Stress of Remembering


Alicia Maher, MD

Stress. It’s something we’ve all heard plenty about. But today I want to talk about a particular type of stress, the stress of remembering. This is particularly a struggle for those with ADHD, but can be an issue for others as well.

This can be remembering what to pack for a trip or bring to work or to surf. Without a system for remembering, those who struggle to remember can live life constantly feeling like they are forgetting something. As you can imagine, that’s very stressful and contributes to some of the stress of having an illness like ADHD.

So today I’m going to give a couple of the systems that work for me and many with ADHD. The key is to take the thinking out of remembering. So, one of the examples I mentioned was packing for a trip. I like to keep a packing list in the notes section of my phone. Over time I revise it so that it seems to include all I might need. Before each trip, it’s a breeze to go down the list and put in the things from the list it will seem to require.

For the example of remembering items for work or surf, it is helpful to have a particular bag for each event with the things you need- an ID badge in the work bag, wax in the surf bag. Though you might need to add a couple of items before you go, you’ll have the bulk of what you need to remember in that bag and then you won’t forget it. More importantly, you won’t have to think about it or worry that you’ll forget.

There are many other ideas that can help one manage with ADHD or any other disorder that is getting in the way of you living life as you desire. It’s good to get an evaluation to know what your issues might be and work with a professional to solve them. I’m happy to see you.

Dr. Alicia Maher is a Psychiatrist at the Akasha Center. You can schedule an appointment by calling us at 310-451-8880 or emailing us at