Transient Global Amnesia: Naomi Jacobs

Transient Global Amnesia: Naomi Jacobs

Imagine waking up one day, finding yourself in the body of a 32 year old when you are still only 15.

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Imagine waking up one day, finding yourself in the body of a 32-year-old when you are still only 15. You have no idea who you are, how you got there, who the people surrounding you are. You can't even recognize yourself in the mirror. You look so much older than you were when you went to sleep.

How did you get so old in one night?

That is what happened to Naomi Jacobs. She woke up one day, having forgotten 17 years of her life. She could not recognize her own 10-year-old son because she never remembered having him. This phenomenon is called the transient global amnesia.

TGA is a form of retrograde amnesia and it was first reported by Morris Bender in 1956.

It most commonly affects people between the ages of 56 and 75. It affects about five in 100,000 people in Britain and this increases to 23 for people over 50.

The characteristics include bewilderment and sudden short-term memory loss. It is usually brought on because of emotional or physical stress. Normally, hours, days or weeks of exhaustion from worrying or life lead to a TGA attack. In the case of Naomi Jacobs, she was dealing with a lot of emotional stress.

Her diaries helped her realize the problems she was coping with that led to the TGA. She had previously been diagnosed with psychotic and bipolar episodes and she was using marijuana and cocaine to help her deal with her life. She'd been in an abusive relationship and did not have many good friends. She had even been sexually and physically abused. She was juggling being a single mother, owner of a holistic therapy business and a student getting a degree in psychology.

TGA episodes tend to occur spontaneously and last for several hours.

There is a very small chance of prolonged or permanent memory loss.

In the case of Naomi Jacobs, the TGA lasted for eight weeks, but getting to the bottom of it took her almost two years. Her diary helped her to jog her memory and she also looked at the news and everything to catch up with what had happened in the world. The memories started coming back slowly through flashbacks. She had her first flashback after three days.

One thing about people suffering from TGA is that they ask repetitive and relevant questions using the same innovation and expression.

They also tend to retain their semantic memory. For example, they would remember how to drive though they may not remember the experience of learning how to drive. Naomi Jason had the same thing. She could remember phone numbers (which helped her get help), how to drive a car, how to use cash.

Her emotional memory, though, was completely gone. She didn't even remember giving birth to her son.

They are also not able to form new memories during the time of the TGA. The person is aware of their memory loss, which causes an increase in anxiety and stress.

This is what happened with Naomi Jacob. She woke up in a strange world where so much technology that she did not remember being created, existed. She could not remember her own son. She believed that sleeping would help bring her memory back and it would be fine in a few days, so she avoided going to the doctor.

There is still no cure for TGA.

The memory just comes back eventually from the support of family and loved ones. Naomi Jacobs had the support of her friends and sister who helped her remember what had happened by telling her stories. Her friend, Katie, was the first person she contacted, as that was the phone number she could think of.

She helped her get in touch with her sister, who explained what adult Naomi's life was like.

Naomi Jacobs had been living a tough life before the incident, but slowly she regained her memory.

It ended up being a good thing. She is recovering from the trauma in her life and dealing with it in healthier ways. She said, "I'm not afraid anymore, and when people ask if I could give back the whole thing and [live] like the amnesia never happened, no way. I wouldn't change it for the world."

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To The Person Who Feels Suicidal But Doesn't Want To Die

Suicidal thoughts are not black and white.
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Everyone assumes that if you have suicidal thoughts that means you want to die.

Suicidal thoughts are thought of in such black-and-white terms. Either you have suicidal thoughts and you want to die, or you don't have suicidal thoughts and you want to live. What most people don't understand is there are some stuck in the gray area of those two statements, I for one am one of them.

I've had suicidal thoughts since I was a kid.

My first recollection of it was when I came home after school one day and got in trouble, and while I was just sitting in the dining room I kept thinking, “I wonder what it would be like to take a knife from the kitchen and just shove it into my stomach." I didn't want to die, or even hurt myself for that matter. But those thoughts haven't stopped since.

I've thought about going into the bathroom and taking every single pill I could find and just drifting to sleep and never waking back up, I've thought about hurting myself to take the pain away, just a few days ago on my way to work I thought about driving my car straight into a tree. But I didn't. Why? Because even though that urge was so strong, I didn't want to die. I still don't, I don't want my life to end.

I don't think I've ever told anyone about these feelings. I don't want others to worry because the first thing anyone thinks when you tell them you have thoughts about hurting or killing yourself is that you're absolutely going to do it and they begin to panic. Yes, I have suicidal thoughts, but I don't want to die.

It's a confusing feeling, it's a scary feeling.

When the depression takes over you feel like you aren't in control. It's like you're drowning.

Every bad memory, every single thing that hurt you, every bad thing you've ever done comes back and grabs you by the ankle and drags you back under the water just as you're about the reach the surface. It's suffocating and not being able to do anything about it.

The hardest part is you never know when these thoughts are going to come. Some days you're just so happy and can't believe how good your life is, and the very next day you could be alone in a dark room unable to see because of the tears welling up in your eyes and thinking you'd be better off dead. You feel alone, you feel like a burden to everyone around you, you feel like the world would be better off without you. I wish it was something I could just turn off but I can't, no matter how hard I try.

These feelings come in waves.

It feels like you're swimming and the sun is shining and you're having a great time until a wave comes and sucks you under into the darkness of the water. No matter how hard you try to reach the surface again a new wave comes and hits you back under again, and again, and again.

And then it just stops.

But you never know when the next wave is going to come. You never know when you're going to be sucked back under.

I always wondered if I was the only one like this.

It didn't make any sense to me, how did I think about suicide so often but not want to die? But I was thinking about it in black and white, I thought I wasn't allowed to have those feelings since I wasn't going to act on them. But then I read articles much like this one and I realized I'm not the only one. Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, and my feelings are valid.

To everyone who feels this way, you aren't alone.

I thought I was for the longest time, I thought I was the only one who felt this way and I didn't understand how I could feel this way. But please, I implore you to talk to someone, anyone, about the way you're feeling, whether it be a family member, significant other, a friend, a therapist.

My biggest mistake all these years was never telling anyone how I feel in fear that they would either brush me off because “who could be suicidal but not want to die?" or panic and try to commit me to a hospital or something. Writing this article has been the greatest feeling of relief I've felt in a long time, talking about it helps. I know it's scary to tell people how you're feeling, but you're not alone and you don't have to go through this alone.

Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, your feelings are valid, and there are people here for you. You are not alone.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline — 1-800-273-8255


Cover Image Credit: BengaliClicker

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In Real Life, 'Plus Size' Means A Size 16 And Up, Not Just Women Who Are Size 8's With Big Breasts

The media needs to understand this, and give recognition to actual plus-size women.

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Recently, a British reality dating TV show called "Love Island" introduced that a plus-sized model would be in the season five lineup of contestants. This decision was made after the show was called out for not having enough diversity in its contestants. However, the internet was quick to point out that this "plus-size model" is not an accurate representation of the plus-size community.


@abidickson01 on twitter.com


Anna Vakili, plus-size model and "Love Island "Season 5 Contestant Yahoo UK News

It is so frustrating that the media picks and chooses women that are the "ideal" version of plus sized. In the fashion world, plus-size starts at size 8. EIGHT. In real life, plus-size women are women who are size 16 and up. Plunkett Research, a marketing research company, estimated in 2018 that 68% of women in America wear a size 16 to 18. This is a vast difference to what we are being told by the media. Just because a woman is curvy and has big breasts, does NOT mean that they are plus size. Marketing teams for television shows, magazines, and other forms of media need to realize that the industry's idea of plus size is not proportionate to reality.

I am all for inclusion, but I also recognize that in order for inclusion to actually happen, it needs to be accurate.

"Love Island" is not the only culprit of being unrealistic in woman's sizes, and I don't fully blame them for this choice. I think this is a perfect example of the unrealistic expectations that our society puts on women. When the media tells the world that expectations are vastly different from reality, it causes women to internalize that message and compare themselves to these unrealistic standards.

By bringing the truth to the public, it allows women to know that they should not compare themselves and feel bad about themselves. Everyone is beautiful. Picking and choosing the "ideal" woman or the "ideal" plus-size woman is completely deceitful. We as a society need to do better.

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