Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"I'm having memory issues and blackouts not induced by alcohol or drug abuse, any advice?"
The past month or so I've been noticing that I'm losing entire blocks of time from my days. There will be a period of time I cannot account for at all. The other day I spent the whole day with my boyfriend and I can't remember 3 full hours of it. He filled me in on conversations we had, things I did, etc., and it felt like I had done those things months ago and I could only vaguely remember some of them, others not at all. And something that just started happening is this sense of a false reality I have been getting. Sometimes I feel like what is happening to me at that moment isn't really happening, it feels like a dream or something. I don't do drugs, I'm not on any prescription meds or even over the counter meds, and I only have one or two beers every two weeks or so. I am almost 23 years old, I exercise regularly, and I'm in pretty good health. Any idea what this could be? Thank you, I really appreciate your time.
These symptoms could be caused by all sorts of things, and since they've been going on for more than a month without getting better, I would definitely recommend that you go to see your primary care doctor. Your doctor will be able to perform a more detailed examination and ask questions to help get to the bottom of this. I'm glad to hear that you are not using any alcohol or street drugs, as that was definitely my first thought when I read the question! Other than those common causes, it is possible to have this kind of sensation induced simply by extreme stress or fatigue, so the first thing your doctor will want to do is investigate your sleeping, work, and social habits to see if there is anything obvious. If not, it may be necessary to consider other causes. For example, a problem with the thyroid gland could cause many of these symptoms of memory problem and "mental slowness". Similarly, a true sleep disorder, such as sleep apnea, might cause the symptoms, particularly if there is a history of snoring or gasping during sleep. Finally, in some cases, these "spacing out" episodes might be signs of a subtle seizure disorder. Please speak with your doctor.
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