Life can be extremely stressful, especially given the current tumultuous times and the state of affairs in the nation and the world. Stress can have a major impact upon your quality of life and how you feel and function on a daily basis. And sometimes stress can look and seem like signs of another condition like dementia. If you are currently struggling and trying to determine if you should seek out neurological services and treatment for dementia or just suffering from extreme stress and in need of mental health services, there are ways that you can better determine the difference. Get to know some of the ways that you can distinguish between the two conditions so that you can get the best possible treatment and care for you.
How Frequent Are Your Memory Lapses?
When you are concerned that you may be suffering from early signs of dementia, you may want to start keeping track of the memory lapses that you are suffering from so that you can look at their frequency more closely. Keep a notebook or track them in the calendar app on your phone.
Be sure to mark down the time of the issue as well as the nature of the issue just for quick reference. So, this could be something along the lines of "8am - lost keys" or "10am - forgot son's name." Once you track your memory lapses over the course of a few weeks or months, you can have a better picture of what is going on with your memory. A family member could also help you out with this by keeping their own list that you can compare yours to in case you do not realize that your memory is faltering.
The frequency of your memory lapses can tell you a lot about whether or not you should visit a neurologist. Several memory lapses a day or memory lapses that seem to be worsening day after day, could be a sign of cognitive decline whereas a random or infrequent pattern may just be due to stress or other factors.
What Types of Memory Lapses Are You Dealing With?
The type of memory issues that you are having can also help to determine whether the issue is stress or dementia. Virtually everybody forgets little things and has problems with their short-term memory when they are stressed or tired. If your memory issues boil down to losing your keys, forgetting a last minute appointment, not remembering everything you need to get at the store, or the like, you are probably stressed out and may need mental health services or to practice relaxation techniques.
On the other hand, if your memory lapses are more significant, you may be looking at a more serious problem. For example, if you are forgetting important information about your children (their birthdays, names, interests, etc...) or you suddenly forget how to get from your house to work, you may have some early signs of dementia. These types of memories are stored and processed in different areas of the brain and require different neurological pathways to access, and therefore, they can be signs of different issues.
With these questions in mind, you can better determine what types of services and treatments you may need to seek out for your memory problems. For more information, contact a professional such as Mohsen M. Hamza, M.D.Share
18 November 2016
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