On Christmas Eve, my mother was beside herself. She'd forgotten the bourbon vanilla ice cream she wanted to put on the apple pie she'd brought for dessert. She had a verbal debate with herself over whether or not she should drive back home to get it, and it took several people telling her "It's just ice cream" before she accepted it wasn't as big a deal as she was making it out to be.

It's easy to understand her panic, though. Forgetfulness is incredibly frustrating, both for the person who has forgotten and for the people around them. In cases like Alzheimer's, it can be heartbreaking.

Frequent forgetfulness leads many to believe they simply have a "bad memory," a self-diagnosis that can lead to feelings of shame, especially in those with conditions such as ADHD.

What makes a person forgetful

The issue is, when we talk about "memory loss," we're using an extremely broad umbrella to speak about a series of individually complex situations