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Does Anxiety And Depression Cause Memory Loss

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Can Anxiety and Depression Cause Memory Loss?

Exercising your body can help, too.

Physical activity can help improve your mood, ease symptoms of anxiety and depression, and boost overall brain health.

Try starting with something simple, like a 15-minute walk after meals, a weekend hike, or a walk along the beach.

Another benefit? Exercise can help tire you out, so you might fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. When you get better sleep, you might begin to notice anxiety symptoms, including memory loss, begin to ease.

Taking time to relax and wind down before getting into bed every night can also help improve the quality of your sleep.

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.

When To Seek Help

If you think there’s something else going on – and your memory problems are more serious and persistent – it may be time for a medical check-up.

“Memory problems can also be caused by an underactive thyroid gland, drinking too much alcohol, medication side-effects, vitamin B12 deficiency etc, and these can be addressed,” says Dr Graham. “They have other symptoms or clinical signs, to differentiate them from memory problems due to mental health.”

Of course, this is not to imply that mental health issues are somehow less serious than physical ones. If stress, anxiety or depression is the culprit – common at a time of COVID-19 – then getting help for this should improve your memory too.

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The #1 Cause Of Memory Loss

The #1 cause of memory loss is simply getting older. Some forgetfulness is normal and doesnt indicate a serious problem.

Forgetfulness can be a normal part of aging,says the National Institute on Aging. As people get older, changes occur in all parts of the body, including the brain. As a result, some people may notice that it takes longer to learn new things, they dont remember information as well as they did, or they lose things like their glasses. These usually are signs of mild forgetfulness, not serious memory problems, like Alzheimers disease.

Read on to find out when memory loss can indicate something more serious.

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As A Care Worker How Can You Help

Depression and Memory Loss: Know the Facts

There are many conditions and circumstances where you may see signs and symptoms that may be confused with dementia. As a care worker, it is not your responsibility to try to diagnose the condition. However, as you may be the one person who sees the individual on a regular basis, you are well placed to notice any changes. Encouraging an older person to visit their GP on a regular basis can help them to maintain their general health and wellbeing.

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Relationships Of Depression With Cognitive Impairment Decline And Dementia

Depression and cognitive impairment: A profusion of studies have demonstrated that the presence of depression is associated with worse performance on cognitive tests, both in clinical samples of patients with depressive illnesses and in population-based samples of older adults drawn from the community. Many older patients with depression complain of difficulty in concentrating and remembering, and this subjective phenomenon is borne out by objective studies showing that cognitive deficits in depression are mediated almost entirely by slowed processing speed and working memory . There is some variation in results as to which cognitive domains are associated with depression, related in part to the nature of the study population.

Coping With Memory Loss

There isnt an overnight anxiety cure yet. Treating anxiety takes time. But there are plenty of things you can do to help your memory recover more quickly in the meantime.

For starters, there are plenty of mental exercises you can carry out to improve memory. There are also loads of foods available that nourish the synapses and nerves responsible for remembering.

Some of the best tips to accelerate taking back control of your memory include:

  • Writing stuff down. It can be helpful to make notes of important stuff you want to remember. But its important to not get hypervigilant about this and let it spiral into an obsession.
  • Spend time with friends and family. Spending time with loved ones makes you less anxious, in theory. So long as your family are people you feel safe with, being around them fora while could lower your anxiety levels and clear away some of that brain fog.
  • Exercise. Studies have shown that physical exercise may benefit your cognitive processes and memory . Doing some sudoku and hitting the gym wont give you photographic recall, but they do make your brain better at storing and retrieving information.

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Common Causes Of Forgetfulness

Memory slips are aggravating, frustrating, and sometimes worrisome. When they happen more than they should, they can trigger fears of looming dementia or Alzheimers disease. But there are some treatable causes of forgetfulness. Here are six common ones.

Lack of sleep. Not getting enough sleep is perhaps the greatest unappreciated cause of forgetfulness. Too little restful sleep can also lead to mood changes and anxiety, which in turn contribute to problems with memory.

Medications. Tranquilizers, antidepressants, some blood pressure drugs, and other medications can affect memory, usually by causing sedation or confusion. That can make it difficult to pay close attention to new things. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you suspect that a new medication is taking the edge off your memory. As shown in the table below, alternatives are usually available.

Medications that may affect memory and possible substitutes

If you take these drugs

ask about switching to one of these drugs


another antidepressant such as fluoxetine or sertraline , or a different type of antidepressant such as duloxetine or venlafaxine


Underactive thyroid. A faltering thyroid can affect memory . A simple blood test can tell if your thyroid is doing its job properly.

Can Depression Cause Memory Loss: Unveiling The Facts

Does Depression Cause Memory Loss?

Depression makes you feel sad, hopeless and tearful but can depression cause memory loss? Well, depression is well connected to situations where a person is lost in the thoughts, cannot think clearly and is surrounded by confusions. Such conditions lead to poor memory or say, short term memory loss. However, there is no significant evidence about losing long term memory due to depression.

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An earlier analysis people with symptoms of depression complained about memory problems. It can also stutter the brains function in the long run and if depression is left untreated, not only unexplained complaints of memory loss but behavioral and physical problems tag in too.

Although if you are wondering about the connection between depression and memory loss, you must also try to keep other symptoms of depression before jumping to a conclusion.

Common symptoms of depression include:

  • Anxiousness, sadness and hopelessness

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Fatigue And Sleep Deprivation

The benefits of getting a good night’s sleep are many: Less weight gain, more energy, and the ability to think more clearly. Being tired because you didn’t sleep well last night and being chronically short on sleep both have been shown to affect memory and learning. It’s worth trying some easy ways to improve your sleep habits.

How Memory Loss Feels

Having poor memory can feel foggy and disorientating. Our head can feel heavy, and cloudy. Nothing will go in, no matter how hard we try.

Constantly forgetting things and struggling to do things weve been able to do for years can be frustrating and leave us feeling useless. Our already-low self-confidence takes hit after hit. Often, were very self-critical, and unfortunately, this self-criticism can make our memory even worse.

We might feel totally out of control. As though everything were trying to do is slipping past us and we cant grab hold of any of it.

Struggling to remember things can be really scary. Its not nice to have memory blanks, especially if were worried about what might or might not have happened in that space. It can leave us feeling lost, anxious, and wary.

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Research On Depression And Memory Loss

Almost 40% of people with depression report difficulty with cognitive function. One large meta-study on depression and memory found a significant association between depression and impaired memory.

Theres also evidence that depression distorts memories. Studies have shown that people with depression recall autobiographical events with a negatively skewed perspective. Plus, the same research shows that depression can make positive memories feel less accessible and impactful.

Memory changes can also occur as a response to very emotionally intense and impactful situations. You may have experienced this yourself. Many people who have endured a physical or emotional trauma can remember that powerful, historical event with unusual claritywhats referred to as a flashbulb memory.

Unlike what you may have seen on TV, comprehensive memory loss syndromes are very rare. However, you might notice brief or thematic memory gaps in relation to intensely distressing situations. In some cases, a person can disassociate due to trauma and forget key details of the moments of duress.

Memory Stress And Anxiety

Is it possible for depression to cause a loss of memory ...

The relationship between stress and memory is complex in order to remember things the brain needs to process memories this involves many different steps. Although a small amount of stress can improve your memory, in high doses, and for prolonged periods of time, it can have a negative impact on your cognitive processes and function.

Stress requires a lot of resources from the brain and this can interfere with the brains capacity to remember new information and the processing of memories. Patients experiencing stress and anxiety often find it difficult to sleep and as mentioned above, this can also contribute to problems with memory.

When you feel anxious, this causes the bodys stress hormone level to increase. High levels of cortisol can make it more difficult to recall memories, studies have shown.

Additionally, one of the main symptoms of anxiety is racing thoughts, and when you have many thoughts running through your mind this can make it difficult to focus on what youre trying to remember.

Ultimately, in cases where stress and/or anxiety is the cause of memory issues, understanding the root cause is the first step on the road to improving your memory. Once the cause has been acknowledged, you can take steps to combat it. Once the stress and anxiety is reduced, memory should improve. Not only this, but it will also increase your quality of life.

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Common Signs Of Depression

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.

How To Manage Memory Loss

Memory loss due to depression is typically managed with regular counseling or therapy and antidepressants. Leading an active lifestyle and getting involved in your community can also elevate your mood.

You can also manage your memory loss by using memory aids. Depending on your needs, this could mean using alarm clocks to keep track of time, color-coding household items, or placing safety notes with instructions on appliances. You may also consider getting a home care provider to help you as needed. You may also consider joining a support group.

Medications that can improve memory and brain function in people with Alzheimers disease or other neurological disorders are also available.

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How Is Dissociative Amnesia Treated

The first goal of treatment for dissociative amnesia is to relieve symptoms and control any problem behavior. Treatment then aims to help the person safely express and process painful memories, develop new coping and life skills, restore functioning, and improve relationships. The best treatment approach depends on the individual and the severity of their symptoms. Treatments may include the following:

How Untreated Depression & Anxiety Affect The Brain

Anxiety and memory loss

Without treatment, depression and anxiety disorders can cause measurable changes in key areas of your brain. Experts arent entirely sure all the ways in which these conditions can affect the brain, but heres what they know so far.

Anxiety & Depression Can Shrink Areas of the Brain That Regulate Cognitive Function

Brain imaging tests, such as MRIs, show that people living with depression and anxiety disorders have abnormalities in areas of the brain responsible for cognitive functions like problem-solving, memory, and planning and executing activities. But thats not all. Untreated anxiety and depression can actually shrink regions of the brain, including:

  • Hippocampus, the region of the brain primarily responsible for long-term memory. The hippocampus also plays an important role in regulating our emotional responses. Constant, severe mood-altering symptoms cause this part of the brain to shrink. Doctors call this shrinkage atrophy, and its associated with Alzheimers disease and dementia. A 2014 study revealed that damage to the hippocampus can also hinder social behavior by preventing you from accurately interpreting and responding to information. Hippocampus atrophy can even affect your ability to use language effectively.
  • Prefrontal cortex, which helps regulate your short-term memory and how well you plan and prepare for activities. A shrunken prefrontal cortex can cause short-term memory loss, difficulty planning and executing events, and increased irritability.

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Let Us Help You Restore Your Brains Health

Here at StoneRidge Centers, we aim to restore the brain to its optimal state of health. Our comprehensive curriculum combines evidence-based therapy, nutrition, and exercise. Anxiety and depression dont have to control your life. Our expert staff members can help treat mental health and addiction challenges.

We can help you manage anxiety and depression in a healthy way that will prevent further harm to your brain. Contact us today at 928-583-7799 if you or a loved one are living with anxiety or depression. Were available 24 hours and 7 days a week to answer any questions you may have.


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How Depression Impacts The Risk Of Memory Loss

People with depression often struggle with short-term memory loss, but they are also at risk of long-term memory problems. A wealth of research, including a study in the British Journal of Psychiatry, has shown that untreated depression significantly increases the risk of dementia. Depressive disorder doubles the risk of developing cognitive impairment in women and quadruples it in men.

In a fascinating study in the Archives of General Psychiatry, a team of researchers evaluated mood and memory in 5,781 women ages 65 and older. At the studys outset, 3.6% of the women had 6 or more symptoms of depression. Of these depressed women, however, nearly 93% of them were untreated. At a follow-up 4 years later, the more depressive symptoms had increased, the worse the women performed on cognitive tests. Women with 3-5 symptoms of depression had a 60% higher chance of cognitive impairment, while those with 6 or more depressive symptoms were 230% more likely to have cognitive decline. According to other researchers, having depression later in life may be a possible precursor to Alzheimers disease.

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Are You Worried About Your Memory Help For Memory Problems

Our specialists will put into place a carefully constructed treatment plan tailored to you for the best possible results. As a private psychiatry clinic in London we are able to offer help without the wait. Simply call our friendly administration team on they will be happy to answer any questions you may have and to book you in for an appointment.

When Memory Loss Leads To Depression

How Depression And Anxiety Cause Memory Loss Health

Its easy for people to understand that those that are experiencing memory loss because of age or diseases like Alzheimers, could experience depression as well. We are able to wrap our heads around the idea that knowing that you are struggling with your memory can cause you to go into other symptoms of depression. Its a big change in life when dealing with physical problems and its not uncommon for those they have chronic health conditions to experience depression.

That doesnt mean that these diseases are directly related to depression, but simply that when people are experiencing different ailments, they may be more likely to experience symptoms of depression as well. However, this isnt the only link between memory loss and depression.

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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.

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