Post Psychosis and memory

I experienced three episodes of psychosis in the past 5 years. Ever since those episodes I feel like my memory is deteriorating. I have tried everything from exercising, socializing, psychotherapy, taking daily vitamins and living a healthy lifestyle but nothing seems to be helping with my memory whatsoever. I was physically, psychologically and sexually abused in my childhood so I have this tendency to block out informations in my head. Which is not so helpful considering I'm reenrolled in university now and I really want to get my degree.

I feel overwhelmed. I have two children to care for, husband works offshore and I'm studying a degree that requires 100% focus and lots of memorization. I don't want to give up Uni because I have worked hard to come to this far, but at the same time I feel like I'm in the limbo because I'm doing poorly in my classes.

I'm also scared that I'll become sick when husband is not home. Social circle is really small here in north Norway, I have reached out for all the help I could get but I still feel lack of control and confidence in life.

Some tips would be appreciated.

6 Replies

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  • Thanks for your post arcticmum. I can absolutely see why you would be worried about memory. I have had this problem too. I hear that you feel you are doing as much as you can to put yourself in the best possible circumstances.

    Well done for enrolling on your university courselves whilst bringing up two kids. It sounds like you're doing a great job. Definitely trying to build a good support network is important, even if it's via Skype!

    I wonder do you take any medication at the moment? Is this something you could explore with medical intervention to help you feel less overwhelmed? Also have you tried mindfulness as a way of gaining control back and rebuilding your confidence in life?

    Those are just a couple of ideas of things that have helped me and that I continue to practice myself.

    Thanks again for your post, and remember to be kind to yourself, trying not to pile on the pressure. Take time out for yourself and do some things you enjoy! All the best, Amy

  • I am currently not taking medications. I practice aikido/mindfulness whenever I get the chance. And attend church services on regular basis.

    I try to be aware of my state of being and try not to be emotionally overwhelmed but it's easier said than done.

    Thank you for your advice, I think I will include meditation as part of my daily routine.

  • Hi there, sorry to hear you're struggling. I know many people in the north suffer from seasonal affected disorder. Have you looked into some of the alternative therapies linked to this type of thing? I know there is one in Norway based on emitting light sensors into your ears, a bit like headphones. I don't know if this will help with the memory loss, but may help generally with mood? xx

  • You're right about that. It's dark here 24hrs for the entire winter. I take fish oil daily ( for vitamin D), and husband purchased one of those light the therapy lamp for me. I should probably use it more often.

  • I've had one bad memory loss period. It was due to extreme anxiety, including having to relate my past to a psychologist who was pretty bad in treating me. I didn't take medicines for the anxiety, Dr said it wasn't necessary., but in hindsight I should have asked for the medicine. Mindfulness helped with a very good psychologist. And being kind to myself. All is OK for me now.

  • Hello Arcticmom

    You seem to have a lot to deal with so I'm not surprised you feel overwhelmed. I had two episodes of psychosis during my two episodes of PP many years ago. I was so ill that I had to have a mixture of medication and ECT to bring me back to reality. I did worry that ECT would affect my memory as I had a number of sessions, six years apart. However, I can honestly say that all these years on my memory is very good, although I have never studied for a Degree. Did you receive specialist treatment for your psychosis or just those mentioned?

    I'm sure practicing akido/mindfulness is very good therapy but do you think talking to your doctor might be helpful. Perhaps he can suggest something for your anxiety?

    I can relate to childhood trauma which I buried for years and to this day I still keep in the closet. Unfortunately some of the news on television at the moment in the UK does present triggers. Perhaps the psychotherapy you mention has helped with this? There is also NAPAC (National Association of People Abused in Childhood) which offers help to survivors, via Facebook or email.

    You are coping with so much on your own when your husband is away. I can't imagine how hard it must be living in Norway where it is dark 24 hours in the winter, coping with two children and studying. I think you have shown a lot of control.

    It's not easy to move on from such horrific memories but you have proved that you can rise above it to lead a happy family life. You have also been knocked down not once but three times by psychosis in the last five years .... so I don't think you should criticise yourself. Be very proud of all you have overcome which takes a great deal of courage and confidence.

    Don't forget to eat well :) ... I think breakfast is known to be the most important for daily wellbeing. Take good care of yourself. We are all here if you would like to 'talk'.

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