Memory and mental health

6 min read

Memory is a powerful tool and, for those struggling with mental health problems this power can become the source of stress. Memory records the things that have made someone feel uncomfortable or angry, what shattered an individual's self-worth and what caused extreme emotional pain or shock. Additionally, maybe, the harmful habits that may provide temporary relief. Because memory plays an essential function in determining the severity of mental illness and behavior, what clinicians and scientists have discovered about memory could help patients recover from mental illness. Find assistance in your battle with mental illness from the top psychologist near me and get them to consult you via online counseling at TalktoAngel.

Common Mental Disorders and Memory

A wide range of mental health disorders such as depression, drug addiction disorders, and anxiety disorders are caused by complex factors that are distinct. It is also evident that each one is characterized in certain ways by the way memory functions for those suffering from these conditions. Also, the feeling of stress and anxiety, which is a reality for all humans, but that is frequently seen in a variety of conditions--is widely recognized as a cause that influences the way we recall.

Does Stress affect memory?

The stress of stressful situations (such like when a person is able to narrowly escape a danger) could trigger strong memory of the incident. When a stressful situation occurs recalling details can be more difficult than normal. In time, stress and the increased amounts of hormones that cause stress such as cortisol can have a negative impact on the capacity to recall. Reducing stress is one method that people can ensure their memory capacity.

How depression is related to memory?

Depression is linked to a range of types of cognitive impairments that include forgetfulness, however, memory problems usually disappear following a depressive episode being successfully managed, according to the DSM-5. Depressed people may also have other mental impairments with weaker memory for events that are positive and stronger memories for negative events and more general (rather than precise) recall of personal experiences. Depression is linked to decreased volume in the hippocampus which is a region of the brain essential in memory.

The way that depressed people interpret their past experiences, both and present, could exacerbate other signs of depression. If someone with depression tends to remember negative memories, the heightened thoughts about negative experiences can be a contributing factor to a depressed mood.

What is the role of memory in addiction?

Memory is a key factor in addiction. The development of an addiction and the cravings that fuel it are based on the memories that link specific events, actions and emotions that usually are associated with them, such as the expected high associated with the use of drugs, for example. These associations stay in the memory when the drug use has ended, and therefore exposure to triggers related to drug use may pose the possibility of returning.

The effects of alcohol from a variety of substances that cause addiction, including alcohol, opioids, as well as the hypnotic, sedative or anxiolytic substances can affect memory over a short period of time. Blackouts are a form of temporary memory loss brought on by excessive drinking. In the long run the use of a substance that is abused to the extreme like alcoholism could result in a longer-lasting decline in memory abilities. In certain cases, drinking alcohol can cause Wernicke Korsakoff syndrome, which can lead to massive memory loss and the inability to create new memories.

How does memory play a role in anxiety?

The causes of anxiety disorders depend on the associations that are formed in the memory, such as those between a stimulus, whether it's an event in a social setting or an intrusive thought an animal of a particular kind or something else--and emotional responses that people generally have to it. In turn, various methods of treating conditions like generalized anxiety disorder and social anxiety disorder attempt to alter how people respond to these associations learned. Exposure therapy is in its essence, a form of learning by allowing those suffering from anxiety to confront dangerous stimuli in a safe manner, it's designed to trigger new memories, and in doing so, reduce anxiety.

Anxiety levels that are high could affect the memory of certain types especially working memory, as research suggests. This could be because of the difficulty in engaging in non-threatening distractions. However, the evidence for whether those with anxiety disorders are less likely to retain long-term memories is varied.

Trauma and Memory

Memory expands the reach of traumatizing experiences -- shocks to the system like incidents of abuse or violence or even a life-threatening accident - allowing these events, often they can remain disruptive to the lives of those who suffered from them even after they have occurred. Post-traumatic stress disorder can be characterized by uncontrollable and upsetting memories that trauma-focused treatments through online counselling at TalktoAngel can help alleviate.

When someone is traumatized by an event, typical reactions are mental replaying of the memories of the incident. Recurring, uncontrollable, and disturbing memories are a sign of post-traumatic stress disorders. When the memory of trauma is triggered by an event that is happening now it can feel like the trauma has occurred again. This is known as flashback. Since these kinds of reliving can be extremely painful, it's normal for people who have been through trauma to try to not think about the incident and to stay clear of triggers that could trigger memories of the event.

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