Psychiatry & Psychology--General/Memory issues

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I have about 4 years of my life that I can't remember and the little pieces I do remember are like trying to pin down jello. It continues to move in my mind.I think it happened at one point and then remember something else that makes me remember that it wasn't at the time I thought but then I think that's not right either. This 4 years did happen during a very traumatic time in my life so it probably has to do with that. It has never bothered me before but for some reason it bothers me a little now that I can't remember 4 years of my life. Maybe because something else weird has been happening currently. My memory is playing tricks on me. The other day someone asked me what my phone number was and I gave them my number from when I was a teenager. Then we were driving home the other night and we didn't turn down a street that I lived on when I was a teenager and I asked Josh where he was going? He was going to our house where we live now and he would pass up that street, but I thought he passed up the turn because he didn't turn down the street where I lived back then. Do you think these things need to be looked at? Do you think they are related? Do you think it is a God thing (like He is trying to tell me something) or a medical thing? Any thoughts you could offer would be really appreciated. The traumatic thing did not happen when I was a teenager so I don't think they are related and I guess I am wondering if maybe I have started some type of old age mind thing or if this is a psychiatric issue or something God is trying to tell me

Answer
As we age, most everyone's memory shows gaps, especially for recent events, while trivia from long ago can jump up fresh and vibrant. And one's train of thoughts can take its own direction, often involving distant memories. This is not understood, and there is no effective treatment for it, so as long as you can function reasonably well on a day-to-day basis (and your email certainly suggests a well-functioning head) I see no cause for intervention. I've not heard of a 4-yr blackout, but maybe it's common but not ordinarily defined so accurately.

If you still do want this looked at, you could ask your doctor to refer you to a clinical neurologist, or you could look for a psychologist who specializes in testing for memory issues.

Hope that helps a bit, Sarah, and thanks for asking us.

Alan  

Psychiatry & Psychology--General

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Alan Auerbach

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Taught psychology for 30 years, authored four textbooks. Specialize in introductory and industrial/organizational psychology, but will tackle wider range of areas.

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