Feeling like your memory has gone MIA? It may be time to… get over it!
Memory declines with age and a few “menopause moments” are completely normal. Now, if you are still thinking: my memory is REALLY bad or I’ve completely lost it …PLEASE STOP!
The worst thing that you can do is to become self-critical. Don’t beat yourself up every time you’ve forgotten something you think you should have remembered. All this worrying about your memory and feeling like you’re not as good as you should be can lead to anxiety and depression, both of which are bad for your brain.
If you are very worried that you’re having memory problems or others have complained to you about your memory, you may want to get tested. Ask your primary care physician to refer you to a neuropsychologist for a neuropsychological assessment (doc-speak for memory testing). A good neuropsychological assessment will take a few hours, but in the end, you’ll have a good sense of how you are performing when compared to other people your age. A word of warning: neuropsychological assessments are expensive. Find out what your insurance will cover before you’re left with a colossal bill, more stress, and even worse memory!
If you are willing to become involved in research you can often get a free neuropsychological assessment at your local Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center (ADRC). These centers are funded by the National Institute on Aging and located throughout the US at major medical institutions.
Here at the University of Southern California our ADRC is part of our Memory and Aging Center (MAC) with locations in Los Angeles, Downey and Rancho Mirage. If you want more information about our center, link to our website or call Nadine Diaz, MSW at (323) 442-7600.