Being forgetful is something that most people claim they have but there other people who have more severe cases than we do. Because even though they try their best, they still can’t remember certain things that happened. The brain is a complicated organ and studies of it have shown that there is a possibility that people cannot really remember events and happenings in their lives. This phenomenon is commonly known as amnesia.

What is amnesia?

Amnesia is when a person fails to remember or recall the memories he or she once had. It seems that the stored memory cannot be extracted from where it was stored. There are many reasons why a person could have amnesia.

A person may have amnesia if he or she was recently under trauma. This means that a physical force on the head might cause him or her to have amnesia. This is usually seen in car accidents or in instances when the head is severely hurt.

Psychological factors may also cause amnesia to occur. People who have mental disorders or those who suffered from post-traumatic stress may obtain amnesia as a defence mechanism. Their memories are too painful for them so they just forget.

2 Classifications of Amnesia

Amnesia may be classified into two types. These are differentiated based on the memory that was lost.

Anterograde amnesia

This amnesia fails to create new memories. People who have this kind of amnesia fail to make long term memories. The defect is in changing short term memories into long term memories. Some people who have severe anterograde amnesia tend to forget the things that they just did after a few minutes

Retrograde amnesia

In this amnesia, the previous memories are the ones that are forgotten. The person with this type of amnesia could create new memories but they fail to recall memories of the past. The degree of memory lost may also vary but most of the memories that are first forgotten are the most recent ones.

Can you fake amnesia?

As we can see, the movies and soap operas usually show people having amnesia and then remembering them back again. This is a common scenario that leads us to believe that amnesia is a common condition but amnesia is not that common after all. You see amnesia in real life is really a rare condition. The movies just show that whenever a person has a concussion, amnesia automatically happens but that is false. There are times that a concussion or a trauma to the head does not necessarily cause amnesia to occur. The movies and soap operas just add this story to make it more interesting. In real life, there are also people who fake amnesia. They do this for different reasons. Some of them would just like to escape something in their past.

What can you do about amnesia?

If you truly have amnesia, there are several things that you could do to help you with your condition.

  • Occupational therapy

An occupational therapist could help you to make new memories. He or she could assist you so that living would not be that hard. They could also help you build memories from existing memories that you have. They could also train you to use your memory through different techniques so that it would be much easier for you to remember.

  • Use technology

The advancement in technology will also be helpful for people who have amnesia. With the use of gadgets, you could remind yourself about the important things that you have to do. Phones are personal devices and you could input whatever information you want, you can even store your secrets in them. Before when these devices were not readily available, people used diaries, notebooks and pictures to help them remember the precious memories that they lost.

  • Provide nutrition to your brain

Amnesia does not really have a cure but providing your brain with the nutrition it needs may be able to help one type of amnesia to be cured. People with Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome experience memory loss due to the lack of thiamine. This syndrome is caused by alcoholism. To be able to reverse this kind of condition, thiamine needs to be given to the person. Along with this, the person has to abstain from drinking alcohol.

Amnesia is really a serious condition which you should avoid having in the first place. There is really nothing doctors could do about it. People with amnesia just have to live with it by adapting. Although there are some reports wherein retrograde amnesia is cured, there is really no special treatment that they went through. Their memories just came back to them due to some stimulation like pictures and objects that could trigger them to remember. There are movies that show that a blow to the head can bring about amnesia but it could also cure it. The chance of this happening is very slim and it is very dangerous to have a concussion. The safer thing to do is to wait for your memories to come back.

Cedric is a writer and a researcher who shows his passion in creating articles that are in line with health; among his current topics are the different natural remedies for constipation, diarrhoea after eating, acupuncture for weight loss, and how to get pregnant. He hopes to help people by giving them enough information about their health situation.