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Future Health

The link between memory loss and depression

February 23, 2021 

Many people who have been treated for depression have reported memory problems such as forgetfulness or confusion. Researchers have discovered that people with depression couldn’t identify objects on a screen that were identical or similar to ones on previous screens. This meaning that depression can affect someone’s short term memory.

To determine if your forgetfulness is related to depression, or something else see your doctor for a physical and cognitive exam. Here are some of the of the questions that may be asked:

  • When did your memory problems begin?
  • What medications, including prescription drugs, over-the-counter drugs, and dietary supplements, do you take and in what doses?
  • Have you recently started a new drug?
  • How much alcohol do you drink?

Your doctor may also refer you to a specialist or order blood tests and brain imaging to identify the cause of your memory loss. The good news is if your memory loss is found to be from depression there are plenty of treatments available to improve both problems. Here are a few lifestyle adjustments that will aid in recovery:

  • Try to be active and exercise regularly.
  • 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.
  • Continue to educate yourself about depression.

There are many resources available, do your research first and see your healthcare provider to rule out other causes of memory loss and get treatment.