Can worries affect one’s memory? (Part 1)

Dr. Fritz Espedilla

DEAR Dr. Fritz,

I have been following your column and I hope you can also help me with my dilemma.

My friend noticed that I often have memory lapses and shared that it may be caused by too much worrying. I actually tried to refute because I haven’t heard of the connection before. Nevertheless, as I reflect on my activities, I have to admit that I worry a lot. I like to know if there’s really an explanation between memory lapses and worrying.

Thank you for your attention and may God be with you always.

Jonna of Tugbok, Davao City

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Dear Jonna of Tugbok,

Yes. Your friend is right. There is a connection between memory lapses, worrying, and stress. As a matter of fact, have you noticed that during the times of worries and stress, you forget things? Don’t fret, this is common and so normal. We can always relate that when we are mentally burdened by too many things, we may be able to manage things normally for some time. But, this wouldn’t last long. Sooner or later, we will feel unfocused, forgetful and even exhausted.

Here’s what happens here. Worry distracts us from giving our attention to anything. We tend to only focus on our worries and sad to say, nothing more. OK, let’s get some scenario here. Imagine yourself getting some wax treatments to remove some unwanted hairs. Now, to make you get the focus off from the pains from hair removal, you tried to listen to some music. Now, as the procedure is going on, do you think you can still remember what music you were listening to, by then? Is it not that you give more attention to the hair removal than to the music you listened? This is normal because your system goes on emergency zone or on a high alert level, because you feel that you are being threatened and that would limit your focus from something else.

Oh, oh, I would have wanted to start now for the in-depth discussion, but, since we are running of space for now, so, let me then, continue this in my next issue. Until then!

Dr. Fritz

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Dr. Fritz Legarde Espedilla is an aesthetic dermatologist and surgeon and a clinical sexologist. She is also trained in hypnotherapy and Medical Acupuncture. She has been in the broadcast media for more than a decade and has written a book based on her 15 year stint with her radio program, “Healthy is Sexy Secrets ni Dr. Fritz.” She is also a faculty in a College of Pharmacy. For your questions, you may send them to Dear Dr. Fritz, c/o SunStar-Davao Publishing Inc., Ebro-Pelayo Building, Jacinto St., Davao City, (former Department of Foreign Affairs office), across Ateneo de Davao University and beside Holy Child School of Davao, or you e-mail them to dokfritz@yahoo.com. If you don’t wish your letter to be published, we regret that we cannot answer them. Thank you for your understanding.