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I think i have problem with forgetfulness

  1. Jul 4, 2009 #1
    Its not really with forgetting names or dates or equations but lately I find when I step outside to check the mail, i end up going outside and forgetting why I came out in the first place; or I stand with a blank face in front of the fridge trying to recall what I wanted to eat.

    It was never like this -just recently has been occurring more frequently.
    I'm 23 - surely I can't be losing my mind?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 4, 2009 #2

    D H

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    Wait until you hit

    what was I writing about?

    Oh, yeah. Your forgetfulness will only improve with age. Wait until you hit 50, or 60, or higher.

    You are most likely operating on autopilot. You have certain fixed tasks you do when you get home from work or school. Performing these becomes nearly automatic. You barely have to think to perform these tasks. If you are partially distracted by what transpired at work or in school, you can find yourself staring at the great outdoors or at the fridge and not remember how you got to that state. If you are fully distracted (How can I hit on that cute chick at the office? How can I solve this intractable problem?) you might find yourself holding the mail or eating leftover pizza and not remember having gone to the mailbox or fridge at all.
  4. Jul 4, 2009 #3
    I wouldn't worry about it unless it seems to be gradually increasing over many months or a year or two, or something more profound happens like you get lost in an area with which you were once recently fairly familiar. You've probably just got a lot on your mind these days which is being processed in the background without you being consciously aware of it. In fact, that sort of forgetfulness is the classic symptom of a concentrating mind, and thus the reason for the stereotypical absent minded professor. Even so, keep an eye on it and ask others if they notice anything in you.
  5. Jul 4, 2009 #4
    Run a mile, eat a fruit or two, some peanuts, and do something different from your daily routine.
  6. Jul 4, 2009 #5
    This sounds about right to me. I have been having it happen to me since I was a teenager. I spend most of my time on autopilot and thinking of other things and sometimes not really thinking at all. I think it comes from doing repeatative tasks and/or spending lots of time with nothing much to do but occupy your mind with other thoughts. Both situations you may find yourself in if you do alot of lab work from what I understand.
  7. Jul 4, 2009 #6


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    How much sleep are you getting?
  8. Jul 6, 2009 #7
    Just finished my last semester of college, didn't run on much sleep for a month because of my thesis and back-to-back exams.

    I'll consider everyone's advice - i should pick up running and different things to do since I'm free till I start work.

  9. Jul 6, 2009 #8
    I sleep 5h per night on average. A few years ago, I thought I could get away with 2-3h per night. Eventually after 3 months, I had hallucinations, first auditive, then visual as well. Indeed I drastically changed my lifestyle, and one good thing with practicing exercise is that it gets you physically tired enough to sleep ! Anyway, I would really recommend to sleep enough, but I never suffered memory loss, or at least I did not realize it at that time. I guess it really depends on the person. Good luck with the study Ian !
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