I entered the psychologist’s office reluctantly. But I knew I had to find out if I was losing my memory.
The psychologist greeted me and led me to a huge black leather reclining chair. He looked a lot like Sigmund Freud, oval head, balding, deep-set eyes and a grey beard and mustache.
“Doctor, I’m afraid I’m losing my memory and if it goes so will my identity!”
I called him doctor, I didn’t know if he was or not, but it sounded more like he would know what he is talking about if I called him doctor!
“What makes you think this is not just normal aging?”
“It happens too often and it makes me feel powerless.”
“That’s you choosing to feel powerless, I will help you “unchoose” that perception. What you need is a new mindset!”
Now I was getting confused.
“What is a mindset?”
The Freud look alike cleared his throat and said:
“Mindsets are beliefs, perceptions and attitudes; in your case your beliefs and attitudes about memory and aging. How you think about things, negatively or positively.”
“Doctor, I know memory erodes with age, I just turned seventy, does this mean, I am declining in my cognitive functioning?”
I thought I’d throw that in, “cognitive functioning”, so he wouldn’t think I’m a dummy.
Freud continued: “Our beliefs are the rules and values that guide us in our daily activities.”
Then I went off the deep end.
“Doctor, I know my memory is failing and I can’t stand it.”
“I can’t relax, this is awful, I can’t remember my neighbor’s name or the items I needed at the grocery store. My memory is bad and it is only going to get worse!”
I started breathing heavy!
“You’re going to exhaust yourself, if you don’t calm down,” said Freud.
The doctor stared at me like he could see into my soul!
“Okay, lets get this therapy on the road. I’m going to give you an event and I want you to respond to it. Ready? Here we go:
“Oh, I forgot two items from the grocery store!”
I blurted out: “Oh god, I’m losing it. Could this be the beginning of dementia?”
“Now see, your response should have been:
“Well, I remembered the other eight items. I guess I wasn’t paying attention.”
Freud smiled and said: “Now I’m going to teach you a little memory trick. Sometimes there is an emotional component to your forgetfulness. Suppose you can’t recall the name of a person you couldn’t get along with. You remember your anger but you can’t remember the name. You need to counter the anger with humor. Think of a funny thing about that person. Humor encourages memory function. The anger response is gone and you can refocus on the name you want to recall. This trick is called, Distract So You Can Remember.”
“My brain was aching with all that information.”
Freud said: “I think you will be alright now. There probably isn’t a lot of things you forget.”
As I was leaving I said:
“There’s three things I forget a lot, names and faces and now I’ve forgotten the other thing!!!
Sorry I have been busy with other things since my accident and so not posting or visiting much. Apologies. Enjoyed this very much and I was going to write something else, but I forgot! Hope all is well. I’ve intended reading lots of blogs but just not been able to get to them. Off to a family wedding for a few days now. Thanks for the reminder, catch up soon. I have had a few things published online of late and on my blog….if your remember, do pop over. 🙂
This was very amusing Dave. Liked it a lot. Just wondering if your blogs are based on personal experience or are based on other people’s or a mixture of both?
You don’t have to be old or possess dementia to forget things. My husband who has been under a great deal of stress in the past couple of years, is always worrying about his memory. Stress overload I think is the term. Something which more and more people experience these days – your brain just can’t cope with any more information and feels like it is going to explode!
Another memory story, I can remember lots of
things. My problem is accuracy, My memory
and Jims are different. Well we have each other
to make them clearer.
Your memory is very important. Without it your identity is gone! Your memory is who you are! It is your whole life!
Not remembering things is sometimes a convenient way of not doing something, just yesterday I forgot to mow the lawn and now it’s raining and I can’t do it, I don’t forget everything, I still remember the fiver you owe me!
Where was I? Oh! commenting about Dave Wise’s latest blog, “Help, I’m losing it.”
Dave has a session with a Freud look-alike psychologist because he believes he has become forgetful and thinks his memory is failing.
In short order the medic tries to convince the author that armed with some well educated psychological concepts he will be okay.
Session over, Dave applies what he has learned to stir his memory. But alas, of three basic concepts he can only…and I can’t think of the them. Read and see if you can help Dave. Always a funny twist.
My friend Dave………….My friend Dave……………my friend Dave………………Who?
Yeah, yeah. The memory thing. Mine seems to get worse every day, but at least I remember my name and how to type on this keyboard!
I reckon I have an excellent memory eg can instantly recall 16 digits +Expiry + 3-digit security for one of my cards …….so I find brief memory lapses v annoying …but the answer usually pops up later.
My late husband had vascular dementia from his mid-50s .He sometimes thought there were 2 of me : Patricia & Patrick …v disquieting ,especially when he wanted to make love !
I had a smart reply all worked out in my head….. But I have forgotten it!
My memory is still quite good for most things. I was always useless on names and math formulae, so that doesn’t worry me a bit.
Another memory glitch is forgetting my mental shopping list, again, it was always so!