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  • Jun 30, 2019

Techniques to improve memory for people with depression

With treatment and the use of some simple techniques, those suffering from depression can prevent and improve their memory.

By Kerry Mello, Workplace Mindfulness Project Manager

Everyone has bouts of forgetfulness – when you can’t find your glasses or recall the name of the person in front of you, even though it’s right on the tip of your tongue. But for those suffering from depression, memory loss can be more serious. We remember things because like a video camera, our brain records what we see and hear and stores all of this in a small area that acts as a “memory file.” This very important part of our brain helps us form new memories, recalls old ones and connects emotions to memories. Researchers have found when people are depressed, especially for long periods, it affects this memory center in our brain.

The good news is that with treatment and the use of some simple techniques, those suffering from depression can prevent and improve how their memory works.

First and most important, talk to your doctor about treating depression. Research has shown that memory loss is less severe in patients treated with medicine such as antidepressants. The earlier treatment begins the better.

Some other simple remedies include:

  • Make lists. Keep a notebook handy, even next to your bed, and write down anything important or that’s keeping you awake.
  • Try to have conversations in quiet areas with fewer distractions.
  • Use technology. Your cell phone or tablet can set reminders of important events and upcoming errands. You can also use your cell phone to take quick screenshots of something that you want to remember later or dictate notes to yourself.
  • There are computer programs and written and group activities that can help improve memory function. Talk to your doctor or therapist about trying these.
  • Most importantly - let friends, co-workers and loved ones know that you are having some difficulty and are working to overcome it. Try to relax and give yourself a break.

This articles provide general information for educational purposes only. The information provided in this article, or through linkages to other sites, is not a substitute for medical or professional care, and you should not use the information in place of a visit, call consultation or the advice of your physician or other healthcare provider.

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