Depression is a mental illness that causes feelings of sadness and hopelessness. It can also affect a person’s memory. Depression is known to cause a number of cognitive problems, but memory loss has not been well studied. What is known for sure, though, is that many individuals suffering from clinical depression experience both short and long-term memory loss. It is common for everyone, including healthy individuals, to occasionally experience forgetfulness. However, when forgetfulness begins to make it difficult to function normally, as it does in severe cases of depression, then it is important to get help.
If you are suffering from depression and have difficulty remembering important people, names, rules, or even skills, then you likely need to get treatment. Fortunately, there are many tools and techniques for treating depression. In the case of treatment-resistant depression with memory loss symptoms, transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is often the best course of action. This safe and non-invasive therapy stimulates inactive areas of the brain to reduce symptoms of both memory loss and depression.
What is Depression?
Depression is a mental illness that can cause negative thoughts, feelings of sadness, and a loss of interest in activities you once enjoyed. It can be difficult to diagnose because its symptoms can be similar to those of other conditions, but depression is often characterized by a feeling of hopelessness and worthlessness. The condition can have a damaging impact on a person’s life, affecting their work, their relationships, and their health. It can even be fatal. Sufferers have higher rates of substance abuse and may develop comorbid addictions that eventually worsen their depression further. Depression can lead to suicide if left untreated.
If you are experiencing symptoms of depression, there are a number of resources available to help. You can speak with a doctor to see if they feel you may be suffering from depression or if they recommend seeing a mental health professional. Traditional treatment approaches generally involve a combination of prescription antidepressants and talk therapy, but some cases of depression are severe or simply do not respond to these traditional treatments. When memory loss and other extreme cognitive impairments are occurring, then alternative treatment methods are often a good idea. These treatment methods may include transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), which can specifically help with memory impairment and may even aid learning.
What are the Symptoms of Depression?
Depression is a mental illness that can have a number of different symptoms. Some people may experience only a few symptoms, while others may experience many. Depression can be very debilitating and can interfere with a person’s ability to function in everyday life. Some common symptoms of depression include feeling sad or down most of the time, feeling hopeless or helpless, having no energy, losing interest in things you used to enjoy, experiencing changes in your appetite or weight, having trouble sleeping or sleeping too much, feeling restless or irritable, and feeling like you’re worthless or guilty. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms for more than two weeks, it is important to seek help from a mental health professional.
What Causes Memory Loss?
Memory loss can be a scary and frustrating experience. It can be difficult to understand why certain things are forgotten or why memory seems to fade over time. While there are many potential causes of memory loss, some are more common than others. Here are a few possible causes of memory loss:
- Stroke – A stroke is a sudden, temporary or permanent damage to the brain’s blood vessels. If a stroke occurs in the brain’s memory center, it can cause memory loss and other symptoms of dementia, including confusion, difficulty speaking and understanding speech, and difficulty walking.
- Brain trauma – Damage to the hippocampus and surrounding brain tissue may result in memory loss. The hippocampus is located deep within the brain, near the center. It plays an important role in memory formation, storing memories, and retrieving memories.
- Alzheimer’s disease – Alzheimer’s disease, or AD, is a degenerative disorder of the brain that affects thinking and behavior. It usually becomes noticeable by age 55 or 60.
- Mood disorders – Mood disorders like depression can cause memory loss, in part because individuals with depression tend to be distracted. This can make it difficult for them to focus sufficiently on the present moment, which interferes with the formation of memories. Reduced brain activity in depressed people also prevents them from recalling memories effectively.
How Does Depression Cause Memory Loss?
Depression has long been known to cause changes in mood, energy, and thinking. More recently, research has shown that depression can also lead to memory loss. The two are interconnected in a number of ways. Depression can cause cognitive problems such as difficulty concentrating and making decisions. This can lead to memory lapses. Depression is also associated with inflammation, which may damage the brain cells involved in memory.
Perhaps more concerningly, drugs used to treat depression can also have an impact on memory. This means that people taking antidepressants may be trading in their depressive symptoms for symptoms of memory loss. Common antidepressants like SSRIs often have unpleasant side effects. They also do not even help depression in all cases. When they are additionally making memory problems worse, then it is obvious that other approaches are necessary.
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation for Memory Loss
Other options are available. Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) is a relatively new treatment for memory loss that is still being studied. It is a non-invasive procedure in which a magnetic field is generated outside the head to stimulate nerve cells in the brain. TMS has been found to be effective in improving memory function in some patients with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. It is also recognized as an effective treatment for depression, anxiety, and other mental health disorders.
Lucid Wellness Center, located in Los Angeles, California, specializes in TMS therapy for people suffering from treatment-resistant depression. If you have tried other treatments with little success, then reach out to us today. We will help get your memory and cognitive abilities back on track with our safe, effective, and non-invasive TMS program. Contact us today for a free and confidential consultation.