Memory Loss: Types and Causes

Memory Loss

Memory loss is also called amnesia (forgetfulness). It is an abnormal condition in which a person is unable to recall past experiences or past events. It depends on the cases of memory loss that have a gradual onset and it may be permanent or temporary. It is the inability to remember the past recent events or the events from the distant past or sometimes faces the combination of both.

There can be different forms and conditions of forgetfulness. It is normal if it happens with the aging process or sometimes aging causes memory loss that happens due to the disease like Alzheimer disease. Normal age memory loss does not allow one to live life fully in a productive way. It includes forgetting the person’s name and recalling the name after a day or so. For instance; misplacing glasses or you forget the appointments or tasks that you need to make list to follow and remind yourself. Such changes are manageable and do not disrupt the abilities to work or in maintaining a daily social life.

There are three types of severe memory loss or amnesia. Anterograde amnesia is the inability to remember recent events after coming out of some trauma like a head injury. Transient global amnesia is a temporary and very rare condition that is the complete loss of all memory and Retrograde amnesia is the inability to remember those events that precede trauma, but sometimes later recovery is possible by recalling the past events.

Some of the changes that disrupt life and makes life tensed are:

  • One forgets to speak common words while speaking.
  • Asks the same question repeatedly.
  • It takes longer to complete familiar tasks that a person is habitual to do.
  • Misplaces things or items in inappropriate places or unable to remind the things that where were they put.
  • Mood swings become excessive or sometimes rough behavior.
  • Forgetting the ways or paths while driving or walking.

There may be several causes behind memory loss, some are as follows:


Excessive usage of medicines is always harmful that causes some disease or disorder. Some prescriptions of medicines can cause memory loss. Those medicines include; antidepressants, anti-anxiety medicines, sleeping pills, muscle relaxants or pain killers that are given after some surgery.

Sleep deprivation

The quantity of sleep should be 6-8 hours for a normal adult and quality is important to work properly for the whole day. Shortage of sleep or waking up frequently in the night leads to the interference of the ability to retrieve information.

Alcohol, drug or tobacco consumption

Usage of such stuff does not only destroy the physical health but also mental health that person becomes unable to remain in a normal state to remind or recall anything.

Stress or depression

Stressed mind or depression becomes difficult to concentrate or focus that affects memory. A stressed and depressed mind is overstimulated which ultimately affects the ability of memory.

Head injury

An accident or a hit on the head that causes injury leads to short-term or long-term memory loss.

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