How Depression Affects Learning

Depression affects learning because of the way it impacts the brain and specifically the parts that contribute to depression. Since the frontal lobe contains the dopamine neurons it controls the brain’s reward system and attention, short-term memory tasks, planning and motivation. The temporal lobe is important for processing speech and it plays a key role in forming long-term memory.

How People Learn

There are several ways that a person learns, including auditory, visual and tactile methods. Auditory learners rely on their sense of hearing to acquire information to process. Visual learners use their eyesight to see or read information to learn. Tactile learners need to be “hands-on” to experience the learning situation. Most people actually use all three avenues of learning, but they have a preference for one.

Information about Depression

According to the Mayo clinic, depression affects how you feel, think and behave. Depression can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems. The symptoms of depression can impact learning in the following ways:

  • Irritability or frustration, even over small matters
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in normal activities
  • Slowed thinking and speaking
  • Indecisiveness, distractibility and decreased concentration
  • Fatigue and loss of energy — even small tasks may require significant effort
  • Trouble thinking, concentrating, making decisions and remembering things

Several symptoms of depression indicate how depression affects the brain and how a person learns.

Treatment for Depression

According to the Mayo Clinic, medication is often the first treatment option that people explore, including selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and antidepressants. However, the Clinic also noted that several types of psychotherapy address depression. The most frequently used psychotherapy is cognitive behavioral therapy, where a therapist works with a patient to identify negative beliefs and behaviors to replace them with healthy, positive ones. Giving responsibility and control to the depressed person enables her to realize her choice about how she responds to these problems.

Get Help for Depression

Feeling sad and depressed are often associated with relationship problems, angst about work or concerns about your physical health. Depression also contributes to these problems because it complicates clear thinking. If you fear that you may turn to drugs to respond to this depression, you are creating a cycle of destruction. Let us help you before that happens. Call our toll-free helpline any time; we are available 24 hours a day. We want to help you find solutions to handle your depression and can provide you with options, information about insurance and resources.