28 and having cognitive issues
November 25, 2012 4:23 PM   Subscribe

Has anyone gone through a period of time where their memories and concept of time has been really off. Sometimes it feels like my memory for things is really off but it is so subtle that I don't notice it. The other part of this that when I read something (even the newspaper) I don't retain what I'm reading. I'll read through an article and not have the gist of what was written. I can go back but all I see are details rather than how it makes up a cohesive whole. I think that I may have problems with abstract thinking. Has anyone had issues like this and if so how do you navigate around this? Any insight would be greatly appreciated. By the way I am in my late twenties so Alzheimer's disease is very unlikely.
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (10 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
It could be anything from absolutely nothing to minor stress to ADD to depression to a brain tumor. Hie thee to a doctor!
posted by decathecting at 4:29 PM on November 25, 2012

This happens to me constantly and the reason is because I have difficulty focusing due to anxiety. ADD also, I presume, can cause this.

I would guess your memory is fine but that when you read through something you want to remember you are thinking of something else at the same time you are reading it. Brain goes on long tangent, puts present activity on autopilot. Autopilot works in a rudimentary way but is incapable of dealing with as much detail as you can normally apprehend.

That's how it is for me. After a stressful couple of years I'm hard pressed to say when any of my recent notable life events happened, e.g. I can't remember quite how long it's been since I quit smoking. When the brain gets overloaded certain faculties get left by the wayside.
posted by TheRedArmy at 4:38 PM on November 25, 2012 [1 favorite]

The symptoms you're describing are very common, and are often treatable with lifestyle changes and/or medication. Go see a doctor and tell him or her what's been going on.
posted by gerryblog at 4:49 PM on November 25, 2012

As noted above, this can be a lot of things, including stress, depression, anxiety, and ADHD. Difficulty concentrating can be common to all of these. If you're not focusing well enough to take in information, its not going to be in your memory. Check in with your family doc about whether getting a brief psych assessment can clarify the picture for you.
posted by gilsonal at 5:03 PM on November 25, 2012

Maybe this is a stupid question, but do you take any recreational drugs? If so, maybe stop.
posted by deathpanels at 7:39 PM on November 25, 2012

Or at least pay attention to how they affect you and take action accordingly.
posted by TheRedArmy at 7:59 PM on November 25, 2012

This is exactly how I feel if I start cutting back on sleep too much. I also get irritable/impatient, which is usually what tips me off to the problem, then I start sleeping more and everything becomes so much clearer!
posted by ista at 2:32 AM on November 26, 2012

Ask yourself how long you have been experiencing these symptoms. Your implication is that it is recent. You should really go see a doctor. As noted above, there are a ton of medical and/or psychiatric conditions that could be causing this-- regardless, you should get a medical review sooner rather than later.
posted by miss tea at 2:42 AM on November 26, 2012

Check how much sleep you're getting. Around my late 20s/early 30s was when I started getting noticably cognitively impaired by a lack of sleep (less than seven hours a night in my case, YMMV). This seems to be one of those things that changes as you age, maybe you're starting to experience that.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 9:19 AM on November 26, 2012

Yup! I got some good advice in my AskMe on a similar topic.
posted by The corpse in the library at 10:16 PM on December 1, 2012

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