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memory issues

After being sent to the memory clinic and having some tests done they have now decided that my memory issue is stress related. I cant understand it the memory issues have been happening since I had a benign brain tumour removed and I was told that this was normal that was nearly 8years ago and in the past 6-12months my memory has got worse. Yes I have a crap job and am being intimidated by some people in the office but I have had that problem since 2007 when I went back to work after major surgery it just got worse in the last 9months, I am also going through an IVA which started nearly two years ago and only because I got into debt whilst ill. I have a son in University who will be leaving to live closer to his university and another son who is going to college. I still wouldn't think these are stress related as I am lucky to be alive. I am hoping to get a redeployment at work to another job within the hospital I work in but am worried that I have 12 weeks to find another job and am not sure if I can and after that I am sacked from my job. Why would this memory issue be classed as stress related? I wasn't hoping to have dementia or altzeimers but I was hoping to have more than stress. Is there something I can do to get rid of it or make things easier or am I stuck with this for as long as I am in the job I am in? Any advice or information on this as I am feeling depressed now as the mad Doctor in Occ Health will be saying "I told you so" as she said that it was all in my mind/

11 Replies

Oh my goodness long term workplace intimidation, major surgery, debt issues, children leaving home, facing job loss... to be honest I am not surprised you are feeling depressed or stressed...that is way more stress than the average person should have to handle...

When it does not have an outlet, stress can manifest in very real symptoms of physical (or psychological) illness and we may not even realise that we are stressed (as we tend to just knuckle down and deal with the messes life throws in our path.) Just as with any illness the root cause needs to be treated to alleviate the symptoms.

Its not a matter of "just stress" or being "all in the mind" , stress is very real. Maybe you can talk to your own doctor about how to manage your stress and the symptoms this is producing.

I wish you luck


can you explain to me what neuropsychology is I am at a loss as to what it is and I have been advised this before. Do I have to see a neurologist first or can I go straight for this person and who has to refer me. Sorry for the twenty questions but I am so confused. Thanks for you advise x


I can sympathise with the work place intimidation, I was a nurse ,serious head injury brain bleeds ,eventual coma etc. I found that upon my return to work my bosses assumed I had memory problems, personality changes etc, although I had never been diagnosed with it. They had given my job away as they were told I was going to die in the coma, but I survived, so upon my return they had moved me to a heavier ward, after double the usual phased return period which I had to do, as they didn't know what to do with me..It seems to me the upshot of it was, my matron was ex critical care nurse, and as I had been tubed when in the coma he seemed to think that would cause me memory problems , I had to complete "objectives " with a pdn, when it seemed pointless as I knew what to do and even stabilised two patients on the ward. All my skills were suspended , I had to re do the drugs competence test ,when all I wanted to do was return to the job I knew, they ignored the diagnosis of chronic fatigue and put me back on shifts , I kept asking for leave but was told I couldn't have any , even though I was meant to be super-numerary , end result I worked 7 months total since return ,they relented gave me five days off , I slept for 2.5 of them, then awoke with back in spasm , prolapsed disc , damaged other discs and facet joints , off work a year, then contract terminated, retired through ill health. now I have a back problem that is in operable , my wages and career have gone and I get ESA and disability . I recommend that you ask for a referral to a Neuropsychologist who can actually do some positive stuff with you regarding dealing with your stress triggers and how to manage them effectively. Stress is a bastard, long term effects can kill so I really think that getting it sorted asap is best. As for the memory, I retrained my memory by playing Solitaire on the PC for hours and learning how to remember the falls of the cards, resulting in my score now actually reaching double figures lol!! Perhaps games like Sudoku etc may help you, and if nothing else gives you a reason to swear at an inanimate object without people thinking you're nuts!

But the biggest problem you may have in my experience is that if people assume that you have issues that in itself becomes an issue. Working in a predominantly female environment had its compensations but gossip wasn't one of them.


I play lots of solitaire and other games to help my brain too and it is definitely hard when people assume you can't do things, I am tired of people treading on eggshells around me for fear that I can't cope. Am not working at the moment but am on a committee and I often feel that they are just humouring me for fear of upsetting me but that they don't think I'm really capable.


I actually work on a switchboard for a hospital and it is known as the bitchboard lol. Full of women except for one bloke who is amazing and funny and knows exactly what they are all like including management. My senior manager said that she was aware and worried about me coming back to work. Which is strange as she never said anything like that to me when I went back to work. She said this recently and the surgery happened 8 years ago September. You just cant win can you. Thanks for your advice, I am sorry you are suffering though hopefully one day you will get sorted and be able to allsorts. I wish you all the luck in the world x


I am in a similar situation as following my brain tumour operations I suffer from panic attacks and when I went to see the neuropsychologist she concluded that it was my anxiety that was causing my cognitive issues. Have been trying all sorts of things to combat the anxiety but now I have to have more surgery as the tumour is growing again and that has sent my anxiety through the roof. Have tried various brain training and memory games on the computer/DS to try and get my brain back to working normally and after my op I intend to do an OU course and am hoping this will help as I can't help thinking that part of my problem is just that after two years of not working or studying my brain is just out of shape and needs to be worked out.

Hope you manage to find the solution to your memory problems.


know where you are coming from,i had a operation to have a shunt incerted in 1993,then another one to burn nerve over one eye,and that was the last i heard from hospital.I now suffer ,or have suffered from depression and have become very withdrawn and quiet,and i dont socialise very rarly go out.I used to be the life and soul,but thats all gone,but i am slowly coming to terms with my problem,but the old me has gone.My problem was made more difficult as i had also been looking after my dad who became very ill, who has since died,we where very close.


I'm so sorry, fred, that you lost your dad. It must have been devastating after being so close........... the death of a parent is a shocking event.

I hope you're not spending too much time alone; I know you have brothers and sisters, but it makes me sad and angry when I remember what happened to you, and how it's affected you.

Take care of yourself. cat x


Hello benandsam,

Thank you for your post, and I am really sorry to hear of the difficult and complex situation.

As mentioned above, classing it as stress-related is quite different to saying it's all in the mind, and it is vital that the occupational health professionals at work understand this. It could, in fact, explain the worsening of the symptoms in the past 6-12 months. In some cases underlying symptoms of brain injury can be worsened by things like stress.

Have you seen a neuropsychologist or neurologist to assess this? These are sometimes based at memory clinics, but not always, and I think given the tumour you have had it seems reasonable to see a specialist in that condition, especially as the symptoms are worsening.

Can I suggest you contact our helpline on 0808 800 2244 or helpline@headway.org.uk to discuss this? We can talk through some of the rehabilitation, employment law, support etc that you could benefit from at this time.

Best wishes,



Thank you all for your advice I have just emailed Headway and hopefully they will be able to help


if you eat a very very hot curry you have a sore bum!

if you have a Brain poorly you get a bad memory!

both common symptoms after . My short term memory is shot since my TBI and yes isnt getting any better 4 years on.the more we have to cope with the harder it may be but it is hurtful when they say it is stress. try living in our shoes for a month before saying that.


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