A new study finds that long-term depression may have neurodegenerative effects. Years of untreated depression may lead to neurodegenerative levels of brain inflammation.
How does long term depression affect the brain?
Depression, especially when it goes untreated, can actually change the brain, making episodes worse or more frequent. It also impacts the body and physical health, causing fatigue, digestive issues, pain, and other complications related to the poor decisions made when in a depressed mood.
Can depression change your brain permanently?
Ongoing depression likely causes long-term changes to the brain, especially in the hippocampus. That might be why depression is so hard to treat in some people. But researchers also found less gray matter volume in people who were diagnosed with lifelong major depressive disorder but hadn’t had depression in years.
What are the effects of long term depression?
According to the Mayo Clinic, patients with untreated long-term depression are more prone to sleep disruptions, heart disease, weight gain or loss, weakened immune system, and physical pain. Depression can result in an unhealthy cycle.
Is brain damage from depression reversible?
It’s important to note however, that the effects of depression on the brain are reversible with the right treatment for the individual. “The hippocampus is one of the most important regenerative areas of the brain,” said Professor Hickie.
What is considered long term depression?
Persistent depressive disorder, also called dysthymia (dis-THIE-me-uh), is a continuous long-term (chronic) form of depression. You may lose interest in normal daily activities, feel hopeless, lack productivity, and have low self-esteem and an overall feeling of inadequacy.
Can the brain heal itself from mental illness?
Scientists now know that the brain has an amazing ability to change and heal itself in response to mental experience. This phenomenon, known as neuroplasticity, is considered to be one of the most important developments in modern science for our understanding of the brain.
What is the number one cause of depression?
There’s no single cause of depression. It can occur for a variety of reasons and it has many different triggers. For some people, an upsetting or stressful life event, such as bereavement, divorce, illness, redundancy and job or money worries, can be the cause. Different causes can often combine to trigger depression.
Can depression cause neurological symptoms?
“Not only are people with some of the major neurologic conditions more likely to develop depression, but a history of depression is associated with a higher risk of developing several of the neurologic conditions, such as epilepsy, migraine, stroke, Parkinson’s disease, and dementia,” said Dr. Kanner.
How does depression change your personality?
Despite their feelings of depression they are on the go, and often irritable, angry, frustrated and impulsive. This is associated with high risks of suicide, other forms of self-harm or violence towards those who may be perceived as the cause.
Who is at higher risk of depression?
Age. Major depression is most likely to affect people between the ages of 45 and 65. “People in middle age are at the top of the bell curve for depression, but the people at each end of the curve, the very young and very old, may be at higher risk for severe depression,” says Walch.
Does depression cause memory loss?
Stress, anxiety or depression can cause forgetfulness, confusion, difficulty concentrating and other problems that disrupt daily activities. Alcoholism. Chronic alcoholism can seriously impair mental abilities. Alcohol can also cause memory loss by interacting with medications.
What are the short term and long term effects of depression?
In the short-term, depression is likely to cause loss of appetite, weight loss, and other physical symptoms. If you develop insomnia or hypersomnia (sleeping too much), you will be fatigued and lethargic. In the long term, you can experience malnutrition from not eating enough or become obese from eating too much.
Can depression give you brain damage?
A depression not only makes a person feel sad and dejected – it can also damage the brain permanently, so the person has difficulties remembering and concentrating once the disease is over. Up to 20 percent of depression patients never make a full recovery.
Does your brain age faster when depressed?
Research shows your brain physically ages faster when you’re depressed. Looking into the brain. New research out of Yale University shows depression can physically change a person’s brain, hastening an aging effect that might leave them more susceptible to illnesses associated with old age.
Does depression make you less intelligent?
It can impair your attention and memory, as well as your information processing and decision-making skills. It can also lower your cognitive flexibility (the ability to adapt your goals and strategies to changing situations) and executive functioning (the ability to take all the steps to get something done).