Getting diagnosed with depression at 11 years old was supposed to be a good thing, considering the problem became known sooner than later. At least, that’s what my first psychiatrist told my parents. However, I would say that she was not excellent at her job, considering it made my life worse than it should be.

frequently-asked-questions-about-the-effects-of-long-term-depression
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Because of my psychiatrist’s words, my parents became extra protective of me. When the diagnosis was still fresh, they thought it was best to hide everything I could use to cut myself. They replaced the cutleries with plastics; they hid the knives and scissors God knew where. Mind you, I was not even a cutter, nor did I have tendencies of becoming one. But that did not deter my parents from going to extra mile to ensure my safety.

Depression caused me to lose my privacy, too. I stayed in the same room in the other wing of the house for as long as I could remember. It had an adjacent door because my parents thought they would have another kid, and it would be fun if we could go through the walls without using the main bedroom door. But since they found out that I had depression, they decided to move into that empty room and kept the adjacent door open 24/7.

Worst of all, upon the psychiatrist’s insistence, I had to take antidepressants. If the new antidepressants were questionable, think of how much worse they were back in the 90s when I had to take them. They made me feel sluggish and disoriented. I had wanted to flush them in the toilet since the first day, but my mother made sure I swallowed the pill on time.

Effects Of Long-Term Depression

Did I get better immediately?

Heck, no. The six-month medical treatment did not work, but my psychiatrist said it was normal, so my parents urged me to do the same thing for six more months. I did not want to do it because I felt like it made me more depressed than ever, especially since the drugs were so strong that I could not do much in life. However, my folks insisted on it, so I was left with no other choice but to go through the same ordeal again.

When the medication did not treat or at least reduce my depression, and the psychiatrist wanted to prescribe antidepressants again, I ran out of the room. I demanded my parents to get me another – better – psychologist. They eventually did, and we found one who focused on therapy and counseling instead of medication. 

frequently-asked-questions-about-the-effects-of-long-term-depression
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That started to change my life positively, but I must admit that the damage had been done – I already dealt with long-term depression.

I did not notice its effects until I became a responsible adult. I was always forgetful; it was easy for me to feel hopeless. I even got that awful nickname – Sullen Sally – due to my mood. But I knew it was not because that’s who I was – it was more because of my long-term depression.

What does long-term depression do to the brain? 

Long-term depression prevents your brain from creating new neurons and shrinks the ones in your hippocampus, thus giving you memory issues.

How long does long-term depression last? 

Long-term depression can last for a couple of years at least. 

Can depression change your brain permanently? 

Yes, depression can change your brain permanently. It does not seem evident at first, but when your depressive phase is over, you may experience low concentration and memory.

How does untreated depression affect the brain? 

Untreated depression will continue to make the brain older than it genuinely is, to the extent that you will have an impaired memory in no time.

Does your brain age faster when depressed? 

Yes, your brain ages faster when you feel depressed.

What is the result of depression? 

Depression can result in hopelessness, irritability, and excessive weight gain or loss.

What is the number one cause of depression? 

A combination of genetic and environmental factors is the primary cause of depression.

frequently-asked-questions-about-the-effects-of-long-term-depression
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What causes long-term depression? 

  • Traumatic events
  • Family history
  • Mental health history

Does depression give you memory loss? 

Yes, depression gives you memory loss. Still, you may not realize it until after you no longer feel depressed.

How does peanut butter detect Alzheimer’s? 

Scientists use peanut butter to detect Alzheimer’s as they believe that possible patients cannot smell the product through their left nostril if they are not at least 10 centimeters away from the peanut butter. 

Can untreated depression cause dementia? 

Yes, untreated depression can cause dementia, primarily if you deal with depression in middle-age or later. Based on studies, people who experience depressive symptoms mid-life have an 80% chance of having dementia.

Why am I suddenly forgetting things? 

You suddenly forget things due to stress, undetected depression, thyroid issues, or sleep deprivation. Forgetfulness can also be a side effect of some medications, dehydration, and poor diet.

What are the ten warning signs of dementia? 

  • Your forgetfulness affects your daily activities.
  • You cannot plan or organize things as you used to do.
  • You can no longer perform tasks as simple as turning on the TV or opening the door.
  • You find yourself asking where you are and what time it is often.
  • You cannot comprehend visual images.
  • You see it as challenging to read or write.
  • You do not remember where you have placed things.
  • You make poor choices.
  • You no longer feel interested in interacting with anyone – not even family or friends.
  • Your personality changes and you experience mood swings frequently.

When should I worry about forgetting things? 

You should worry about being forgetful if you also find yourself fishing for words all the time, unable to solve simple problems, or dealing with mood swings.

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Why is my memory so bad lately?

Poor memory can be caused by various things, including (but are not limited to):

  • Alcohol
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Medication
  • Stress

Final Thoughts

I feel sad to admit that depression will always be similar to an autoimmune disorder that I cannot shake off no matter what healing method I try. Despite that, I try to catch myself whenever my mood dips so that I won’t go down the depression drain again.