Why Do I forget? How to improve Memory

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Why do I forget something so often? How to Improve Your Memory

Forget Something? Everyday Causes of Memory Slips

Conditions that contribute to memory loss include:

  • Depression
  • Medication side effects
  • Alcohol abuse
  • Not enough vitamin B12 or a low thyroid level
  • Stress and worry of any kind, such as from the death of a spouse or loved one, or from retirement
  • Illness
What’s Normal
  • Absentmindedness. This usually occurs, when you aren’t paying close attention to the activity at hand.
  • Occasionally forgetting where you placed things.
  • Forgetting facts over time. Like computers, our brains need to purge old data to make room for new.
  • A “tip of the tongue” memory slip that you remember later.
  • Utilizing reminders to help you remember
  • Despite memory lapses, if your personality and mood remain the same, it’s a good indicator that it’s probably not something more serious.

This is the tendency to forget facts or events over time. You are most likely to forget information soon after you learn it. However, memory has a use-it-or-lose-it quality: memories that are called up and used frequently are least likely to be forgotten. Although transience might seem like a sign of memory weakness, brain scientists regard it as beneficial because it clears the brain of unused memories, making way for newer, more useful ones.


This type of forgetting occurs when you don’t pay close enough attention. You forget where you just put your pen because you didn’t focus on where you put it in the first place. You were thinking of something else (or, perhaps, nothing in particular), so your brain didn’t encode the information securely. Absentmindedness also involves forgetting to do something at a prescribed time, like taking your medicine or keeping an appointment.


Most people worry about forgetting things. But in some cases people are tormented by memories they wish they could forget, but can’t. The persistence of memories of traumatic events, negative feelings, and ongoing fears is another form of memory problem. Some of these memories accurately reflect horrifying events, while others may be negative distortions of reality.

People suffering from depression are particularly prone to having persistent, disturbing memories. So are people with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). PTSD can result from many different forms of traumatic exposure — for example, sexual abuse or wartime experiences. Flashbacks, which are persistent, intrusive memories of the traumatic event, are a core feature of PTSD.


Suggestibility is the vulnerability of your memory to the power of suggestion — information that you learn about an occurrence after the fact becomes incorporated into your memory of the incident, even though you did not experience these details. Although little is known about exactly how suggestibility works in the brain, the suggestion fools your mind into thinking it’s a real memory.

Memory strength is just like muscular strength. The more you use it, the stronger it gets. But you can’t lift the same size weight every day and expect to get stronger. You’ll need to keep your brain constantly challenged. Learning a new skill is an excellent way to strengthen your brain’s memory capacity.

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