Coping and support
Living with amnesia can be frustrating for those with memory loss, and for their family and friends, too. People with more-severe forms of amnesia may require direct assistance from family, friends or professional caregivers.
It can be helpful to talk with others who understand what you're going through, and who may be able to provide advice or tips on living with amnesia. Ask your doctor if he or she knows of a support group in your area for people with amnesia and their loved ones.
If an underlying cause for the amnesia is identified, there are national organizations that can provide additional information or support for the individual and their families. Examples include:
- The Alzheimer's Association (800-272-3900)
- The Brain Injury Association of America (800-444-6443)
Because damage to the brain can be a root cause of amnesia, it's important to take steps to minimize your chance of a brain injury. For example:
- Avoid excessive alcohol use.
- Wear a helmet when bicycling and a seat belt when driving.
- Treat any infection quickly so that it doesn't have a chance to spread to the brain.
- Seek immediate medical treatment if you have any symptoms that suggest a stroke or brain aneurysm, such as a severe headache or one-sided numbness or paralysis.
Aug. 25, 2017
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- Longo DL, et al., eds. Aphasia, memory loss, and other focal cerebral disorders. In: Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine. 19th ed. New York, N.Y.: McGraw-Hill Education; 2016. http://accessmedicine.mhmedical.com.Accessed June 7, 2017.
- Ropper AH, et al. Delirium and other acute confusional states. In: Adams & Victor's Principles of Neurology. 10th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2014. http://accessmedicine.mhmedical.com. Accessed June 7, 2017.
- Woodruff BK (expert opinion). Phoenix, Ariz. July 17, 2017.
- Dementia and the role of occupational therapy. The American Occupational Therapy Association, Inc. https://www.aota.org/About-Occupational-Therapy/Professionals/MH/Dementia.aspx. Accessed June 8, 2017.
- Strategies for short-term memory loss. Brain Aneurysm Foundation. https://www.bafound.org/patient-resources/recovery/strategies-for-short-term-memory-loss/. Accessed June 8, 2017.
- Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/traumaticbraininjury/prevention.html. Accessed June 8, 2017.
- Stroke warning signs and symptoms. American Stroke Association. http://www.strokeassociation.org/STROKEORG/WarningSigns/Stroke-Warning-Signs-and-Symptoms_UCM_308528_SubHomePage.jsp. Accessed June 8, 2017.