Thursday, June 16, 2022

Can Depression Or Anxiety Cause Memory Loss

Don't Miss

From A Purely Physical Standpoint Depression Related Memory Loss Can Be Attributed To Depressions Three Startling Effects On The Brain:

Can Anxiety and Depression Cause Memory Loss?
  • shrinkage
  • inflammation

When you think about the physical effects of anxiety and depression, chances are theyre effects you can actually sense. You feel your hands sweating, your heart racing, your head hurting. And you see the change in your weight from the change in your eating habits.

You also feel the frustration of not being able to complete everyday tasks. Youre distracted, preoccupied, exhausted, disinterested.

But your brain shrinking? Being inflamed? Not getting enough oxygen?

This all starts to sound like the defining brain atrophy of Alzheimers.

And that raises even more questions and cause for research.

How To Improve Your Memory

Dr. Bonner-Jackson says there are proven ways to boost brain health, which may help lower your risk for Alzheimers disease and dementia.

But keep in mind that memory loss does not automatically mean theres something wrong with your health or that you will develop Alzheimers. Resolving the problem may involve practicing meditation or other stress-busting techniques, getting more sleep or eating a balanced diet, explains Dr. Bonner-Jackson. The key is to pay attention to memory loss and talk to your doctor to figure out whats causing it.

Memory Loss And Medication

Medication can affect our memory. If we recognise that our memory deteriorated when we started a new medication or changed the dose of an existing one, then its advisable to chat with our doctor. We should never stop a medication or change our dose without medical advice because it can be really dangerous .

Recommended Reading: Shrinking Brain Tumors Naturally

Symptoms Of Memory Loss

If you think that persistent depressive episodes have led to a decline in your memory aptitude, you should look out for some distinct characteristics.

Types of memory problems and symptoms of memory loss include:

  • Difficulty recalling the finer details of a recent event
  • Trouble locating objects in the home, such as your keys
  • Finding it difficult to learn new facts, such as remembering information youve read in a book or the news
  • A general feeling that you are more forgetful or disorganized lately
  • Forgetting something that is usually part of your daily routine, such as a phone call or taking medicine
  • Youll find it easier to recall adverse events than positive ones

If you tick more than one symptom, its time to seek professional help. A mental health expert can diagnose potential memory loss.

Common Signs Of Depression

Chronic Anxiety, Stress and Memory Loss

These are some common signs of depression and might be linked to confusion and memory lapses. A person suffering from depression often feels restless, worthless, and guilty. You might lose appetite and weight and find it difficult to focus on various tasks that you once did with perfection due to a foggy brain. Headaches, stomachaches, and back pain are also included in symptoms of depression.

Read Also: Alcohol Destroys Brain Cells

The Toll Of Anxiety And Stress On Memory

Similarly, anxiety and chronic stress have been associated with memory problems, according to research in Neurology and BMJ Open. Brain circuits involved in chronic anxiety and fear overlap those seen in Alzheimers disease. In addition, chronic stress shrinks volume in the hippocampus. One study in the International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry found that anxiety is inter-related and inseparable with loss of memory. The researchers suggested that anxiety is an early predictor of cognitive decline. Whats behind this strong link?

In general, anxiety requires a lot of mental horsepower and steals mental energy from the memory formation process. Spending so much time stressing about things means you may not have the brainpower to effectively process incoming information for storage as memories. For example, a 2008 study found that short-term, acute stress interferes with cell communication in the brains memory centers.

Because of this, it is critical that you learn to control anxiety and stress. Take note that brain SPECT imaging studies show that some anti-anxiety medications, such as benzodiazepines, are actually harmful to the brain. In fact, a 2019 review in the Journal of Clinical Neurology found that long-term use of these prescription drugs increases the risk of dementia by more than 50%. For better brain health, look for natural alternatives to anti-anxiety pills to calm anxiety and stress.

S To Control Your Anxiety

The good news about exercise and sleep is that they’re important for anxiety as well, so if you start ensuring that you get enough exercise and rest daily you’ll put yourself in a much better position for overcoming anxiety.

But you’ll still need to commit to a treatment option that can reduce your anxiety – and ultimately improve your memory – in the long term.

Was this article helpful?

Also Check: What Happened To Jfk Brain

How Anxiety Can Cause Memory Loss

Anxiety can definitely cause memory loss. Here are three reasons that anxiety can cause memory loss:

  • Stress Hormones The stress hormone cortisol is often elevated in patients who have General Anxiety Disorder. Cortisol elevation can help create a memory in a stressful situation, but it makes it more difficult for a person to recall an existing memory. It is not believed that these memory problems are permanent or represent any type of loss of brain function. When the stress diminishes, your normal ability to recall memories will return.
  • Distracted Thinking People with anxiety are also prone to having incredibly active minds with lots of thoughts running through their mind. When your mind is this active, you are not focused on the new things you’re trying to remember, which distracts you from forming a memory. Distracting thinking also blocks your ability to become aware of memories when they appear in your stream of consciousness. It is like clouds blocking your ability to see the sun.
  • Sleep Loss, etc. – Anxiety also affects secondary issues which may affect memory. For example, anxiety can make it harder to sleep, and sleep deprivation has a known effect on memory and recall.

The Relationship Between Anxiety And Memory Loss

Depression Can Cause Memory Loss and Difficulty Concentrating

Anxiety is a normal reaction to stress opens in new window with specific benefits, according to the American Psychiatric Association. Anxiety not only alerts you of dangers, but it helps you prepare for and pay attention to them.

Excessive amounts of fear or anxiety, however, can lead to anxiety disorders. Anxiety disorders make up the most common type of mental disorders, affecting nearly 30 percent of adults at some point in their lives.

One part of the body affected by anxiety and stress is the nervous system, which plays a primary role in basic functions like memory and learning. As a result, persistent anxiety and memory loss are associated.

Recommended Reading: Limbic System Seizures

Depression And The Hippocampus

Researchers in 2015 concluded that people with depression had lower hippocampus volume a key brain area devoted to memory.

They found this effect in people with recurrent depressive episodes, but not first-time episodes. The effect was stronger in people with early onset depression .

The researchers also point out that studies have linked depression to changes in the size of your amygdala, a brain region that deals with emotion.

One theory to explain these depression-related cognitive changes is that stress-induced chemical reactions may lead to a loss of neurons the nerves that carry information in the brain and suppressed growth of new neurons.

How Depression Can Affect Your Mind

Depression is common, and when it develops, it can have a serious impact on the way you feel, think and behave.

The most common form of depression in adults is major depressive disorder . It can affect people of all ages and backgrounds. Certain factors, such as your genes, personality and health can all contribute to your risk of developing depression.

Common symptoms of major depressive disorder include:

  • Persistent feelings of sadness, emptiness or anxiety

  • A pessimistic daily life outlook and belief that things are hopeless

  • Less energy and a general feeling of fatigue

  • Reduced interest in your normal hobbies and activities

  • Irritability and a shorter-than-normal temper

  • Changes in your appetite and/or weight

  • Difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep or waking up at a normal time

  • A feeling of restlessness and difficulty keeping yourself still

  • Cramps, headaches, aches and other pains without a clear cause

  • Digestive problems that dont improve with treatment

  • Suicidal thoughts or attempts at suicide

Major depressive disorder can also affect your executive function vital mental processes such as paying attention to certain tasks, comprehending information, making decisions and forming memories.

Other types of depression, such as seasonal affective disorder and persistent depressive disorder may also have a similar impact on your mood and cognition.

When youre depressed, the following types of memory may be affected:

Read Also: Shrink Meningioma Naturally

The Link With Dementia

Another study by the Archives of General Psychiatry found a link between depression and dementia in later life. These findings suggest that memory problems from depression may have a longer-term impact on an individual.

The study found that those diagnosed with depression in middle age had an 80% higher chance of dementia.

Emotional Causes Of Memory Loss

Can Depression Cause Memory Loss And Confusion

Because our mind and body are connected and affect each other, our emotions and thoughts can impact our brain. The energy it takes to cope with certain feelings or life stress can get in the way of storing or remembering details and schedules.

Often, these emotional triggers of memory loss can be improved by support, counseling, and lifestyle changes. Even just being aware ofand limiting exposure tothings that increase stress can help.

Read Also: Causes Of Brain Bleed In Elderly

Can Depression Cause Confusion

Depression can cause confusion and make it challenging to focus on tasks.

While taking a closer look at the brain regions associated with depression, it is believed that the hippocampus, the area of the brain associated with memory and learning, is actually smaller.

Although this is not necessarily a direct cause-and-effect explanation, it may be one factor that helps explain why depression leads to confusion and poor memory.

The prefrontal cortex and amygdala are also affected. The combination of changes in these brain structures and associated functions helps explain issues with cognition, including planning and reasoning, as well as emotional processing.

How To Treat Memory Loss From Depression

If youve noticed memory loss in addition to other depression symptoms, it could be a sign that you have clinical depression or another type of depressive disorder.

If so, its best to seek help from a mental health professional. You can do this by talking to your primary care provider and asking for a mental health referral, by making an appointment with a mental health provider locally or from home using our online psychiatry service.

Depression is treatable, and symptoms such as memory loss and difficulty focusing on specific tasks often improve with ongoing treatment.

As part of treatment for depression, your healthcare provider may prescribe medications called antidepressants, suggest that you take part in psychotherapy or recommend changes that you can make to your habits and lifestyle.

Our guide to depression treatment provides more information about how these approaches can help to relieve your symptoms and help you work towards recovering from depression.

Also Check: Cebria Lawsuit

Panic Attacks And Memory Loss

Some people who have panic attacks find it difficult to recall what happened just before or during an attack. Panic-related memory loss can happen for some of the same reasons that general anxiety leads to memory loss.

Panic attacks brief episodes of extreme fear are a type of anxiety. They come on quickly, often without warning, triggering symptoms that can feel overwhelming and terrifying:

  • difficulty breathing or feelings of choking
  • pounding or racing heart
  • numbness, tingling, or blurred vision
  • feeling of doom
  • feeling of losing control

Some people having a panic attack might believe theyre dying or having a heart attack. You might feel totally preoccupied by these unpleasant feelings, lose track of time, and think about nothing except getting through the attack.

Afterward, you might recall the intense panic vividly, but you might not recall exactly how you made it through.

If youve had a panic attack before, you might also worry about having one again, especially when you find yourself in a situation that triggers feelings of worry or fear. When this increase in anxiety occupies your focus, you might also notice some memory trouble.

Memory loss can happen for plenty of reasons.

A few of the other potential causes include:

  • regular alcohol or substance use
  • side effects of certain prescription medications

Even when you live with anxiety, other concerns can contribute to memory loss, so its important to monitor your difficulty remembering things.

Encoding And Retrieval In Depression: New Insights Into Old Problems

Can Anxiety Cause Memory Loss & Concentration Issues?

Episodic memory is disrupted in unipolar depression. Compared to healthy adults, depressed individuals typically show impaired recollection , better memory for negative material but worse memory for positive material , and overgeneral autobiographical retrieval . Critically, memory failures are distressing and predict a more severe course of depression , whereas enhancing autobiographical retrieval can relieve depressive symptoms . Moreover, depression has been consistently linked to reduced hippocampal volumes . Given these facts, and considering the relatively advanced understanding of the neurobiology of memory, one might expect the neuroscience of disrupted memory in depression to be well-understood.

You May Like: How To Know If You Have Brain Bleeding

Infections Of The Brain Or Its Lining

Infections like HIV, tuberculosis and herpes can cause memory problems. HIV puts the function of nerve cells at risk by infecting the cells that protect and support them. The virus can also trigger inflammation that can damage the brain and cause forgetfulness. With tuberculosis, memory loss can be a complaint. However, prompt treatment can resolve these problems. Meanwhile, herpes simplex virus can cause a rare neurological disorder called herpes simplex encephalitis. This inflammation of the brain can lead to memory loss. Antiviral drugs may help if treatment is started right away.

Focus Concentration And Attention

Both depression and anxiety can affect our processing speed, focus, concentration, and how well were able to pay attention.

All of these things can lead to memory loss, particularly in the short term. If we cant concentrate on, or pay attention to the things going on around us, then we struggle to remember them properly. Even if we do manage to focus, poor processing speed can add another layer of difficulty in learning and retaining information

Each of these symptoms can be worsened through lack of sleep something thats really common when we have anxiety and depression.

You May Like: What Part Of The Brain Controls Vomiting

Can I Test Myself For Dementia

According to a new study, a simple self-management test developed by researchers at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, School of Medicine, and School of Public Health is an early subtlety of dementia faster than the most commonly used office-based. A standard cognitive test that can identify signs.

Can Depression Cause Memory Loss What You Need To Know

Why does no one talk about how depression and anxiety can cause major ...

Memory impairment can happen for many reasons, but theres one cause that may surprise you: depression. This mental health condition can have a significant impact on cognitive processes, like thinking and remembering. Heres what you need to know about depression and memory loss, including solutions for memory impairment and when to seek professional help.

Memory impairment can happen for many reasons, but theres one cause that may surprise you: depression. This mental health condition can have a significant impact on cognitive processes, like thinking and remembering. Heres what you need to know about depression and memory loss, including solutions for memory impairment and when to seek professional help.

Recommended Reading: Slow Brain Bleed Symptoms

How Can Depression Cause Memory Loss

Various studies have explored this connection, including:

  • A 2013 study found that depression negatively affected participants ability to complete memory tasks. It was concluded that depression may diminish memory.
  • Another 2015 study found that depressive thoughts were associated with working memory capacity deficits.

Recent research shows that depressed individuals do not generally have trouble recalling bad memories. Compared to non-depressed individuals, those living with depression memory loss tend to have an easier time remembering negative memories than positive ones.

Preventing Memory Loss And Forgetfulness

Living a healthy lifestyle is important for brain health. Some ways that you may be able to slow memory loss and cut down on forgetfulness are:

  • Healthy eating Lyndsay said the MIND diet is beneficial for brain health. The MIND diet incorporates the DASH and Mediterranean food plans, which encourage eating brain-protecting foods such as fish, chicken, nuts and green leafy vegetables while avoiding processed foods and foods high in sugar and saturated fat.
  • Exercise Even low-impact exercise like walking 30 minutes a day five times a week can help.
  • Staying active cognitively Try mentally stimulating activities like reading, playing games, solving puzzles or learning a new hobby. The more challenging, the better.
  • Socializing Social isolation can cause unhealthy stress and lead to depression. Forming and maintaining strong connections helps reduce stress and improve mood.

I would encourage anyone concerned about forgetfulness or any other change in their ability to function normally to see their primary care provider, Lyndsay said. Taking the steps to identify and manage reversible or treatable causes may improve memory and provide better health in general.

Recommended Reading: Brain Tan Deer Hide

Depression And Memory Loss: The Relationship Explained

Depression is one of the most crippling and pervasive diseases of modern life. The World Health Organization estimates that more than 250 million people worldwide experience depression. That figure is growing.

Scientists are discovering more about the mind every day and the cognitive problems associated with depression, but one of the most strongly linked features of depression is memory loss.

This article will explore the link between depression and memory loss and what symptoms you might experience.

We will examine the latest research into the relationship between mental health and memory to help answer the question: can depression cause memory loss?

More articles

Popular Articles