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Does depression make you less smart? Is it permanent?

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    I am way dumber than I used to be. At school I was a straight A student who rarely studied outside of lessons. I did the bare minimum and did really well. Now I struggle so much with pretty much everything about university. I keep getting Ds and Fs.
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    (Original post by thebluepenguins)
    I'm probably just splitting hairs here, but my IQ actually has gone down. That's not necessarily due to depression though, and personally I don't think they're a reliable measure of intelligence anyway.
    Can I ask what you mean by 'existential depression' and how it made you more smart?

    Ah ok that's interesting.

    Yep I agree with you on IQ.

    It's hard to explain. It has given me a new perspective. I'm more objective and more open-minded. Unfortunately I'm also a bit numb and struggling to find meaning in anything. Definitely 'smarter' though.

    http://psychcentral.com/lib/what-is-...al-depression/
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    OP, I agree with the others - depression makes it harder to concentrate, but I don't think it permanently damages you - sure it may impede you while it isn't under control, but people have picked their lives up out of long term suicidal states and done brilliant things, so I think no it isn't permanent. Don't try and judge your intelligence while you're still having issues with depression - it isn't being fair to yourself. When you find dealing your situation is easier, you should find your brain works better.

    I know how it feels to be insecure about your intelligence and at the same time wonder if your difficult situation is destroying your mind beyond repair. It's a truly terrifying feeling and I'm sorry you have to experience it. I had depression a while back, but I today I can say my mind is sharper than ever - because I'm much happier.

    I'd give you a hug, but I can't. So instead please go to your stove and warm up some milk, then put some chocolate spoonfuls in and enjoy your hot chocolate.
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    (Original post by thebluepenguins)
    My work is certainly harder, no doubt about that. But things that I could do when I was younger I just...can't any more. A few years back I read Stephen Hawking's 'A Brief History of Time' and got through it no problem. I tried to read it again last week and I can't wrap my head around it. Information is just harder to understand than it used to be. I'm hoping it's because I can't concentrate and other stuff that comes with depression (fatigue, general low mood, etc) and the other stuff you mentioned about getting older. Appreciate the comment though, it's reassuring to know it happened to you too
    Its interesting you mention a Brief History of Time. I never got on with physics during gcse and a-level, I found it incredibly confusing. Books like a brief history of time only added to that, leaving me with more questions than answers. This year I'm about to start a MSc in theoretical physics at cambridge I think confusion is not a sign of a lack of intelligence, but the opposite. As you get older the same information can be interpreted differently, and harder questions might pop into your head, like asking why does that make sense? which you may not have asked before. Maybe you're asking harder questions which a book like that can't answer...
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    Temporarily, the drugs absolutely screw you though
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    (Original post by Absolute Madman)
    Temporarily, the drugs absolutely screw you though
    I'm not on any at the minute.
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    I don't think it makes you less smart exactly, but it can affect cognitive function which can make it harder to learn and stuff. That doesn't make you less smart though

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    (Original post by chelseadagg3r)
    I don't think it makes you less smart exactly, but it can affect cognitive function which can make it harder to learn and stuff. That doesn't make you less smart though

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    I was being loose with the word 'smart'. If there were some real objective measure of intelligence, I'm sure I'd score the same as before I had depression. Cognitive function is what I meant
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    (Original post by thebluepenguins)
    I was being loose with the word 'smart'. If there were some real objective measure of intelligence, I'm sure I'd score the same as before I had depression. Cognitive function is what I meant
    Ah okay, my bad I have cognitive difficulties but I'm not sure if it's from depression or health issues. Probably both. I've seen it before though as a result of depression itself and medication

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Updated: September 29, 2016
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