I have been told that untreated depression leads to dimentia. is this true? how long does it take for dimentia to take a hold of a person if their depression is left untreated?
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I have never heard of untreated depression leading to dementia. Whoever informed you of this was either mistaken or, perhaps, you misunderstood what they were saying.
Dementias, of the Alzheimer’s disease type as well as others, are usually accompanied by depression during the early to middle stages of the illness. This is probably due to the fact that the individual senses or feels that they are losing their capacity to think, remember and get around. During these early and middle stages of dementia the patient is treated with anti depressants.
We still do not know what causes dementia and depression has never been listed as a possibility. Unfortunately, a lot of ongoing research is published prematurely, leading to a lot of speculation that causes everyone a good deal of anxiety. In fact, this reminds me of an old Woody Allen movie in which he falls asleep and wakes up in the next century. In the new century, he learns that everything that was previously believed was wrong and just the opposite is true. So, for example, in this new century in the movie, butter and cholesterol are good for you. Of course, this is silly but is meant to convey the message to be careful about what we listen to.
If you have any suspicions that you could be experiencing some form of dementia see your doctor and have him check you out. We are so anxious about these things that many people are ready to believe they have dementia if they forget to do something.