As mentioned in the title I am looking for a word to describe someone who does an action and forgets soon after. I do not mean that one's simply being forgetful but rather that they have a psychological problem, for instance:

A man wakes up at 8:00 a.m. and goes to work. At noon, halfway through his shift the man becomes confused, only having remembered leaving his house in the morning.

The word that I'm looking for is if this is a common occurrence in that person's life.

  • 1
    This is a fairly common human issue - and does not necessarily indicate a psychological problem. Often, it's a matter of not enough rest. Although not technically true, the situation is commonly described as "sleepwalking". As in: "I sleepwalked through the morning meeting - would you mind telling me what was discussed?"
    – Oldbag
    Jan 15, 2018 at 14:35

2 Answers 2


Dementia - where short-term memory is usually affected. This may mean that the person with dementia forgets the names of family or friends - or how to perform simple everyday tasks. They may, however, retain their long-term memory, clearly remembering events from the past.

This is a medical condition, I wouldn’t be definate about it just by the example you have given.

  • Thank you for responding so quickly however, that is not exactly what I meant. I apologize for my example not being very clear, the situation would be close to dementia but rather then the subject forgetting what they once knew, instead being unaware of the situation ever happening; they would have no recollection of their actions as if they were sleepwalking. However this person could speak and respond to outside stimuli, such as having a conversation with someone.
    – Seere
    Jan 15, 2018 at 21:20
  • 1
    @Seere - Your comment sounds like it is describing dementia exactly, or the early stages anyway. My grandmother had it, and her long-term memory was fine, she just didn't have great short term memory. I remember once at breakfast she told us three times that she had a jamaica ginger cake we could have for our picnic - she had no recollection of having told us just 5 minutes before, and 5 minutes before that. 10 years later her long-term memory became more dodgy and she couldn't always recognise her children.
    – AndyT
    Feb 14, 2018 at 10:42

If it is not a medical issue, doing things by "rote" comes to mind. Also, using "auto-pilot" or "muscle memory" .... sometimes I've done things successfully, but think, how did I get from Point A to Point B? It must've been done, but I didn't remember the 'journey'.....

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