Depression and anxiety can weaken teenager’s memory

Depression and anxiety can weaken teenager’s memory

Mental health issues like depression and anxiety may have a grave impact on an individual’s memory. Though many believe that no connection exists between memory loss and mental disorders, yet studies have found that both are inter-connected. Depression, in fact, affects an individual’s ability to comprehend things, deteriorate one’s ability to focus on the intended job, and can even lead to impaired cognitive abilities.

Anxiety and depression not only affect adults but also teenagers. According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), approximately three million adolescents aged 12 to 17 in the United States had at least one major depressive episode in 2014. Statistics shared by the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) states that anxiety disorders affect one in eight children in the U.S.

Anxiety and depression lead to number of issues in teens

Experiencing anxiety during the adolescent years is normal. But, when its symptoms are left untreated over a long period of time, it can lead to a number of issues, such as:

  • Behavioral problems
  • Poor performance in school
  • Dropping out of school
  • Low self-esteem and poor self-worth
  • Committing petty crimes
  • Teen pregnancy
  • Missing out on social engagements
  • Increased risk of substance use and abuse
  • Anxiety disorders that persist into adulthood

When depression affects a teenager, following are a few of the common effects that he/she might face:

  • Low self-esteem
  • Alcoholism
  • Substance abuse
  • Poor school performance
  • Family conflicts and other relationship issues
  • Social isolation
  • Unwarranted involvement with legal authorities
  • Self-harming behavior
  • Suicidal thoughts

Depression can cause memory loss

Memory is one of the major brain functions that is essential to lead the day-to-day life. Depression not only makes it difficult for a teenager to remember things, but also to initiate tasks at school, take important decisions for school projects and plan his/her future action for academics and sports, among others. Such issues are triggered when depression causes an imbalance in the human brain chemicals, known as neurotransmitters, which are essential for the healthy functioning of a human brain.

Depression affects the hippocampus and the prefrontal cortex, the two major human brain parts. Hippocampus, which stores memories, begins to create problems when it produces an undue amount of cortisol due to excessive stress. An increased exposure to cortisol slows down the production of new neurons in the human brain, which in turn, leads to memory issues. It also affects the functioning of the prefrontal cortex, which regulates emotions, decision making, and memory formation in the human brain.

Anxiety can reduce the brain’s ability to process information

The state of anxiety can lead to an increased generation of thoughts (majorly negative) and that too, at a faster rate. When a teenager faces anxiety during the school hours, he/she gets easily distracted, leading to split attention and difficulty in learning and remembering things.

Reducing the functioning of the cortex, and increasing the activity in the amygdala, which is the fear center of the brain, anxiety can reduce one’s ability to logically rationalize and process information. It also affects the functioning of the hippocampus, which is the learning and memory area of the brain, thus, in turn, making it more difficult for the brain to store and retrieve information.

Treatment can help

Depression and anxiety disorders not only cause memory loss, but also other mental health conditions such as slurred speech, vision impairment, drowsiness, the feelings of worthlessness and hopelessness, disorientation, convulsions and suicidal ideations. Untreated depression or anxiety disorders can lead to severe mental health problems such as eating disorders and acute psychosis.

If you or someone you know is dealing with depression, anxiety or any other mental health issue, Sovereign Health can help. Connect with us to avail the best mental health programs in California and other parts of the U.S. Sovereign Health is one of the finest mental health centers offering a wide range of treatment options in a holistic environment. Call our 24/7 helpline number 866-973-7164, or chat online with one of our experts who can assist you with complete information about anxiety treatment centers in Los Angeles including depression treatment centers in California.

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