Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Brainfog

I think this is probably going to end up another rambling of things that pop into my head, but recently I've been reading up, watching videos etc on brain fog and dissociation and it just feels weird how much I can relate to it.

This video has nothing to do with Fibromyalgia, but is about a man talking through how it feels to have Depersonalization Disorder and the symptom of dissociation associated with it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j_rEBKxW3qE&feature=player_embedded

(I'm not sure if I need to put any kind of reference here, but I don't want to take the credit for it or anything. I came across the video on a support group for invisible illnesses)

I guess brain fog can differ for each person who experiences it. It affects how easily someone functions. at differing levels for everyone. I think I've had the dissociation side of things for much longer than I had fibromyalgia symptoms; right back to when I was in secondary school. I wasn't diagnosed with any anxiety disorder but I suppose these symptoms could have been caused by the anxiety I experienced from bullying. Let's go back to those feelings.

I used to feel very self conscious at school. It was all about image, how you dressed, what your hair was like, how loud you spoke, your body language and mostly about fitting in. I'd have times where I experienced what I suppose now would be a mild form of dissociation. It was like I was watching myself walking through the corridors, sitting in the classroom, reading whatever exercise book we'd been given etc. I don't think my concentration was that bad unless my mood was low. But yes, everything used to feel so surreal and it was more often the case when I was in classes with the bullies. They may not have been saying anything to me at the time, it may have been afterwards, when I was just left on my own with no one to talk to. Maybe it was my way of protecting myself? It was a strange time in my life anyway. It did sometimes feel like I was watching myself saying words to another person when I was talking. Like it wasn't really me speaking.

I get these feelings now, especially when I'm at medical appointments etc. I don't know if that's separate to the brain fog or a part of it but I will explain the other part below.

Imagine a really simple sentence. Something about your day maybe, e.g. "Today I ate some pasta". Now imagine you can't think of the word "pasta". You either say a completely different word or your mind draws a complete blank. This happens as quickly as flicking a light switch. One minute you know exactly what you want to say, the next, it's like you can't mentally access what you want to say next. I guess it's hard to imagine if you've not experienced it yourself. It's not particularly easy explaining brain fog and showing that it's more than just your mind going blank once in a blue moon, because it happens on a very regular basis. I have times where I don't even realise I've said the wrong word/s. I may have said something to someone and in my head, what I thought I said was completely different to (and a lot more sensical than) what I actually said. No wonder this person is giving me weird looks!! In my experience, it's happened when filling in paperwork as well. I've put a word twice without realising, I've put 'ing' at the end of a word about 3 times, I've missed out the main word in a sentence. "I felt 5 times this week" (missing out the word "dizzy" when it's the most important point to make). I also have had times where I get my S's and my C's mixed up. Like I'm asking how to spell something someone asked me to write down for them and they say something like "It's spelled *something something* S" I keep writing down C. Does this make any sense? lol.

Ok so, I'm not speaking for everyone who has brain fog of course. I'm sure it affects everyone (who suffers from it) in different ways. This is just me explaining what it feels like to me in particular.


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