Depression & cognitive impairment

Well, now, that’s a nice intellectual sounding title, isn’t it?  Unfortunately, I’m not sure this post will live up to it.  What I want to do is write about the actual experience of depression, specifically what it seems to do to my thought processes.

I’m going to try and avoid, if I can, writing about this in an emotive way.  I already know what depression feels like, and I have a good enough emotional memory that I can make a reasonable fist of describing it when I’m not depressed.  What I’m much less good at doing is recognising the cognitive patterns of depression, and I think it would be useful to set them down because I actually have a fairly strong sense that it’s the cognitive aspects of depression that affect me more than the emotional ones.  As to why I’m doing this in a public blog post, well, partly it’s because I’m a blogger, so blogging’s what I do, and partly because I hope what I write might be useful to someone.  I know I find it useful when I read someone else describing something and can think – yes, that applies to me too.

First of all, in the interests of full scientific disclosure (lol) a bit about my mood as it is at the moment.  I would say I’m moderately depressed just now, but I say that in the context of being someone who suffers from pretty severe depression a lot of the time.  In fact, to try and make this a little less subjective, I just ran myself through the Beck Inventory Questionnaire and I scored 45, which apparently puts me more or less bang in the middle of the severely depressed bracket.  (Summary of score brackets here.)

Still, for me, this is relatively moderate – this blog post isn’t flowing as easily as I’d like it to, but I’m not yet at the stage where I stare blankly at the screen or out of the window and fail to write anything at all.  I am, more or less, keeping up with my little day-to-day routines, which involve sleeping, eating, washing, dishwashing, and laundry.  (Although, come to think of it, insomnia is gradually putting paid to the sleeping part, and the eating part has been slipping in recent days – in fact, I’ve eaten very little except crisps, chocolate and oven chips, none of which are exactly known for their nutritive goodness.  Oh, and the dishwashing’s getting erratic too.  Bugger.)

Anyway, on with these cognitive signs.

First of all, my sense of time is definitely up the creek.  Usually when I wake up in the morning I have absolutely no idea what day it is.  Sometimes, if I think very hard, it comes to me, but often I have to check the date on my clock, and then check the day on the calendar in order to know.  I also loose track of time during the day.  Earlier today I had a bath, and I thought I’d spent about 20 minutes heaving my blubbery carcass in and out of the water, but it was actually more like 90.  I started trying to write this post about 2½  hours ago, and given that this is only the fifth full paragraph, I would have estimated I’d been at it for no longer than 30 minutes.

This maybe doesn’t sound like a big deal, but it kind of is for me.  I’ve always had a very accurate sense of time.  Except for things like railway journeys with lots of connections and job interviews I’ve never worn a watch.  No-one is ever totally accurate, of course, but assuming I’ve checked a clock within the last three hours or so, I would expect my time estimates to be accurate to within a quarter of an hour, give or take.  (I discovered I had this ability, by the way, because it took me so bloody long to learn to tell the time – people tend to get pissed off being asked what the time is every 5 seconds for years on end…)  That’s not really the bit that worries me, though.

What I’m more bothered about is what the hell I was doing during the missing 2 hours when I thought I was thinking about and writing this post.  I can’t be certain – because, by definition, I have no memory of what I’ve been up to in these ‘blanks’ – but I think I get so distracted by my thoughts that I don’t pay attention to the fact that time is passing.  Well, at least I hope that’s all it is.  I haven’t noticed any reports of unexplained axe murders in the local news so far… ;o)

The next thing I notice about the way my thinking changes, and which is possibly related, is that I lose all sense of a future.  I don’t mean that in a ‘losing hope’ kind of way – lots of people say that their bouts of depression rob them of their future, and some of them seem to mean by that losing any possibility of hope in the future.  That’s not exactly what it’s like for me.  When I say that I don’t have any sense of the future I don’t mean that I feel nothing will ever get better so much as I mean that I don’t believe that anything will happen to me, good or bad.

A few days ago – well, maybe more like a couple of weeks – I had vague, half-thought-out plans for the future.  Not grandiose planning – ‘I’ll be completely recovered in 6 months, back at work in 1 year, and sorting out the guest list for my civil partnership ceremony in 2′ – but mediocre, achievable ones – ‘I might take myself on a daytrip to [insert name of local geographic feature here] sometime soonish’.  Now I don’t think that there will be a ‘me’ available to do those things.  (I don’t mean by that I’m suicidal – I’m not.)  I’ve got an appointment to see a psychiatrist in a couple of weeks, and while I know that someone with the same name as me has that appointment, I can’t in any way connect that with me.  I’m sure someone will go to the appointment, and, in fact I do have a sense that I’ll be there, somehow, observing it, but I just can’t believe it will be me actually at the appointment.  This is quite a weird one, I have to admit.

The next symptom of depression I notice is creeping a bit nearer the emotional stuff I said I would try to avoid for now, but it’s still relevant to this post, I think.  Lots of people, when they talk about their depression, seem to talk about awful black moods, a dark cloud descending etc.  Sometimes there even seems to be an almost exuberant edge to what they describe – no pleasure in the mood itself, but still a sense of experiencing a significant, substantial event.  That’s just not what it’s like for me.  Most of the time when I’m depressed I don’t even feel especially sad.

What I do feel very acutely is my inability to feel anything.  Watching a comedy show on TV doesn’t make me feel happy (although it might make me laugh – laughter and happiness don’t seem to be especially connected for me).  But, at the same time, a sad programme doesn’t make me feel sad.  I might respond to it intellectually – ‘that’s a really terrible situation’ – but I don’t feel it.  I read or heard somewhere another description of depression which likened it to gradually turning down the colour on a TV set, and that comes the closest of any description I’m aware of.  This flattening of emotional response is what I think gets described as ‘loss of affect’ by MH professionals.

But, for me, the terrible thing about depression is the way that, when I’m depressed, nothing matters.  There’s no point turning the lights on when it gets dark because it doesn’t matter if I sit in the dark.  There’s no point in cooking a meal because it doesn’t matter if I get hungry.  And so on.  This feeling is definitely connected to the sense of having no future – whatever I do will have no consequences, so there’s no reason to do anything.

This is, probably, the most debilitating aspect of depression for me, and it’s as a bulwark against it that I’ve built my daily routines.  So I had a bath earlier, not because I don’t want to stink – as far as I’m concerned there’s no real connection between me having or not having a bath and the possibility of stinking, and even if there was, it wouldn’t matter – but because I last had a bath on Tuesday, and my routine tells me I have to have a bath at least every other day.  Really I ought to bathe every day, but I find I don’t have the energy.  That sounds ridiculous, and the truth is it’s not a problem of lacking physical energy, although that’s what it feels like.  The issue is actually that I lack the resources to make a sufficient effort of will.

To a non-depressed person (and to me when I’m not depressed) the idea of willpower seems like it doesn’t really apply to day-to-day life.  Willpower is what you need when you give up smoking, or go on a diet, it’s not something you need just to be able to pop to the supermarket.  But to a depressed person, that’s exactly what it takes.  To be honest, I’m not quite sure why that is, although I do think it’s related to the fact that, for everyone, reserves of willpower are limited.

Sometimes I think depression creates a huge weight of apathy that has to be overcome in order to achieve anything, and so the same amount of willpower doesn’t stretch as far as it used to.  Other times I think the major effect depression has is to massively reduce the available reserves of willpower.  On balance, I think it’s probably a combination of the two – that more willpower is required at exactly the same time that willpower is getting harder to find.  I guess the analogy would be a car that needs to draw more petrol to climb a hill at the exact same moment that it springs a leak in the fuel line.

I certainly think mental apathy is a significant feature of my depressions.  I have a very strong sense that thinking gets noticeably harder when I’m depressed.  This is going to be very difficult to describe, but here goes anyway.

Normally I’m aware, in a dim kind of way, of having lots of thoughts all the time.  They’re not exactly conscious, but certainly not unconscious either – a bit like things in your peripheral vision which you can see enough to know they’re there, but not in any kind of detail.  With depression I lose that sense of having a busy, active mind.  Instead every thought seems to arrive incredibly slowly, as though it’s emerging out of a thick, cotton wool cloud, and I have a sense of a kind of cognitive tunnel vision.  The thoughts I concentrate on are still there, and I know from experience that they can even be quite good thoughts – I’ve managed to write university essays that have scored reasonable marks even in the midst of really horrible depressions.  But the subjective sense is that it all occurs in the middle of an empty field instead of the normal busy street.

Sorry, this post has been getting very metaphorical, but that’s because I’m trying to come up with ways of expressing things that are very difficult to describe in any other way.  Hopefully I’ll be able to talk about the final point, the effect depression has on my memory, in a more straightforward way.  This is probably the aspect of my thinking that seems to be the most sensitive to changes in mood, to the extent that I use it as a kind of early-warning system that a period of depression might be in the offing.

My memory is affected in two ways.  The change that happens first is in the quality of recall.  I have a slightly odd, magpie, memory at the best of times, in that some things will stick in there very easily, while in other cases I won’t be able to drum up more than an uneasy feeling that I’ve forgotten something that seemed to be pretty important.  But, when I’m getting depressed, even things which I know I ought to be able to remember I forget.

Often it’ll be something very trivial, like forgetting the address of a website I go to regularly.  Earlier today, for example, when I was looking for the depression inventory test, I couldn’t remember the name ‘Google’.  I knew I needed a search engine, I knew there was a search engine I use several times a day, and that if I could remember even what letter it started with it would appear in the address bar dropdown, but I couldn’t for the life of me remember it.  Eventually I was reduced to bringing up my history of recently visited sites and looking through them until I saw it.  And, of course, once I saw it I couldn’t believe I’d ever managed to forget it.

At the moment, my problems with recall are at the level of annoyance rather than anything more serious (another reason I don’t class my current level of depression as all that severe).  In the grip of more serious depression I find myself doing things like getting something ready to put in the oven, then opening the door and finding that there’s already one in there.  I’m not 100% sure if this is a problem with recalling a memory as it is with laying down the memory in the first place.  What I do know is that, for the periods of time when I’ve been most particularly depressed, I have almost no memory of them.  I can, for example, only recall scattered details for the whole of last winter, and certainly a whole lot less detail than I can remember for the winter before.  To some extent that’s perfectly normal – when I’m in the grip of a major depression I do very little, so there’s less to remember.  But, on the other hand, my sister tells me that we spoke on the phone several times during the period, while I honestly was convinced I’d spoken to her once or, maybe, twice.

So, anyway, there you have it.  My guide to the more intellectual symptoms of depression as I experience it.  I hope I won’t be getting any more familiar than I currently am with any of these, but I guess I’ll have to wait for time to tell one way or the other.

As an aside, I made some minor adjustments to my blogroll & links page yesterday.  I’ve added links to a couple of new blogs (well, they’re newish to me), and removed links to a couple that seem, sadly, to have gone dead.

Advertisements
This entry was posted in About me, Depression. Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to Depression & cognitive impairment

  1. Hi Aethelred
    I’m relieved you mentioned about the memory probs, cos mine is shot to pieces.It has really upset me in recent weeks that I just cannot figure out a sentence half way through talking & cannot remember the names of simple object/rooms/people/day & what I’ve eaten.I spoke about it with my ASW the other day & he said it was a common problrm with depression.I also find that I do extremely daft things like I came close to taking the wrong tablets the other day – I nearly took mySertraline instead of my IBS meds.I’ll be looking for something, seemingly it’s not there ,I look again & in a split second there it is.I can’t concentrate on reading, conversations, music & TV.Some of this memory problem is triggering the OCD aswell.Always feels like I’m stuck in a vicious circle.
    Anyway thanks again for this post.
    Love
    Sis

  2. Robert says:

    Memory loss can also be due to drugs, being tired not sleeping correctly to some degree not using one’s mind, the fact is lots of things can make you forget things, for example I have been active in sport all my life and have a coaching badge in football, last month I was talking to people about my time with a football club, I could not remember the managers name the coach the days I played and I thought my god I’ve got dementia, I went home got out the year book spent some time reading about football again and now I’m off again, the brain needs to be used otherwise it stagnates.

    But of course if your depressed and most disabled or sick people normally have periods of depression, at days when my pain is high I think well if it gets any worse then I can end it, and once or twice I’ve tried.

    The fact is though a number of people I see coming into the Charity I work at unpaid of course will explain their depression and you think well thats not depressions that just normal every day anxiety

  3. cb says:

    Really interesting stuff Aethelread. I think it’s amazing the way you can vocalise (or whatever that is in written form) the ways that you feel so well. Memory and Depression is something we become acutely aware of in work with older people as depression can present as dementia and vice versa surprisingly often. Often older people with depression can present as having mild dementia for years before someone realises that actually, that’s not what’s going on..

  4. Pingback: Mental Nurse · This Week in Mentalists (50)

  5. aethelreadtheunread says:

    Thanks for all the comments. Yes, even you, Mr Automated Pingback from Mental Nurse… ;o)

    seratonin sister – sorry to hear you’re going through the same kind of thing. I hope it improves for you soon. Thanks for letting me know what your SW said, i haven’t really got any official feedback on this before, so it’s nice to know that it’s quite common to experience this kind of thing.

    Robert – I’m sorry to hear you have such problems with pain, i hope you manage to find a way to get through it.

    You’re absolutely right, of course, that loads of things can cause memory problems. All i meant was that, for me, i think it’s depression that’s causing the problems at the moment, i wasn’t meaning to say that anyone who has these problems must be in the same boat as me.

    CB – thanks for saying such nice things. And also for the extra reassurance that memory problems aren’t a weird and unusual thing in depression. :o)

  6. Jan says:

    Hi – I just found your blog. I’ve read just a few of your entries, but look forward to reading more.

    WARNING – I planned a ‘short’ reply, but it didn’t turn out that way!!

    I’m struggling with understanding, accepting and fighting cognitive dysfunction associated with my depression. It was refreshing to find your blog when Google-ing on the subject – real life examples are so much more helpful than the clinical words used in ‘the literature’!

    As background, I’m an American female, early 50’s (when did that happen?), living in the Rocky Mountains. I’ve had three major depressive episodes in less than two years, but have probably been depressed for most of my adult life.

    While it challenges me and I find it interesting to read and try to understand the research reports, the info at the following link was the first I found that was somewhat ‘relatable’.
    http://www.omh.state.ny.us/omhweb/cogdys_manual/cogdyshndbk.htm
    I forgot where, but you can also find this on the web in .pdf ‘booklet’ form that’s easier to read/use.

    Maybe reading the research info is my wierd way of trying to reassure (convince) myself that I am not losing it all! As an engineer, when, during one of my episodes I lost the ability to do simple puzzles, games, math, etc., I was pretty freaked out. And that cognitive issues have persisted during ‘remission’ have made me particularly concerned – thus my pursuit of learning more about it!

    Why don’t the psychologists and psychiatrists inquire and talk about cognitive issues more? I heard a lot about neuro-transmitter issues, but nothing about the brain changes associated with cognitive dysfunction.

    I suppose I wouldn’t have wanted my doctors, in the midst of a bad episode, to discuss grey matter reduction, that in addition to my hippocampus getting smaller, my pre-frontal cortex (‘the seat of rationale thought) is underactive, that the grey matter there may get less dense! It seems that with depression, you can literally ‘lose your mind’.

    That may have been more than I wanted to know, but it is also the info that has made me realize that I HAVE to make significant changes in my life – that I have to change my self-definition and become a person that uses alternate skills and pursue other things that can bring me enjoyment and fulfillment. I can’t work, meet other’s expectations and take care of myself too. Life can be good, just different. If you have chronic or recurrent depression, don’t expect to go back to who you were

    But all is not lost – many of the cognitive deficits can be ‘treated’ with use of mental exercises. I found a web site with ‘games’ – but I’ll have to find the post-it I wrote it down on…. ;-(

    I can relate to most everything you and some of the responders speak of. What I call the ‘time-warp phenomenon’ makes me feel not only unproductive but I resent that it ‘robs’ me of time and life! Quality of Life (QOL) isn’t so great w/ depression anyway, but to loose quantity just plain stinks! Especially when my mood is not so bad. I don’t think there are ‘black out’ periods, but rather the mental functioning goes into slow motion. Or sometimes, that thoughts ramble off on tangents and you have to find you way back the task at hand.

    And the ‘detachment’ during episodes…. Tho I’ve found this to be an issue with some meds. In addition to 15 lbs in 2 weeks, sleeping 14 hours a day, Mirtazapine gave me ‘out-of-body’ experiences… But also wonderfully colorful & happy dreams! The out-of-body feelings abated before I had to give it up due to the excessive sleeping, high blood pressure and other factors.

    The ‘word thing’ (your Google experience) – it’s actually called “anomia” – I’ve come (as a coping mechanism?) to view with some amusement. What can you do but laugh at yourself when you have to ask for ‘that piece of furniture used to sit on” when you can’t find the word ‘chair’ in your vocabulary, I do find that my anomia gets better during remission periods – this may be a good marker for me to help recognize when I’m slipping back into depression.

    And the loss of ‘color’ and tunnel vision — what a difference when the drugs kick in….! I couldn’t or didn’t view the whole horizon…

    I sometimes have trouble with spelling, grammer, and putting together coherent sentences. Lately, I find I want to spell even common words phoneticly (sp?)…. Please excuse any mistakes in this rambling…

    The ‘recognition thing’ is more concerning to me, tho its probably related in some way to anomia. By this I mean looking straight at an item and not recognizing it as the item I am looking for. Or picking up a bottle in the shower, reading the word ‘conditioner’ and proceeding to try to shampoo my hair with it…. I guess my concern is that I don’t know how far this issue might extend. Around home its probably not too much of an issue. But what if I’m crossing the street or driving and don’t recognize that that big metal thing is a car, it’s moving, and it might hit me!?!?! As if I needed less motivation to get out….!

    I’m getting used to having to put post-it notes on everything telling myself what needs to be done with it. Like why I’ve put stamped mail on the counter – oh yeah! Mail Bills. And having to make lists for EVERYTHING! I am a bit bitter about this as well. Something else that’s robbing time! Tho not so much, I suppose, as it would if I didn’t make them……

    But trying to find things I’ve put in inappropriate places is somewhat more disconcerting. I’m sure I do this elsewhere, but I discover it the most in the kitchen. The eggs in the freezer, milk in the cupboard, dirty dishes in the cupboards/drawers…. et al. And it’s not just food/cooking items – I’ve found my billfold and keys in the fridge! One article I read, the psychologist related that the office ‘winner’ was a guy who put his bowling ball in the ‘fridge!

    A few pieces of advice to any readers—
    – learn what you can about meds you are prescribed
    – research your disorder, and psychiatric disorders in general
    – do things with your hands (sorry typing doesn’t count). Garden, sew, knit, build things, etc. This simulates
    – take care of yourself, take/eat Omega3s, get sunshine, move (I hate ‘exercise’ but can walk, vacuum, mow, rake, etc. etc.)
    – put yourself first!

    Your doctors won’t tell you things you need to know – partly due to time constraints, trying to avoid overwhelming you, they aren’t ‘in’ your head…
    By reading (if you can), Googling, etc. you can control the way you get info, when, how much, how often (even re-reading). Even if you don’t ‘remember’, I find that some level of understanding gets through. And it’s ‘comforting’ to know ‘its not just you’!! Blogs are great!!! A word of caution – if you read something that you think is key to your condition or concerns you, find more info about it from several sources. Then talk w/ others about it – your Drs, bloggers, etc. – you need more than your own perspective about it.

    If you have chronic or recurrent depression, don’t expect to go back to where/who you were – make yourself a new life!!!

    Now that I realize I’ve rambled on here, I’d best go back to the top and add a warning!.

    Recommend you put a “Cognitive Dysfunction” category on your site!!

    Thanks for ‘listening’

    Jan

  7. aethelreadtheunread says:

    Jan – thanks for commenting. It certainly sounds like we share a lot of experiences. I’m pleased if you found some of what i wrote useful.

    Thanks as well for telling me the word for the ‘loss of words’ thing. Appropriately enough, i googled for a definition and found lots that didn’t seem to match what you had said. Then i realised that i’d misremembered, and had searched for ‘anomie’ and not ‘anomia’. D’oh! :o)

    I hope things work out for you, and take care,
    A.

  8. Ruth says:

    Hi Aethelread

    Reading your post was like looking in a mirror

    Thanks – even though it did mean you had a few missing hours it’s helped me more than you’ll know

    Take Care

  9. lily says:

    Hey A,
    I ll try my best to write something that makes sense.
    I just read your blog and it is so amazing since i can relate to you in almost every way.
    One thing i might not agree with is the severity of depression you described.
    I, for example, have dealt with depression for nearly five years now and have surprisingly found out that my depression gets drastically worse with time, meaning, first started as a loss of interst, then to feeling down, then was in a major depression for nearly 3 years. But it wasn’t until this year that i started “BEING” what you described above. Last year i had a GPA of 3.75, double majoring in physics and math. As u described above, i feel numb now, nothing ever satisfies me or sadenes me or anything, just numb like a zombie. I dont care abt anything, i “study” but managed to get 3 Fs a D and a C in one semester. The brainfog suddenly overtook. When my parents suggested i see a psychatrist, i was in denial so i declined by saying i was mentally healthy since i thought that this state was better than feeling depressed again, so finally they tricked me and i went to see one. my Dr told me that my depression was so severe that he was happy i didnt harm myself since this numbness is more dangerous than having depressive thoughts and feelings. All this to say that if u, or anyone else reading this, know the chronology of ur depression and had similar experience to mine(had major depression for a while then suddenly cognitive impairement), then seek help immediately.
    GL

  10. solly says:

    aethelread. Normally, I rarely find a blog about depression that i can relate to as per my symptoms, but you have really hit the nail on top of the coffin so to say for me.

    i totally understand how hard it is to describe the emotional and cognitive shutdown that you feel in depression. Do you feel that sometimes your brain is just a piece of wood stuck in your hear and its not really useful, doesnt do anything, you cant think, concentrate, feel, reason, judge, or anything realted to the brain. i lose my insight into myself and the world, as if i donnt really know what im doing or why im doing something. No sense of prupose, totally directionless.
    My realtionships with loved ones also affected as i cant seem to connect with them on an emotional level.

    My sister passed away and I havent been able to even cry or feel sad at her loss. just total emptiness and mental blockage.

    i rather have my intelligence and insight back first than happiness because then atleast i be able to function.

    I am on cymbalta and lamictal.

    Please reply to me, as i would like to know more about your condition

  11. Shaggy says:

    I know this is a bit belated, but I just wanted to say I really related with this. Made me laugh and cry. The cognitive part hit me like a ton of bricks one day, and it’s all I can do to keep a reasonably positive attitude about even the near future.

  12. B says:

    Hi, I know this was written 3 years ago but I thought I would post it anyway. I’m a 21 year old male and I have had the worst brain fog for the past month. Like you I wake up in the morning having no clue what day it is, my short term memory has literally disappeared, I find myself forgetting names, places, and words, and I just feel slow. I can’t think straight. I feel like a fragment of my former self.

    For the past month I have self diagnosed myself with a brain tumour, alcohol related brain damage, dementia and virtually everything else that can cause any cognitive changes.

    It was only a couple of days ago that I began believing that this could be caused by my depression (which I’ve battled with all my life). I really, truely hope that it is my depression causing this, because it honestly feels like I am losing my mind and that it is getting worse every day. I’m still trying to get a referral to a neurologist so I can hopefully get an MRI and rule out any physical damage or mass in my brain.

    Just thought I would post this so people know they aren’t alone out there. Because people still read this post- it was the first result when I searched “depression cognitive impairment”. I just started taking lexapro again, so I’m praying my mind comes back.

  13. Sarah says:

    Help

  14. Mark says:

    This is me in a nutshell.

  15. C says:

    I too belong to the ‘depression club’. And I have always for many years felt the depression as cognitive impairment. I have already consulted different neurologists and asked for brain MNR and SPECT. And, surprisingly they weren’t normal. In a MNR 10 years ago (I was in the mid 40’s) they found ‘WMH’ (white matter hyperintensities, first the radiologist thought they could be little infarcts). The neurologist concluded it was a casual finding, not related to my condition that he diagnosed as ‘depression’ not dementia or cognitive impairment. The SPECT performed two years ago showed low metabolic activity in left frontal and parietal lobes. Again the neurologist (another one) didn’t care too much about the result. All the tests were asked by neurologists since I wanted to know what was on in my brain. I have had several episodes of low mental performance for many years, labeled ‘depression’. So far I have totally recovered from them and my mind went back to normal. But I think that in depression there is a lesion in the brain, that the brain has low metabolism (evidenced by PET and SPECT). Regarding the WMH, there is pretty much scientific literature but I think their meaning remains controversial. Hopefully our diagnosis keep being reversible depression and not irreversible dementia.

  16. Linda Fass says:

    Last Thursday I was diagnosed with Pseudodementia. I have genetic depression which is mostly controlled by medication.

    However, about six years ago the depression started getting worse. We tried different medications…different doses but nothing was working.

    I changed psychiatrists with more medication and dosage changes…more and more. I finally agreed to see a psychologist (really bad experience with one 20 years ago). She is really good. I hated all the medications I was on so I changed psychiatrists again.

    The new one finally set up a neuropsychological exam which is where the diagnosis came from. I have been exhausted where it feels like I have to force my limbs to move. I misunderstand words ALL the time and when I’m asked to do some job at work it takes me awhile to understand what it is they say.

    My family doesn’t want to know anything about my depression and the church I attend has no understanding whatsoever. I’ve lost 45 pounds without trying and my family just tells me I look good. Sometimes it feels like I’m sliding down a mud slope and just can’t get a handhold.

  17. Hi Linda,

    I’m sorry to hear things about the problems you’ve been having. It’s a shame your family and church aren’t more supportive. On the bright side, at least you have a good psychologist, and the diagnosis of pseudodementia means that you know what you’re dealing with and that it should, ultimately, be treatable.

    I hope things get better for you, and take care,
    A.

  18. J. says:

    Thank you for sharing this blog. I can relate to everything you’ve written. For the longest time I’ve felt crazy, but this, I suppose, at least acknowledges that someone else is/was in the same situation. I score a 55 on the BDI, so maybe that explains why I’m experiencing some of these cognitive impairments. I was just under the impression that my ADD was getting worse, but if depression is the only diagnosis, well, looks like they’re going hand-in-hand here…

Comments are closed.