Richa Madaan

Richa Madaan

Why Can’t I Remember My Childhood and Teenage Years?

  Mar 21, 2024
Reviewed by Ayushi Jain


Have you ever thought, “Why can’t I remember my childhood and teenage years?”

If so – you’re not alone. After the age of three, however, your brain can store information.

Several reasons could be impacting your memory, and not all of them are your fault. Learning about memory loss in childhood and teen years can be an overwhelming topic. Take a look at the info below, it may help you gain insight into why your childhood memories are dissociated.

Various mental conditions can result in various issues like weakening of memory.Infantile AmnesiaNatural Trauma ResponseLack of SleepYou can seek help or therapy if you feel like getting one. The best would be to consult a doctor and spend more time with your friends and family. 

Why Can’t I Remember My Childhood and Teenage Years? 

Online resources are great for gathering info, but you don’t want to go down the rabbit hole of self-diagnosing. 

Without support, it can become too much for people to re-experience memories when they come back. Read below to learn about the possible causes of forgotten memories. If you relate to any of them, talk to your therapist or doctor. 

Infantile Amnesia

infantile amnesia

One of the most common diagnoses for people with childhood memory loss is infantile amnesia. 

This form of amnesia is specific to children and teens. It impacts a person’s ability to recall information and memories they once had. Sometimes hearing about these memories can’t feel weird like you were never there. 

Infantile amnesia can occur naturally over time, as memories are replaced with more meaningful info. It could also stem from traumatic events. 

Natural Trauma Response 

When people experience something traumatic, they go into fight or flight mode. 

The brain does this, and if certain events are too difficult to confront, they can be repressed. Repressed memories occur when someone experiences or witnesses something negative. Stress, war, and abuse are common reasons children suppress memories. 


“The unfortunate reality of today’s world is that trauma is the number 1 cause of death among people starting from ages 1 to 46.”

Doctors are seeing an increase in repressed memories associated with natural disasters. Hurricanes, fires, and other events can be too much to process. 

Lack of Sleep

Did you have a habit of staying up late and ignoring your bedtime in your teenage years?

A lack of sleep could be a simple explanation of why you didn’t retain all of your memories. When the brain doesn’t reach REM, it can’t properly function or retain info in the working memory. It’s important to get sleep at any age if you want to remember the best moments in life. 

REM or Rapid Eye Movement is a phase during your sleep that is classified by the rapid eye movement of a human body, mammals, or birds accompanied by low muscle tone across the whole body. 

Where Can I Find Help?

One of the best ways to unpack childhood memories is with a therapist.

Speaking with a professional can help you learn memory exercises. There’s a chance you might remember suppressed memories and get scared, but coping skills can help you overcome them. Support groups can also help you learn more about your condition. 

Talking about the past and looking at photos can help you recapture special moments. You can also try visiting significant locations to spark memories from the past. Some people also recommend vitamins for memory improvement if you’re not ready for a bigger step. 

Reclaim Your Childhood

Not all memories are worth keeping, but some get forgotten without realizing it. 

Understanding the answer to why can’t I remember my childhood and teenage years can have profound effects. Uncovering past trauma can help you become healthier for the future, without feeling anxious. If you’re ready to unpack memories, make sure you have a team of support. 

Take a look at our site for more mental health content that can improve your well-being!