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Woman has super rare condition meaning she can't remember past life events

Woman has super rare condition meaning she can't remember past life events

A woman has shared what it's like having Severely Deficient Autobiographical Memory (SDAM)

While dementia, amnesia and other memory-affecting disorders have long been known about, there's a reasonably new condition you might not have heard of.

Memory plays a huge part in our lives. They're like old films playing back in our minds of funny, moving, sad, or other big moments we've experienced.

There's even something known as 'core memories' (as seen in Inside Out) which are described as being a specific set of memories that have more emotional value than others.

But what about if we were never able to do this and remember these moments we've lived?

While conditions like dementia often come with age and amnesia might be the result of brain trauma, Severely Deficient Autobiographical Memory (SDAM) is a lifelong condition.

In fact, SDAM isn't thought to have been properly identified until 2015. With this in mind, some have long been living with the condition without really knowing any different.

With it's exclusivity in mind, one Redditor took to the platform recently to open up about having SDAM.

Sadie Dingfelder penned earlier this month: "I was working at the Washington Post when I discovered that I am faceblind. That led me down a rabbit-hole where I also learned that I have Severely Deficient Autobiographical Memory. I'm one of the few people officially diagnosed with SDAM."

She has since released her book, Do I Know You?.

Author Sadie Dingfelder has shared what it's like having SDAM. (sadiefd/Instagram)
Author Sadie Dingfelder has shared what it's like having SDAM. (sadiefd/Instagram)

Sadie has now been flooded with questions about SDAM, which the published author was more than happy to answer.

Asking why it took so long for her to realise that she had a condition such as SDAM, Sadie explained: "You know the 'madeleine' scene from Remembrance of Things Past? I didn't realize that people could actually mentally time travel. "Have you had the experience where a smell or a taste suddenly transports you back in time to some important moment from your past? I haven't - and I thought that everyone else was just speaking in metaphors or talking poetically!"

In response, one person asked: "Do you forget your favorite things and rediscover them?"

"I can remember 'that' I liked something, but I can't re-experience liking it in my mind," Sadie replied. "This is maybe why I never re-watch movies or re-read books.

"One funny consequence of my combo-platter of neurodivergences (aphantasia, SDAM and prosopagnosia) is that I regularly ask my husband 'when did you get to be so handsome?' and I kinda mean it! I'm not just being sappy. He's got great bone structure and I forget that all the time."

Sadie further labelled SDAM as a 'lonely' condition to have as she doesn't have 'old memories of times with friends and family to warm the cockles of my heart'.

To tackle this, Sadie said: "I take a lot of photos of myself with loved ones, and then I put them on rotation as phone and computer wallpaper. It helps a lot!"

Featured Image Credit: Instagram/sadiefd

Topics: Health, Reddit, Community, Lifestyle