Anxiety affecting memory?

I've never had a great memory but when I was younger it was a lot better than it is now.

I struggle now-a-days with a lot of memory recall, especially with school things, and don't know nearly as much as I used to.

In fairness, I do watch a lot of television, go on the laptop, listen to music and read, but the things I no longer remember worry me. People saying they can remember being a certain age, I can't remember last week very clearly.

Just wondered if anyone knew anything about it or if anxiety may have something to do with memory recall?

Thank you in advance.



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18 Replies

  • Hi Kelly,

    I thought the same, with everything going around in our heads that memory gets worse over time. Thanks for replying, at least I know it isn't just me.

    Thanks again...


  • Yeah we will!

  • Hello Kelly,

    Good description - I also struggle with this. Yet before anxiety became so controlling in my life, I like you Nic had a brilliant memory. My family used to call me an elephant because I'd recall what someone ate for dinner on that day two years ago! Now i have gaps - especially when I've been particularly anxious or stressed.

    Take care of yourselves xx

  • I can empathise with you on that one Kelly.

    Take care xx

  • Yes, it seems that the longer I have anxiety, the more things I find is being affected. Other things too such as my spelling, I was know as an elephant too especially for my spelling skills, but now I really struggle.

    At least it isn't just a few of us. Thanks for replying.

    Take care. :) xx

  • yea nic im the same i cant remember wot i did day too day i know it feels weird but its all to do with anxiety it puts a block in ur brain its mad ay my kids will tell me somethink then say somethink agen and i cant remember wot they have said mom said the other day u aint that far gone surely but yea its anxiety x

  • Ahh at least I know now, I was a bit worried. Oh dear, it is stupid that anxiety messes everything else up for us.

    Thanks for replying and helping. :) x

  • thats fine nic yea it is its like ur mind is doing over time but some friends dont seem too understand but they would if they had it nic x

  • Hi my memory is terrible too,definately think its an anxiety thing.

  • Yeah, it does seem that way. :/


  • Hi Nic,

    I think stress, anxiety, and even depression, can cause memory loss and mental haze without few doubts.

    My medication for Depression and Anxiety has helped a bit but i think it is really going to ring true regarding my memory once i feel i am better, not sure whan that will be, i just try and help things along by some exercise and facing my anxiety and try to be positive with it as i face it head on......sometimes, one step at a time ;-)

  • Hi.

    Yeah, it does seem like it. :/

    I'm trying, like you, to get out, and although I haven't noticed anything about my memory yet, i seem to feel a bit better in myself.

    Yeah, we must all try and be positive and face it. :) Baby steps.

  • hi there all, i am knew to this site. My pain from dystonia affects my memory, my struggle to remember things causes me to be anxious, my anxiety then affects my dystonia. My family getting annoyed at my asking the same question 2/3 times is just upsetting, which in turn makes my dystonia worse, therefore it seems each day is a whirlwind of trauma. I am happy when i am alone as I can take the time to remember things without someone getting angry that I am 'not listening'!!

  • Well, first, welcome to the site. :)

    That sounds such a struggle. I'm sorry to hear it. But like you, I find when I'm least anxious or stressed my memory does improve a little.

    I suppose it's the same for all of us, we just need to try to relax a bit and it might start improving things.

  • Hi Nic, I've had anxiety problems since I was a child and am sure it effects the memory. Luckily I've had a friend since the age of 13 - over 40 years ago and I can ring her to fill in the blanks for me.

    Recently it has got so bad - especially short-term memory that my psych organised an EEG and brain MRI for me. I see him in a couple of weeks to get the results. They didn't send me an urgent appt, so I can assume it's not a brain tumour or dementia -yet lol. I know for certain, the more anxious I am, the worse it gets.

    I've got breast cancer at the moment and can manage to put it out of my mind most of the time but my hospital appointments are hell if I am kept waiting. I had to wait over an hour for my ultrasound the last time and I got so anxious that I couldn't remember the name of the person that I planned to visit after my appointment!

    Hope that's useful.


  • Oh gosh I am sorry to hear about that! I thought it must be the anxiety due to it getting worse since I've got worse. It worries me too as my grandad had Alzheimer's, he'd had it since I was about 4 and died just before last Christmas (I'm 18 now, so he had it a long time). So that's in the back of my mind but i don't think about it that much.

    Hope all the tests and results are ok, for everything. :)

    And yes, it was helpful. Thank you.


  • I think you're absolutely right. I used to have a really good memory, and ever since my anxiety I feel like I'm more or less just trying to get through the day so I can go back to bed :( If someone asks me a question I'll think urrrrm not sure! Then someone else could answer it and I'll think oh yeah!

  • Yeah, that is EXACTLY what i'm like. and some questions are ones I used to know about and no-one knew- like weird facts or historical things. But now I'm terrible.

    At least we know what it is now.

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