Overview of Amnesia

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When people lose their ability to memorize data, they have amnesia. Amnesia also refers to an inability to recall information that is stored in memory. In simple terms, amnesia is the loss of memory. The causes of amnesia may be organic or functional. Organic causes may include brain damage through injury, or the use of specific drugs - usually sedative drugs. Amnesia may be one of the symptoms of some degenerative brain diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease. Functional causes are psychological factors, such as defense mechanisms. People with amnesia also find it hard to imagine the future, because our constructions of future scenarios are closely linked to our recollections of experiences. Being a little forgetful is completely different to having amnesia. Amnesia refers to a large-scale loss of memories that should not have been forgotten. These may include important milestones in life, memorable events, key people in our lives, and vital facts we have been told or taught (Nordqvist, 2009). There is an array of types of amnesia, but the most prominent types like anterograde, retrograde, transient global, dissociative, and traumatic affect many individuals daily. “I do not even know how long she has been gone. It is as if I have woken up in bed and she is not here... because she is gone to the bathroom or something. Somehow, I know she is never going to come back to bed. If I could just... reach over and touch... her side of the bed, I would know that it was cold, but I cannot. I know I cannot have her back... but I do not want to wake up in the morning, thinking she is still here. I lie here not knowing... how long I have been alone. So how... how can I heal? How am I supposed to heal if I cannot... feel time?” (Nolan, 2000). T... ... middle of paper ... ...s that the brain has multiple systems for storing, processing, and drawing on one’s memory. Works Cited Baddeley, A. B. (1999). Essentials of Human Memory. United Kingdom: Psychology Press. Burgener, S., & Twigg, P. (2007). A Personal Guide to Living with Progressive Memory Loss. Philadelphia : Jessica Kingsley Publishers. Dames, N. (2001). Amnesiac Selves : Nostalgia, Forgetting, and British Fiction, 1810-1870. New York: Oxford University Press. Eichenbaum, H., & Cohen, N. J. (2001). From Conditioning to Conscious Recollection. New York: Oxford University Press. Nolan, C. (Director). (2000). Memento [Motion Picture]. Nordqvist, C. (2009, July 14). What Is Amnesia? What Causes Amnesia? Retrieved from Medical News Today: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/9673.php Piotrowski, N. A. (2010). Salem Health: Psychology and Mental Health. Pasadena: Salem Press.

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