There is a big chance that you’d remember what you wore on your debutante ball or those embarrassing prom photos that you just wish to throw away; but when it comes to other unimportant stuff like what you did on the third Monday since winter break, there isn’t much room in your memory for it.
That’s not the case for this man. Twenty-year-old Aurelian Hayman has a rare condition in which he not only remembers what he wore for every day since the last decade, but he also remembers every single thing he did. That’s right, information like what Hayman ate and what the weather was like is all locked in his long-term memory.
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Hayman had a rare condition called hyperthymesia, described as an individual having extremely detailed autobiographical memory. The word “hyper” translating to excessive, while “thymesis” means remembering. Hayman’s super memory came to light at age 11, when his family noticed the boy’s uncanny knack in recalling memories from his past.
But it wasn’t until he turned 14 that even Hayman began noticing it himself. He began to remember not just details about himself but the exact date it happened. For example, October 1, 2006, he said it was a Sunday and the weather had been cloudy. He also clearly remembrs the girl who turned him down.
Hayman is the first Briton to ever be diagnosed with the condition. It is also not something that can be transferred genetically as neither of his parents have hyperthymesia.
There are twenty recorded cases of hyperthymesia around the world. An American woman named Jill Price was featured in an online article in which Hayman was introduced to her so he can get further insight with what’s going on with him.
Apparently, there is no known technique in memorizing so much, and Hayman has made it clear that his condition does not help him in school, where he is a English literature student in Durham University. “I have quite a good memory generally, but because what I have is a good autobiographical memory, I don’t think it can really help with an academic piece of work at university.”
While Hayman seems to be taking his condition well, the American afflicted with the same condition Jill Price cannot say the same. In fact, the reason the woman has subjected herself to numerous tests is to help doctors find a way to control her super memory.
A majority of people know that remembering a lot can be a double-edged sword. There is a saying where “time heals all wounds,” but with a condition like hyperthymesia, one is sure to find difficulty in moving on when they remember too much.