The Effects of Depression and Anxiety on Memory Performance
Depression is known to be linked to memory problems, and there's no clear answer as to why. Maybe it’s because when you're depressed time doesn't feel real anymore, or you get so sad that the idea of trying to process thoughts doesn’t feel like a solution. I think depression has caused me to lose my memories over the years. If I’m being honest I really can’t remember much before eighth grade, and every thought between then and now feels like a blur. My whole life feels like one big blur that I can't comprehend.
Let’s go back to eighth grade, shall we? Every time I ever tell anyone about my eighth grade experience, I always feel kind of stupid. It makes me ask myself, “Eighth grade? Really? That’s the one year of your life that you remember feeling your worst?” I could totally be over exaggerating, and the idea of me being depressed in eighth grade doesn’t sound that stupid, but the thought of it always makes me feel so embarrassed. However, the more I think about it, it’s not that embarrassing. Every thirteen year old goes through some sort of life changing event, but my idiotic brain will not shut up.
Now you might be asking yourself, “What in the world happened to you in eighth grade, and why are you being so ominous about it?” The truth is nothing actually happened, it’s just I have never felt worse in my entire life. I don't exactly know why, but I just had the most severe depression ever. As far as I can remember it’s the first time I had ever felt that way. Now, depression just comes hand in hand with me. It’s really the only constant in my life. However, prior to eighth grade I don’t remember ever feeling like that before. Not to say that before eighth grade I never got sad, it's just I never felt so intensely sad before. Before eighth grade I had never woken up and just instantly felt sad for no reason. I don’t ever remember there being a key moment in my life to make me feel that way, it just happened. Now looking back at it, I’m sure I can give you a list of reasons on why I felt the way I did.
My parents are very judgmental, and they use to call me fat to my face almost everyday. It wasn’t till I said something to one of my friends that I realized that it’s not normal for parents to say things like that to their own child. I will defend my parents now in the sense that they both definitely changed as people. They do seem to be way less judgmental as they used to be. Now they would never call me fat, they might subtly call me fat, but they wouldn’t say that to my face like they used to. That being said, I’m only defending them in the sense that I think they're better people now, but I will never defend them for emotionally abusing me however many years ago. So, I do think that was most likely one of the main reasons why I became so depressed.
Another reason I think I was so depressed at thirteen is I don’t think I truly accepted my sexuality at the time. Today I am very proud to claim that I am bisexual, but I didn’t fully accept that I was until the summer before sophomore year. I remember, especially in eighth grade, that I was very questioning of myself. In eighth grade, I had a friend who told me she was bisexual, and she was very open about it. I remember her telling me that she wouldn't be surprised if I was too. I think being told that, and just having a friend who was out, made me very questioning about my own sexuality. I always had thoughts of me thinking that I’m definitely attracted to guys, but I would always question if maybe I was attracted to girls too. If I put myself back into my eighth grade self, these factors of my life definitely did not occur to me. There were very present factors, but I never once for even a second thought they might’ve been the cause of my depression.
Over the years, I think I’ve gotten really good at hiding my emotions. I’m not someone who really ever likes sharing what I’m truly feeling. I’ve always been that way. When I do want to share what I’m really feeling, I kind of jokingly say it. In eighth grade, I did that a lot. I was in an emotional state of wanting to kill myself. Now, before I move on please note that me sharing this is not a cry for help. I have never once harmed myself. I am definitely better now, and I no longer feel like I want to kill myself. However, eighth grade was the first time that I had ever felt depressed, so I think my way of dealing with it was to tell myself that I should die. Things got so bad for me, that I felt like the idea of killing myself was the only option. Going back to the idea of me jokingly sharing my true feelings, in eighth grade I would go up to my friends and tell them that I was going to kill myself. Looking back at it, this little detail of my life literally makes me sound like an insane person. I understand how unbelievably wrong it was for me to say that to people, but I was so out of my mind depressed that I didn’t know any better. Although, however many times I said that to people, no one ever reached out to me. I’m not trying to blame others, and I get the idea of being thirteen and not having a clue on how to handle your depressed friend, but the fact that no one ever showed any sympathy to me is bizarre. I also understand though because whenever I said that to someone I would laugh and play it off like I was cool, so I get it. I understand why no one ever reached out. It still just sucks though. I will say that I had friends, so I had people to care for me, but none of them were that close to me. At the time, my best friend had just moved away, so I wasn’t going to be an inconvenience to her. Also my other current best friend wasn't really my best friend yet. So, I didn’t really have anyone to reach out to. Even if I did, I feel so bad when other people have to deal with me. I hate being a problem for someone to fix.
I was going through an emotional journey on my own. The more I look back at, the more I realize that I could have handled it better. I also probably shouldn’t have jokingly told my friends that I was going to kill myself. I should have put my thoughts into much clearer words. Even though I say this, I understand that I was so depressed, and this was my first time ever feeling this way. I didn't know how to deal with it. Now, I always tell my best friends how I’m feeling. Before, I had no idea how to reach out to people. The idea of getting help was not on my mind. Eighth grade was a wild ride, but I truly believe that it’s what shaped me into being the person I am now. I don’t remember much prior to eighth grade. I can’t even remember what my personality used to be like. Eighth grade was when I became me. It was as if a door opened and released all of my personality and emotions.