Fibromyalgia Action UK
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The memory discussion

Hello Fibro family,

We have been having some resent discussion on memory,I brought up about long term memory as I don't seem to have one for instance I am unable to tell my boys what they were like growing up, I have no recalection, apart from some bad things, this artical I found which is in some agreement that it is caused due to fibro, which would actually support my doctors believe that I was born with fibro, this wed page I am hoping to tag it on so you can take a look if your interested, bear with me not done this before smiles and hugs xx


Missing Memories With Fibromyalgia & Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

By Adrienne Dellwo, GuideMay 29, 2010

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The brain fog of fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome can really impair our memories -- both short and long term. The short-term memory problems are evident when we walk into a room and don't remember why we're there, or when we tell ourselves over and over not to forget the grocery list and then arrive at the store only to remember it's sitting on the kitchen table. Those things are aggravating, potentially embarrassing, and often detrimental on the job or when it comes to those have-to-do things like paying bills. In my former job as a TV news producer, a good short-term memory was crucial -- what did the reporter just tell me about that breaking story? What did I need to go change? What did I urgently need to tell my video editor? That was a big part of the reason I finally left that job.

The short-term memory problems can hamper and force us to change our lives. The long-term memory problems, however, can remove pieces of our lives. I developed full-blown fibromyalgia when my daughter was 19 months old, but the symptoms had been steadily creeping up from the time she was born. I continued at my old job until she was 2.5, and then I began to slowly improve. As a result, my memories of her as a baby and toddler are fuzzy and piecemeal. I don't remember what baby foods she liked. I don't remember her first step. I don't remember much of anything, and some of the memories I do have are hazy. When I think back on my older son at that age, the memories are crisp and vivid, like they happened yesterday.

It was a hard realization to come to, that I don't remember most of my daughter's baby-hood. I've had to mourn it as a loss and come to accept that it doesn't mean I'm a bad mother or that I love her any less -- my brain simply wasn't able to make good memories during those years.

Memory is a complicated thing. We don't completely "get" how it works yet, so we don't know how to fix memory problems. Are the memories in the brain, somewhere, and we simply can't retrieve them, or were they never recorded in the first place? And either way, why?

A common belief in the scientific community is that our daily events are recorded as short-term memories, and then while we sleep our brain basically transfers what it deems important into long-term storage. Our long-term memory problems seem like a double whammy -- neurotransmitter dysregulation and other brain issues, like blood flow abnormalities, appear to impair our ability to capture things in short-term memory. That means the record of that day's events is incomplete. Then, we sleep poorly and have abnormal brain activities during sleep, which may be disrupting the transfer to long-term memory. What we're left with is sometimes Swiss-cheese, sometimes seen through gauze, and sometimes nothing at all.

Do you have blank spots in your memory -- missing days, weeks, or years? What important things are missing, and how has it effected you? Have you ever recovered chunks of missing memory? Leave your comments below

6 Replies

Very interesting I know I am having short term probs ! x gins


I found that really interesting, thank you. I think I may have been born with fibro too.As far back as I can remember, my recollection of my whole life has been as if I only have a body or "shell", no conscious feeling of actually "being here". Hard to explain. Like watching telly without sound. One without the other makes it incomplete. My memory has always been bad, short and long term. But Id say at least half of my life (Im 54 now) my short term memory has been affected most. I know everyone "forgets things" but not on the scale that fibro sufferers do. AND ITS BLOODY ANNOYING !! But me and my family have turned it into a joke, especially when I forget what the hell Im saying mid sentence, havent got a clue what I was even talking about,lol. Well at least weve got an excuse.x


Hi Tess and thankyou I know know why I can only remember odd bits and pieces of my childhood like the time I got stung by a bee and the time I stood on a nail I remember it was attached to a wooden car my dad made for me one Christmas, and I remember jumping off our shed roof I twisted my ankle doing that once, after that I was always twisting it I wrenched my right knee once jumping off the shed, but I can't seem to remember the good stuff it seems my fibro was already starting when I was a child thankyou again for helping my solve that puzzle I won't bore you with any more remenising think I spelt that wrong but nay mind thankyou again have a good day gentle hugs. Sithy


Hi Sithy I know excally what your saying and it is reasuring hearing from others who experiance the same, stop us feeling like were going mad, I will be making an appointment with my doc to discuss and will let all know how I get on smiles and hugs xx


As I've mentioned on another thread I have a terrible short term memory and it makes it really difficult sometimes as I can see from peoples' faces that they are in total disbelief that I can "forget" something that happened a few minutes previously. It drives me nuts! I cannot imagine how much worse long term memory loss must be. It must be heartbreaking not being able to remember things about your children or your own childhood.

Unfortunately it is very common for our memory to be affected with Fibromyalgia, it's a very cruel symptom, I am sure we all agree on that. We all hear about "Fibro Fog" but nothing prepares us for memory loss, losing memories etc.

"Cognitive dysfunction is a common problem with Fibro and is nicknamed "Fibro-fog". This can include difficulty in understanding something, difficulty in making decisions, memory loss, problems with concentration, difficulties in speaking coherently and remembering words and problems with typing or writing." (Information from our main site, contained within the link above)

Use the link below to take you to where we are again discussing Fibro Fog and memory loss in our forum here at FibroAction, it helps to read others' experiences too, we realise we aren't alone -


If you are particularly worried about having long term or short term memory loss, please have a word with your GP. This could hopefully reassure you that it is related to Fibro and also to rule out other conditions.


My husband is the same it gets him mad when I ask the same thing over and over or tell him something over and over well that's fibro life I suppose nite all


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