• WHAT HAPPENS IN THE BRAIN WHEN YOU’RE DEPRESSED

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    Beyond the Blues

    People focus on emotions when talking about the blues. But your ability to think, learn, and memorise also suffer as a result of your depression. One recent study from Brigham Young University linked depression symptoms to a drop-off in a person’s ability to store new information. No surprise since mental health experts have known for a while that depression can boost your brain’s levels of stress hormones like cortisol, and studies have found that cortisol can damage or even shrink certain areas of your brain by stalling the production of new neurons and nerve connections. Read: HOT TO BALANCE YOUR HORMONES NATURALLY

    In particular, an area of the brain called the hippocampus, which plays a big role in learning and long-term memory, was found to be 9 to 13 percent smaller among women with a history of depression in a study in The Journal of Neuroscience. A separate study from Swedish researchers found brain “plasticity,” or your noodle’s ability to change and adapt to new conditions and experiences, takes a hit as a result of long-term depression. All of this this could hurt your ability to learn and process new info, the study authors say.

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