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Poor concentration and memory; is it depression? Any treatment available?


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I'm struggling to study even though I changed to a subject area I enjoy more and have enthusiasm about - I thought my previous struggles were because I hated the subject but apparently not.  I find it hard to get started (procrastination) and then when I do I find I can't recall what I have read or the activities I have done, even minutes later.  I try to read actively and engage my brain but it doesn't work.  I try to relax and flick though casually or watch a video and it doesn't work either. I'm not stupid but I feel like I'm having to input 3x the energy as anyone else to get the same results.   :wall:

 

It is the same with every day tasks too. For example I can check my bank statement online and then forget my balance 5 mins later. I have to write down a 'to do' list for the day or I forget. I have to write down what time I have taken my pain medication or I forget.  I can recall important conversations I had with people almost word for word 10 years later,  but I can't recall short term every day stuff?  Like I couldn't recall what I had for breakfast yesterday or what I did on Monday. 

 

I stopped taking my antidepressant a couple of months back (pdoc thinks antidepressants may not the answer for me, being referred for tdoc) and my mood feels better than it has done in a long time.  Despite some shitty and stressful life events taking place I don't feel as suicidal or as low nearly as often........ and (hope I don't jinx myself) I have been able to appreciate and dare I say enjoy some little things - like a sunny day or going for a nice walk.

 

So I guess my question is.... is the poor memory, concentration, etc, down to lingering depression symptoms that I'm not detecting or maybe it is something else? Has anyone been given any treatment for this kind of symptom, if so what was it and did it work?

 

thanks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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You aren't alone in this.  I am having the exact same problem (except I am not in school). 

 

When I have no motivation and just no drive to do anything, I maybe can relate it to depression, but when it comes to crappy short-term memory, I think it is something I just have to accept.  I don't think that has anything to do with depression (at least with me); it seems to be completely independent. 

 

My short-term memory is really bad no matter how motivated and energetic I am.  It is actually frustrating when I have a lot of energy because my mind is working fast, but at the same time I keep forgetting things, like you said, 5 minutes later.  I find keeping lists is the best thing for me to do.  LOTS of post-its everywhere.  I have not been given any treatment for it.  I never thought to ask for it actually ... I thought is was something that had to do with meds, and over time it has just gotten worse.

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i have the same issues - although it's hard for me to tell whether it's all because of depression and anxiety or another issue because i pretty much am always anxious and depressed and have been for most of my life. my new tdoc wants to screen me for adhd, though.

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i have the same issues - although it's hard for me to tell whether it's all because of depression and anxiety or another issue because i pretty much am always anxious and depressed and have been for most of my life. my new tdoc wants to screen me for adhd, though.

that is kind of what I'm wondering (adhd or similar).  The thing is I can zone in for hours of trivial unimportant stuff like a computer game... but other things are incredibly hard to concentrate for even 30 seconds.  

 

Not convinced it is depression as my mood has lifted a lot........ but then my eating habits have gone to shit these last 2 months and that is always a sign my mood is a bit wobbly.  IDK how to feel because I'm kind of grieving too.   Don't feel I need to go back on antidepressants at the moment but something isn't quite right either. 

Edited by crazyguy
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I had problems with this before, I think. But I had 12 ECT treatments last year, and after that, I am just lost. My short term memory is shot. So is my ability to concentrate. I just don't seem to be able to process or think things through. I've never felt this dumb, ever before. I used to be really smart. But now, meh. I have a notebook where I write down how to do all the functions I have to do at work, so I don't have to ask someone how to do them over and over.

 

My pdoc has me taking Ginkoba brain formula in hopes that it would help, and I think it might have helped a tiny bit. So that might be an option, if your doctor thinks it's OK for you to try. Hope it's OK to suggest doctor-approved supplements here.

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I walk 1 hour daily.  I don't cover much distance but it is still mild exercise. I have to force myself to go out sometimes. 

 

I find it too difficult to do anything more physically challenging as I have chronic pain and now torn cartilage in my knee too.  I used to enjoy going to the gym and cycling.  Now I rarely enjoy anything and I find if I do go to the gym I end up with really bad post exercise pain and fatigue... It goes way beyond simple de-conditioning and is counter productive. 

 

My mood has gone down again these last 2 days.   From early January to Late February my mood was good..., feeling positive about the future, less ruminating thoughts, less irritation, less suicidal thoughts... coping with the pain better, managing to get stuff done and even get out of the house a few times.   Now in the last 10 days or so things are heading downwards again and I don't know how to stop it. 

 

I'm seeing my Pdoc  in 2 weeks but last time he was on about Serquel or Abilify... no thanks.  

 

Still using the Ativan to kill off some of the ruminating thoughts and anxiety in the evenings but it is less effective now I've been on it well over a year.  Need to take double the dose to get the same effect really.... still well within what my Dr prescribed (upto 3mg daily), but I can see how if I persist with it I will just end up on the max dose with no effect due to tolerance.  So I'm being strict with my rationing of it now. 

Edited by crazyguy
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Why so adamant about the Abilify and Seroquel?

Seems like using a sledgehammer to crack a nut.  Although it is the latest trend, from what I have read the evidence isn't great for using these AAPs as add-on for depression.  The side-effects from Seroquel are known to be weight gain and sedation. I've struggled with my weight all my life, at one stage being extremely obese. The side-effects from abilify seem more varied,  but agitation, weight again and akathisia seem common. I'm really not sure I need that.  And that is before you move onto the more rare but serious effects, extrapyramidal side effects, etc. 

 

I mean I'm quoting wikipedia here but it isn't the only source I've read:  

 

Aripiprazole is an effective add-on treatment for major depressive disorder; however, there is a greater rate of side effects such as weight gain and movement disorders.[26][27][28][29]. The overall benefit is small to moderate and its use appears to neither improve quality of life nor functioning

 

My experience with antidepressants is quite bad... many negative "side-effects" and little positive effect.  Not sure I want to move up the ladder to AAPs and experience even more side effects.  My doctor is even wondering if drugs are worth while - I've been referred for therapy. 

 

I wonder if I could have some kind of ADD/ADHD that is causing the concentration issues. The last 2 days my mood is better. 

Edited by crazyguy
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The side-effects from Seroquel are known to be weight gain and sedation. I've struggled with my weight all my life, at one stage being extremely obese. The side-effects from abilify seem more varied,  but agitation, weight again and akathisia seem common. I'm really not sure I need that.  And that is before you move onto the more rare but serious effects, extrapyramidal side effects, etc.

 

I don't have those side effects (and never did) with abilify.  The only side effect I had is tiredness.  It is different for everyone.  For me, eventually I was willing to try anything to get rid of the voices.  I figured I'd deal with side-effects later.  I lucked out that I didn't have to deal with many side effects.

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I wasn't agitated on Abilify, lost weight, and only got akathisia at 30mg.  My husband takes 7.5mg as an add-on to his Wellbutrin (his dx is depression) and he hasn't had any side effects, and has also lost weight on it.  No EPS or akathisia.  I think that is dose dependent and unlikely to occur at depression-level dosages (I was taking it for psychosis).

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Why so adamant about the Abilify and Seroquel?

Seems like using a sledgehammer to crack a nut.  Although it is the latest trend, from what I have read the evidence isn't great for using these AAPs as add-on for depression.  The side-effects from Seroquel are known to be weight gain and sedation. I've struggled with my weight all my life, at one stage being extremely obese. The side-effects from abilify seem more varied,  but agitation, weight again and akathisia seem common. I'm really not sure I need that.  And that is before you move onto the more rare but serious effects, extrapyramidal side effects, etc. 

 

I mean I'm quoting wikipedia here but it isn't the only source I've read:  

 

Aripiprazole is an effective add-on treatment for major depressive disorder; however, there is a greater rate of side effects such as weight gain and movement disorders.[26][27][28][29]. The overall benefit is small to moderate and its use appears to neither improve quality of life nor functioning

 

My experience with antidepressants is quite bad... many negative "side-effects" and little positive effect.  Not sure I want to move up the ladder to AAPs and experience even more side effects.  My doctor is even wondering if drugs are worth while - I've been referred for therapy. 

 

I wonder if I could have some kind of ADD/ADHD that is causing the concentration issues. The last 2 days my mood is better.

I got akathisia from Abilify when I moved to 10mg. Cogentin made that go away. The akathisia was only temporary, though, and I no longer need the cogentin. I am at 15mg now. It got rid of the "sads," but left me with anhedonia. I'm not sure if that's much of a step up. Other people have had very good luck with it, however. I am losing weight on it, or rather I was until three weeks ago.

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I even forget what I'm doing while I'm doing it. I'm addicted to any kind of distraction that taske me away from what I should be doing.

Yep, this is me. 

 

Tried to do some study thiss morning and every moment was a battle.  I tried to watch a 5 minute video clip and within 45 seconds I'm zoning out thinking about nonsense.  I listen to what someone is saying and I can't remember what they said quite literally 5 seconds later. 

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Yep, this is me. 

 

 

Tried to do some study thiss morning and every moment was a battle.  I tried to watch a 5 minute video clip and within 45 seconds I'm zoning out thinking about nonsense.  I listen to what someone is saying and I can't remember what they said quite literally 5 seconds later. 

 

 

I can really relate to this.  Especially the listening to what someone is saying, and a few seconds later I have to ask what we are talking about.

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Yep, this is me. 

 

 

Tried to do some study thiss morning and every moment was a battle.  I tried to watch a 5 minute video clip and within 45 seconds I'm zoning out thinking about nonsense.  I listen to what someone is saying and I can't remember what they said quite literally 5 seconds later.

 

I can really relate to this.  Especially the listening to what someone is saying, and a few seconds later I have to ask what we are talking about. Me three. It's embarrassing.

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