Can Bereavement Cause Memory Loss?
Memory loss is quite a common symptom after a bereavement, along with confusion, inability to concentrate, feeling that you are going crazy.
But you're not losing your mind. Grief is a huge trauma and you are reeling from the shock of your loss. It's not surprising that you can't think straight. You have so much to process and and it takes a while to come to terms with your new world order.
It happens to all of us from time to time that we can't remember day to day things. But when you have suffered a loss in your life, you are much more prone to those forgetful moments. Your brain is occupied with processing your bereavement. You may have become numb with shock which can last days, weeks or even months. You might not be sleeping well. It's not surprising then, that you might forget a lot of little day to day things.
- You find yourself driving in the wrong direction because you are automatic pilot when your brain is occupied with something else.
- You forget where you put things.
- You might miss an appointment because you have forgotten you made it or what day it is.
- You forget things that people have told you on the phone.
The good news is that in most cases, as you get over your loss, your memory will go back to normal but give yourself time and don't panic about memory loss - that will only add to your anxiety.
Complicated grief and memory loss
Complicated grief is when grief goes on for longer than normal and has a severe impact on your quality of life. You may be suffering from complicated grief if:
- you are finding it difficult to think about anything other than your lost loved one,
- you replay the circumstances of their death over and over
- you are constantly pining for them and missing them
- you are unable to look back at happy memories of the deceased person
- you can't find any pleasure or meaning in life
- your intense mourning has been going on for a long period of time without fading or becoming easier to bear
If you are feeling like this, it is probable that you have become stuck in this heightened state of grief from which you cannot heal on your own.
Studies have shown that those who have complicated grief often have memory loss where they are unable to remember every day things, but on the other hand, can remember with extreme clarity everything to do with the person they have lost.
If you think this could be you, it is essential to get some help. Call your doctor or a counselor, or use the confidential online counseling service we recommend below.
You can read more about online grief counseling and how it works here.
ARE YOU A BEREAVED MOTHER OR FATHER?
We are two bereaved parents who have teamed up with researchers at Yeshiva University and Memorial Sloan Kettering to study how the death of a child impacts parents’ lives, and the resulting ripple effects as life continues without our children. We invite you to participate in a survey which will help us develop resources to better support parents experiencing the heartbreak of child loss.
For mothers or fathers who have lost a child (or children) of any age, and would like to make a contribution to our understanding of bereaved parenthood, this is a way to make a difference.
If you would like to participate in our study, please fill out this confidential survey at https://yeshiva.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_cUXcBDFIiWAg6Ng It will take about 20 minutes.
For more details, you can contact the Principal Investigator:
Kailey Roberts, PhD, Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychology, Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology, Yeshiva University.
Thank you for your consideration --
Judith Kottick, LCSW and Jean Singer, PhD
IRB Approved at the Study Level, May 10, 2021. #30499052.0
Have You Considered Online Grief Counseling?
Get Private and Confidential Help in the Privacy of Your Own Home
The following information about online counseling is sponsored by 'Betterhelp' but all the opinions are our own. To be upfront, we do receive a commission when you sign up with 'Betterhelp', but we have total faith in their expertise and would never recommend something we didn't completely approve.
Do you feel alone and sad with no support and no idea how to move forward? It can be tough when you are stuck in grief to find the motivation to get the most out of your precious life.
Online counseling can help by giving you that support so you don't feel so alone. You can have someone to talk to anytime you like, a kind and understanding person who will help you to find meaning in life again, to treasure the memories of your loved one without being overwhelmed and to enjoy your activities, family and friends again.
- Simply fill out the online questionnaire and you will be assigned the expert grief counselor most suitable for you. It only takes a few minutes and you don't even have to use your name.
- Pay an affordable FLAT FEE FOR UNLIMITED SESSIONS.
- Contact your counselor whenever you like by chat, messaging, video or phone.
- You can change counselor at any time if you wish.
- Click here to find out more and get started immediately.
- Or read more about how online counseling works here.
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Memorial Jewelry to Honour a Loved One
Check out our lovely range of memorial jewelry for any lost loved one. Pendants, necklaces, rings or bracelets, we have them all in all kinds of styles. Choose for yourself or buy as a sympathy gift.
Click here to see our selection
Hypnosis for Grief - 10 Ways It Can Help You
Try a gentle hypnotherapy track to relax the mind. Learn how self-hypnosis can help you cope with grief at any time of the day or night.
Read more about it here.
Create an Online Memorial Website
Honour your loved one with their own memorial website. Share photos, videos, memories and more with your family and friends in a permanent online website. Free for basic plan with no ads.
Find out more here.
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