Depression comes into a person’s life like a whirlwind and shuts the mind, heart and soul down like a motor shutting down immediately and without notice. It can be devastating because it robs a person of their energy, thinking, will, desire and memory skills.
It leaves the person listless, uncaring, and unable to respond, a recluse, disoriented, expressionless and without emotions. If this state of mind continues, it shuts the mind down like a computer that’s gone awry confusing its memory and its data. In my opinion this is some proof that people who set and don’t keep their minds active during depressive periods will eventually lose their capabilities until their decline becomes obvious to others.
People might ask why does depression come on quickly and, why doesn’t it want to leave soon thereafter? Only the person suffering the depression can answer this question because in my opinion it’s a crisis they’ve suffered and it’s a way of the brain shutting down to avert any more stress and anxiety suffering or it could be a chemical imbalance. This is strictly my opinion but I do believe a person’s life triggers depression and I feel one day researchers will find this out.
Some people become depressed if they have a chemical imbalance in their body. Could this also be a factor with getting depression? It’s my opinion all studies should be conducted to determine if this brings on bouts of depression in some people.
A recent study was published in the journal Neurology on July 30, 2014 on the Internet shedding a link between depression, dementia. The study deemed depression an independent risk factor for dementia and people with more symptoms of depression tend to decline more rapidly in their thinking and memory skills. The study did find an association between the two but it did not prove a cause-and-effect relationship.
Here are some facts that are being quoted from the Internet journal – Researchers say, “Depression accounts for about 4.4 percent of the difference in mental decline that could not be attributed to dementia-related damage found in the brain. According to the lead author Robert Wilson, senior neuropsychologist at the Rush Alzheimer’s Disease Center at Rush University, “This is a risk factor that should be taken seriously; and included, “Treating depression can reduce the risk of dementia in older people.”
A study conducted involving over 1,764 seniors who had no thinking or memory problems when they began the study. The participants were screened every year for symptoms of depression, this included such things as loneliness and a lack of an appetite, and tests were taken of their thinking and memory skills for an average of eight years.
Approximately half of the participants developed mild problems with their memory and thinking abilities, which often appears as a precursor to Alzheimer’s disease. There were a total of 314 people or 18 percent, that actually developed dementia.
A total of 680 people died while the study was conducted and out of this number 582 had autopsies performed to look for plaques and tangles in the brain which are signs of other damages in the brain or signs of dementia.
The researchers discovered high levels of depression prior to a diagnosis of dementia are linked to a more drastic decrease in thinking and memory skills later on; but on the other hand, the onset of dementia didn’t appear to be associated with an increase in depression. As a matter of fact, it appeared the opposite is found to be true.
Wilson said, “We found people who are developing dementia didn’t become more depressed as they were developing dementia, they actually became less depressed.”
Wilson continued, “When people lose their thinking and memory skills, it is harder for them to become depressed and stay depressed; and saying, “Depression depends on a certain continuity of experience that becomes disrupted as the person develops dementia.”
The researchers did not find a relationship between depression and dementia-related damage in the brain.
This could mean treating of depression will only stave off a portion of the thinking and memory decline occurring with age, said Dr. Alan Manevitz, a clinical psychiatrist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.
Manevitz said, “Attending to depression throughout one’s life is just like exercising and eating right, leads to deferring some of the mental decline coming with aging. Also, if a person is treated for depressive symptoms, they may be capable of reversing some part of a decline related to depression.”
Wilson said, “Future research now should pivot to determine exactly how depression influences the risk of dementia. We need to try to identify structures and functions in the brain linking depression in old age and it could help to explain depression’s link to dementia. This would allow researchers a better chance to know how they should best treat depression to move the bar and reduce the risk of dementia.”
This article is important to me because my Dad died from Alzheimer’s Disease and before noticeable symptoms occurred, it became obvious that he was depressed and had “no” interest in a thing for several years. He had always been active with the union, political issues and world problems but slowly he was robbed of his interest in the things he once loved the most.
He would sit for days and not be interested in a single thing. I ask, “How can a person retain his memory and thinking if they don’t use it?” He appeared to have lost his will to live and I knew something was tragically wrong. My family singled out his depression several years prior but he would not take “any” medication nor would he visit a doctor. We all watched as he deteriorated to the end.
It’s my opinion after watching Dad suffer depression for several years his depression was directly associated with his thinking and memory loss. Have you heard the old adage, “If you don’t use it you will lose it;” well that’s why I now take an interest in using my mind as much as possible to try and advert the onset of dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease. A person with the first on-set of depression should immediately seek a professional’s advice.
Writer of this article is Barbara Kasey Smith based on facts provided by an online journal Neurology dated July 30, 2014 and Barbara’s own personal opinions.
Journal Neurology dated July 30, 2014