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Memory and Mental Health

Posted at — Nov 18, 2022 by Abishek Muthian

It's been known for a while that depression can cause us to not remember finer details of an past event (or) even cause forgetfulness of future events.

But while depressed, We have no dearth of negative thoughts and memories i.e. Rumination. Since rumination weakens our cognitive control it could also cause issues with our memory.

This is my third part in my series about mental health after Demand evidence to worry, The common theme is focus and this time I'm writing about memory.

Disclaimer: I'm not qualified to advise on mental health issues, If you think you have OCD, anxiety or other issues then seek the help of a qualified medical professional. Like physical health, Everyone needs help with mental health at some point.

Several things can affect memory adversely, From Depression, Trauma, Cognitive diseases to Long-COVID perhaps they are beyond our control to prevent in most cases.

I feel our Internet-connected lifestyle prevents us from even trying to create long-term memories as just asking the Siri, Google Assistant, Alexa ... would do. When was the last time you really tried to remember something and actually happen to recall it?

There are also evidence that we mistake the internet's knowledge for our own, All of us are guilty of searching in Google for things which are supposed to know already but have chosen to search instead of trying to recall it from memory.

That seems bad right?

You have not discovered a potion for remembering, but for reminding; you provide your students with the appearance of wisdom, not with its reality. "

-Socrates (on against writing)

Then there are onslaught of limited attention social media apps which seems to be on a mission to reduce our working memory, Fortunately I've never used them but I see kids hooked on to them and having difficulties in focusing on things which matter.

The videos in them were first 60 seconds, 30 seconds and now 15 seconds; I will not be surprised if the videos come down to single frame and they rediscover images.

Not to mention the highly profitable FOMO industry and their flagship infinite scrolling which doesn't give our brains a break and making us prone to mistake information as knowledge.

It's not that human memory was that great to begin with.

All I'm telling is we need to take care of our memory, In the way it works for us like,

After these realizations, I started working on my memory and buit Memory Hammer to help me practice long-term retention and having used it for several months I can say that it has definitely helped me with my memory and I feel great when I can recall things which I wanted to remember.

I understand that that Memory Hammer is not for everyone as there's a technical barrier for entry(even though its FOSS), But even if I sell that as a pre-built product I wonder whether people would want it unless they realize that they need to work on their memory.

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