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Improving Concentration and Memiry

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I've had a lot of instability in my life for a long time. I've lived on my own for three and a half years. A bit over 2 years ago, after moving quite a distance for a job offer within my employer of around 7 years, my employment became unstable and folded up. I had just bought a house, and For various reasons, it wasn't viable to move back to the city. Employment has always been a major issue for people in this whole region - it is almost everywhere, but here it is worse. It took me a while to get employment, and the field I work in, had become highly casualised. Like a lot of people here, I ended up working several jobs at once (and doing volunteer work). My major job entailed that I could get work at short notice, that I worked and travelled to constantly changing settings. Some weeks, I had no work at all. Hence at one time recently, I had up to 4 jobs at the one time - one in self-employment. Despite this, my earnings have mostly been low.


I suspect there is a correlation between this, and my concern that my memory and concentration appear to have declined during this time. I try to keep my life organised. I keep an appointment diary and blackboard in my kitchen, but I find that I don't have the same concentration ability that I used to, and that sometimes I get forgetful. I have been vegetarian for the last 6 years, and recently began eating fish again as Im finding it too difficult to maintain a balanced diet. I've suffered constant anxiety over the last few years. I recently saw my doctor because I felt I was losing it mentally, and have particular concerns about my forgetfulness. He prescribed me an anti-anxiety medication which I have been taking for 4 days, and asked for me to come back in 2 weeks. Almost immediately, my sleep has improved from around 5 hours a night to 7.


Recently, I got offered a much more stable job which is presently part-time, but the hours are increasing, and my employer has stated that they would like to be increasing my hours as their business rapidly expands. Whilst my earnings are not in the high bracket, my rate of pay is the best it has been for years. So far, the organisation seems one I really want to work for, in a field I am familiar with. It has been such a relief to get this job though, it is really only this coming week that I gave work with them most days. Two of my recent jobs began folding - one will make all staff redundant by July, the other offering reduced hours through poor trading figures. When I was offered this job, I resigned from the job which will see all staff become redundant for obvious reasons as well as clashing availability hours.


My concern is that I'm frightened of stuffing up st this job (especially through forgetfulness and not thinking clearly). It actually feels like a "last chance" for me. I do believe that despite increased hours, it's much more stable as the hours and clients are regular and already gradually increasing since I signed my contract. The management people - I like them a lot so far though it's early days.


I suppose these last few years, I've had many times where Ive felt I am losing my mind. I live alone, modtly through choice. I'm not in a relationship and don't really want to be - not at this time in my life. I have a small number of people I'm in close contact with though I come in contact with a lot if people through work and volunteerism. My adult son and other people around me have noticed that I have become forgetful and that I sometimes get things confused.


I suppose aim asking if other people can relate and what some if the things are that they do to keep their minds sharp and their lives manageable. I suspect that I may have a vitamin deficiency, especially B12, and I'm going to start taking supplements.


Thank you

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Hmm. It would be helpful if you gave your age. Are you 40? 50? Where you are a vegan for all these years, it's possible some whey protein shakes could pep up your brain. You could also try using coffee as a drug to keep you alert. And there's ginkgo biloba in the herbal world you can take for alertness. What other medicines are you taking? Some of them, like blood pressure pills, can cause drowsiness. Sometimes a morning run can perk you up. It's difficult to know unless you want to talk more about your life. Is there any Alzheimer's in your family history? How much do you weigh? You might want to increase your calories and increase your exercise. You can give some of these a try and see if any works.

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My mother -who is in her early 80s! -has been doing sudoku for years now - she said that helps keep her mind sharp. Here are things that help me (I don't think I am particularly forgetful but I keep an eye on it) - cardio exercise every day -it just seems to bring things into sharp focus and because I work out as hard as I can it requires a fair amount of focusing on my muscles, on keeping to the right pace, etc. It clears my head but also sharpens things. I keep running lists of things I need to do and it relaxes me - knowing I have the list decreases the concern that I am forgetting something. Also I read every day -not on a screen - and maybe it's the reading or just the routine but also, same effect.


I've increased my water intake a lot over the past year and had already been doing pretty well with that. I wonder if that keeps me more alert and focused too - (and I've heard -but who knows if it's true -that artificial sweeteners are bad for memory)


I'm so so glad to hear you got a job that you like - they are lucky to have you and I also understand your concerns. I felt insecure when I went back to work over a year ago as I'd been out of the work force over 7 years. So even the break you had is going to trigger some anxiety.


And, just to add -sorry to ramble -I find that using my phone too much is really bad for focus/concentration.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hello Danzee and Bataya. I'm sorry I didn't realise that I had any replies to this post. I am in my late 50s. My memory seems to have greatly improved since I posted although I am continuing to have problems with anxiety. Min very recent times, the anxiety has caused me to have at least one episode of high blood pressure (when I was at doctors surgery), and have also had what is thought to be stress-induced asthma.


The job is continuing to go very well. My only concern has been that I am not on full hours yet as the organisation does not have more hours available just at the moment. It's difficult for me to get and keep a second job as employers here at least expect employees to have flexibility with hours. I've managed to get a bit of house cleaning here and there which has helped a bit.


I definitely feel better for continuing to eat tuna and salmon, and in fact, even though I'm not overweight, a few kilos have just fallen off me. When I was younger, I was mostly always very slim.


I'm starting to do crosswords again too, and make sure I read the news every day. I tank that helps as well.

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I am certain now that when I was vegetarian, i often consumed too much cheese and eggs. I find also that consuming too much sugar doesn't agree with me either. I can eat all if these things - in moderation. My favourite drink is mineral water or chilled tsp water. That us the one thing I can hardly get enough of.


Getting adequate sleep makes a difference. With the anxiety, when it wakes me through the night, I need to rest the next afternoon.


It seems that now aim dealing with the Memiry issues, it's become more apparent that my major problem us anxiety. Since the blood pressure issue was discovered, aive been prescribed a different medication so will update on how that goes. Thanks again.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm happy you're getting a handle on it, and would like to add a few tips.



Reduction in complex problem solving and blood flow could be the cause your symptoms.


Did you ever have a carotid artery ultrasound and nuclear stress test on your heart? (Non-Nuke stress tests are a waste of money, and do not find blockages!)

If not, get tested. (The word "cheese" scares me.)


While puzzles/other mind games are fun, they only provide a boost during the learning phase.

Like learning a new language and other mass-media "cures", their effectiveness ends once mastered.


Work, on the other hand, especially in a growing company, can provide an endless stream of mental challenges.

If embraced, your brain will be able to do things you never thought possible. (eg, Your second age of reasoning!)



PS, Limit TV and "smart" phone use. (Staring at) They're both brain killers.

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