Short term Memory Loss and Passwords: Does anyone... - Headway


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Short term Memory Loss and Passwords

SAMBS profile image

Does anyone else have problems remembering the right passwords on their computer? I do and have managed to mess up several things like emaom password; MS, Google etc and several other useful sites I use regularly. Today I was recommened to download - so .checkk it out Ive had to click forgotten password' so often that my memory problems are driving me nuts - I think I,m going crazy and my bank manager won't take my calls anymore to help me sort out things I ned to discuss. Does anyone else have this short term (hopefully) problem?

40 Replies

Hi SAMBS; I hope you had a good Christmas.

Yes I do have a severe short-term memory problem which I used to make jokes about but, more recently, it's become less & less amusing. I do have a special notebook which I use for everything concerning my pc including passwords. As I create a new password I have the book beside me so I can note it down immediately, otherwise it would be lost in the fog within my brain for ever.

I've always loved crosswords and regularly used to keep clues inside my head to work on them whilst doing other things. Now as soon as I've looked away from the page I cannot retain such information, even for a second. And for appointments I have to enter them on my pc calendar the minute I receive them and check the calendar habitually every night then leave myself a note on my bedside table for the following morning if I have an appointment.

So everything has to be written items (even if it's only one item) .........birthdays..........everyday name it........................

I'm two years on and it seems to be getting worse so I'm having to find whatever strategies I can to deal with's a pain but a manageable one !

Love Cat x

muzzyden profile image
muzzyden in reply to cat3

I am new to this so bear with me !!!!! I have to write down all my passwords and pin numbers for bank accounts !!!!!! I had brain abcesses last year and now have a shunt in , love this site reading about everyone else , I know I'm not alone xx

SAMBS profile image
SAMBS in reply to cat3

Hi Cat, I have also done a general thank you to all the replies but you always talk so much sense no matter who you reply to. I think I just lost my way this year with all thats happened and think comings to terms with the effect of my BI has been the hardest of all for me, especially with no external support except here on Headway, so thanks again Shirley x

CallyR profile image
CallyR in reply to cat3

Lumosity for 10 minutes 3 times a day reworded my brain after 5 year in the fog and haze. This was followed by resetting my hormonal imbalance particularly Cortisol and Thyroid. Doctors are not trained in this area of medicine so better to find the answers for them :-) Fix your own injury.

I do as Cat does I have a special notebook for all my passwords but I got an alphabetic one so I could write them and find them easily, no point searching for them if they are all random, lose patience that way. I still lose my book from time to time cos I have a habit of taking it away from the pc if I'm on my IPad, but what can I say that's ABIs for you xxxx

SAMBS profile image
SAMBS in reply to Kirk5w7

Hi Janet, yes alphabetic one is good idea. xx

Hidden profile image

Because of my memory and the stress I get into (which I hide well from others) doing the normal things i used to take for granted. Example...... in the supermarket (with a friend ) I could not remember my PIN number to pay for my shopping....I was extremely embarrassed and could feel the tears stinging my friend took over, got my phone and rang my husband who then told me the pin number phew!!!!!

Anyway since that day I have all my "special numbers" in my iphone. For example the phone number of my bank could be 01543 613679 (isn't of course) and my PIN number would be in there somewhere. ( It may take a few minutes to register in my brain what the name and therefore number I need is, but I've practised and always use the end section of numbers and this really does work for me)

I also have a notebook on my iPhone which I use for passwords etc... and luckily for me my iPhone links to my iPad. (Son and husband technology/ computer savvy) I also back up numbers a notepad which I keep safely at home.

Having read the responses from other sufferers, I'm in total agreement with them, write it down. I have a book with all my passwords written down, at the last count that's 22. In October 2014 it will be 10 years for me and the best advice I've ever received was: WRITE IT DOWN. I too am an avid crossword freak. My rubbish bags are full of scraps of paper, used to record my life on.

Hidden profile image

Keep a notebook.

In total agreement with the other replies, I too tend to write everything down, although I too have one or two 'hidden' in my mobile phone contacts, but hidden in a way that only I can possibly know.

In short, a notebook is really the best option. I took my notebook to my DWP 'medical'. The first thing on the reminder list that the doctor could see was,

'go to DWP medical, not that they'll ask any relevant questions'.

Yep, write it down, always

thank you all so much everyone, I've always, before BI, shunned keeping things written down in case I lost it or was stolen - paranoid I know - but you all make me realise how essential it is to stop being silly and do as you all do. Since just before my move last month I have 3 notebooks here with the ridiculous and unessential in them, as well as the essential sometimes, then I confuse myself even more. So yes I need to organise it all properly I hadn,t really accepted before just how confused I,d become with all the stress, but now to also know I,m not the only one it happens to gives me some form of acceptance and comfort - so now I must try and sort those notebooks out and my mobile phone....Happy New Year to you all x x

Oh I used to work in IT and I used to manage quite complex passwords. Now the majority of my personal passwords are all the same and quite simple because I couldn't get them right

The other thing that I find difficult is when the ask for digits 6, 3, 10, 1 etc. I have to sit there like a child counting them out on my finger.

Personally, I never liked password vaults as it is putting all your eggs in one basket and if you are away from your PC you have no access to your passwords

SAMBS profile image
SAMBS in reply to sospan

I used to do book-keeping and office administration for well over 30 years as well always doing all the home finances - now I couldn't even hold down a stamp on an envelope never mind hold down a job - all these abilities have just deserted me this year. So to the notebook it is now :)

Kirk5w7 profile image
Kirk5w7 in reply to sospan

My trouble with numbers is if there are more than one together I get confused and add more or mix up 5s and 3s

SAMBS profile image
SAMBS in reply to Kirk5w7

I end up with a mix of french letters and english numbers if I dont press the shift key,which makes for interesting reading

Yes! I have all my passwords written down but three years on from my op my memory is improving :-)

SAMBS profile image
SAMBS in reply to Mikesghost

that sounds very encouraging Mikesghost

I got through numerous bank cards before the bank took me seriously. The worst passwords are those required by the banks or other places for telephone conversations to take place, frustration overtakes me and I tend to end up giving up and slamming the phone down. There is a government dept that has one of these now, I don't remember which one, but it is obviously one I don't contact often, which means I'm less likely to remember. Argggh!

I was in the bank before Christmas and needed money from my saving account, the number is written down so I got I out and put the number in. When the transaction was over they insisted on taking m outside to the cash machine an changing my number. I kept telling them no but they said it was to protect my account safety I now have no idea what the number is. It was done under duress, they would not allow anyone to be with me to remember it, fo security reason, so my saving are very safe because I can't access them till I loose the card and get a new card and number issued.

I've locked 3 laptops which are currently sitting under the bed. My family despair, so no you are not alone!

One thing certain to mak my heart plummet is when you log on/in and the first thing it asks you is to change your password

SAMBS profile image
SAMBS in reply to Danslatete

Hi danslatete oh yes I can relate to all that. I have 2 defunct PCs here now because of same problems this year. I' ve had to change passwords so often in last five weeks with Google, yahoo and microsoft working with a new french keyboard notebook, you wouldn't believe it!

I also went through a short phase of not being able to remember what my signature was - I had to look at one I had done prior to my accident then work out how to redo it.

The other thing I started doing for no apparent reason was using an old address - one from 4 moves ago

Great message topic BTW

SAMBS profile image
SAMBS in reply to sospan

thanks sospan

Hidden profile image

Oh yes! Particularly when Im stressed. MyDad is 86 & had a bal fall on Xmas Day so he's in hospital. I'm so stressed that I couldn't even remember how to turn the computer or the gas fire on. Finally got into the computer then couldn't remember how to use it. Very frustrating, I've been using one for decades. I'm quite dangerous at the minute, I left the toothbrush charging all might, forgot to unplug the heated pad I have on my feet & did a load of washing on spin only so it came out dry.

I think it's safer if I just sit & watch telly. I'm exhausted anyway, went to bed at 4 and was awake at 6 which makes me even more dopey!

Taking things slowly helps a lot as does writing down what you want to say before making important phone calls.

SAMBS profile image
SAMBS in reply to Hidden

hope your Dad gets better soon! Yes I think stress is the keyword here it definitely does not help the memory Computing is getting far too technical and complicated for me this year and I started out on a Vic 20 almost 40 years ago think I'd like that one back now. It takes me too long to do anything on it now.

Hi Samba,

Like everyone here I have a serverally bad short memory, so I try to use the same password for many accounts but I sometimes have variations, I have 3 passwords that I switch around but I dont write them down (although in work due to having differently programs that im not allow to use my 3 frequently used passward i do use a program called secure pass) so not writing them down means i have to try several times but i try to link my passwords with the account i sign in with to use as a prompt but it still requires me to do use the "i have forgotten my password" button, if I can I use the remeber me feature so it logs me in automatically, as for numbers, I cant remeber phone numbers but I can remeber mine and others (bf) credit card number as for shopping list I sometimes write what I need down but generally im quite good for it what I do need to make lists of is to do list such as things I need to do to complete an assignment.

SAMBS profile image
SAMBS in reply to bexx87

hi bex, yes I,m using this lastpass program and today seems to have worked for me but still going to have the notebook because if I manage to crash this computer as well then I,ll be well and truly stumped!

Hi Sambs i had a head injury 18 years ago and my short memory has'nt improved, yet my long memory is as clear as a bell. What i do with password's,i use something which is memorable to me which no one else will know.Hope this help's.Wayne

headchild profile image
headchild in reply to wayne-c

I don't have a brain injury so blame my forgotton passwords on my age. I also write them down - except for one site I have tried to get into today which I haven't written down. ooopppsss lol

try a pass word manager like the link

SAMBS profile image
SAMBS in reply to gymrat1279

thanks Gymrat yes downloaded a password manager last night and it seems to be working ok today.

Hi Sambs, yes I too have short term memory probs, from a sah and it drives me nuts, having to reset my account constantly is such a pain, to have to keep thinking of new passwords, and remembering them,even if I write them down and input them. it always seems to not reconise it, so I have to start over again, grrrrrrrrr, how anooooying, it just makes you feel like, forget it, i wont bother, and quite often I wont anymore, even now it wont login, ive only got this far through clicking on a email link I sent from here, I also sent this site a message about this to rectify it, but ive heard nothing. but, I would of thought being a site tobe of help tohis site and so would many others cater for epilesy sufferers, they would be keen to help me continue to use it,to put all the campaining worth its while, for what its worth and for,I goto a brain injury drop in centre, in my area, and I told many there about it, as there lots there who have epilepsy from brain injuries like myself. ie; brain hemorrage led to stroke.and epilepsy. so i would really benefit from this site, like myself,so what are they going to do abot it??


Your post struck a cord with me. I went to the cash machine the other day,a very long walk and for once I remembered to take my card with me. When I got to the machine could I remember my pin of six years-no. I completely forgot and started typing in codes that were familiar to me. When I got home I found my pin and it was completely alien to me like I had never seen it before... very strange -- it happens at the most inconvenient times! I do write them down now but forget where I wrote them.

Take care


You are certainly not alone in this

cat3 profile image
cat3 in reply to Mick1971

Hi Mick. It's so easy nowadays to change your pin to something more memorable. I changed mine to the year of my birth, which has helped a great deal for me.....................regards Cat x

SAMBS profile image
SAMBS in reply to Mick1971

thanks mick yes that was my problem also losing just even a piece of paper I,d just written something on! Seems I struck a chord with a lot of people, so I wont even launch into the glasses or keys scenario :)

Hi, my memory is terrible and has taken a severe downturn in the last year. I have a trick for Passwords. I pick one word. For example: Memory. I change the first vowel to a number, thus: M3mory, then so they're all different I add a further letter to each one, So Facebook is FM3mory, (F for Face book) and Twitter is TM3mory. Hope this helps.

SAMBS profile image
SAMBS in reply to Mad_Al

thanks Mad Al - fortunately with a french keyboard its dead easy for me to do that on a couple of regular passwords.:)

It's a bit odd. For quite a few of my PINs, I use old phone numbers. When I was 5, I lived in a house in a village called Great Glen. Mum trained me to pick up the phone, and say "Great Glen, three-five-two-six*, who's that speaking, please?" I also use the area code, from a house I live in when I was 11. I have noted down in my address books: "Great Glen", or "Manor House code". I figure that is safe enough to do!

My mum and dad, and my big brother, they say they can't remember these numbers. How come I clearly remember the phone number, from when I was 8, but I can't remember moving house a year-and-a-half before the accident, or having a baby 8 months before it? (Fortunately, I love her to pieces now, but I don't remember her being tiny, at all!).

I do record passwords, too. I write down things like "bridesmaid", because I can always remember her name!

* It's not really that number. I'm paranoid, so I refuse to share it!

Sambs I had a shunt inserted in 1993 supposedly to make my life easier as i was having cluster headaches,it cured the headache problem but left me with a very bad short term memory problem and really effected me in that i now never go out and find it very hard to get involved in anything,i am now very withdrawn and down and depressed.And the doctors answer is more pills.And some of my so called friends have long deserted me,and when i do see them they tell me get a grip and sort myself out,and tell me there is nothing wrong with me,well i no longer have anything to do with them.I used to be the life and sole of everything and liked a good laugh,but thats all gone,im a totally changed person,mr grumpy if you like.I have been learning how to use computers at a head injury place called headway, and they have really helped me through my problems.You hang in there be strong,all the best for the future sambs.

SAMBS profile image
SAMBS in reply to fred57

Hi Fred57 I'm sorry to read of your situation and understand exactly what you have said because I experienced all the same things last year after my BI and Op in March - is a stent the same as a shunt?

I had expected better from ex_pat friends here, but no, same comments as you had. So after many miserable months, I upped and moved in November, not easy alone as have lived and still do, in France. However the move will give me the opportunity to start afresh where people don't know me and so will take me as they find me I hope. Like you at heart I'm a friendly, naturally sociable person and it sounds like everything is coming together for you. I'm so glad you also found Headway and that it is helping you already. I can telephone them from here for support which I did last week. You will also get a lot of support from members here on these posts, so anytime you feel like letting off steam or asking for advice just come back to the posts and add yours. sambs x

I really cannot remember much. I used to have an iPad but I forgot it on a train. Passwords are a real problem, luckily my friend lent me this computer and it remembers passwords for me. Honestly I cannot remember passwords, I have to admit it, I cannot do it!

Problems with the number of different passwords you need to have, is one reason fraudsters are having a ball, so not just TBIs.

I use cryptainer, on my laptop for both passwords and confidential documents. It's free and it does 256bit encryption, although you have to remember a password to get in to it!!!?

Info on PC World site:

Another secure method is using MEGA cloud storage again 256 encryption, even they can't see what it is, I got a free account with 50GB storage, althouth this offer may have expired:

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