Forgetting Names Found to Cause Depression

The results are in: Not remembering names can be a true downer.

Sociologists at Brigham Young University have finally concluded their five-year study on memory loss and depression and found that the two correlate more than previously thought. The focus of the study was to understand the main causes of depression at BYU. While results varied, the overwhelming majority of subjects were crippled into depression because of “the fear of seeing someone I know but I can’t remember their name.”

“It’s hard to talk about,” says sophomore David Teller. “If I see a missionary companion or girl from an old ward or even that friend of my roommate’s friend’s brother and I am not sure of their name, I’ll run home, hide in a corner and watch Gilmore Girls for a week until I feel better.”

Sociologist and professor Ted Pillsmore said, “BYU is a perfect breeding ground for this fear, numoblitaphobia (fear of forgetting a name). With so many students and so many ward socials, most students find themselves forgetting around 90% of names told to them and 99% of majors associated with that name.”

BYU student trying to remember the name of his 2004 EFY "Crush of the Week" he just saw in the bookstore.
BYU student trying to remember the name of his 2004 EFY “Crush of the Week” he just saw in the bookstore.

Karen Fillmon, a graduate student studying sociology, explained that “the culture of BYU tends to lead to increased cases of numoblitaphobia. We have to shake everybody’s hands, tell them our major and where we’re from. It’s basically a depression time bomb.” Fillmon, a New York City native, expressed that the seeming need to be inquisitively polite to every single person has been a detriment to BYU for years.

While the study was not originally prescriptive, the BYU administration has been quick to take action to cure numoblitophobia on campus. Starting Fall 2013, all students will be required to “display their first given name or preferred name clearly within 2 to 3 inches below the collar.” One administrator suggested, “Students should expect shortages of name tags at most stores and consider purchasing a permanent name tag to wear throughout their time at BYU. Missionary name tags are not acceptable.”

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  • Steven van Dijk

    BYU students could learn a lot from the wisdom of Ron Swanson: “When people get a little too chummy with me I like to call them by the wrong name to let them know I don’t really care about them.”

  • Cliff Clavin

    I guess I should have considered other people also have a problem with remembering my name; they would just call me Mr. Postman. I mean after delivering their mail everyday in Boston, I felt bad that I had to look at packages before calling people by their name. My depression got so bad that I ended up drinking at this bar where at least I got to know one buddy’s name. Everyone would call out his name when he walked through the door. I had mixed feelings at first. I though, “Man! I can’t even drown my sorrows without getting away from my problem.” Now, we sit together at the bar and are on a first name basis. There’s hope for me yet.