Does Depression Cause Memory Loss?

Depression is one of the world’s leading disabilities, and can affect your mental and physical well-being in various ways. When you are depressed, you may struggle with your judgment and decision-making skills. For some people, depression may also cause short-term memory loss. If you’re having trouble with these issues, what can you do about it?

Do You Have Memory Loss?

While everyone experiences occasional forgetfulness, frequent episodes of memory loss can be concerning. You may wonder about things you did and said, or start leaving yourself notes to help you remember.

A decline in cognitive skills is common with aging, but getting older is not the only cause of short-term memory loss. For example, substance abuse and sleep disorders such as insomnia and sleep apnea can affect your memory. Short-term memory loss is also a side effect of some medications and could indicate a nutrient deficiency.

If you’re experiencing memory loss with persistent feelings of despair or hopelessness, see your doctor as soon as possible. A health professional can screen you for depression and other health problems that may affect your memory, and can recommend treatments to help you reverse short-term memory loss.

How to Treat Depression and Memory Loss

Depression is not curable, but it is treatable, often through a combination of therapy and specific medications such as SSRIs. For example, evidence-based techniques like cognitive behavioral therapy can help you recognize negative thought patterns that hold you back from leading a fulfilling life.

Many of the same positive lifestyle changes for managing depression can also improve your memory today and lower your risk of developing memory loss in the future.

  • Exercise regularly to improve circulation and get more oxygen to your brain.
  • Eat a healthy, balanced diet with plenty of fresh produce, lean protein and minimally processed foods.
  • Get sober from alcohol and drugs.
  • Stay mentally active with challenging activities like puzzles and games.
  • Keep a consistent sleep schedule with seven to nine hours of restful sleep per night.
  • Create a routine or to-do list to help you stay on top of your daily responsibilities.

A Refuge for Recovery

At Cumberland Heights, we have created a tranquil, 177-acre campus in the beautiful Tennessee countryside. This rural setting is naturally conducive to the peaceful, calm mindset that facilitates recovery from a dual diagnosis of depression and substance use disorder. While exploring our grounds, you’ll notice our beautiful courtyard, Serenity Trail, orchard, memorial garden, pond and chapel.

Our expert team provides detoxification, inpatient and outpatient care and treatment for co-occurring disorders like depression. Our staff includes a psychiatrist, two psychiatric nurse practitioners and many master’s-level mental health and addiction counselors. Other resources include social workers, marriage and family therapists and addiction medicine specialists. To learn more about the benefits of comprehensive programming at a facility where you can begin transforming your life, connect with us today.