How Depression Affects Learning

How Depression Affects LearningDepression is a serious brain disorder that can stem from genetic or hereditary factors, as well as trauma, substance abuse, negligence, poor nutrition or lack of stimulation. It affects the part of the brain known as the reward center, which manages the following functions:

  • Impulse control
  • The ability to pay attention
  • Memory
  • Mood
  • Social interaction
  • Appetite
  • Sleeping and waking
  • Hope and optimism

If untreated, depression can lead to a wide range of very serious mental, relational and emotional repercussions for children, teens and adults. However, help is available for anyone who seeks it.

How Depression Affects Learning

The functions that the reward center governs are all directly related to learning, so depression significantly impacts the ability to learn. This can be seen through the following ways:

  • A lack of physical stamina or energy may make it difficult to learn
  • Impulse control disorders may result in trouble and type-casting
  • Depressed people lack motivation, which will impair their ability to work to learn
  • Depression may lead to anti-social behavior, which is rarely tolerated in the classroom
  • Depression limits the ability to pay attention and remember information

The relationship between depression and learning goes both ways. While depression can lead to difficulty learning, difficulty learning can lead to frustration and depression. Many students with learning disabilities also experience depression as a result.

The Positive Impact Learning Has on Depression

As challenging as it is to get a depressed person to learn, the process can be an important step in eventual recovery. Patients in some of the best treatment programs are spending an increased amount of time learning new skills. The process is actually rewarding for the brain. It helps recovering addicts develop self-confidence and a hope for the future. Innovative recovery programs are experimenting with all kinds of learning, including the following methods:

  • Visual arts (photography, painting, film making and etc)
  • Music
  • Building
  • Repairing things
  • Understanding relationships
  • Learning to read and write
  • Math and business skills
  • Creative writing
  • Crafts
  • Understanding how addiction works

Recovering addicts get a great deal of value from learning. Many continue to learn after rehab, going on to get their GED, a college diploma or even an advanced degree.

Treatment for Depression and Learning

If you are concerned that depression impacts your ability to learn, or if you have loved ones that struggle with this disease, please call our toll-free, 24 hour helpline any time. Our counselors will answer all of your questions and can connect you with the best recovery programs available. The call is confidential and free, so you truly have nothing to lose.