ADHD Memory?

Hey all!

Just curious about y’alls experience with memory? I claim to have a terrible memory. Like, people ask me if I remember such and such from my childhood and I always say something along the lines of ‘I never slowed down long enough to remember anything’. That’s not to say I dont remember things from when I was young. It just doesnt seem to be the same sort of things others remember.
Now I’m that I’m older I now my short term memory issues can be associated with working memory issues and all that. These are some day to day things I find I personally have issues with

  • I’m wretched at remembering names. I remember people by thier clothes more than thier faces. Which doesnt work well from day to day. Lol.
  • I’m directionally challenged all on my own but I mess up directions when ever they are given to me. Too many steps. Gotta write that down or gps it. Thank goodness for technology. Along the same lines is some one will ask what road I took or what town I passed and 9 times out of 10 I couldnt tell you. It was a road. I read the sign, I got to where I was going, the memory is gone. I cant tell you what I passed to get there I was not paying enough attention to that to keep it in my mind for anymore time then the information was necessary for me.
  • I am terrible at remembering to text/call people back.
  • So easily distracted lately I’ll forget the task I was doing before hand even if I was in the middle of it. Been doing that lately with cooking. Gotta remember to utilize timers.
  • When people, especially work colleagues, reference past conversations I’m at such a loss. It astonishes me what some people remember. I know we had a conversation, I remember the general topics, and tones. But if I didnt take notes then I can’t list off what was decided, any numbers that might have been discussed, etc, with any amount of certainty.
  • I get people mixed up so often. I have two really good friends I talk with pretty often but keeping the two separate in my mind is odd. Did I tell this person this already or was it the other person? Was it you that doesnt like hot beverages or the other one? Oh, right, you are the one with the dairy allergy. That sort of thing. Thankfully we’ve been friends long enough that the girls are used to it.
  • The whole loud noice, sudden distraction, or abrupt question that through you off so you forget what you were doing saying, or think iij ng before the thing happened. That ones a pretty normal one though.
    Probably more things I complain about but tell me some memory things you all struggle with. Any people have the same issues? Anyone have other ones?
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I typically tell people that I’m a space cadet and that I have the memory of an amnesiac squirrel.

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I’m lousy with names. faces and appointments. I recognize people by the general impression they make - clothes, hair, the way they move. Take those away, like in those doctored magazine cover shots, I won’t recognize even the most familiar of them. Heck, I’ve even failed to recognize myself on some photographs!

I will remember I read about an older celebrity in the paper recently but I won’t be able to tell you if it was an anniversary appraisal or an obit. (They do read the same, for the most part.)

But you know what I do remember? Every painful social situation I was in. Especially the embarrassing ones.

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I have the exact same memory problems, you could have been describing me lol
I also forget that I’ve forgotten something, last week at work somebody asked me to do something, I had ever intention of doing it but I must have got distracted halfway through and stopped before I’d finished it, later that day I actually felt quite proud of myself for remembering to do the task which I later found out I hadn’t even done :joy:

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YES & YES!

People’s names❗️
Birthdays of immediate family❗️
What I said just a minute ago❗️
What I read just 10 seconds ago❗️
Directions❗️
Sequence of steps . . . 1st? 2nd? or 3rd?:exclamation:
My glasses, my wallet, my car (in a parking lot) . . . etc.:exclamation:

And❓ And❓. . .

What was the question​:question: :joy::joy::joy:

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It depends for me and also speaking of memory this is for me atleast when ever i had to read books for class I can always rember specifics to it but when it comes to peeps i suck I rembering their names unless i see them on a constant basis or i give them a nickname and just call them that.

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Names are okay, I seem to but them into stories, or rhymes.

Bad at:
Remembering where I parked my car, left my keys,
Paying bills on time.
Remembering the instruction I just read. What comes 1st, 2nd, …
Historical dates.
Getting distracted while cooking, forgetting cake in the oven. (Thanks God fo SIRI)
Getting of the bus.
Like you said, getting distracted and forgetting the task I was doing before.
What I wanted to say, when another thought pops up in my mind. Because I am already concerned with a second topic, for the conversation is so slow, and the second topic in my head turned out to be more interesting. :slight_smile: Can happen in the middle of a sentence.
Appointments.

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I’ve been known to always have a bad memory, I’m only 17 but even my long term memory isn’t quite up to par per se. My step-father will always mention vacations and stuff we wen’t on when I was like 11 or 12, only 5 years ago and a lot of the times I have no idea what he’s talking about, and think he’s the one who is recalling incorrectly until there’s a picture of me at the beach. It’s weird because we weren’t a family who goes on vacation frequently, so it was still a special and emotionally significant event, but yet there’s a few vacations I have no recollection of.

I have issues with names, and am very likely to call someone the wrong name or and altered version of their name. Sometimes it’s bothered some people and some people have been okay with it, I also have a tendency to essentially rename some of my peers, like I almost always call someone I know by Zoey instead of Zoe, and the person doesn’t like being called Zoey, but at this point the usually just accept it because it’s not really my intent to misname someone but also, recalling that slight variation in someone’s name is actually mentally exhausting and it’s hard to explain to other people.

I’m also dyslexic besides having ADHD, and head trauma induced brain damage at birth but unknown to what extent and really what region of the brain, so those complications may effect my memory issues. More likely the dyslexia, especially with names, and trying to recall something for a test, etc.

My short term memory tends to be awful, especially when un-medicated, when I go periods cold turkey without medication, for me currently being Dexedrine (Dextro-amphetamine salt), I lose things constantly, but that type of I just lost something, that I know was just in my hand, but I also don’t know what I lost, but I know its important and I needed that thing for something, and it was just in my hand, but I don’t know where it went, how it got there, or what I’m even looking for until I spend 1 hour looking for it, in a small room, then by the time I find it, I probably forget why I needed it. As well as losing stuff that’s literally in my hand. Which sometimes for short-term memory I use very low dose nicotine gum (2-4 mg), mind you this is very infrequent, for the past few years I have 40 pieces, and still have yet to finish the 1st box of 20, I also don’t smoke or vape, I have essentially no nicotine tolerance so I don’t know how this apply if one smokes or vapes and it’s also worth noting, that nicotine’s pharmacology can change significantly at slightly different dosages, thus completely altering psychoactive effects at slightly different dosages.
I also find it very useful as a behavioral intervention, to carry a thing of different colored sticky notes and a sharpie, I find that with or without medication, I tend to rely on sticky notes for my short-term memory, I write down everything when I feel I’m getting mentally burnt out, or have to recall different things not pertaining to each other, such as maybe making a schedule, or I’m writing a biology essay and just thought of an idea for my history project, using sticky notes really allows me to side track for a few seconds, utilize that few seconds efficently for the benefit of another area of my life, such as a reminder for a good project idea in another class, and then put it in my pocket or on a screen, or paper, then go right back to my biology essay without forgetting my points, topics or w.e.

Where as I would usually be held mentally hostage by my short term memory, or more so my lack of short-term memory and try and force my self to ignore the idea, which ensures I’ll forget it, or think about it, potentially get distracted, or forget my Bio essay’s line of reasoning, or just forget everything to the point my brain blanks and I get stressed because the effort of trying not to get distracted, and think about history as I do a Bio essay, exhausted my brain and it kinda just like short circuits, and I forget everything about both things.

Also still talking about short term memory, it’s worth noting considering many people with ADHD self medicate with this drug, and a main reason for it being for short-term memory, is that caffeine, is really not an efficient drug for short term memory, not really even as a piggy back on top of medication. Caffeine can actually impair and further disrupt your short-term memory, not only that the mechanism of action in which caffeine has, indirectly effects any symptom of ADHD, through whats refereed to as the “halo effect”, so while caffeine does have psychoactive stimulatory effects, they’re very weak, and uncontrolled, so for just about all things ADHD wise, caffeine is not a drug you should really consume period. With the exception of rarely using it, later in the day to stay awake if you really need to stay up for a deadline, but this should be late in the day and when needed. But caffeine’s effect direct disruption on your circadian rhythm (via being an adenosine antagonist), as well as diuretic, cardiovascular toxicity, oxidative brain damage, is not by any means worth it’s minimalist effect on any ADHD symptom, as well as using it to wake up in the morning. Caffeine lacks functional stimulant properties to actually wake someone up in a way that something like stimulant medication would, caffeine doesn’t really stimulate you like that, it staves off adenosine induced sleepiness and fatigue.

Something else worth mention, back on topic again, is that in terms of my memory, I have an occasionally episodic memory for completely random things, that I have zero idea of why I recall it in perfect detail. I’m not referring to a flashbulb memory or flashback etc. But memories that seem to have no correlation of why I recall them perfectly, and no emotional significance to them either, most of the time these are not really like “memories”. As in they’re usually not a recollection of a specific experience, but more so just perfect images of something, an example would be, In a storage room in my basement, my mom was looking for a old game my stepdad mentioned and she had no recollection of it, now mind you I had not been in that storage room since I was about 10, it was a game I had never played, heard of, or seen anyone play it, I just saw the cover on the floor once as a child. For whatever reason when she mentioned the game was an airplane game, I saw in about perfect detail the cover of the game, and where it was in the basement, the colors of the cover, spacing of the wording, the type of jet on the cover, the type of game it was, not to mention she was mind blown because, well once again, I have a notoriously bad memory and I couldn’t fully explain it because I’m not even fully sure why or how it happens, I just know it does, it also happens to things such as, like a piece of a school paper from 4 years ago, randomly in a unorganized clutter of stacks of paper in my room, I can randomly know exactly where it is and what it is for no apparent reason.
I do also have an uncle with ADHD who had just about a completely episodic memory, he was incredibly talented and had scholarships, but he kinda squandered it by making not the best choices, nonetheless I don’t think my sporadic episodic memory bursts, are in anyway close to how his memory works but I wonder if they could be slightly correlated and why.

Recalling things in colors or certain fonts can help a lot, don’t know if its due to my dyslexia or not but it helps.

Also making an actual like memory of something can help a lot, it may over complicate things to study something and try to relate it to a made up story that you like rehearse, but it can really help you focus and recall if you make it interesting.

I apologize in advance for the lack of organization, flow, poor grammar, side tracking/confusing line of reasoning. Organization was never my strong suit.

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My doctor a few months ago, had me go through some ADHD introspective tests, I had actually filled the severity of my symptoms to still be pretty high, I wrote in the numbers 1/5 for every question, once of the questions was “do you still find yourself having difficulty following directions ?” I put a 3 on it, was really flipping between a 3 and a 4.

After the doctor looked at it, he got confused, and asked where are my responses, I showed him I wrote the numerical value, and did the math at the end of the question [there were sections, so x amount of points out of Y amount of total for example]

That’s when he then explained to me, that the directions were to circle the numeric values… I told him he might want to up that 3 to a 4.

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@Chickentender :joy: Sorry, but this made me laugh.
But I so know, how it feels, when you think you are doing a pretty good job and are surprised than, that you didn’t#t pay attention again.

Do you know the feeling when you really want to NOT loose something an you put it away orderly. And than you#ll never find it, because it was so not intuitively the you don#t have a chance. Than I usually mess up the whole place searching and getting upset. When I find it in the end there is a feeling like “Wοw, this actually makes sense.”

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For me it is:

Names! I can remember faces, but not names. Infuriatingly, my Dad remembers everyone he ever met and their birthdays if he ever knew it.

Where I put things. If it is in its place, it is fine, but if I get, say a tool to work on something, then put it down in a random place, maybe to look at the instructions for what I am working on, it becomes a treasure hunt to find the tool again.

Tasks. Things that are on my list get done - eventually. But if I get started on a task, and get temporarily pulled off for something else, it may be days before I think to go back to the first task.

Song lyrics! This one is odd. I have a really hard time remembering the lyrics to songs I’m working on for guitar, but I can sing you a whole song we did for choir contest in grade 7.

Important dates like birthdays and anniversaries. I remember the dates ok. I just don’t remember them before the fact, so I can do things like say buy a present.

Past events. My wife will say something about remember when we did such and such, and I’ll have no clue what she is talking about. Sometimes with enough hints, it will come back to me.

Deaths - I have a horrible time remember that someone I distantly know has died. Talk about embarrassing.

Anything from a boring meeting.

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Oh YES​:exclamation::exclamation::exclamation:

At work, at my desk, with a few piles of papers . . . If I was distracted by someone dropping by to ask me a question and the answer was on paper in one of those piles . . . once I shifted piles or moved papers . . . I’d later spend 10 minutes looking for what I had been working on previously . . . And sometimes I’d find “it” . . . And sometimes I’d just give up until later . . . and move on!

I think 10% (or more) of work time was “search time” . . .

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I constantly forget what people’s name are after they introduced themselves. I mean, I litterally went to a shrink for six months without having the slightest idea what his name was. Only reason I learned it was because I had a vague feeling that I was going to meet him a certain day so I called in to the clinic, luckily he was the only male shrink on staff so I learned his name and learned that I was supposed to be meeting him in 5 min. :rofl:

I also constantly forget meetings, lessons, and so on if I don’t write it down or has someone remind me. Like I had to daily check my schedule for school because either I forgot the room, the time, the subject or even the teacher. I also constantly forgot to check in on our schools online resources, so whenever class was cancelled I would only find out after waiting several minutes and finding it fishy that neither teacher nor students showed up.

I also easily forget to pay my bills and when I remember that I need to pay them I forget where I put them. I spend far to much time at parking lots looking for where I parked my car. When I am at a store I buy everything except what I actually went there to buy. My family jokes that I had to be sent with two grocery lists so that I always had a spare for when I inevitably lost the first one.

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yp my memory is really bad. At my 2nd secondary school it took me a whole year to remember all the teachers names lol

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I had some teachers whose names I wanted to forget!

:joy:

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This is a recurring nightmare for me. Literally! I dream about doing this and I’ve been out of school a looonng time. That and going to class to suddenly realize I have no clothes on. None of those things ever happened to me, but I still dream that they do.

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