Depression and Memory Loss: 5 Important Facts to Know

Depression and Memory Loss

Depression can take its toll on every aspect of your life, including your memory. Memory problems are common among people with depression, though it’s not clear whether depression causes memory problems or vice versa. Whatever the cause, the good news is that there are many things you can do to improve your memory if you have depression. Here are five important facts to know about how depression and memory loss related to one another.

1) Depression can lead to memory loss

People with depression often experience memory problems. Research shows that people with depression are at a higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) published research in February 2010 showing that people who have been diagnosed with major depression are more than four times more likely to develop Alzheimer’s than those without a diagnosis of major depression.

2) The severity of memory loss varies

The severity of memory loss can vary from person to person. If you are experiencing severe memory loss, it is best to talk with your doctor immediately. This is especially important if you notice symptoms such as confusion or trouble walking. Early diagnosis and treatment can help protect against long-term issues like dementia. It’s also important to remember that there is no one-size-fits-all approach when treating depression and memory loss; therapy, medication, or a combination may be recommended based on the individual’s needs.

3) Memory loss from depression is treatable

The mental health condition often leads to memory loss. Depression, which is a mood disorder, can impact the way your brain functions. This in turn can cause you to lose memories from short-term memory or long-term memory. The good news is depression and memory loss are both treatable with therapy, medicine, lifestyle changes, or a combination of these things. Make sure you speak to a doctor if you’re experiencing memory problems that don’t go away after two weeks.

4) Depression can cause changes in brain chemistry

A person with depression may experience changes in brain chemistry. When someone is depressed, their serotonin levels may be lower than normal, which can lead to feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or hopelessness. This can also lead to poor sleep patterns, low energy levels, and an inability to concentrate. The National Institute of Mental Health reports that people with severe depression are three times more likely to suffer from cognitive impairment- a loss of the ability to think clearly. In this case, memory loss is a common symptom.

5) Memory loss from depression is often temporary

Memory loss is one of the most common side effects of depression. This memory loss can range from short-term memory loss to long-term. However, it’s important to note that the majority of those with this side effect are able to recover their memory in a few weeks or months. A person should never stop taking medication for depression without consulting their doctor first. Depression and memory loss usually go hand in hand. If you’re experiencing severe depression, you may want to consider therapy as an alternative treatment.

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