You’re in the middle of telling a story about your friend’s dog when a memory lapse strikes and—poof! —the name of the pup disappears from your mind. Or maybe you’re typing up a work report when a word that was on the tip of your tongue slips from your mental grip. It began with a V, right? Or maybe it was an R?
If all of this sounds eerily familiar, you’re not alone. Random brain farts like these happen to a lot of us. In one 2014 study in the journal PLOS ONE, 14.4 percent of the 4,425 18- to 39-year-olds surveyed thought they had memory issues.
If your mind veers off into worst-case-scenario territory every time you have a memory lapse—early-onset Alzheimer’s, a brain tumor—stop it right there. There are various potential reasons you might be dealing with memory issues, and most of them aren’t a huge deal at all.
- Maybe your working memory is overloaded.
- Your brain is aging (which is normal!).
- You’re dealing with depression
- Your medication could be impacting your memory.
- You’re not getting enough sleep.
- You have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
- In very rare cases, it could be something more serious.