Depression and Memory Loss
Millions of people throughout the country suffer from the often times crippling effects of depression. This condition can make every day life and things that were once enjoyable difficult to manage, and depression has even been linked to memory loss and forgetfulness in many patients.
Depression affects all aspects of your mental health, so it is not surprising that one's memory is also underperforming during bouts of depression. But why is it so easy to forget things that used to be easy to remember when you are depressed? Studies have shown that it all comes down to thought process.
When people are depressed, the brain works a little bit differently than someone who is not. Bad memories take the place of happier ones, and it becomes much more difficult to make decisions due to the fact that the brain organizes things differently during times of stress.
It has also been suggested that the constant feelings of melancholy in depressed patients is just too distracting. Memories are formed in three steps: events and information are stored in working memory as you encounter them, important aspects of these events are then passed to the short-term memory for recall later that day, and the most significant pieces of information are then stored in long-term memory, where they are engrained forever. However, since a depressed person is constantly worried about other things, some events that should be remembered never make it through the thought process, and since items in working memory are replaced quickly, some memories are never even formed at all.
Depression memory loss is just one of the ways that this condition can take a toll on a person's life. Forgetting important events like birthdays, anniversaries, the names of people you just met, and important tasks that need to be completed can leave sufferers to feel isolated from their friends, family, and co-workers and make waking up everyday a chore.
If you are suffering from depression, have noticed memory loss, or just need help for someone you know, consult with your doctor for more information on how to recover from this debilitating mental illness and what other reasons for memory loss you may be suffering from.