Memory And Anxiety Disorders

This article by Richard McNally links memory disorders to anxiety disorders.

Memory Deficits and Biases
When analyzing memory deficits and biases in relation to depression, individuals with depressive disorders are more likely to have memory deficits which prevent them from easily recalling positive memories and memory biases which cause them to retrieve negative memories more easily than others. This also extends to individuals with anxiety disorders, who can easily access stored memories and information about dangerous situations or stressors. However, there are differences in the memory deficits and biases among different disorders. People with panic disorders or post traumatic stress disorders have memory biases that allow them to more easily recall threats.


Based on lab tests, people with depressive disorders recalled general memories when asked to think of something happy, rather than the control group which could identify a specific happy memory. Another interesting test tried to uncover if people with OCD have problems distinguishing reality from imagination. If they sometimes could not tell if they had done something or just imagined themselves doing it. The tests showed that people with OCD could generally distinguish between reality and imagination but were less confident that they could do so.


There are common misconceptions about depressive and anxiety disorders. This article outlines some of the realities of the two types of disorders which are important for teachers to understand if they have students with these disorders.

McNally, Richard J. (1997). Memory and Anxiety Disorders. Find the article attached below under the files section

Posted by Theresa Garcia de Quevedo