Memory problems are common. Everyone's memory can fail them at one time or another. Have you ever: forgotten the name of someone you just met; been unable to put a name to the face of a neighbor you saw at the movies; failed to get the one item you actually went to the market to buy; forgotten your new phone number at work; missed the birthday of someone for whom you already bought a card; forgotten where you parked the car at the mall; missed a Doctor's appointment; or forgotten to take the 8 pm dose of medication? Don't feel too bad - you're not alone.
Memory occurs in the brain, but it is not limited by the brain. Many things around us influence our ability to make and retrieve memories. Physiological, emotional, social, and environmental processes, as well as by cognitive processes other than memory per se (e.g., perception, reasoning, decision making), are now accepted as affecting memory functioning in everyday life. Physiologically, memory is affected by fatigue, nutrition, and common illnesses; a variety of medicines for various conditions can impair memory. Emotionally, memory varies with a person's attitude, mood, motivation, and upsets. Socially, group pressures and the prejudices of others can interfere with memory performance. Environmentally, the things around us stimulate memory; because of this fact, products are sold to help us remember (such as calendars, organizers and palm pilots).
There are things you can do to im...
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