Some perfectly healthy people can’t remember their own lives

Psychologists in Canada think they’ve identified an entirely new memory syndrome in healthy people characterised by a specific inability to re-live their past. This may sound like a form of amnesia, but the three individuals currently described have no history of brain damage or illness and have experienced no known recent psychological trauma or disturbance.

In light of the recent discovery that some people have an uncanny ability to recall their lives in extreme detail, known as hyperthymesia or “highly superior autobiographical memory“, Daniela Palombo and her team suggest their syndrome is at the opposite extreme and they propose the label “severely deficient autobiographical memory”.

The researchers describe three individuals with the postulated syndrome: AA is a 52-year-old married woman; BB is a 40-year-old single man; and CC is a 49-year-old man living with his partner. All three are high functioning in their everyday lives, they have jobs, yet they also claim a life-long inability to recollect and relive past events from a first-person perspective (a condition they became fully aware of in their late teens or early adulthood). Their memory for facts and skills is completely normal. Two of the individuals had experienced depression many years earlier, but there was no evidence of this persisting.

Through intense neuropsychological testing for intelligence, memory and mental performance, the three individuals mostly scored normally or higher than normal. One key exception was poor performance on the ability to draw a complex figure from memory. The researchers think this visual memory deficit could be key to understanding their lack of autobiographical memories.

To test their memories of their lives, the researchers interviewed AA, BB and CC about various incidents from their pasts – a mixture of questions about generic life events and also personal incidents the participants proposed themselves after looking at their calendars or consulting loved ones.

Compared to fifteen comparison participants (matched with the target participants for age and educational background), the impaired participants were able to provide significantly fewer autobiographical, first-person details from their teen and youth years. For more recent events, the impaired participants’ recall appeared more normal, but the researchers think this is due to a combination of conservative scoring (when in doubt the researchers scored reminisces as autobiographical in nature), and the participants having learned compensation strategies such as studying diaries and photos and substituting their lack of autobiographical memory for memory of facts and semantic detail.

From a subjective perspective, the impaired participants described their own memories of past events from both distant and more recent times as almost completely lacking a first-person perspective or involving any sense of “re-experiencing”. They also struggled to imagine future events, consistent with the idea that memory and future imagination involve shared mental processes.

Brain scans of the impaired participants uncovered no evidence of brain damage or illness, but when they attempted to recall autobiographical details from their pasts, there was less activity in key brain regions associated with autobiographical memory, compared with control participants. This included the medial prefrontal cortex and the precuneus and parts of the temporal lobes. The right-sided hippocampus (an important brain area for memory) was slightly smaller in the impaired participants compared with controls. Whether cause or consequence, this might be relevant to their deficits but it also argues against the new syndrome merely being an instance of “developmental amnesia”, which in contrast is characterised by a drastic lack of brain volume in areas involved in memory.

The researchers urge caution given their small sample, and they admit that many questions remain. Yet they state “there is no evidence to support a neurological or psychiatric explanation for our findings”. If this research generates enough interest, I wonder if other healthy people will come forward and describe their own absence of autobiographical memories. This is what’s happened with some other neuropsychological syndromes recently, such as “developmental prosopagnosia“, which is  the term for otherwise healthy people who have a specific difficulty remembering and recognising faces.

Palombo and her team say “our goal was to describe the ‘severely deficient autobiographical memory’ cases’ cognitive syndrome and associated neuroimaging findings in as much detail as possible in order to stimulate further research on the nature of individual differences in episodic autobiographical memory…”. A crucial question they note, is “whether these findings reflect an extreme on a continuum of ability in episodic autobiographical recollection, or, they may be qualitatively set apart from the normal distribution of mnemonic capacities.”

UPDATE: The researchers have a website providing information on this new syndrome; you can also take part in a survey there and join a forum to share your experiences.


Palombo, D., Alain, C., Söderlund, H., Khuu, W., & Levine, B. (2015). Severely deficient autobiographical memory (SDAM) in healthy adults: A new mnemonic syndrome Neuropsychologia, 72, 105-118 DOI: 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2015.04.012

further reading
Remembering together – How long-term couples develop interconnected memory systems

Post written by Christian Jarrett (@psych_writer) for the BPS Research Digest.

55 thoughts on “Some perfectly healthy people can’t remember their own lives”

  1. Hello…..
    I would like to ask you about me. Why I can’t remember happened to me in 2009-2015.

  2. I cannot remember my past. I was a Marine in Vietnam 67-69 and I don’t hardly remember anything or anyone. My childhood was not easy to say the least and I am actually thankful that to me it was just a blur. Unless it is recent it seems I will eventually loose memory. This has been going on for years and it is frustrating. I am now 67.

      1. They mean that they can’t remember their childhood, but what they do remember was not very good. Sometimes I can only get feelings from a time frame but no memories.

    1. I am the same, can’t vividly recall my 2 children being born.My husband’s traumatic last hours while dying from stomache cancer.Just about all of my life.Going home to U.K. to see family I haven’t seen for years and am so dreading when they start saying do you remember this… .BLANK do you remember that BLANK…You are not alone.

      1. There REALLY needs to be more studies done on this. I’m sitting here tearing up because I can’t remember my kids, wedding, or anything longer than 2 years ago at most. It’s debilitating not knowing or remembering things. My friend that’s 10 years younger than me just died…someone said “remember when we were in his wedding?”. No…I don’t. This really sucks and I feel like I’m loosing my mind.

  3. Hey my name is Mark and I cannot remember anything that has EVER really taken place in my life. I try not to make it sound theatrical when explaining it but I feel nobody understands the extent of my lack of memories or even being able to retain new information. This is the closest thing I have come close to connecting with. I want to remember my life and have tried to unlock my subconscious psyche to extract anything but anything I find seems more like facts in a text book. I would love some feed back on the situation if possible.

    1. I understand, when you find that moment where by accident you find yourself in a situation where you have to explain your loss of memory and for me I live in a constant present state, you get these blank stares like your some kind of weirdo.

      1. wow . i have the same issue. i am 27 and remembering things from my past, even a few days ago, seems nearly impossible. it always amazed me when people tell stories of their past experiences. i am simply not able to do it. it is frustrating at times. i do live very much in the present. planning for my future is also very very difficult.

    2. I’m the same way. My sister, also early 40’s, can rattle off stories of our childhood with specific details. I close my eyes & I can’t see jack. Strange.

  4. Im trying to find out about my past i do not remember and i came across this condition called
    -Severely deficient autobiographical memory. It sounds like me whenever i want to remember anything from my past i have to call my girlfriends because they remember about my past and i dont.
    Please contact me throughmy email

  5. I am so happy that i am not alone in this I agree with all of you. The best way I’ve been able to make any sense or even explain it is that we know the information we just can’t recall it. But I could be wrong we could really be forgetting or somehow dumping our memories. I also wanted to let everyone know that I am very very very sure it could possibly be passed down to our children one of my girls shows all the signs that I do. And it terrifies me for my child. I don’t want her to suffer from this. Good luck to you all and I pray one day soon someone will believe us and find a way to end or lessen our suffering.

    1. I’ve been suffering from this “condition” my entire life (I can only assume since I don’t remember when it started) and I must agree that my symptoms match the majority of descriptions here. My observations also seem to point to genetics (from my mother’s side). Fear of passing this on to my future children has essentially convinced me not to have them out of moral principal. I pray it’s not genetic, but by the time researchers pinpoint the cause (possibly find a solution) it won’t matter anyway. I’m 35. I’ve been through all possible medical tests including psychological. If anyone here wants to help in getting to the bottom of this then don’t wait for doctors to come to you or look for sympathy from people who simply have no concept of what type of life you live and mental challenges you face – ever hear your friends say “yeah, I have the same thing” or “everyone has memory problems”?. Get out and look for answers even if it has to be through the process of elimination. Another symptom that has always been with me is the inability to chronologically organize events. Any “snapshots” of events that survive “the fade” just go into a big bucket and are recalled helter skelter. Memories of experiences typically disappear completely between 2-4 weeks. Cramming has allowed me to get through university and learn skills (motor skills stay, mental skills disappear as quickly as physical experiences though). Being open and getting to know people well is the only way of having a chance of remembering who they are, character-wise. Introverts with this condition will forget people significantly quicker and have the impression they have no-one to count on, eventually leading to depression. Be an extrovert – it’ll help overcome the psychological pressure and encourage friends and family to jog your memory. Just some pointers from “experience”. :P. Good luck to all of you, this is just the beginning!

  6. What ever this is I think I have the same thing .I can’t remember things will even if I experienced personally.

  7. So glad I am not alone in this.. my friends and family can’t understand why I don’t remember much, although I seem to remember events that were more traumatic in my past..

  8. I feel I can’t remember anything in the past
    Childhood etc

    All is 90 % blank

    Even work and life. movies can’t remember Jack

    1. So weird I said Jack in a response above, honestly before I read your comment. Sweet.

    1. Movies, lovers, friends, family.
      It’s everything I struggle with remembering. I use to think it was from an accident, simply because I had quite a few as a professional cyclist. It’s not. What’s worst is my son always have to fill me in on past experiences we had and I feel so awful

  9. I too have this same issue. I’m 45 and have never been able to remember anything that happened to me in my past. I suspect it may be from a not-so-great childhood (divorced parents, no love in our home, no role models, very stressful all through high school) and long term damage this did to my brain. Not being able to remember prevents me from really understanding what happened to me, and so this inability to remember anything has ruined my life in so many ways that I simply couldn’t begin to describe.
    By the time I returned from college, I came back to a giant void. Anything prior to the present day is also void. Just remembering what I did last week is very very difficult.

    I’ll add that even short term memory isn’t so great. For example, I simply cannot remember a string of numbers (say a telephone number) beyond the first 4 character. I’m terrified of my situation, and I’m very sorry for anyone else who has whatever I have.

    I am trying to do what the prior poster suggests in taking many many photos. unfortunately I can’t offer any words of encouragement to others beyond sharing my story.

  10. Wow, glad i found this page, comfort in knowing i’m not the only one with this issue. I’ve noticed for me i can remember some things up to about 3 yrs, then it’s just not there. I’ve had to look at pictures to see where and what was going on in that year, that month, etc. So frustrating- wishing for little things like the first time i held my grandchildren (and i was at their births). Just can’t picture it in my mind at all. I used to blame a traumatic event that happened 30yrs ago or a bad childhood (over 50 yrs ago) but just don’t see how those things could cause this problem for so long.

  11. I have the same thing, I cannot recall my past/childhood. I cannot recall my teen years, I’m 30 now I barely remember collage, I know my memory is ok bc I’m a doctor and have to retain a lot of info, but I cannot remember my life and before I didn’t care, but now I’m scared I’ll forget all the fun times life gives…

  12. I at one time thought I was the only one with this issue. If it weren’t for photos and my wife telling me things I wouldn’t remember anything. Everything in my past is just a blur. I remember little bits and pieces. I had an awful childhood (raised in foster care) but I can’t recall any details. I spent 67-68-69 in Vietnam USMC yet I don’t remember any names not even a face. It appears I live in a constant present state.

  13. I have being worry for many years about this condition SDAM . I have talked to my wife and relay in her to remember some episodes back in my life (we have being married for 47 years and have been, almost our entire relationship together e.g. parties,vacation etc etc)
    I have good memory on facts going back many years like history, geopolitical events, geography knowledge, vocabulary and I even speak two languages fluently (speak and write) am not perfect but pretty good in gramma and vocabulary -both- not good with names, but can almost identify anyone nationality (ethnicity) by their look – 98%+- . I am very observant and come to conclusion that actually scare me how accurate I am at it.
    I have told my wife that two things could be the reason :
    Something happened to me and caused my condition or
    the abuse and consumption of liquor being this beer or whisky (scotch) …no wine except occasionally. I grew up drinking and passing out many times and not remembering a thing thereafter. Quantity wise was not the issue,I think, but I was very thin and few drinks got me drunk, depending on my mood (stress) and obviously my light weight and not eating “munching anything” while in the binge.
    I smoked mainly, while drinking and a lot, actually I hated smoking and the side effect from it. I actually stopped as I was reducing, for years, the smoking, while not drinking (partying) e.g. at work or driving (inside the car) or inside the home not even on “brakes” at work.
    With this into account and not having any physical head trauma or psychological (that I know of)
    mesmerized me about having or not being able to recall most of my past events, a relied on third parties o photos and my wife backup.
    Now I am more surprised and scared that someone is talking seriously about this condition .
    Conclusion I think is due to the alcohol consumption I mentioned above and I might add the lack of “focus” as part iof my personality , which I think I suffer from early age ADD ( mild thou) but is being there all along to the present.
    The combination of the ADD and alcohol consumption (I am not alcoholic nor dependend or addicted of it) . I still used or drink with moderation and am on charged too…. something I cannot bragged about when I was in my early 30 and 40’s. .. I am referring that I was more willing to go along with drinking than not and get really drunk.
    So got to be the ADD and the passed out I had or not completely sober when interacting with others.
    What it is strange is (am college graduated and read a lot of good literature, plus worked in a
    professional and demanding occupation for over 28 years) that I have good (relatively) good memory of facts and math calculations and also remember thing about past and present but with these “lagoons” and empty spots, that have being worrisome to me for many years and no answer to what caused it .
    I know another person (young) that has complained and has worries about this SDAM.
    I hope this information might help a young person and the professional community to come with answers and treatment.
    Good luck

  14. Hello,

    I searched for a long time to find any article related to this phenomena as I have whatever it is, a condition, a syndrome, etc., I am somewhat relieved to see that I am not alone. I am a 49 year old white male from the USA, gainfully employed, no drug or alcohol habits, no depression… at times mild anxiety but that’s rare. Maybe once or twice a year. Remarkably stress-free and without many worries in life… but, I can’t really remember much of my past other than a few fleeting images here and there. I am horrible with where I lived during what time period, where I worked, who I knew, etc… I just see images and that’s it. I have no idea what year there occurred, although I can venture a guess w/in a few years. The more recent ones, that is. From anything prior to ten years ago, I remember even less. I hope this is not an indicator of future cognitive/neurological impairment or disease. Any follow up research would be greatly appreciated.

  15. Could possibly be related to past trauma? As in they’re holding memories distant/blocking them out to protect themselves. Even if those specific memories were not the traumatic ones.

    I’d like to know if they also have dulled/severe/disproportionate etc emotions.

  16. I have the same problem. I am 67 and throughout my life I keep wondering why I can remember 3rd s t up if bits and pieces but not anything else. I had horses and I d o Mr remember wh a t I did with my last horse, stuff like that. I see my pictures but can t remember details. I lost my dad when he died at 48. I just wish I could remember. I cry a lot about it.

  17. I am the same, can’t vividly recall my 2 children being born.My husband’s traumatic last hours while dying from stomache cancer.Just about all of my life.Going home to U.K. to see family I haven’t seen for years and am so dreading when they start saying do you remember this… .BLANK do you remember that BLANK…You are not alone.

  18. I’m looking this up for my friend because I notice she does not recall anything from our childhood, teen and adult years.
    My friend had a good friend who was getting married so she invited me to go along, Well I had met her friend a few times anyhow it was a beautiful wedding and they made a beautiful couple. Like ten years later I asked her about her friend, she had no recollection of the friend or the wedding and just told me at the rate she is going she will probably forget me to one day! Interestingly enough she does recall the music we listened to in the eighties and the music her parents listened to in

  19. I decided to google my memory loss after the missus was poking fun at me for me not remembering anything. Out of all the results this one seemed to fit best.
    I am 45 and I can barely tell you anything about my life. Strangely I have a very good memory for some things – particularly anything I see or feel, but I can’t tell you anything about my school life or my childhood. I can barely remember anything before yesterday unless it really stands out, the further back in time I go the worse it is. I have maybe 5 memories from the age of 10 and under. I feel like I am constantly living in the moment, not unlike the film 50 first dates (except I do retain some memories).
    It’s a relief to know someone is on the right track and discovered this, I hope more research goes into it.
    ps. My nickname at work is Dude, I have trouble remembering names and call everyone dude and it kinda stuck.

  20. About 15 years ago, I decided to write my Memoirs. The interesting part is that any actual things I “remember” are few. Very, very few. At three years old, I was put in an orphanage. I member zero about my life prior to that. I was in the orphanage until I was 7. I only recall a few things and those were more memorable like sitting on a jellyfish and falling down a staircase. I don’t remember any conversations with anyone. I only have a few memories of the rest of my childhood. I don’t remember most of the names of people in school unless I see them written. I don’t remember any talks or what was said. I don’t recall most of my adult life. I remember zero of the three years before my third child was born, while my second terminal child was ill. People say, “remember when I came to visit . . .” No, I don’t, but I just go along with it. I have found that any memories I have are not memories at all. They come from pictures that I see and papers that are written. It’s manufactured. I think of it as another person, not me. I even talk about myself in a third person sometimes. I have read the Memoirs that I wrote 10 and 15 years ago and I say to myself, “Who in the hell wrote that?” It’s like someone else penned it. I don’t remember any conversations with my children or my husband. Yet, I function in life just fine, but I only have one person I am close to. Even she doesn’t know I have no memories. God seems to have blocked all the traumatic happenings in my life, but along with it, I had to lose the rest. I guess that’s okay.

  21. I’m a early 20’s recent college grad, and I don’t remember growing up. I visited home after I graduated and it was a haunting feeling to be in the house that I knew I grew up in, I know I lived in it for 18 years, but it also felt like the first time I had been there. I have some specific memories, but all of them have pictures that I’ve looked at before so it’s likely that I’ve associated that. I have a very vague memory of middle school and high school. I could tell you the name of all my teachers and which room they were in, but no personal memories. The theme with everything I do remember is that I have a very detailed memory of analytical data, but no emotional or personal stories. I started to notice this in high school when I couldn’t remember before about 12 years old. then I got the end of high school and couldn’t remember the beginning. Now I’ve graduated college and have a very limited memory of going to college. I don’t know what it was like to leave home and move a great distance from my family. I’m about 5 months removed from college, and my last 2 years are about all I can remember now. I have a few limited memories, and some that there is no way that i should remember, ie “walking” a couple blocks home with my parents after they were in a car accident, however, this was before my first birthday, so there’s no way I could have walked, but I remember it vividly down to the color and type of car that hit us and the location of the dent. I could also draw a layout of almost every building I’ve been in and give the approximate size and location of anything in it throughout my life. Any memory I have, when I recall it, feels more like reading a book, or watching a movie. I’m removed, no association, just information.

    This has really affected my relationship with my family. I haven’t told them I can’t remember, because anyone I have told doesn’t believe me or understand that I genuinely cannot remember my life before a couple years ago. I don’t recall any traumas, my parents and siblings have never mentioned anything in my life that could cause it. I continue to loose my memory, so I don’t believe it would be caused by a trauma anyway.

    My biggest fear with this is to loose memory of anyone that ever mattered to me. To have a family only to forget them completely even as they’re right in front of me. It’s happened with my family and friends already, so I have to assume it will affect me in the future as well.

  22. I dont even remember what happened to me 3 days ago. I am perfectly fine with my skills and ability and even book details. But the actual living like whom I met .. what I said.. what happened.. what did I do nth at all.

  23. My situation is similar to most of the above. I have some memories but there is no consistency or continuity to them. I remember the phone number we had when I was six years old for instance but my childhood for the most part is like a small series of photographs. Just bits and pieces. Strange thing is if someone reminds me of past events they will in sometimes come back to me. Its like the information is in my brain but I can’t access most of it. This the case of my past in general but the further back I go the worse it is. This is not a function of aging, drugs or trauma, I’ve always been this way. As others above have said, it’s somewhat comforting to know that it’s not just me.

  24. My situation is similar to most of the above. I have some memories but there is no consistency or continuity to them. I remember the phone number we had when I was six years old for instance but my childhood for the most part is like a small series of photographs. Just bits and pieces. Strange thing is if someone reminds me of past events they will in some cases come back to me. Its like the information is in my brain but I can’t access most of it. This the case of my past in general but the further back I go the worse it is. This is not a function of aging, drugs or trauma, I’ve always been this way. As others above have said, it’s somewhat comforting to know that it’s not just me.

  25. I just thought it was all part of my aphantasia – no visualization = no autobiography memory. Never thought of it as something separate. Memory for me is almost like knowing a fact whether captured in the brain because of it being interesting or repetition.

  26. I have thought it was just a malfunctioning of my brain…now i do understand.
    I cant even remember when i got married. Or when my children were little girls.
    There are many facts i cant recall.

  27. very informative article about the students because i have heard from many students about this problem. keep it up buddy and i will try to visit your website with regular interval. thanks

  28. Hi, i just had a very weird experience that has me a little confused and concerned. First I am 27 year old male, no health issues, no drugs alcohol or cigarettes. I’ve had migraines in the past that were pretty bad but it’s been about 2 years since I’ve had one. Yesterday i was going to take my son to his basketball game and i started feeling a little dizzy. It went away and i took him. While i was sitting in the stands i got dizzy again, it felt like i was on a merry go round and my vision in both eye’s was blurred. My wife helped me home and i went to sleep. When i woke up this morning i woke up in a memory from about 10 years ago. I layed there awake and reminded myself to get my drawing pencils off of the counter that i had forgot the day before, everything felt so real, just details i didn’t remeber that i would remember. I could hear movement of my wife getting ready but i thought it was my sister so i wondered why my alarm on my phone hadn’t gone off so i sat up to grab it and realized i wasn’t on a couch nor my sisters house. I seen my wife walk out of the restroom and into the hall and i didn’t even recognize her. I tried to think what happened the night before and how i ended up in a house i didn’t recognize and i could remember vivid details from the previous day at school and falling asleep on my sisters house. This lasted about 10 minutes before everything came back to me. The relationships i had back then seemed so real and as strong as they were then. Even for a while after i remembered everything i still wanted to text my then girlfriend who i haven’t talked to or thought about in 8 or 9 years. It seems like it was just yesterday even now. Any ideas, I’m at a loss here.

  29. I just visited my cuz after 35 yrs. We were talking about our past. A lot of events he said we did together I cannot remember. We spent 3 summers together working on my dads farm. And like I said many of the things he said we did, I can’t recall. Some seemed pretty significant

  30. I have suffered from this since I went to college at 18. I can’t even remember what my husband of 37 years looked like!!!

  31. I can’t remember 99.8% of my life either. Hence, why I’m here.

    I started to REALLY realize this about 6 or 7 years ago. I was watching a television-show called, “The Office” and one of the characters discussed something he did on his 10th birthday. After this dialogue, I thought to myself, “Do people really remember their birthdays? I can’t remember ONE birthday, not even from from THIS YEAR.” (It’s been 9 months, and I’ll be 39.)

    I’m not a psyche major/grad, but I do have a hypothesis as to the culprit / catalyst for our lack of recollection: I’d be willing to venture that a large portion of people with this trait/characteristic score EXTREMELY high on empathetic tendencies and “emotional suggestion tendencies.” (How easily our emotions can be influenced by external forces.) Consequently, many of us have been going through life with a “wall” around our emotions. A “wall” around our true feelings and self.
    That “wall” has served us well, as a survival mechanism. Nobody wants to go through life whilst hurting emotionally. Yet, now that “wall” blocks our view into the back-yard of our own lives.

    Based on the evidence I have, from my life, it seems likely emotions play a role in long-term / first-person memories. If you shut yourself off, from the outside world, you won’t be able to remember it.

  32. I’m not sure if this applies to me.
    I can’t remember most of my childhood memories but I do remember events with traumatic experience. Why is it I can’t recall happy memories? It is because I wasn’t paying attention at the details of the events but rather paying attention to what I feel during the time? I can’t even remember the names of my classmates but I can name a few and some childhood friends. I’m the type of person who doesn’t really care about the people/events around me. Did that contribute to how I remember things?

  33. I’m a 30 year old woman. I have noticed for a few years that I cannot recall too much of my childhood. I found it strange especially when my husband (who has an acquired brain injury) can remember the details of his kindergarten class room. I can only see glimpses into my grade one class on a particular day.

    I also noticed the other day when I was asked for a password I hadn’t used in two years that I kept jumbling up the words to it. I wonder if that is associated with my lack of childhood memories.

    1. You don’t have HSAM but you are dumb. Most people don’t remember much from their childhood and also not passwords from 2 years ago.

    2. You don’t have SDAM but you are dumb. Most people don’t remember much from their childhood and also not passwords from 2 years ago

  34. I realized some time ago that I had this SDAM. What i didn’t know and didn’t realize till i found this listing was that their was a name for it.

    I’m Dwaynd 47 years old. I was hit by a car when i was younger but their was no brain damage. I don’t remember this event only know that I was told about it multiple times. I grew up in a house hold where everyone drank at some point and some time in their life. I personally drank till I was about 25 or 26.

    I served 9 years in the military in two different branches. I can name the places i lived and visited but not the exact time I was there. Part of the reason I believe I remember where I was is because I have repeated the list over and over when I tell people where i went.

    I got married right before i left the military. We have a son that i was present for the birth. I don’t remember my son being born. I know I was there but don’t actually remember it. We bought a house before my son was born. It burnt down and all the pictures I had collected throughout my life up to that point burned up.

    My marriage ended about 4 years ago. Other than my son I can’t really recall anything that made it worthwhile to begin with.

    There is more but I’m not sure what else to say. Anything more than about 5 years is gone from my memory. I don’t know why for certain and will probably never get it back. I”m not even sure I would want to. Most of the long term memories I do have aren’t good ones though.

  35. I took part in the Canadian research a year or two ago.
    I remember snapshots of my life, usually in response to some cue, but probably 95% or more of my life is a foreign country. I am married to someone with very acute recall, so it amplifies the losses at times, and at others helps to cue a snapshot. None of the snapshots are at all episodic, more like brief scenes from a lost film. I have had lifelong problems remembering names, but have had good semantic recall. I have always been fearful that this was the beginning of dementia, or attributed it to having a wild 1970s.

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