So, this morning I went into the pot-holder drawer looking for a spoon to stir my coffee. Ok, sure, crap like that happens to everyone once in awhile. But, once I realized I was in the wrong drawer, I didn’t know which drawer actually held the spoons.
And that’s not ok.
Cognitive Impairment can be a symptom of depression. The lower you go, the more sluggish your brain becomes and the easier it is to forget basic things. It makes sense. Although I find that forgetting basic things tends to make my depression worse, because I beat myself up about forgetting whatever it was that I forgot.
But it’s also a side effect of the medication we take for bipolar disorder. Mayo clinic describes one of the possible side effects of lithium as confusion, poor memory, or lack of awareness. That’s just an easy way of saying “cognitive impairment”. Tegretol (Carbamazepine) also has possible loss of memory or problems with memory listed among it’s side effects.
More googling brought me this article which seems to lead to the conclusion that working memory is the problem with bipolar disorder
Most of the memory and bipolar research has involved working memory. This research has shown that people with bipolar disorder do experience difficulties with working memory. Working memory is the short term storage of information while we are actually using it to perform a task.
And then there’s this study, which I kind of wish I hadn’t found, because I felt very stupid reading it. Because whether it’s my depression or my meds or my “working memory” studies full of big words and long sentences really bog me down these days. Which makes me irritable because, quite frankly, stuff like that never used to be a problem for me.
There’s a more readable article on Psychology Today. But, the upshot of that article is acceptance, not change.
But, I suppose acceptance really is the only good answer. Ok. Semi-good. Whether it’s coming from the meds, or the disease itself cognitive impairment seems to be here to stay.
However, I’m pretty sure hubby is getting tired of me saying “Wait, I forgot what you just said” 5 minutes after he said it.