When did you first notice a verbal memory deficit or poor verbal listening?

I found myself sometimes cannot register verbal information and therefore have difficulty to comprehend/respond when people talk to me. I have experienced difficulty when given three options to choice between. I cannot register the list. Sometimes I can’t register a sentence or two, even if people repeat them to me, and I blind guess.

I wonder if any of you have similar difficulty.

I use to have perfect memory and attention skills. I think these difficulties come up only after the psychosis. Is it your case?


i think it is pretty normal, it gets worse for me when i am tired or stressed.
i am told it is classified as one of the negative aspects of sz.
take care

1 Like

I noticed it when it started upsetting my wife…
Only got worse from there, unfortunately.

I experience the same problems. Yesterday I visited a friend and she had a conversation with me. I asked questions about things she had already told me and I could sense that she was getting very uncomfortable with me.

1 Like

I first notice that my ability to listen started when I was 16 years old and in school when my grades drastically came down.

1 Like

I have always known I was more a visual person never good at auditory memory, but when my husband and mother-in-law complained of my being a bad listener with a poor memory, I knew it was bad and maybe more caused by sz than normal deficit. When someone speaks it goes in one ear and out the other. I can’t hold much, and complicated verbal instructions I struggle with.

I was diagnosed at age 19. Made the rounds of hospitals and group homes. I had a very severe case of paranoid schizophrenia where I couldn’t work or go to school for two years. But I got job when I was 23. Anyway in 1985 I started family therapy (group). The format was that there were two to three families participating. The family members who took part varied. Both my mom and dad came, as did my two sisters. Some of the other families had just one parent who came, occasionally a sister. Sometimes one parent came. And of course there were us "clients’ who came. Anyway there were two family therapists who ran it. This is all background to what I want to say. When I was in this group everybody was friendly, everybody had to participate. It was therapy and support. I was 24 or 25. But I couldn’t follow the conversations. People would talk and I would get lost. I had no idea what they were saying.I couldn’t get anybodies meaning. Well I should say that I could a little. Very little. But people in my family or others would talk and them they would ask me a question or ask me for a comment and I would have no idea of what was just said. I would be lost. I would straight out tell them that I couldn’t follow what people were saying. It was very frustrating. But you know what? I went to that family group for a couple years and I had this problem. But it wasn’t permanent!! The problem eventually went away. I had the problem for a couple years, but afterward I got my comprehension back and I’ve never had that problem again.


Really, this is a very good piece of sharing, @77nick77! Thank you for that!

I never heard about anyone recovering from these cognitive problems before. I think I would be totally confused if I go to a group session like that. A one-on-one session is already too overwhelming. I need to put in a lot of mental effort and my brain would stop comprehending after an hour or so. I actually can only manage a small amount of meaningful communications.

It would mean a lot of limitations on me.

I drank a lot when I was young and so I blamed my inability to listen on my drinking. But when I sobered up and still didn’t understand what people were saying then I HAD to admit it was this illness.

At first I couldn’t do it, I could barely understand what people were saying to me. I just sat, confused wishing I could say something, anything that would make sense in the conversation.

I did get put in a lot of therapy and got re-taught this skill. If I’m tired I can’t understand what’s being said. Of if I’m busy at work and someone just walks up and starts talking, I get thrown and have to ask them to slow down and start over.

But it is a skill that I relearned and I’m still learning. Some days are better then others.

1 Like

The thing for me is verbal instructions and being asked to pass on a message to someone else that is quite long. I prefer to have things written down so i can refer to them at will.


That is exactly why I write so much. I refer to my journals a lot. I write a lot of stuff down.

funny side note for me… my boss is dyslexic and has a very hard time with the long notes and e-mails I leave him. I can’t concentrate on long verbal instructions so I don’t get what he’s saying.

He is working hard at getting better with writing notes and I’m trying to concentrate more. We both laugh. I’m lucky to have this boss.


You are a rather strong writer.

The job situation is… both of you have a good reason to try and plenty of opportunities to do so. Very nice dynamics. :blush:

1 Like

Only experienced this with side effect from meds. Otherwise my cognitive skills were more or less unchanged.

After all these years I just kinda go with what I “assume” they said. I basically make up my own little fantasy about what they were trying to tell me and act on that. Sometimes that gets me in trouble, but people seem a lot more comfortable with that than my asking them what they want me to do for the 10th time.

1 Like