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ProfessionalHuman260 t1_iuqqmdm wrote

It has already been established that long term secretion of cortisol (both the cause and symptom of depression) will decrease the volume of the brain. For example, international flight attendants that don't get proper time off over a two week period will show a reduction in their hypothalamus volume. -- (if remember correctly, the volume loss is not associated with becoming dumber, but maybe just short term working memory decrease from stress)


26Kermy t1_iurnykv wrote

This is anecdotal but I definitely remember my critical thinking and memory responsiveness taking a hit while going through my first depressive episode as a young adult.


TheHelpfulRabbit t1_iusfy9i wrote

I was severely depressed as a young teen until early adulthood, but around 24 I was able to move out and my mental health improved dramatically. My GPA in high school/college was about 2.8, whereas my GPA in grad school that I started at 28 was 3.6.

I really think the depression and constant stress due to my abusive upbringing was making me dumber.


[deleted] t1_iutvafh wrote

your brain was exerting more energy in “fight or flight” mode, even if there was not a pressing issue 100% of the time. your ‘monkey brain’ as i usually call it (or lizard brain, yk what i mean), reacts without your consent and is in a state of hyper-vigilance constantly. it takes much more energy to do simple tasks and to learn new things, and we’ve only got so much mental stamina to exert in a day. you weren’t “dumber”, you were quite literally focused on other things that your ‘monkey brain’ decided were essential for your to live another day

source: was trauma therapist


artistsays t1_iutwc8b wrote

Thank you. Sometimes I cry thinking about choices I made, like how was I so dumb and cruel to myself with choices I made. I think my dad knocking my sister around and my mom growing up impacted me more than the just the few times he gave me black eyes. I hurt myself so bad. I wish I called police on him when I was young, I was worried about him losing his job and what would we do then?


DooDooSlinger t1_iutdzzc wrote

Cortisol is absolutely not established as the cause of depression.


ProfessionalHuman260 t1_iuu74pf wrote

Cortisol is established as a factor in brain volume. -- By "cause and symptom" I was paraphrasing it's permissive, suppressive, stimulatory, and preparative actions in association with the stress response (see Sapolsky, 2000). Cortisol has strong and well known association the acute and severe Major Depressive Disorder. While cortisol hypersecretion does not sufficiently explain the nature of depression, it is a contributing cause that continues to have maladaptive feedback, potentiate nueral pathways, and impair corticosteroid receptors throughout the depression furthering the severity.


guave06 t1_iuv17u7 wrote

That would mean athletes are highly depressed population. instead we see the opposite