent to anyone except you. Just pause, find another word or change the subject. The phone thing is unnerving, but it's not as uncommon as you think. After all you don't call yourself that often.

> As some of you may have read, I'm currently taking an monoamine oxidase inhibitor, and fairly recently have gotten
> onto what I feel is a "therapeutic dose."
> I've experienced fairly mild side effects. The least subtle have been sleep disturbance and some jitters. It's the
> more subtle effects that have me concerned at this point.
> Example: Yesterday someone asked me my phone number, and for the life of me, I could not remember it. I have lived
> at the same address for over three years, and my phone number hasn't changed once during that time. I'm sure it would
> have come back to me (I consulted an ID before I had the chance), but it seems to me that my phone number of all things
> ought to be an immediate recall item. I've had similar experiences over the past couple weeks. I like the composer
> Erik Satie, and was discussing his music with someone over lunch. Thing is, after a few minutes, even though I had said
> "Satie" at the beginning of the conversation, I suddenly lost the name. I just couldn't get it out. It was there, just,
> well, temporarily inaccessible. I'm finding names particularly difficult these days. And directions. Someone asked
> me how to get to my appartment from Boston, and damned if I didn't have to go to Yahoo to get a map. This is a trip I
> have made many, many times, at least from their general area.
> I guess all this could be a sign of age, but it's not like I'm _that_ old (just shy of 30). I know depression can have
> profound effects on memory, but I'm not feeling especially depressed at the moment. I could be getting paranoid, but
> the phone number lapse kind of jarred me. That's a definite first, and frankly, I felt like a bit of a dope. I'm a bit
> worried because I'm a researcher, and my memory is one of those assets I can't do without. I've never been especially
> great at memorization, but my ability to remember and recall information has never got me worried before. Now I'm a
> little worried.
> Any thoughts? Suggestions?




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