Why Depression can completely erase your memory?


Why Depression can completely erase your memory?


It gets harder and harder to remember things when you are melancholy, especially good recollections. And if that wasn't bad enough, some medications that lift your spirits might also impair your memory.

Jake believed that after he stopped using marijuana, he wouldn't lose track of things like his keys or the toilet paper his girlfriend asked him to pick up on the way home. The 35-year-old says, "I just thought I was an idiot." It turned out that Jake was having depression issues. But the embarrassment of forgetting things only exacerbated his depression. I gave up using marijuana to acquire a clearer head, but now I'm forgetting everything," he laments.

Memory loss is a common sign of depression, which seems unfair. Three years ago, a user on the r/Depression subreddit wrote, "I have days where I feel like I'm being gaslighted or acquiring dementia." Similar topics cover issues including difficulty following discussions, disorientation, and forgetting childhood experiences that other siblings may recall with great detail.

People prefer to only remember events that match their present mood, a process psychologists refer to as "mood-congruent memory," which may explain why depression-related memory loss can be so severe. This is especially problematic if you're depressed because it increases your propensity to remember negative events and perpetuates the myth that nothing positive ever occurs.

According to psychotherapist and clinical social worker Brent Metcalf, "one of the ways the body tries to protect itself from depression is by disassociation, which can make us feel disconnected from our brain, body, and thoughts, causing this memory loss or brain fog." This is another reason why we're more forgetful when we're depressed. Dissociation can be very subtle, despite the way it is frequently shown in movies and television shows, where it is portrayed as a dramatic, personality-splitting process only experienced by those who have experienced substantial trauma. According to Metcalf, "it could be anything as basic as not feeling connected to your body, thoughts, surroundings, and environment."

Memory loss is a frequent complication of melancholy, according to clinical psychologist Holly Schiff. However, she places the blame on stress chemicals like cortisol, which are more likely to be released when we're down. She cautions that excessive cortisol in the brain prevents the development of new brain cells in the hippocampus, which is crucial for the formation of memories. As a result, the stress reaction brought on by depressed episodes could impair memory.

Additionally, too much cortisol interferes with sleep, which makes it more difficult for the brain to regenerate. For all of these reasons, numerous studies have found that untreated depression can result in memory loss and deterioration of cognitive abilities.

In addition, some antidepressants, such as SSRIs, can exacerbate memory loss, dealing a cruel double blow. However, persons who suffer from depression shouldn't be discouraged from obtaining treatment if necessary. Additionally, Schiff offers some tips for preventing forgetting, such as setting digital reminders, keeping a calendar, and attempting to concentrate on only one activity at once. Additionally, addressing the depression head-on — whether that be through counseling, physical activity, medication, or a combination of these — should aid in getting your memory back. Simply taking the time to write down your grocery list before you get to the store may need some patience, time, and commitment.

That is, at least, how Jake's experience has been. After his girlfriend suggested that he may be sad, he began to deal with his symptoms more pro-actively by going to the gym and staying up later. And even though he still struggles with forgetfulness, his memory is gradually becoming better. But he says to me, "I'm not as hard on myself about it now." That has made it simpler to concentrate.

And that's pretty much the finest thing you can think of to do when you're depressed.

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