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Retrograde Amnesia: What Makes A Good Friend Lose Great Memories

30-Apr-2015.By: ENIFOME Emmanuel


Jeremy was a guy everybody saw around, though most people didn’t know him personally, he was still someone we all shook hands with and nodded to with a warm smile. Jeremy had attended a couple of Salsa classes with us and even hung out together at the bar after our group’s winning at the National Salsa Competition, but none of us did know him well enough.

When the news came to us that he was slowly dying and losing his memory as a result of an inoperable cancer tumour in his brain, we were saddened and began to think, Jeremy isn’t just the guy we know, he is our friend, and it hurt us so terribly that we might lose him and that he will no longer have a memory of our lives, or faint history as it may be.

As we no longer saw Jeremy in our weekend rehearsals, we decided to see how we can visit him, our friend, and find ways we can be helpful to him.

Although living with Amnesia can be depressing, Jeremy’s mom reassures herself of hope, and tries to jog his memory by the home therapy she includes with his clinical treatment.

Retrograde amnesia – which Jeremy suffers from, is one of the different types of Amnesia that exist, and can cause an individual to loss memory of activities before the incident that lead to their Amnesia.

Most people who suffer from Retrograde Amnesia like Jeremy, suffer as a result of a brain tumour, brain trauma or injuries sustained to the brain, According to Wikipedia, it occurs in the brain part mainly linked with episodic and declarative memory including autobiographical information.

Wikipedia also says, memory loss can also be selective or categorical, manifested by a person’s inability to remember events related to a specific incident or topic.

A severe case will cause the sufferer to completely forget their identity, this is referred to as Global or Generalized Amnesia. Though this condition may sometimes cause partial damage to the brain, it is still very much classified as a serious condition.

It is also important to note that some cases of temporary Amnesia are caused by sedatives like drugs, alcohol and cannabis or hypnotic drugs, but this is not the case of our friend.

Amnesia which is used to describe all types of memory loss, caused by brain damage or psychological trauma, the extent of memory loss is usually determined by the extent of damage done.

People who suffer from Amnesia are known as Amnesiacs, though we hate to call Jeremy that.

In dealing with loved ones who suffer Amnesia, adequate care, patience and support is what is required and a familiar environment is needed to help sufferers recover, or manage the situation.

Avoid making remarks that can cause your loved one withdraw, or feel depressed.

Researching and having knowledge on the causes, symptom and management/treatment procedure on Amnesia will help you understand and manage the condition with your loved one.

There are a lot of therapies that can benefit your loved one, psychotherapy, drug medication, family therapy, creative therapy, clinical hypnosis. Being involved in their lives will give you insight to what your loved one is going through, and help them put the pieces of their lives together.

Learning how to react in cases when they are dissociative will help you too.

Because your loved one may not understand the condition due to memory loss, it is advised, you help them get a trusted medical provider they can be comfortable with.

In cases where their condition is treatable, do not neglect your ill loved one, the earlier they are treated, the earlier they can improve and live a normal healthy life.

Sometimes with therapy and support, the memories come back, but in cases where they don’t, it is essential to make good use of your time with your loved ones, like we are doing with Jeremy.

Spend time with your loved one at their own pace to help rekindle the type relationship you previously had, commit to ensuring your loved one has a quality life, by creating new fond memories together.

People say Amnesia makes the sufferer lose his personality, more appropriately the soul, but when we visit Jeremy we still see a man with a soul, a man who we didn’t really know but want to keep as friend forever.

Last Updated: 13-Jul-2017 10:09 AM





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