Have you noticed changes in your child’s memory of late? Do they seem more lost than other typical teenagers? If you have nodded a yes, then you first need to understand the causes behind teen memory loss and then figure out what you can do to help your youngsters get their lives back in order.
Memory loss is a serious issue, one that isn’t given as much importance as needed. There have been increasing reports of people, particularly teenagers, losing their memories, temporarily and even for extended time periods. It is becoming a serious concern because of the worrisome issues due to which memory loss occurs. From depression to anxiety, hypothyroidism to sleep deprivation, attention disorders to substance abuse; all these symptoms require immediate consideration and need to be dealt with in the right manner.
However before we delve deeper into this topic, let us first try to understand what memory loss is and whether or not your child is showing signs and symptoms of it.
Understanding memory loss
The very first thing you need to understand is that your teen doing laundry or cleaning their room most certainly does not come under the category of memory loss. It is merely their adolescent hormones acting up causing them to exert a little individuality and control. If on the other hand, they appear to be forgetting things, like when to pick their younger sibling from the daycare, the date of an important exam or even missing an outing with their friends, then you need to monitor their daily routine.
Another thing to keep in mind is that not all types of memory loss are permanent or dangerous. Dementia is the medical term used for memory loss. It includes everything from impaired judgment to problems with reasoning, deteriorating language as well as thinking skills. Some of the most common signs and symptoms of dementia are:
- When the person asks for the same information again and again
- Mixes words up and has trouble getting out the word they wish to use
- Is unable to complete regular day to day tasks
- Gets lost while walking or driving
- Experiences mood changes for no reason
However, this kind of memory loss is rare among teens until and unless they have experienced some kind of trauma or injury to the head.
Listed below 5 significant reasons why you need to take memory loss seriously among your teens:
- Psychological disorders
Long gone are the days when mental disorders were limited to or were more common among older people; they are now spreading like wildfire among teens too. Depression is the number one mental disorder that leads to memory loss among people of all ages. Dissociative disorders, stress, anxiety, and attention problems are other problems that give rise to some kind of memory loss. The sooner these conditions are diagnosed and treated, the more quickly this issue can be resolved. Keep in mind that these are medical issues and warrant the help of a doctor.
- Deteriorating physical health
Physical conditions or diseases like HIV, syphilis, teen pregnancy, and tuberculosis can lead to stress which in turn can also cause memory loss. Therefore, make sure that teens are tested for these illnesses regularly so that they are free from the stress of dealing with declining physical health.
- Sleep issues
When teenagers do not get the rest their mind and body need, they are likely to start having problems remembering things. Sleep deprivation leads to a constant state of tiredness which also causes difficulty with memory. What’s more, lack of sleep also inhibits the process of new memory formation. Dementia talk states that sleeping after processing new information also encourages retaining what you have learned.
- Drug abuse
A lot of teens are abusing drugs and alcohol all around the world. Marijuana, in particular, is said to cause short-term memory loss. Substance abuse of all kinds leads to various other diseases, including but not limited to, disengagement and low energy levels.
- Emotional trauma
There is perhaps nothing more worrisome than emotional trauma that results in memory loss. This can only mean that the emotional trauma is significant and is affecting the mental wellbeing of the individual.
Talk to your teen, ask them what they are going through. Is something bothering them at home? Could it be that the teen is being bullied at school? Are they experiencing some kind of mental breakdown that they are unable to deal with on their own? All these problems are such that can only be dealt with through the aid of their loved ones and in many cases with the help of a therapist.
Being a responsible parent or a guardian, it’s your job to make sure that the physical, mental and emotional wellbeing of the person at hand is stable when they are going through memory loss.
The kind of memory loss they face is either short-term or reversible that can take place because of the following reasons other than the ones mentioned above:
- Trauma to the head: The injury is mostly minor and does not cause any lasting effects
- Alcoholism: Even though this comes under substance abuse, it is one major problem that teens experience these days, which causes them to lose their memory temporarily
- Vitamin B 12 deficiency: The function of vitamin B 12 is to keep red blood cells and nerve cells healthy. Deficiency of this vitamin can lead to memory issues as well.
Memory loss is a serious problem and should be dealt with seriously. There is a need to talk to and inform teens about dementia so that they become more proactive in managing their problems. Parents, guardians, and teachers also need to pay particular attention if they see the kids experiencing memory loss and get them to see a doctor as soon as possible. Your teen is not a lost cause, just get them the help they need as soon as you notice the warning signs.