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Author Topic: BEHAVIORs: Memory lapses  (Read 7906 times)
jonathan1971

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« on: May 20, 2009, 08:02:33 AM »

I have a question regarding how well someone with BPD remembers things from the past and how or if relationships evolve to closer understanding of each other.

For example my exuBPDgf would sometimes forget places we had been and tell me things about her past, completely forgetting that she'd told me quite a few times before.  I know we all do this sometimes but she seemed to have memory blanks.

My other question is to do with the evolution time in the relationship.  As much as I tried, I always felt as though the relationship wasn't progressing to a deeper, comfortable love that happens after the initial stages.  It was as though she didn't want or was unable to get to know me on a more emotional level and after 5 years it still felt like we we're just dating, despite living together for some of this time.  I feel a lot of this was due to investing a lot of myself to her and not having a true partner that cared about me.  She would drift of into her own mind and I would feel quite alone with her in a strange way.  Is this common in a BPD relationship?
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arjay
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« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2009, 07:59:09 PM »

... .My 'ex' had "evenings" she couldn't remember.  Either that or it was an excuse for her behavior.

I know she did have several episodes of "dissociating", where triggers would send her into a state that she often feared everyone including me.  The "T"  told me those episodes were real.  They lasted typical less than 30 minutes.  She never rememebered them, or what transpired during the episode.  I could see the "emotional shift" take place.

Peace
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JoannaK
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« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2009, 08:35:11 PM »

Many with BPD have memory problems.  It could be that he was disassociating as arjay mention; it could be a side effect of the drugs.  The benzodaizepines (Xanax) can play havoc with memory, especially if taken in concert with other drugs.  Or it could be that he just mixes his memories sometime. 

For instance, I'm never sick.  I rarely have a cold, have hardly ever missed work for illness... .  My exh's mother was always sick, always had some kind of attack or a "spell".  Well, one time I was down with the flu, and my exh looked at me and said, "You're sick all of the time."  I was completely taken aback, but I believe that he was mixing his memories of his mother, who was always ill, with me.
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amfloorinc

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« Reply #3 on: June 01, 2009, 12:04:01 PM »

Memory loss was extraordinarily common with my xBPDgf.  I came to understand that there was no changing her mind regarding her loss of memory or, more frustrating, substitute memory.  I literally played back audio and video tapes of her episodes, which she could still deny.
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Nomoreblues
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« Reply #4 on: June 03, 2009, 09:03:31 AM »

yes, strange memory and strange notion of time. No memories from childhood (now a red flag for me if I meet someone), could one day remember where we'd been and then an other time she couldn't. Didn't remember things I told her but again so many things I said were never forgotten ;-). As far as time is concerned, it was like it didn't exist, we were NC for 6 months, she showed up and  asked "how lang has it been since... ." I said "6 months" she said "noo we've spoken in between" and I asekd "when?" and when I mentioned the dates she sat there mouth open, totally confused. Future also, "in a year... .two years" didn't exist and every difficult decision was pushed away to infinity (3 years in her thinking). So one day she called me after 3 months of NC and some mails. If I was interested to go dating with her... .I was stunned... .dating like a first time after 3 years of all this?
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Skip
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« Reply #5 on: October 01, 2010, 07:04:23 AM »

Amnesia is clearly a defense mechanism and a survival method.

In most cases, people begin to process the traumatic experience immediately by asking: What happened? Why did it happen? Why did I act the way I did? "In attempting to answer these questions," said Charles R. Figley, Ph.D., director of the Psychosocial Stress Research Program, Florida State University at Tallahassee., "their findings become so painful that they very gradually and selectively begin to forget." The memory loss serves as a means of getting people through the long crisis period following the trauma. "It is much better to delay the full realization of what you are attempting to cope with until you are in a better position to deal with it."

For children subjected to sexual and physical abuse, delaying full realization often means that amnesia is retained well into adulthood. It is the adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse who have put psychogenic amnesia in the spotlight over the last few years. A few have successfully taken their abusers to court decades after the abuse ended. That the courts have begun to rule in their favor signals recognition of memory repression.

Most survivors of prolonged child abuse show massive memory loss extending to whole portions of their childhood. But some exhibit selective amnesia. At the time her memoir was first published, Sylvia Fraser told Healthfacts that she had excellent recall for many details of her early life. ("I can even remember the name of the kid who was the mil monitor in first grade." Yet Fraser completely blotted out all memory of the abuse that began at the age of two and a half and continued throughout her childhood.

"Massive memory repression appears to be one of the few adaptive resources available t6 young children that enables them to deal with overwhelming trauma," wrote Judith Lewis Herman, M.D., assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and author of Father-daughter Incest (Harvard University Press, 1981). "With the return of memory, the patient has the opportunity as an adult to integrate an experience that was beyond her capacity to endure as a child."    Link to soource article
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Trillian

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« Reply #6 on: February 21, 2011, 12:22:59 PM »

Often a pwBPD will act as if nothing happened after a rage incident. Whether it is the next day or several months later, they do not refer to what happened, let alone apologise. I have talked to several people who have tried to bring the incident up, either in conversations or e-mail, but the pwBPD seems unable to speak about it. Is this just a result of them not wanting to admit to having raged in this way -- or do they genuinely not remember?
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msherman

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« Reply #7 on: February 01, 2012, 04:20:19 AM »

Hello,

My daughter is on a combination of welbutrin, Lamotrigne, serequel, and adderol.  Does anyone know if a combination of these meds causes an inability to study, create, aka write papers for university?  Hard to know if this is a truth or attention/sympathy seeking?  Or another reason to start a fight with me (mom)?

I want to believe my daughter when she tells (yells) this at me, cries and says her life is the s*&^%$))s due to her memory issues,  inability to function, cannot put words onto paper anymore, etc.  But each time I try and give her some comforting words, they are "wrong" and I get chastized once again.  The best I can do is remain silent, which infuriates her as well as "I have nothing to say and am not supportive"  Sigh.  It is painful to see your own child dealing with these issues. 

Any thoughts?
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leopardprintgirl

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« Reply #8 on: February 21, 2012, 11:41:20 AM »

I have had terrible memory problems.

I couldn't remember my childhood, and had huge gaps in my memory. I would get confused as to when things happened.

I have not been 'present' for most of my life. I became dissociated as a child, and am recovering now.

My parents, narcissists, as part of the abuse, would lie to me about things that had happened. This is called gaslighting. I learned not to trust my own thoughts. I had no idea what was real and what wasn't. This added to my feeling of unreality.

I would be constantly flipping 'modes' and regressing. This is why BPDers seem to recover from incidents, and why everyone around from them is still reeling. I could have said the most foul things, but then snap back into 'me' mode, and would forget about what I'd just said.

Our different 'modes' carry different memories and emotions. We are not integrated or 'whole' people, which is why it's so hard to retain a memory because our minds are so fragmented.
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dah1029
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« Reply #9 on: February 21, 2012, 11:57:33 AM »

These BPD memory losses kind of reminds me of a person with Multiple Personality Disorder.  Which I have no experience with other than college Psych classes, and actors on tv. 
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leopardprintgirl

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« Reply #10 on: February 21, 2012, 12:21:49 PM »

These BPD memory losses kind of reminds me of a person with Multiple Personality Disorder.  Which I have no experience with other than college Psych classes, and actors on tv. 

In my opinion, BPD is a mini form of DID.

I hallucinate, dissociate and hear voices when I'm overloaded or upset. I would have episodes of being abuses, where my boyfriend would say my face and mannerisms changed, like I had been 'replaced'.

People with BPD have no 'self' so make up parts as they go along. I would mimick people I was with, or try to copy people I admired and recreate their characteristics. I was empty and let other people define me.

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oceanheart
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« Reply #11 on: February 21, 2012, 12:52:54 PM »

I wonder if partially it's because pwBPD are so focused on their internal monologue that they do not attend to outside events? Like, how could you remember a movie you watched when you had headphones in blasting loud music?

Or maybe a more truer analogy would be there is a movie already playing in our heads - with its own plot, characterization, soundtrack - so that it drowns out the movie playing in the theatre we're sitting in.

I know it's more complex than that, just a thought... .
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hijodeganas
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« Reply #12 on: February 21, 2012, 01:03:54 PM »

I wonder if partially it's because pwBPD are so focused on their internal monologue that they do not attend to outside events? Like, how could you remember a movie you watched when you had headphones in blasting loud music?

Or maybe a more truer analogy would be there is a movie already playing in our heads - with its own plot, characterization, soundtrack - so that it drowns out the movie playing in the theatre we're sitting in.

I know it's more complex than that, just a thought... .

Doesn't this apply to everyone?
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oceanheart
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« Reply #13 on: February 22, 2012, 08:18:48 AM »

Doesn't this apply to everyone?

Doesn't a lot of the behavior? Isn't it partially degree of severity?

And perhaps I should have specified that it is often a horror movie going on in a pwBPD's head... .
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Sir5r
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« Reply #14 on: February 22, 2012, 10:41:06 AM »

These BPD memory losses kind of reminds me of a person with Multiple Personality Disorder.  Which I have no experience with other than college Psych classes, and actors on tv.  



In my opinion, BPD is a mini form of DID.


I hallucinate, dissociate and hear voices when I'm overloaded or upset. I would have episodes of being abuses, where my boyfriend would say my face and mannerisms changed, like I had been 'replaced'.

People with BPD have no 'self' so make up parts as they go along. I would mimick people I was with, or try to copy people I admired and recreate their characteristics. I was empty and let other people define me.

I agree with  this, lets not forget the origins of the term "Borderline" come from  moving between Neurosis to Psychosis  - on the Border of each.  

This may be why Schema therapy has been so effective as it deals with the "Schemes" or "Personas" that a BPD presents when in "Fight or Flight" Mode.  

I have seen my wife's face when raging and she certainly doesn't look like "her major player" is in charge.  If each persona is an emotional state taken from of a set of prior experience (Memories) then it's those memories that cause that behavior.  

Given that, some "personas" will have better recall of certain memories.  

The memories are always there but their recall isn't the same.

That's my take anyway.


Sir5r
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leopardprintgirl

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« Reply #15 on: February 22, 2012, 11:21:09 AM »

These BPD memory losses kind of reminds me of a person with Multiple Personality Disorder.  Which I have no experience with other than college Psych classes, and actors on tv.  



In my opinion, BPD is a mini form of DID.


I hallucinate, dissociate and hear voices when I'm overloaded or upset. I would have episodes of being abuses, where my boyfriend would say my face and mannerisms changed, like I had been 'replaced'.

People with BPD have no 'self' so make up parts as they go along. I would mimick people I was with, or try to copy people I admired and recreate their characteristics. I was empty and let other people define me.

I agree with  this, lets not forget the origins of the term "Borderline" come from  moving between Neurosis to Psychosis  - on the Border of each.  

This may be why Schema therapy has been so effective as it deals with the "Schemes" or "Personas" that a BPD presents when in "Fight or Flight" Mode.  

I have seen my wife's face when raging and she certainly doesn't look like "her major player" is in charge.  If each persona is an emotional state taken from of a set of prior experience (Memories) then it's those memories that cause that behavior.  

Given that, some "personas" will have better recall of certain memories.  

The memories are always there but their recall isn't the same.

That's my take anyway.


Sir5r

Yes, each ‘mode’ carries a memory and a purpose. The rage and abusive behaviour stems from the childhood abuse. It’s a maladaptive protector, reenacting the abuse to keep the person with BPD ‘safe’. This is also the part responsible for the self-harming behaviour.

I started to do Trauma Release Exercises, and my rage reduced dramatically and I became less fragmented. I became unlocked from cycle of trauma. I use Mindfulness to pull me out of the modes/ identities and unwanted memories.

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Inner Healer

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« Reply #16 on: January 11, 2013, 05:53:33 AM »

Its quite safe to assume that persons with BPD may experience very distressing emotions and thoughts much of the time. Perhaps this intense and prolonged daily stress affects their ability to recall details of recent conversations or the placement of private belongings.

Medications could also add to these memory or focus deficits. Heated arguments and accusations could result if BPD and/or medications are involved.

Are there any reliable studies on memory deficits for persons with BPD?

Regards

Inner Healer

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SeaCliff
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« Reply #17 on: January 14, 2013, 08:44:06 PM »

There have been some medical studies which noted that people with BPD traits who were abused as young children may have smaller Hippocampus and Amygdala (the "fear and stress center" of the Limbic System or "Emotional Brain" as adults.

The Hippocampus is a horse-shoe shaped area of the brain which plays an important role in consolidating information from short-term memory into long-term memory. It is part of the Limbic System, which is a brain region associated with emotions and long-term memories. The Hippocampus is involved in such complex processes as forming, organizing, and storing memories.

As a result, many pwBPD traits may experience poor memory, impulse control problems, panic attacks, anxiety, and an inability to fully regulate their emotions partly due to these smaller parts of their brain, in many cases.

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GreenMango
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« Reply #18 on: March 22, 2013, 03:53:30 AM »

There is some research on cognition (or thinking patterns/brain functioning) in these areas.

Here is one study that does meta-analysis on some of the disturbances in functioning and memory is listed as one of the impairments

Quote from: idea.library.drexel.edu/bitstream/1860/2618/1/2006175355.pdf


Psychiatry Research. 2005 Dec 15;137(3):191-202. Epub 2005 Nov 17.

The neuropsychology of borderline personality disorder: a meta-analysis and review.

Ruocco AC.

Source: Department of Psychology, Drexel University, 245 N. 15th Street, Mail Stop 626, Philadelphia, PA 19102-1192, USA. acr32@drexel.edu

Abstract

The neuropsychological profile of borderline personality disorder (BPD) is unclear.  Past investigations have produced seemingly inconsistent results of precisely what neuropsychological deficits characterize the patient with BPD.  A meta-analysis of 10 studies was conducted comparing BPD and healthy comparison groups on select neuropsychological measures comprising six domains of functioning: attention, cognitive flexibility, learning and memory, planning, speeded processing, and visuospatial abilities.  BPD participants performed more poorly than controls across all neuropsychological domains, with mean effect sizes (Cohen’s d) ranging from -.29 for cognitive flexibility to -1.43 for planning.  The results suggest that persons with BPD perform more poorly than healthy comparison groups in multiple neurocognitive domains and that these deficits may be more strongly lateralized to the right hemisphere.  Although neuropsychological testing appears to be sensitive to the neurocognitive deficits of BPD, the clinical utility of these results is limited.  Implications of these findings for future neurocognitive investigations of BPD are discussed.

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SuperJew82
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« Reply #19 on: February 24, 2017, 08:49:01 AM »

I honestly believe my exdBPDgf would really forget things that happened. I have several cases to support this. I also believe she often remembered distorted versions of what really happened. I'm not saying that they don't lie. Everyone lies. I think they have more reasons to lie to avoid the pain that nons don't understand.  During one of her lucid moments, she once told me she hated lying. She said that she wouldn't even realize it happened until after it came out of her mouth and she would regret it almost immediately, but she had to keep building upon it because being caught in a lie would be too painful.
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