Brain Fog

It’s my first day studying again, and I am finding it hard to concentrate. My mind is slow, and foggy. When I’m reading, I’m not processing and I can almost hear a low-level buzz coming from inside my head. Like an electrical device that has some sort of fault with it, and is on the verge of melting down unexpectedly.

I have an eye twitch. It’s affecting both eyelids, but primarily the left one. It’s annoying. And I don’t know why I have it all of a sudden. I’m not particularly tired (although I do still feel drained). I don’t feel particularly stressed, or at least, I don’t think I do.

University has a certain way of making it seems like there is too much work to do, and not enough time. I set out with the best intentions: get up early, go to the gym, have breakfast and start studying by 8:30am. But today I didn’t go to the gym in the morning, like I am supposed to. I didn’t even get up with the alarm, because I was tired – like every other day for several months now –  and once I got down to sorting everything out, it was already 11am. And then I couldn’t focus.

I felt particularly frustrated with how slow-going it was; how slow my mind felt, and the constant twitching of my eyelids.

I didn’t follow the plan this morning. I haven’t for ages. I was still in my pajamas at 2pm. A bad habit I picked up last semester. Somewhere along the line, I just got out of my routine and I couldn’t get back into it. And I’m still not back into it.

I feel like I was feeling at the end of last semester. Fried. Fuzzy. Foggy. Braindead. Drained. Irritable.

What’s causing this?

Am I just lazy? Am I sick? Do I need to harden up and just get with the program! I don’t know.

I’m supposed to do a blood test, to check for iron and white blood cells (both have been low over the last year or so). And I’m supposed to do a poo test as well. I know I should but I keep putting it off. Mainly because I can’t be bothered. I’m lacking in the drive to get anything done. But also because I have to crap in a cup and fiddle around with it. Taking a crap is bad enough without having to take a sample of it, put it in a plastic bag and carry it down to the local blood shop.

It’s not like I’m depressed. It’s nothing like that. It’s just like I’m running on empty. I feel slow and weak and I don’t seem to be bouncing back. It seems to just keep dragging on.

I wake up in the morning, I turn my alarm off, and I go back to sleep. And that is where the problem is. Mum says, “why don’t you just get up?” And I don’t because I don’t think at the time. I just do. And I’m in the habit now, so sleep comes rapidly and all of a sudden I’m totally off-track and out of bed too late, so I skip the gym and decide to just go in the afternoon, and I sit in my pajamas until then (albeit usually relatively productive and focused on my work). And nothing changes.



5 thoughts on “Brain Fog

  1. Sara – I suffer from Bipolar Depression and deal with all of the symptoms you’re describing. “Fuzzy-headedness”, cognitive slowing, inability to concentrate, think, irritability, a feeling of electrical static in my brain. It’s very frustrating. I can be a very intelligent, imaginative and creative person when I’m feeling well, but the Bipolar makes me brain-dead, dull, irritable, and inarticulate. Lamictal is helping a great deal, but it hasn’t fully restored my mind and personality yet. I do have some great, lucid days, but they come and go. I’m thinking of going from 200mg to 300mg, but I need to discuss this with my doctor. Good luck and all the best – JB

    • Thanks for your comment JB. I find it so interesting when other people experience the exact same thing as me – sometimes when I am depressed it is easy to believe that I am the only one in the world who feels that way – and that thought process is not particularly helpful! I am glad you are finding Lamictal helpful (I don’t know anything about that drug), and I sincerely hope your great, lucid days become greater in number. All the best 🙂

  2. Thanks for sharing your experience. I just came across your blog by doing a Google search of ‘Bipolar Brain Dead’ because that’s how I feel. Before my first manic episode and subsequent psychosis, I was a brilliant woman. I could easily hold conversations and my creativity allowed me to write songs, blogs and chapters in a book I am working on. But since I was diagnosed with Bipolar I with psychotic features, I am slow and lacking thoughts. I can take care of myself just fine and I do my chores easily. I still write a song from time to time but I have to force it. As for conversing with my friends and family, I have absolutely nothing to say. My brain feels empty. I can do basic things and understand basic conversations but nothing that requires serious thought. I don’t know if it is because of the illness or the medications and my psychiatrist looks at me like she has no idea what I am talking about when I try to describe it to her. She says I seem fine.

    • Hi Robyn,

      Sorry for the delay in replying to your comment. What you’ve described could be a number of things – are you depressed or stressed? Are you on high doses of medications that cause sedation? Many things can contribute to the feelings your describing. I would recommend monitoring your mood to see whether you’re in a low period, and if not and your mood is stable, perhaps you may be able to reduce the doses of your medications so you’re more able to do the things you enjoy. The other issue is that sometimes when people feel as you’ve described they become frustrated and this makes it even harder. Spend a little time working on those things you enjoy (say 10 minutes) and if nothing comes, let it be and try again later or the next day. Good luck!

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