Memory loss due to depression: what is it?

Memory loss due to depression: what is it?

The memory loss due to depression is obvious. The depressed brain disconnects us from reality to move us away like a drifting boat. He is dragging us into his neurochemical storm. He locks us in a cave where the outside world becomes staggering and indefinite, where it is difficult to maintain the concentration, to remember, to react, to think …

We almost instantly visualize a person lying on the couch or in bed with the blinds down when we talk about depression. We associate this psychological disorder with tranquility, discouragement and vulnerability. However,depression is often "portable". Indeed, thousands of people face their daily responsibilities with this invisible wound which interferes in almost any field or activity.

Depression negatively affects episodic memory and the memory of lived events.

Depression goes beyond a specific emotional state. This condition corresponds to internal disorder, physical exhaustion,reluctance, apathy. Despair settles in the mind like a Trojan horse. Moreover, it deteriorates the cognitive functioning. This last aspect is undeniably relevant even if we do not speak about it often. However, it is essential to take it into account to constitute a more integral, adapted and sensitive therapeutic approach.

Memory loss due to depression, what happens to me?

Difficulty in understanding the indications and even more in providing them. Problems to understand what we hear or read. Have someone's name on the tip of your tongue without remembering it. Stay empty while driving without remembering where we were going. To perceive that others are angry with us because we do not pay attention to them while they speak.Live more and more misunderstandings with those around us because we can not concentrate, remember what they tell us, make simple deductions, etc. .

As we see, memory loss due to depression goes beyond mere forgetfulness. It is living in a mental fog, where everything seems too far or too diffuse to attract attention and understand what is happening, where we are, what is asked of us.All this generates malaise, social misunderstanding and, even worse, worsens the feeling of depression.

Why is this happening? Why are all these exhausting processes happening?

"Accelerated" neurons

Stress is also another factor that promotes the risk of depression.The feeling of threat, fear, pressure, sense of alertness, anxiety … All these dimensions favor the release of glucocorticoids, the most common being cortisol.

A brain governed by the impact of cortisol works differently. Neurons are "accelerated" and promote well-known processes such as rumination, anxiety, obsessive thoughts … Something very graphic occurs in the face of this hyperactivity. These cells are "disconnected" pto reduce this over-activation, exhaustion and even neuronal death.

Information ceases to be transmitted with such agility. Things are forgotten, the memory weakens and the brain suddenly slows down to enter pause mode.

The seahorse reduces its size

Memory loss due to depression also originates in a very specific brain structure: the hippocampus.This region, among other functions, is responsible for storing memory. Surprising as it may seem, this area is most affected by the effect of cortisol. It is almost such a target where all the toxicity of glucocorticoids ends. In the event that depression becomes chronic or we experience recurrent episodes, its size will be smaller and smaller.

Ithe invitationHowever, it should be noted that the hippocampus is one of those structures characterized by high plasticity. It can return to its original size through appropriate therapy, memory exercises, and cognitive strategies. Our attention, our memories, etc., will be improved.

Dopaminergic circuits

Anhedonia is characteristic of people with depression.This psychological disorder makes us lose the ability to enjoy the simplest things, to feel interest, pleasure, motivation, energy to start something new, to leave our home, to undertake , to log in…

Dopaminergic circuits are responsible for "rewarding" us for this kind of thing. For those activities that the brain considers positive.In contrast, a depressed brain is an organ where dopamine no longer works effectively. So that everything changes, everything is altered. We lose motivation. Moreover, a deficit of this neurotransmitter also involves the appearance of alterations of the serotoninergic, glutamatergic, opioid and endocannabinoid system …

If all these neurochemical systems and processes are not working properly,we lose curiosity, the ability to pay attention, the agility to learn, store new data and retrieve it, to make effective decisions

What can we do ?

Memory loss due to depression is a fact. However, each person will experience it in a particular way. We know for examplethat cognitive impairment is recoverable through cognitive therapies, exercises, self-help groups, etc.,in mild to moderate depression.

In the most serious cases, however, a multidisciplinary strategy is needed. The pharmacological approach is thus associated with psychological therapies, therapies focused on the work of memory and even with dietary supplements containing magnesium and vitamins of group B. We must not neglect the importance of having the support of our environment. Understanding, closeness and sensitivity to the person with depression is essential.

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