Does your teen seem to be too forgetful off late? Is he suddenly unable to recall recent events? If you feel the answer to any of the above questions is affirmative, your teen may be suffering from short term memory loss.
Read on to know more about short-term memory loss in teens, the causes for the same and what you can do about it.
What Is Short-Term Memory Loss?
Short-term memory is the capacity to hold small amount of information, for a small time in an active state. These include activities like learning, comprehension and reasoning. Short-term memory aids selecting, initiating and terminating functions that help the brain process information. These functions include activities like storing, encoding and retrieving all data. When your teen is not able to use this memory, he may be suffering from a short-term memory loss.
What Causes Short Term Memory Loss In Teens?
There are various reasons that could lead to a short-term memory loss in teens. Here are some of the causes that you can look out for: (1)
1. Common Causes:
- Anxiety and stress: When your teen is anxious or stressed he will not be able to concentrate. His mind will be distracted and overstimulated. He will be unable to recall things from his short-term memory.
[ Read: Stress Management In Teenagers ]
[ Read: Depression In Adolescence ]
- Head injury.
- Side effects of drugs: Medications like painkillers or sedatives could lead to short-term memory loss in your teen. Various over the counter medicines as well as prescription drugs can hamper your teen’s memory.
- Smoking: Regular smoking reduces the amount of oxygen that reaches the brain. If your teen regularly smokes, he will find it difficult to retain his short-term memory.
- Lack of sleep: The quantity and quality of your teen’s sleep are very important. Inadequate sleep could lead to short-term memory loss.
2. Uncommon Causes:
- Deficiency of Vitamin B1: It could simply be due to a digestive problem that your teen is facing.
[ Read: Nutritional Needs In Adolescence ]
- If your teen’s thyroid gland cannot produce enough hormones, it may adversely affect his short-term memory.
- Your teen could be suffering from bleeding in the brain or subarachnoid hemorrhage.
- Your teen may have got into the habit of alcohol abuse. Long-term alcohol abuse can also lead to short-term memory loss.
- Your teen may be suffering from transient global amnesia (2) where there may be a problem with the blood flow to a certain part of his brain. It can lead to sudden and irregular episodes of short-term memory loss.
- Your teen may be suffering from psychogenic amnesia (3). Excessive stress or trauma can make your teen block out difficult memories. It can lead to short-term memory loss where your teen is unable to remember important info
In some cases, brain tumor may cause short-term memory loss.
Treating Short-term Memory Loss in Teens:
The treatment for short-term memory loss will largely depend on the cause. (4)
- Your doctor may need to change the drugs if your teen is suffering from Short-term memory loss due to the side effects of medication.
- If memory loss is due to deficiency of nutrients, your teen’s doctor may recommend vitamin supplements.
- If memory loss is due to depression, counseling may be the way to go.
Read the signs carefully and watch out for any change in your teen’s behavior that points to a lapse in memory. Schedule an appointment with your doctor to avoid any future complications.
Was your teen diagnosed with short-term memory loss too? What treatment did the doctor suggest and how did it benefit your teen? Do share your experiences here.
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