June 23rd, 2024

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Forgetfulness can be precipitated by:


Addiction Alcohol Anxiety Depression Grief Heart Disease Loneliness Medications Nutrition Stroke

Grieving Woman

Ella Traver

Grief And Memory Loss

By | 02.07.2011


Grief and emotional trauma can cause memory loss. Usually, as the person recovers, memory returns. Grief from bereavement is especially painful but there are other causes of grief. In our lives, we have other losses. We can lose our hearing, our vision, and our mobility. Circumstances can require a move away from home and we lose our sense of place. Grief is a natural effect that helps us cope.


Grief can include symptoms of depression such as sadness or numbness, frequent crying, and a general downturn in mood. These are normal and healthy responses to loss. The grief and sadness fill up our heart and mind, leaving little room to process other information. The result is forgetfulness.


In time, the loss becomes a memory instead of a presence. The sadness lifts and we can look forward again. This process is different for each person and can take a few weeks or a few years.


It's possible for grief to slide into isolation and depression. This is a particular problem for the elderly.


Grief-induced Memory Loss

Forgetfulness after a traumatic loss is fairly common. For some people, a numbness sets in and they don't remember their own relatives. Usually, this sort of memory loss disappears after a few days.


How to Help A Grieving Person

The most important way to help a grieving person is to be present. You can show your support by simply being there and letting the person know that you want to be there.


Listen with compassion. Make your time together about the grieving person and not about you. Let him talk about his loss and the person who died as many times as he wishes.


There are practical things you can do too. Help with laundry or "cleaning up," go grocery shopping, look after pets, or suggest going for a walk together.


Holidays and birthdays will be difficult so make a note and offer your friendship on those days with a note, card or visit.


Take Care of Yourself Too

You may also be grieving, and you should not hesitate to let your friends and family know how you are feeling. A death in the family can bring us face to face with our own mortality and remind us that we are no longer children. This can be a difficult adjustment. Don't hesitate to find a support group if you need one.



Sad Woman

Grief Can Slide Into
Clinical Depression

There is no time limit for grief. Adjustment to loss can last a few months or much longer. A couple of years could be understandable. Sometimes the experience of grief can be overwhelming and the person just doesn't know how to find her way out. She needs help. Learn more about depression among older people.



iMemories: Save 20% promo code: Save20. Expires 8/15/14


man with bottle

Alcohol and Memory Loss

According to researchers, regular alcohol consumption by older people can cause reduced mental capacity, including memory loss. Physicians once believed that faulty memory and inability to think clearly just went along with old age. Now there is evidence that this behavior is not because people are old, but is more likely caused by steady daily (or nightly) drinking. There is actually a new term called "Late-Onset Alcohol Misuse."


Scientists have tracked the alcohol use of thousands of older people. The results are disturbing.



TEDx Talks: The Adventure of Grief

Dr. Geoff Warburton

Psychologist, writer and innovator, Geoff Warburton has spent the last 25 years studying love and loss. Geoff challenges conventional apathy about grief and loss by offering an approach that evokes curiosity, openness and compassion. Click on this video to watch it. You can enlarge it by clicking on the box to the right of the YouTube symbol.


PBS Presents:

This Emotional Life DVD

Hosted by Dr. Daniel Gilbert, Harvard psychologist and author. This three-part series that explores improving our social relationships, learning to cope with depression and anxiety, and becoming more positive, resilient individuals.[More]

Price: 24.99


Lonely man deep in thought

Gretchen Heuring

Loneliness and Memory Loss

By 06.10.2014


Everyone knows how it feels to be lonely, but ongoing loneliness heralds a deep despair and memories are lost in the darkness. Researchers have been studying the effects of loneliness and, somehow, the results are not surprising. There is a loss of connection and belonging. Read more.