Amnesia – An In-Depth Study Amnesia is a severe medical condition that needs proper care, diagnosis, and of course, treatment. Failure to do this can provide drastic results that can negatively affect the patient’s life. If you know someone that is currently suffering from this illness, it is extremely crucial that you immediately consult a doctor.
You also need to make sure that you take the time and effort to learn more about this condition, its proper definition, causes, different types, symptoms, treatments, and other remedies that can effectively help your loved one battle against this lingering illness that can last indefinitely. Read on to learn more about amnesia.
The Definition Amnesia is a kind of disorder that means loss of memory which comprises of forgetting some facts, information, and events that have happened to a person’s life. This condition can last for a short time or indefinitely. It is crucial that you are patient with the person suffering from the sudden memory loss.
You simply cannot force him to remember things. Doing this can only aggravate the problem, only resulting to further confusion, stress, anxiety, and even aggression towards everybody.
If you are wondering where the name come from and its history, the following topic can enlighten you about this. Terminology Like almost all kinds of diseases, the term amnesia also came from a Greek word which is Ἀμνησία. This mental disorder was first discovered by Dr. Theodule-Armand Ribot, a French psychologist.
He has been observing several patients that seem to have forgotten their memories from the past. He further studied each. He then found out that there is one thing in common— that is all of these patients have experienced some severe trauma and that seems to be the cause of their memory loss. Hence, the first type of amnesia, which is the retrograde amnesia, was discovered, changing the history of the medical and psychological fields. Different Types There are several types of amnesia.
It would be wise if you start to get to know each one of them so that you can further understand the difference of each memory lost by being aware of their characteristics. · Retrograde Amnesia. Retrograde amnesia is a kind of memory loss that occurs right after a particular trauma such as accidents that usually comprise of a big blow to the head, has happened. More often than not, the person will not remember anything that has occurred in his life right before the accident.
However, he will not have any problems whatsoever remembering new information. · Anterograde Amnesia. This is the complete opposite of retrograde amnesia. The patient can remember everything in his past, from the earliest memory during childhood right before the incident of his brain trauma. He will not be able to remember anything after that.
New information will be stored in his short-term memory and will eventually disappear. · Transient Global Amnesia. This is a short-term memory loss that is very similar to anterograde amnesia.
The person will have difficulties forming new thoughts and information. Memories are a bit vague as well. This is also rare and is often seen in older people with vascular diseases. · Traumatic Amnesia. This is a short-term memory loss that is caused by a severe concussion on the head (e.g., car accident). The person will experience some information and facts about his past but not all.
However, he will eventually recover and will soon regain his consciousness about his past. Severe cases tend to lead to the coma. · Wernicke-Korsakoff’s Psychosis. This is a kind of amnesia that is caused by long-term alcohol abuse.
This is a progressive memory loss that will slowly affect the brain due to malnutrition and lack of thiamin in the body. Loss of coordination and a series of neurological disorders will be present as well, making his condition all the worse. · Hysterical Amnesia. This is a sporadic form of amnesia. Also known as “fugue” amnesia, this is where the patient will completely forget everything about himself, about his identity.
He will not know his name, his birthday, and the like. He will suddenly wake up not knowing where he was or who he is. · Childhood Amnesia. This is where a person simply cannot remember what happened to his childhood.
This is mainly because the patient didn’t mature or develop properly back when he was just a kid. · Post-hypnotic Amnesia. The name pretty much explains itself. It is a kind of memory loss wherein the person cannot remember what happened during hypnosis.
Source Amnesia. This is where the person cannot remember where the particular information came from. Prosopamnesia. This is where the person can’t remember faces. This can be acquired or can be genetics. The Causes The causes of amnesia vary. Make sure that you are aware of these factors so that you will know how to prevent this disorder and at the same time, know what to expect if your loved one happens to experience one of the following elements. · Stroke. · Inflammation of the brain or encephalitis.
Lack of oxygen in the brain. Carbon monoxide poisoning. · Medications such as sleeping pills, anti-depressants, etc. · Brain hemorrhage. Brain tumor. Concussions or head injuries.
Electroshock therapy on the brain. Who’s at Risk If you want to determine the different things that can make a person prone to amnesia, then you might want to read on about the risk factors so you can fully understand more about this condition. · Brain trauma caused by accidents. A person who had a stroke. · Seizures (e.g. epilepsy).
Alcoholism. · Drug abuse. · Dementia (e.g. Alzheimer’s Disease). · Head injuries. · Cancer (brain tumor). Traumatic experiences from the past such as child abuse, sexual abuse, etc. Signs and Symptoms Knowing the telltale signs of a person suffering with amnesia is fairly easy since all you really have to do is to observe whether or not he can remember his past or if he can remember any new information being given to them.
However, there are other symptoms that the patient will experience that you might want to know about. These are: Confusion · Disorientation · Migraines · Apathy · Loss of body coordination
Loss of memory (partial or full) · Invented memories (created by the patient to cope) · Problems remembering new events · Problems remembering about the past Treatment There is really no exact treatment for amnesia since this condition often resolve itself. However, there are ways that you can do to help improve the patient’s memories by dealing with the root cause of amnesia.
This is ideal for those who cannot cope due to a severe mental anxiety disorder or depression. This must be faced and treated so that the memory will soon come back. As for the rest, emotional support from loved ones and friends is definitely needed. Patience, understanding, love, and care is a must to avoid making the problem worse.
Providing gadgets such as smartphones or GPS will help since these things can be used in certain situations that require logical assistance such as being lost in an unfamiliar place and the like.
Alternative Remedies The remedies available for amnesia are mostly focused on improving the person’s memory through a proper balanced diet rich in phosphorous, proper sleep, and exercise so as not to aggravate the condition.
Herbal teas made from basil and a tablespoon of honey everyday are a great method to encourage better memory. Prevention There is no way to prevent accidents that might cause a severe trauma on the head however, the best thing that you can do is to always stay vigilant by securing all the necessary steps for your safety in everything that you do. This includes proper diet and healthy lifestyle, well away from vices such as drugs and alcohol.