One of the most common mental health disorders, depression can impact your life, relationships, career, hobbies, and even your cognitive function. Depression is a common comorbidity of other mental health disorders, diseases, and injuries. Patients with mild to acute traumatic brain injuries often experience depression or depressive episodes, leading to further cognitive decline.

Luckily, there are plenty of options for care and recovery when it comes to treating depression and other symptoms of cognitive impairment caused by traumatic brain injury. Keep reading to learn more about depression as a side effect of brain injury and concussions, how it impacts cognitive function, and how Cognitive Remediation Therapy can help.

How Depression Impacts Your Life

It is common for patients who have suffered from concussions or acute traumatic brain injuries to develop depression. Though it often leads to feelings of loneliness, depression affects millions of people all over the world. Those diagnosed with major depressive disorder (MDD) may experience a variety of symptoms that impact daily and cognitive function. 

Among these symptoms, the most persistent include being anxious, sad, irritable, or angry. Feelings of intense loneliness, hopelessness, guilt, and worthlessness are also typically present. Those who suffer from this disorder may also experience a sudden loss of interest in their favorite hobbies, find themselves oversleeping often, or experience thoughts of death and suicide.

While not everyone experiences the symptoms of depression in the same way, the above are the typical “warning signs” that a depressive episode is approaching. When these symptoms become even more severe, cognitive functioning like concentration, memory, and decision making can be impacted, as well.

Depression and Cognitive Function

Recent studies regarding major depressive disorder (MDD) and how it coincides with cognitive functioning reveal worsening impairments during the acute, remitted, and repeated episodes of the disorder. Since cognitive impairment is present within these cycles of depression and depressive episodes, it can cause additional reduced daily functioning and may worsen the presence of other symptoms. The following cognitive functions are often the most impacted by depression:

  • Decision-making skills
  • Long-term memory
  • Attention, both selective and sustained
  • Spatial working memory
  • Visual information processing 
  • Processing speed
  • Other executive functions

Treating Brain Injury Symptoms with CRT

If you or a loved one are experiencing cognitive impairment due to depression as a side effect of concussion or acute traumatic brain injury, Cognitive Remediation can help address these issues. Through Cognitive Remediation Therapy, the brain’s neuroplasticity is improved through specialized individual therapies, brain training, wellness techniques, and professional guidance. 

Cognitive Remediation not only helps improve mental clarity and brain fog associated with cognitive deficits, but helps patients get back to daily functioning. Customized online and in-person cognitive training programs help remediate brain function while addressing the core issues related to depression, brain injury, or Long COVID-19 symptoms. 

Cognitive functions like comprehension, learning, memory, information processing, speech, and reasoning are all improved with the help of Cognitive Remediation Therapy. Know someone who could benefit from this type of therapy? Contact The Hartman Center to learn more about CRT and how the many benefits of cognitive remediation for the brain and body.