1- You Question Yourself Constantly
Ever heard of mild cognitive impairment? It’s often associated with the elderly, and is considered a precursor to something like Alzheimer’s disease. It can affect younger people, however, even people in their 20s. The changes in your memory and mental abilities don’t generally affect your daily life, and you’re aware that there’s an issue. It’s not full-blown dementia or anything.
2- You Seem Awfully Insensitive
You forgot your anniversary, or to pick up the dry-cleaning, or to come home for 13 days. That’s normal, I guess. It’s hard to explain how this is different, especially since I don’t know how other people remember things.
When people are constantly reminding you of things the two of you did together that for them were really significant, and all you can do is shrug, you seem like a real as***le. It’s not that I don’t want to remember, or didn’t think those things were important; I just don’t have much choice here.
3- You Have Emotions Minus Experience
They say things like depression can lead to issues with memory, alongside everything from vitamin deficiencies to stress and the excessive multi-tasking associated with technology. Is it possible my beloved internet is partially to blame for my brain being warm porridge? Again, the doctor I talked to figured that diagnosing the issue was going to be time-consuming, so I won’t rush to any judgments. And the fact that I haven’t been pushed to further delve into this in a serious way means I’m OK with never quite remembering who the hell Justin Whalen is.
First you need to dedicate yourself to a strict regimen of jack, because there’s no real treatment available
4- You Lose Track of Time
This is different than forgetting, say, what exactly was going on in the news on your 15th birthday, or what exact day of the month it was when you had to go to the hospital because you ate an entire candle.
It’s similar to how everyone remembers where they were on September 11th, but couldn’t tell you what they did the day before. But those people, I’m told, are still able to put their memories into some kind of timeline by relating them to each other.
5- You Forget That You Forgot
I’m not crippled by memory loss on a day-to-day basis. I don’t have to tattoo my daily routine on myself, Memento-style. I’d probably have happily lived my life assuming my memory wasn’t any particular issue if not for the way other people react to it. That super disappointed look people get after starting off a story you can tell they think is great. “Remember that time we were in Montreal and you married a French schoolteacher after her brother shot you in the leg with a tranquilizer dart meant for horses?” And the answer is no. No, I don’t remember that.
I guess it’d be like if you were friends with someone with a superhuman memory who was always saying things like, “You don’t remember what you had for lunch on May 13, 2004? Remember, it was a totally unremarkable Thursday and we got those turkey sandwiches from the gas station, and you said yours was OK but not great? And nothing else really happened? Dude, you need to see a doctor.”
Articles like this typically end on some kind of optimistic, forward-looking statement about how such a problem can be solved. Well, as far as I can tell, the treatment for mild cognitive impairment is two-pronged. First you need to dedicate yourself to a strict regimen of jack, because there’s no real treatment available. Vitamin B might help, and of course regular exercise — you know, the stuff they say can help improve 90% of everything that’s wrong with everyone. So it’s worth a shot, I guess, as long as I remember to do it.