You just opened a drawer to take out something, whatever it was. You can’t quite think what it was. A little later you’re looking for something in the cupboard, not entirely sure what you’re looking for, no matter, you will remember when you go back to the kitchen.
This is an ordinary normal consequence of aging, it’s not dementia, it’s not Alzheimers and not caused by menopause.
Our brain is middle-aged too. It’s lost a few cells along the way, a life-long gradual falling-off in the way we store and retrieve information. Our short-term memory is like a small memo pad on which we quickly scribble notes to ourself for temporary recall. The memo pad can’t hold very much and the ink of the scribbled note quickly fades. Just as well, we don’t want to remember all those notes, can you imagine if you kept in your memory everything you saw, heard, said, experienced in one day ? Some of these scribbled notes have to be transferred to our long term memory – and some of them don’t. It’s the ones we don’t have to transfer that cause us trouble. Short-term forgetfulness is a completely normal although irritating part of life
Stress effects our short-term memory too. Menopause can happen along at the most stressful times, it can coincide with divorce, even the death of a partner, retirement, the anxieties associated with elderly parents, and children leaving home. These are huge milestones in our life and, while they can be golden opportunities for inner growth, they bring sadness and stress. Forgetfulness goes hand in hand with stress, we become distracted and our short term memory suffers. This is because we are stressed, not because we are menopausal.
Please Note : Depression is another matter, and creates problems with retrieval of long-term memory. If you feel you may be suffering depression, contact your health-care provider. Several studies suggest that depression is a complaint in women who seek treatment for menopausal problems.
Memory loss that accompanies aging is annoying, not a serious concern. You can slow down the process with mental exercise, get to work on crosswords and puzzles, read challenging books, play memory games with yourself, attend a class, whatever it takes. Keep your brain active by enjoying interesting activities and your memory will hang on.
Next time you find you have walked into a room to collect something, and you have forgotten what it is you are supposed to collect, don’t panic. Just go back where you came from. And walking from room to room is a physical exercise, swing your arms and count the benefits!