Working memory may be impaired by depressive thoughts

Depression can negatively impact the function of some very basic things for a person. One such thing is a person’s memory. For example, a recent study indicates that depressive thoughts may impair a depressed person’s working memory (a form of short-term memory).

In the study, 157 undergraduate students (some were classified as depressed and others were not) were asked certain “true or false” questions, with the questions being followed by a working memory test. Some of the questions involved neutral information while others regarded depressive thoughts.

In the study, the individuals classified as depressed generally did more poorly on the working memory tests that were done following questions that were on depressive thoughts than the individuals who were not classified as depressed. No such difference was present when it came to the performance on the working memory tests that were done following the questions on neutral information.

Thus, based on the study’s results, it appears that a depression sufferer’s working memory may be less effective when they are having depressive thoughts. One wonders if this study and research it leads to will result in a greater understanding of the interaction between depression and memory.

Memory problems can negatively affect a person’s ability to perform certain tasks. Impairment of functional ability can also occur as a result of many of the other complications of depression. Thus, it is possible for depression to render a person unable to work.

Depression sufferers may have eligibility for Social Security disability benefits if their depression is found to have stripped them of their ability to work. Social Security disability attorneys can help depression sufferers look into whether they likely would be found to meet the various requirements for qualifying for such benefits.

Source: Fox News, “Depressive thoughts reduce short-term memory, study finds, Jan. 7, 2015

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