June 21st, 2011
10:23 AM ET
Can depression cause inability to focus?
Every weekday, a CNNHealth expert doctor answers a viewer question. On Tuesdays, it's Dr. Charles Raison, an associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Emory University, and an expert in the mind-body connection for health.
Asked by Rachel from Southern California
I am a college student, recently diagnosed with depression, and am taking steps to figure out if I have ADHD because of a tremendous inability to focus and retain information. It is almost like, when I'm trying to focus on something someone says, it slips right through me like water.
I am curious to know what prospects I have of gaining my cognitive abilities back if I start taking Lexapro or other antidepressants. If these are going to impair my ability to concentrate and focus even more, then I am not sure how to weigh the cost-benefits of taking them, because I am in school.
In short, are antidepressants more helpful or hurtful to my cognitive functions? Can I look forward to reversing the concentration and memory retention problems I am currently undergoing?
I am very sorry to hear about your situation. College is tough enough without having to struggle with depression.
When most people think of depression, the first things that come to mind are sadness, a loss of enjoyment in life, and perhaps that great dark sense of foreboding and fear that so often accompany the disorder.
And while these are all very painful, and central, parts of the condition, other symptoms of depression can be at least as damaging, and you are struggling with one of those: trouble concentrating.
So the first thing you should know is that the problems with focusing and remembering that you are experiencing are classic depressive symptoms and therefore may not be indicative of ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder).
It's pretty easy to figure this one out. Did you always have trouble concentrating and remembering things? If you can clearly answer yes to this, then you may have ADHD that preceded your depression. This would not be surprising - it appears that ADHD in childhood is a risk factor for a variety of psychiatric disorders in adulthood.
On the other hand, if your problems with concentration and memory only began with the start of your depression, then they are almost certainly depressive symptoms that will resolve when your depression is fully treated.
Let me answer your question about Lexapro (escitalopram) by assuming that your memory and focus problems are symptoms of your depression and not related to any pre-existing ADHD.
In this case the surest way to resolve these issues is to get rid of your depression, and to do so as quickly as possible. If you take Lexapro and it resolves the depression, it will also greatly improve your ability to focus and remember things.
Note that this does not appear to be a direct effect of the antidepressant, but rather results when the antidepressant resolves the depression.
Antidepressants don't improve memory or concentration, per se. But anything that makes your depression go away will fix your cognitive difficulties precisely because they are part of the depression.
A final comment: Don't forget that antidepressants are not your only option. Many studies show that certain types of psychotherapy (including cognitive behavioral therapy, behavioral activation and interpersonal psychotherapy) work as well as antidepressants.
About this blog
Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.
Interested in more information. How can I contact you?
Wow! Thank you! I constantly needed to write on my website something like that. Can I include a fragment of your post to my site?
self publishing is kind of difficult at first, but you can easily learn the tricks of the trade “
You have remarked very interesting points! ps decent internet site.
For most recent information you have to go to see internet and on the web I found this site as a best web page for most up-to-date updates.
I like the helpful info you provide in your articles. I will bookmark your weblog and check again here regularly. I am quite certain I will learn lots of new stuff right here! Good luck for the next!
Incredible! This blog looks just like my old one! It's on a totally different topic but it has pretty much the same page layout and design. Wonderful choice of colors!
Do you want get more social network traffic, likes, and retweets? SMM Supreme uses his own panel system to generate social media traffic to any website. Best Quality-Price Ratio on the market with 714928 orders until now. – Facebook Fan Page Likes: $4.50/1000 – Instagram Followers: $0.78/1000 – Youtube Views: $1.62/1000 – Twitter followers: $2.10/1000 – Paypal Deposit – Payeer Deposit – Automatic order processing – 30 minutes to send to customers
Social network traffic Facebook likes Twitter Followers Instagram Followers and much more
Do you want get more social network traffic, likes, subscribers? Our Company provide SMM Services that means (Social Media Marketing) that is directly using social network websites such as Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to promote a website. High Quality Services / Our prices are the cheapest in the market, starting at $0.01 / 24/7 Support / API Support for panel leaders / Best prices
Hi! This is my first visit to your blog! We are a collection of volunteers and starting a new initiative in a community in the same niche. Your blog provided us valuable information to work on. You have done a marvellous job!
Real fantastic information can be found on blog . "Prayer is the wing wherewith the soul flies to heaven, and meditation the eye wherewith we see God." by Ambrose of Milan.
How do I start a blog? I just got a new account on Yahoo but don't see where to start writing.?
Where are some good places to get good free blogger templates?
I'm wanting to look at blogs containing music I like, but sifting through all the detached, outdated and crap blogs is a hassle. . I know there are thousands of blogs, is there a good resource to seek out the preferred ones?.
I want to start a website about paranormal stuff..
I want to start a blog, which camera is the best ?
How do i start a website and what is the approximate cost?
I have a domain that is redirecting it views to my main site. I want to build a wordpress site on that domain but i cant access my admin for wordpress because it just redirects me to my main site. I don't want to take my domain off redirect until the wordpress site is done. So what do i do?. It is redirected thru my registrar. How would i login with my IP?.
Hi all – I have a straight-up HTML website that I'd like to transition to Joomla. If possible, I'd like to install Joomla into a subfolder and create and test the site there, while keeping the existing site functioning until I'm ready to move it over. Is this possible?. . Thanks!.
Hi there. I was just wondering why its such a big thing these days to have a ridiculous amount of ram in a computer? People tell me that the more Ram you have in your computer the faster your computer will be. I always thought that it was the processor that controls the speed of a computer and not the Ram.. . I had 512MB of Ram in my laptop and I have now changed it to 2Gigs of Ram and I've seen no difference in performance what so ever. . Could somebody please explain to me what does Ram does exactly?. Thanks in advance.
They are noteworthy for the possibly of the making of a book..
Beaver Tree Services, 2545 N 29th Pl, Phoenix, AZ 85008; (602) 671-0226
Przyjaciol nie poznajmy w biedzie, tylko po tym jak znosza nasz wymarzony sukces. cyt. Paulo Coelho. Na zlecenie ITI ProSystems... czytal M. Skrobosz... 🙂
Earn 500 a Day With Our Passive Income System Doing These 3 Steps: Step 1: Get our ready made niche websites, Step 2: Setup your Paypal account. Step 3: Run our Unlimited Traffic System from our Free 850 sources of traffic and start earning your income in same day.
Earn $1000 a Day With Our Passive Income System
Nie mysl, ze wrlg cie podziwia. On jedynie poszukuje twego slabego punktu. V. Butulescu.
hi!,I like your writing so much! share we communicate more about your post on AOL? I require an expert on this area to solve my problem. Maybe that's you! Looking forward to see you.
thank you for this info.
Some truly nice stuff on this website , I like it.
The heart of your writing whilst appearing reasonable originally, did not really settle well with me personally after some time. Someplace throughout the sentences you managed to make me a believer unfortunately only for a very short while. I nevertheless have got a problem with your leaps in logic and one would do well to fill in all those gaps. In the event you can accomplish that, I will definitely end up being impressed.
awesome i love this ! smm panel
i dont know why but im loving all of this !! cheapest smm panel
Nie mozna zyc szczesliwie, nie zyjac godnie, moralnie i uczciwie. – Epikur
1500 USA Visitors Daily For 30 Days From Niche Targeted Organic Traffic From Google: https://www.seoclerk.com/Traffic/840816/1500-USA-Visitors-Daily-For-30-Days-From-Niche-Targeted-Organic-Traffic-From-Google
I have a blog on Blogspot that I've been trying to customize with my own banner, but I can't seem to figure out where to do this 😛 A site where I could make a banner would be helpdul, too. If anyone has any directions they could give me to help me out with this, that would be awesome. Thank you!.
Nic zycia jest mieszanym wloknem, dobro i zlo przewijaja sie razem. – William Shakespeare
Spot on with this write-up, I really suppose this website needs rather more consideration. I’ll most likely be again to learn much more, thanks for that info.
Wow. I agree with every word. Thank you so much for sharing!
Best Marketing Services – Cheapest on Market. SMM Supreme is the Top 5 Best Social Media Website in the World. Best Quality-Price Ratio on the market with 714,928 orders until now. – Facebook Fan Page Likes for $4.50/1000 – Instagram Followers for $0.78/1000 – Youtube Views: $1.62/1000 – Twitter followers: $2.10/1000 – Paypal Deposit – Bitcoin Deposit – Fast order processing – 1 Hour Delivery Our Website: https://smmsupreme.com/services
Zycie mozna zrozumiec, patrzac nań tylko wstecz. Zyc jednak trzeba naprzod – Soren Kierkegaard
Zycie jest wspaniale, nalezy tylko spogladac na nie przez wlasciwe okulary. – Aleksander Dumas
8thn0 gdi1x e0v8
1jn4q gewho f9lv
Today, I went to the beachfront with my children. I found a sea shell and gave it to my 4 year old daughter and said "You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear." She put the shell to her ear and screamed. There was a hermit crab inside and it pinched her ear. She never wants to go back! LoL I know this is entirely off topic but I had to tell someone!
check out buy instagram followers