Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), chronic, persistent anxiety that is often disproportionate and/or irrational, can have a negative effect on an individual’s memory. Stress and anxiety can distract from what is going on around us, making it more difficult to focus on actions and conversations. Some describe it as “walking through a fog,” where the people and situations around them seem distant and unclear, making it extremely difficult to remember things such as where you parked or what someone said to you. Medications and therapies that treat anxiety and stress will likely result in improved memory function. There are memory tricks that can be learned for short-term help until more permanent remedies take hold.
Anxiety can lead to serious mental health problems such as depression, substance abuse, and even suicide. It can interfere with the ability to focus and learn causing school problems that can have lifelong impact. Anxiety disorders are highly treatable, and the earlier they are diagnosed, the easier they are to treat. Plains Area Mental Health professionals can help treat anxiety and stress. Please call one of our offices or take our free on-line assessment found on this website.
P.S. Working memory, which helps us keep tabs on what we’re doing while we’re doing it, is most often affected by anxiety and stress, which make tasks more difficult and less timely.