The Relationship Between Anxiety and Memory Loss
Anxiety is condition when people exposed to long periods of stress often tend to “overthink”. People with anxiety worry about minor problems and often are trapped inside their own minds and think “what if”. This condition has not only psychological but also physical symptoms. Some of the symptoms of anxiety can include sleep disorders, constant worry and anxious thoughts, panic attacks, hormone changes and brain issues.
Is Anxiety Causing Memory Loss or Vice Versa?
It’s hard to actually say if your memory loss is due to anxiety or some other problem. However people with anxiety can experience some physical symptoms that are linked to memory loss. Anxious people go through some hormone and brain chemistry changes that can actually cause memory loss issues. The most common anxiety symptoms that can lead to memory loss include:
- High levels of Stress Hormone: The stress hormone in our body is known as cortisol. People who suffer from anxiety produce high level of this hormone which can directly affect the brain function and cause memory loss. Often people with anxiety find it difficult to focus and have short term memory issues. This can include difficulty to create short term memories and/or forget them easily.
- Difficulties with concentration: Having anxiety actually means that you are using your brain in the most intense way without a rest. People with anxiety are consumed with thought and often it is hard for them to focus on memories. When you use your brain in such an active way it is sometimes difficult to create memories or to recall them. Often you are producing so many anxious thoughts that they can actually replace your short term memories in battle for space.
- Sleep Disorders: Most of the people who suffer from anxiety experience different issues with their sleep. Often people find it hard to fall asleep or wake up frequently during the night which can cause sleep deprivation. It is proven that sleep deprivation can cause memory loss issues. Sleep is the time when your brain focuses on your thoughts and turns them into memories. Sleep deprivation means that you don’t get enough or healthy enough sleep and you brain cannot fully create your memories.
- Change of your priorities: As we said, anxious people often get trapped in their own thoughts. This means that a person with anxiety tends to focus on all the negative thoughts and forget the good ones. Those people often focus and pay much more attention on their own present negative thoughts and don’t think about their past which eventually turns into memory loss issues.