Memory Problems Associated with Depression, Borderline Personality and Other Mental Illnesses
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Memory Problems Associated with Depression, Borderline Personality and Other Mental Illnesses

There are many symptoms to depression. The most frequently talked about symptoms are hopelessness, lethargy, but one not talked about enough is impaired memory. People with major depression disorder, MDD, often have problems with recall. You may even be surprised that other people say you said or did something that you have no memory of.

Depression isn’t the only disorder that can cause memory loss. It is important to see your physician when you or your family notices that you are forgetting things frequently.  Your doctor should not assume you are depressed and that is why you are forgetful. If your memory loss has been gradual over a period of time or if your memory loss was sudden, you need to see your doctor. Your medical doctor will send you on to mental health professionals if necessary.

Loss of memory can be caused by a myriad of illnesses and behaviors. Clinical depression, also known as major depression disorder, dissociative identity disorder, and fractured personality disorder can cause loss of memory. There are other mental health conditions which can also cause memory problems.

Each mental health disorder affects the brain differently. The memory loss that we get when depressed isn’t anything like amnesia. It’s more like forgetfulness and it may also be due to our lack of focus. We are sometimes less likely to pay attention as closely or listen as closely when we are suffering from depression. Our attention span is shorter. Let’s face it, if you are unable to focus properly, you won’t have proper recall.

With dissociative identity disorder and fractured personality disorder, an individual has compartmentalized certain parts of the psyche to handle certain things. The personality is broken up into pieces. People with these disorders are fractured. The best way to illustrate it is to visualize a fractured mirror. You will see an image of yourself in each piece of the broken mirror. Each reflection is a slightly different image of yourself. People with dissociative identity disorder and fractured personality disorder (a lesser form of DID) may have memory problems. It’s quite common for people with these disorders to have a history of child physical abuse and child sexual abuse. The psyche splits off and creates new parts of the self to handle memories that are too painful to remember.

I have memory problems. My memory problems are mostly with recall. You may ask me my phone number and I can’t remember it. If you ask me what I had for supper last night, more than likely I won’t be able to tell you.  I have major depression disorder, and my doc also believes I am fractured.

Some forgetfulness is a normal part of aging. However, if you suffer from depression or some other mental health issue you may have some memory problems due to that. If you notice a great deal of memory loss, or if your family recalls events that you should remember, but don’t, see your doctor.



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Comments (6)

Thank you dear Charlene for this health post. Thanks for encouragement.

I have suffered from depression, and for sure memory loss is a part of it, I hardly remember my childhood.  I never remembered people's names.

Ranked #17 in Psychology

A much needed article to read by many, thanks Charlene.

Ranked #2 in Psychology

very good Charlene, you writing the way I write now, I like that

I never remember names either Brenda. It's always been that way. I have big gaps in memory. 

Thanks Paulose. Thanks also Ron and Carol.