When To See A Doctor
If your forgetfulness symptoms are significantly interfering with your day-to-day, schedule an appointment with your doctor. He or she will perform tests to determine the cause and degree of your memory impairment. After the initial evaluation, your doctor may suggest:
- Therapy: Working with a professional is the best way to address underlying problems like depression or that may be contributing to memory problems.
- Medication: There are currently several medications available for treating some forms of dementia.
What Causes Dissociative Amnesia
Dissociative amnesia has been linked to overwhelming stress, which might be the result of traumatic events — such as war, abuse, accidents, or disasters — that the person has experienced or witnessed. There also might be a genetic link to the development of dissociative disorders, including dissociative amnesia, because people with these disorders sometimes have close relatives who have had similar conditions.
Better Mood Better Memory
If youre diagnosed with depression and your doctor believes it to be the root of your memory loss, theres plenty of treatment options to improve both problems.
The most common treatments for depression are antidepressant medication and psychotherapy. Severe depression that doesnt respond to those treatments may call for ECT.
Newer treatment options include repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation and vagus nerve stimulation .
The National Institute of Mental Health also these lifestyle modifications for living with depression:
- Try to be active and exercise regularly.
- Set realistic goals for yourself.
- Try to spend time with other people and confide in a trusted friend or relative.
- Try not to isolate yourself, and let others help you.
- Expect your mood to improve gradually, not immediately.
- Postpone important decisions, such as getting married or divorced, or changing jobs until you feel better. Discuss decisions with others who know you well and have a more objective view of your situation.
- Continue to educate yourself about depression.
When To Visit The Doctor For Memory Loss
At your doctor visit, he or she can perform tests and assessments, which may include a brain scan, to help determine the source of memory problems. Your doctor may also recommend you see a neurologist, a doctor who specializes in treating diseases of the brain and nervous system.
Memory and other thinking problems have many possible causes, including , an infection, or medication side effects. Sometimes, the problem can be treated, and cognition improves. Other times, the problem is a brain disorder, such as Alzheimer’s disease, which cannot be reversed.
Finding the cause of the problems is important for determining the best course of action. Once you know the cause, you can make the right treatment plan. People with memory problems should make a follow-up appointment to check their memory every six to 12 months. They can ask a family member, friend, or the doctor’s office to remind them if they’re worried they’ll forget.
What Can You Do
Treatment for depression usually involves a combination of medicines, talking therapies and self-help. There might be a certain amount of trial and error while you find what works for you. It may also depend on how serious your depression is. Mild to moderate depression can sometimes be managed with exercise, self-help groups and talking therapies. But more serious cases of depression could need antidepressant medication and the support of a mental health team, alongside the other treatments.
If you are worried that memory loss problems might be a symptom of a wider issue such as depression, the sooner you find out the better you soon could feel. See your GP and he can give you an initial assessment and refer you on from there.
Depression And Memory Loss
Posted on July 20, 2021 by Cheryl K, LCSW, CEO, Co-founder and Partner
In the United States, an estimated 17.3 million people experience depression each year.
Although depression has a major impact on your health and quality of life, it also affects brain function more specifically, cognition. Shown to diminish decision-making, memory, and higher-reasoning, symptoms of depression can hinder daily life. However, these symptoms are highly treatable.
When you receive the help you need, memory loss and other symptoms related to depression will no longer be your norm. You can live a happier, healthier life, heres how.
Anxiety Is Linked To A Suffering Working Memory And Can Also Have An Impact On Emotionally
Research has consistently demonstrated that people who suffer from Generalized Anxiety Disorder experience working memory loss. Our working memory is essentially important for helping us hold details in our minds while we actively complete a task or work on whatever we are keeping in mind at that time. It is useful in our abilities to actively solve problems as well as manage the various bits of information that we might be presented with at the current time.Â
It is thought that the bodyâs stress response, which occurs as a result of anxiety, increases electrical activity in the brain as well as the release of adrenaline in response to fear or threats. However, this essentially expends the bodyâs resources, making other functions such as memory actually suffer.Â
Studies have shown that anxiety and worry can hinder your working memory, causing you to make more mistakes and be more forgetful. Here are just a few examples of experiences that anxious individuals might encounter as a result of hindered working memory function:
- Forgetting where you parked in a parking lot
- Repeating yourself because you have forgotten if youâve said it already
- Difficulty recalling directions
Sleep Deprivation Caused By Memory Loss
There is a clear correlation between sleep deprivation and depression. An imbalance in key neurotransmitters that govern mood and sleep is linked to depression. Sleep deprivation or excess has an impact on cognitive performance, particularly visual memory and response time. We recommend having 7 to 9 hours of sleep for the brain to function at its best. One of the most common symptoms of clinical depression is the inability to sleep. Sleep deprivation brought on by another medical illness, a sleep disorder, or personal issues might worsen depression.
Memory Loss Cause # 6 Head Trauma
Minor Head Trauma might be endured from even a small from a loss or mishap, and can trigger memory loss due to harm to the brain. In addition to the preliminary injury, troubles are typically intensified by the bodys inflammatory response, which can make the brain swell or shrink, relying on the situation, making also a short loss have the potential for dramatic effects. Every loss ought to be reported to your health care physician, so they can examine you for any type of kind of terrible mind injury . TBI is credited to lots of symptoms that harm our ability to function, such as:.
Short-term memory loss.Failure to cope with tension, as well as episodes of aggression.Migraines.Lack of ability to hold your pee.Modification in appetite and also resting patterns, along with individuality.
Autumns are the most typical root cause of TBI in older grownups; with 60% of TBI in those over 65 being credited to a fall. Clients over 75 having the highest event of drops leading to TBI, a hospital stay, and fatality. Because professional observation can miss approximately 30% of TBI, a digital mind scan is recommended to verify no mind swelling or contraction occurs after a fall..
What Is The Connection Between Memory Loss And Depression
has often been linked to memory problems, such as forgetfulness or confusion. It can also make it difficult to do basic things such as focusing on work or other tasks, make decisions, or think clearly. Depression tends to only impact short-term memory. Other types of memory such as long-term memory and procedural memory, which controls motor skills are not affected by depression and anxiety.
In addition to memory problems, other signs of depression include:
- Loss of appetite
- A drastic change in weight
- Not sleeping enough
- feeling sad, anxious, numb, or hopeless
- Feeling restless or irritable
- Loss of interest in activities or hobbies
- having little energy and feeling fatigued
- having physical problems, such as headaches, stomachaches, and back pain
Condition Causing Slurred Speech
Slurring of one’s speech could be from substance intoxication or from a stroke. A doctor needs to make this distinction. You should see one immediately.
Top Symptoms: slurred speech, arm weakness, hearing voices or seeing things that aren’t there, odd walking gait, hard testicle lump
Urgency: Emergency medical service
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Memory Loss Cause # 2 Over
Self-medicating with alcohol, cigarettes, and also other compounds can affect our memory. Every included drug even more makes complex a possibly hazardous alcoholic drink, specifically if you additionally consume alcohol.
Why am I taking this medicine?What specific times do I require to take it?Do I need to consume or consume alcohol when taking this?The length of time can I expect this medicine to start working?Will this interact with any of my other drugs?Can I drive when I take this?What does as required mean?What should I do if I neglect a dosage?What adverse effects can I expect?Will I be able to take my typical vitamins with this medicine?
Hardship increases the threat of alcohol misuse in the senior, in enhancement to being much less educated or a racial minority. Before worrying also much about more serious causes like dementia, take a look at your alcohol intake to see if it can be the perpetrator to your recent memory problems.
What Can Be Done To Protect Cognition
Thankfully, the impact on cognition from depression can be temporary , although repeated episodes of depression can lead to more long-lasting cognitive health issues, says Dr. Reddy.
In addition to seeking therapy and other appropriate treatments from a trusted mental health practitioner, there are some things people who are experiencing depression can do to help protect their cognitive health, Cunningham says. Adding more foods with omega-3 fatty acids can help boost your serotonin levels, and remember to eat well-balanced meals and to drink plenty of water, she says. This might sound basic, but these brain-healthy habits can help naturally produce more of those all-important neurotransmitters that the brain needs to function properly.
What you should know is that fatigue is a warning sign to make changes,” adds Dr. Sell. It is important to give yourself permission to rest when needed and start to look at your bedtime habits and how you fuel your body with nutrient dense foods during the day.”
Although it can difficult to do when in a depressive state, exercising is another great mood-enhancing activity for the brain. If you can muster up the energy for 30 minutes of aerobic exercise, it can make quite a difference,” says Cunningham.
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, , 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 can affect memory . A simple blood test can tell if your thyroid is doing its job properly.
Depression. Common signs of depression include a stifling sadness, lack of drive, and lessening of pleasure in things you ordinarily enjoy. Forgetfulness can also be a sign of depressionor a consequence of it.
Memory Loss Cause #11 Anxiety
To some extent, anxiety can aid your memory, Legendre claims. Both ends of the continuum as well little tension, or as well much can harm your memory. Contrary to what we could think, not having sufficient anxiety hormonal agents can be as negative for your memory as having also a lot, Legendre states.Learn more about Is Memory Loss A Symptom Of Depression in this article.
To limit how stress and anxiety impacts your concentration and memory, Legendre suggests structure mindfulness methods into your day. Attempt reflection for a few minutes every day. These practices aid you recognize the present minute as well as focus on what youre doing, she says.
Differences Between Depression And Dementia
- Depression tends to develop much more quickly than most types of dementia over weeks or a few months.
- It is common for people with dementia to have problems with their speech and awareness of where they are and what time it is. This is unusual in depression.
- A person with depression may sometimes say they cant remember something but then remember when they are prompted. However, a person with dementia is likely not to remember recent events. They may also try to cover up their memory loss.
- A person with severe depression may have problems with their reasoning or memory. However, this is likely to be because they have poor concentration. Their problems with reasoning or memory should get better with treatment or when the depression lifts. This does not happen with dementia.
Managing Depression Memory Loss
Memory loss with depression is usually temporary. As depression lifts, the hippocampus can recover, thinking shifts, and sharper memory returns. You can do things to make this happen:
- Work with a therapist to improve thoughts
- Actively manage stress with such things as exercise, diet, calming activities, mindfulness, meditation, social support, having a sense of purpose and fun, getting enough sleep
- Talk with your doctor about ; some have been shown to help the hippocampus, but medication isnt right for everyone
- Also discuss electroconvulsive therapy with your doctor, as some studies have linked ECT with neural growth and decreased atrophy in the hippocampus
Depression and memory loss are very real, brain-based experiences. Things going on in the brainlargely the hippocampusbecause of stress and depression help explain why you might have memory loss with your depression.
APA ReferencePeterson, T. . Why Does Depression Cause Memory Loss?, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2021, August 25 from https://www.healthyplace.com/depression/symptoms/why-does-depression-cause-memory-loss
Cognitive Causes Of Memory Loss And Depression
An annoying effect of depression is difficulty concentrating. Brain fog is a real experience for people with depression, and being unable to focus causes frustrations. To commit something to memory requires concentration, so when depression interferes in that ability, memory can suffer.
The quality and content of thoughts affect memory, too. is part of depression. When people ruminate, they fixate on negative thoughts and problems, thinking about them repeatedly. The repetition of negative thoughts can commit them to memory, just as repeating information when studying helps with recall.
Because theyre rehearsed, bad memories and negative thoughts stick. Positive thoughts and experiences take a back seat and are forgotten. The same happens with functional thoughts, such as the inability to recall where the car keys are. This isnt by conscious choice. If you are living with depression, chances are youre not ruminating on purpose or intentionally remaining in a state of chronic stress. Its the nature of this very complex disorder and the even more complex human brain.
Depression And Memory Loss Treatment
There is no specific treatment for memory loss in depression but three approaches are standard in the treatment of cognitive deficits common to several mental illnesses:
- Drills and exercises an example of this would be a computer program designed to exercise and improve memory.
- Learning different ways to remember things such as the use of mnemonic devices.
- Changes in the environment an example would be a memory aid, such as a recorder onto which one can dictate items to be remembered later.
APA ReferenceTracy, N. . Depression and Memory Loss: Causes, Effects, Treatment, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2021, August 25 from https://www.healthyplace.com/depression/symptoms/depression-and-memory-loss-causes-effects-treatment
Memory Loss Cause # 10 Dementia
An apparent explanation to getting worse memory problems, especially the capability to bear in mind recent occasions, names, and also telephone number, is Alzheimers illness and also relevant mental deteriorations. While not all older grownups deal with memory-related diseases, the danger of creating mental deterioration rises with age. New advancements in modern technology have made it possible to spot Alzheimers illness in your physicians office with a basic eye test, as well as there are many cognitive tests that can also be carried out to aid find out the exact nature of your memory concerns, so make certain to reach out to your medical professional if you believe your memory problems are becoming an issue for you..
Other Causes Of Memory Loss
Other reasons you may experience memory loss can include the following:
- Normal age-related memory loss is common and manageable. One example of this is forgetting where you put your glasses but remembering later in the day.
- Alzheimers disease is the most common form of dementia. It can cause progressive, irreparable brain damage and memory loss.
- Mild cognitive impairment can alter thinking skills and eventually progress to Alzheimers disease or other forms of dementia.
- Minor head injury or trauma can trigger slight memory problems, even if you didnt lose consciousness.
- Forgetfulness is a potential side effect of certain medications.
- Brain tumors or brain infections can affect your memory or trigger dementia-like symptoms.
- Vitamin B-12 deficiency can create problems with your memory. This is because youre not maintaining healthy nerve cells and red blood cells.
- Alcoholism or drug abuse can impair your mental state and abilities. This can also occur when alcohol interacts with medications.
- Hypothyroidism slows your metabolism, which can lead to memory problems and other issues with thinking.
- Brain or nerve damage caused by diseases such as Parkinsons disease or multiple sclerosis can cause memory problems. A 2013 study found that people with depression have a greater risk of developing Parkinsons disease.
Memory Stress And Anxiety
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.
Is It Alzheimer’s Or Another Kind Of Dementia
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia and causes significant memory loss, in addition to multiple other symptoms. If you think your memory loss could be caused by Alzheimer’s, review the symptoms and make an appointment with your physician for an assessment. Although Alzheimer’s typically affects those over the age of 65, early-onset Alzheimer’s can occur in those as young as 40.
Memory loss can also be caused by other kinds of dementia, such as vascular dementia, Lewy body dementia, frontotemporal dementia, and several others. Problems with memory should be discussed with your doctor so that any reversible cause can be found and treated, or so that treatment for Alzheimer’s or dementia can begin as soon as possible if this is the cause.
Brain Structure And Function
Depression is linked to widespread changes in brain structure and function including in the prefrontal cortex, , and amygdala. These regions are all involved in cognition, executive function , and emotion processing.
These regions are interlinked via neural circuits, and they send and receive messages from each other, so problems in one region will impact on others. And, the neural circuits responsible for cognition and emotion processing overlap with those that control our stress response systems. So periods of high stress can also impair cognitive function and worsen mood.
The changes in these brain regions seen in depression can have a big impact on how well our brain works during memory tasks. For example, people with depression often have a smaller hippocampus, and had increased activity extending from the prefrontal cortex during a working memory task in which they were asked to remember specific letters. This meant the brains of people with depression brains had to work harder during the memory task by recruiting the help of additional brain regions to perform at the same level as participants who didnt have depression.
How Can Memory Loss And Depression Lead To Addiction
While many people seek medical or psychological treatment for their depression and subsequent memory loss not everyone goes that route. Many people turn to drugs or alcohol to address their issues. In many cases, the person suffering is either too embarrassed to address the issue or they think that they can just fix it on their own.
When that happens they will turn to drugs or alcohol as a way of self-medicating. By using drugs and alcohol they can numb the pain that comes along with depression and forget that they have anything going on for a while.
While this might be a temporary solution, in the long run, this can lead to the development of a drug and/or alcohol addiction. After a while, your body grows dependent on the substance and now needs more and more of that substance just to function. Not only does it no longer help fix your depression, but it has now caused another issue in your life.
When a substance abuse addiction is formed as a result of a mental health issue, such as depression, it is known as a co-occurring disorder. This is when there are multiple issues that your body and brain are dealing with simultaneously.