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Brain Fog from Anxiety?!


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Does anybody have brain fog from anxiey, that's gotten so bad it's just constant? 

 

This started about 2 years ago when I had a bout of Paranoia and increased anxiety.  My friend told me it is de-realization.. but whatever it is called I can't take it anymore!!!, Even in times I am exercizing and feeling generally well otherwise... I still have this FOG!  I was on Zoloft last year and tapered off of it because I was convinced it was because of the Zoloft, however the fogginess never went away.  For  a long time I was taking care of myself, yoga, meditation, exercize, practicing positive thinking etc.  All of this helped a little, but still the fogginess remained.  Recently I've had extreme anxiety again and am going back down the medicine road, though I really hate to, I just don't know what else to do.  I've been to the doctor, had a bunch of blood tests done (for Lymes, Lupus, everything under the sun!), ... Even went to the Gastro doctor to get tested to see if I have Celiac's disease, turns out (100s of dollars later) I just have a little IBS and every other test is normal! This is obviously a good thing, but still doesn't explain the fog.

 

Oh, I also convinced myself I had a Candida overgrowth, but my gastro doctor told me if i did they would've found it.. (went a little cray cray over that).

 

Has anyone else experienced this, are they currently.. and does it ever go away???  What has helped you if it has?  I'm desparate, I just want to feel clear-headed!

Edited by FaceIt
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Absolutely.

 

I used to have intense anxiety, mainly social anxiety but I had OCD & GAD traits. And the brain fog was the worst elongating part. So I empathize deeply.

 

It could possibly be Derealization, but there is a difference. With anxiety, it could be either or considering both brain fog & Derealization are linked. That is definitely something you need to ask your psychiatrist, because I can definitely not diagnose you over the internet (or in real life, I have a PhD in personal experience only).

 

My .02 is to talk again with your psychiatrist the next time you talk about meds, discuss the difference of brain fog & dissociation (Derealization). I am not sure of other treatments that can help brain fog (because no medication can), however trying GF might really help. If you have IBS it might help that as well.

 

Good luck.

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Has anyone else experienced this, are they currently.. and does it ever go away???  What has helped you if it has?  I'm desparate, I just want to feel clear-headed!

 

Yes, I've just started experiencing this!  I hope it goes away too.  What I found helpful is to just go home, be around no one, do something to unwind, then sleep.  I also took an Excedrin because my head felt like it killed (it was a weird feeling).  It took a few hours for the fog to lift, but it is just about all gone.  I hope you get some relief because this is not comfortable!

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Thanks for your replies!  I have tried GF before, but probably not long enough to see results.. I know people can still have gluten sensitivities without actually having Celiac's..  I will try that first.  A lot of the research i've done on brain fog points to not only anxiety, but exhaustion or fatigue, a symptom I definitely have.  

 

Hopefully trying multiple things will help. I also think a big factor is over thinking it!  I think that's part of the reason it hasn't gone away, my brains constantly going.

 

Any more advice is welcome. :)

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When I went GF it took about 2-3 weeks for the IBS to disappear, and up to 6 weeks for the anxiety & brain fog to dissipate. I found out that GF also really helped being so tired & drained all the time as well; and usually it was between 3 & 6 weeks for it to get better. It is definitely helpful if you have gluten sensitivities, and you're right you can have sensitive without being celiac.

 

Good luck with everything, I hope you are able to get some relief from the brain fog :)

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Yes, I've just started experiencing this!  I hope it goes away too.  What I found helpful is to just go home, be around no one, do something to unwind, then sleep.  I also took an Excedrin because my head felt like it killed (it was a weird feeling).  It took a few hours for the fog to lift, but it is just about all gone.  I hope you get some relief because this is not comfortable!

 

 

Actually, that sort of sounds like a migraine. Fog, feeling weird, those can be migraine symptoms, especially if a NSAID helped alleviate it.

Edited by AnneMarie
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Yes, I've just started experiencing this!  I hope it goes away too.  What I found helpful is to just go home, be around no one, do something to unwind, then sleep.  I also took an Excedrin because my head felt like it killed (it was a weird feeling).  It took a few hours for the fog to lift, but it is just about all gone.  I hope you get some relief because this is not comfortable!

 

 

Actually, that sort of sounds like a migraine. Fog, feeling weird, those can be migraine symptoms, especially if a NSAID helped alleviate it.

 

 

Thanks ... I didn't pick up on that today until you mentioned it.  It was a combination of everything that relieved it.  Had I taken and Excedrin while I was out it would have made things worse, but it did help once I was home and could relax a little.

Edited by melissaw72
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The fog rolls in when I get depressed. I could literally see the fog it got so dense. Sad but true and an extraneous symptom you aren't dealing with. The only thing that worked was getting undepressed. This doesn't sound like your issue, but I empathize.

 

I can derealize when anxious, but that's been temporary with a direct cause and effect. I think antipsychotics have helped with this, but unless you've exhausted your options, it's a bit of an extreme approach. It is not unheard of, though. Back pocket info.

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The fog rolls in when I get depressed. I could literally see the fog it got so dense.

 

Me as well. When I get brain fogged, it feels like I can physically not see clearly.

 

 

I can derealize when anxious, but that's been temporary with a direct cause and effect. I think antipsychotics have helped with this, but unless you've exhausted your options, it's a bit of an extreme approach. It is not unheard of, though. Back pocket info.

 

The kind of brain fog I personally am relating to & my information to, is the constant & thick brain fog that lasts every day & all day long. It's not exactly Derealization considering it's not as if I am disconnected from the world; but rather just a gray film in my brain covering my emotions & thoughts (concentration especially) from outside of my brain. And in this sense, antipsychotics can make it worse.

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The fog rolls in when I get depressed. I could literally see the fog it got so dense.

 

Me as well. When I get brain fogged, it feels like I can physically not see clearly.

 

 

I can derealize when anxious, but that's been temporary with a direct cause and effect. I think antipsychotics have helped with this, but unless you've exhausted your options, it's a bit of an extreme approach. It is not unheard of, though. Back pocket info.

 

The kind of brain fog I personally am relating to & my information to, is the constant & thick brain fog that lasts every day & all day long. It's not exactly Derealization considering it's not as if I am disconnected from the world; but rather just a gray film in my brain covering my emotions & thoughts (concentration especially) from outside of my brain. And in this sense, antipsychotics can make it worse.

 

 

 

Yes, this is exactly what I mean.  I can't concentrate, it's like I can see the fog... couldn't have described it better.  

 

The Girl... I will take your advice and try GF though, sounds like the best option for now at least.  I have tried anti-depressants, which helped with my anxiety, but only increased the fog.  I have recently been prescribed xanax though, for the occasional bouts of anxiety, but I have yet to take it because Im afraid it will make my brain even worse... I will only take if I'm having a melt down!

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I guess I had two sorts of fog. One was like what you describe. The other was hallucination. It was an external thing that lurked along the ground and haunted. I was also hallucinating hellfire in my bookcases and walls, so there you go. For this reason, I've always wondered if the thickheaded, muffled world I lived in before the psychosis actually was derealization or something else. My pdoc labeled it derealization, fwiw.

 

I am curious, when you are all foggy-headed, is everything grey? Or is there still color in your world?

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Wooster... Another good way of describing it...

 

AnneMarie... I'm not sure about the hallucination part, but the whole "muted color" thing I can relate to.  I don't know if it's a physical thing, or if its because of that feeling of being inside your head that colors don't seem as bright as they were before.

 

Regardless, I took the Girls advice and began a GF diet.  I was feeling generally the same for a few days, however over the weekend i ate gluten bc I wanted to get rid of it in my house without throwing it out and wasting it.  I actually had worsened brain fog and felt immediately tired.  So.. fingers crossed that this is the main culprit!  Here is a good article and going GF and why it may help you.  Even if it's not what is giving you the fog, it's at least good to focus on being healthier, which can help anyones brain I believe.

 

http://www.humanevents.com/2013/06/10/why-the-rise-in-gluten-allergies-celiac/

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Yes, I've just started experiencing this!  I hope it goes away too.  What I found helpful is to just go home, be around no one, do something to unwind, then sleep.  I also took an Excedrin because my head felt like it killed (it was a weird feeling).  It took a few hours for the fog to lift, but it is just about all gone.  I hope you get some relief because this is not comfortable!

 

 

Actually, that sort of sounds like a migraine. Fog, feeling weird, those can be migraine symptoms, especially if a NSAID helped alleviate it.

 

HEY! That is what I was going to post! Pfft. The Excedrin is especially telling.

 

Melissaw, when I went to see the pain Dr. earlier this week, she said Excedrin is the worst, and she hates it. She didn't give me a reason!  I'm not saying you should stop it, I wish I could still take it. I am just am wondering why she doesn't like. Maybe she is just concerned about rebound headaches.

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Yes, I've just started experiencing this!  I hope it goes away too.  What I found helpful is to just go home, be around no one, do something to unwind, then sleep.  I also took an Excedrin because my head felt like it killed (it was a weird feeling).  It took a few hours for the fog to lift, but it is just about all gone.  I hope you get some relief because this is not comfortable!

 

 

Actually, that sort of sounds like a migraine. Fog, feeling weird, those can be migraine symptoms, especially if a NSAID helped alleviate it.

 

HEY! That is what I was going to post! Pfft. The Excedrin is especially telling.

 

Melissaw, when I went to see the pain Dr. earlier this week, she said Excedrin is the worst, and she hates it. She didn't give me a reason!  I'm not saying you should stop it, I wish I could still take it. I am just am wondering why she doesn't like. Maybe she is just concerned about rebound headaches.

 

 

My neuro says to take Excedrin if I need it for a migraine, but doesn't encourage it because of the rebound headaches.  Only certain kinds of headaches will be relieved by Excedrin for me though.  Some I use ice packs.  I think I remember you saying ice packs didn't help you, but it's just another way I get rid of some headaches.

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Yes, I've just started experiencing this!  I hope it goes away too.  What I found helpful is to just go home, be around no one, do something to unwind, then sleep.  I also took an Excedrin because my head felt like it killed (it was a weird feeling).  It took a few hours for the fog to lift, but it is just about all gone.  I hope you get some relief because this is not comfortable!

 

 

Actually, that sort of sounds like a migraine. Fog, feeling weird, those can be migraine symptoms, especially if a NSAID helped alleviate it.

 

 

My migraines definitely include brain fog, most definitely. However, for myself, it is a different kind of phenomenon than with the constant-type of brain fog I describe. The difference is most noticeable after being gluten free.

 

I experience this as 'being eight steps behind my eyeballs'.

 

Expression fits this experience perfectly ;)

 

Regardless, I took the Girls advice and began a GF diet.  I was feeling generally the same for a few days, however over the weekend i ate gluten bc I wanted to get rid of it in my house without throwing it out and wasting it.  I actually had worsened brain fog and felt immediately tired.  So.. fingers crossed that this is the main culprit!  Here is a good article and going GF and why it may help you.  Even if it's not what is giving you the fog, it's at least good to focus on being healthier, which can help anyones brain I believe.

 

It takes a couple of weeks to really notice the effects of being GF. So I am not surprised you didn't feel anything after only a few days. It can be an indicator though, that your symptoms worsened with the large amount of gluten you consumed. However most gluten foods are shitty to no nutrition anyway, and that plus any kind of anxiety or depression can exacerbate the brain fog & tiredness. More time GF, as well as seeing your doctor again and discussing what is going on, you should be able to differentiate more clearly :)

 

ETA for spelling & grammatical errors

Edited by the girl
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  • 3 months later...

I have this BAD. It prevents me from doing things like jogging, because I'm paranoid I'll get lost or something. And it even happens WHILE I'm exercising - in fact, actually now that I think about it, it pretty much happens EVERY time I exercise. Like, it's there perpetually, but it gets worse when I exercise.

I believe strongly in a low carb diet for me. When I stick to it it helps significantly. I also have an intolerance to gluten and cutting that out helps a lot too. A benzo really helps - often, if I take mine instead of it making me sleepy it'll snap me out of the fog and I'll feel "awake" in comparison.

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I get terrible brain fog. I never attributed it to my anxiety. I also have fibromyalgia which can cause it (and IBS). I wish I could say there's a light at the end of the tunnel but I have yet to find a solution. It's very frustrating though to suddenly feel as though there are holes in my memory or I am losing it. Day to day stuff (like where I left something etc) just seems to elude me.

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I have a concrete association between anxiety/derealization and depersonalization. It's most commonly tied to social phobia for me; it is definitely worse when I'm run down physically, or stressed out or spread thin, though I do it to some degree most of the time. Sometimes it's so strong that I feel like this reality is trying to squeeze me out like a watermelon seed. For this, when I feel "out of body," or derealized, relaxing or being somewhere quiet for a little while until my head stops racing helps.

 

I often feel fogged and disconnected, but I don't know how helpful I can be; for me, it's more to do with affect issues and negative symptoms. It's hard to track or react to things, because I'm emotionally bankrupt, so I have trouble remembering and keeping on top of things. I don't know if that's the same at all. It's more a persistent colorlessness and lack of belief in objective existence, so that things slip past unremarked. It's linked to depression as well, though, so maybe it is the same, or similar.

 

My tdoc has advised me to get out and not hole up completely, but to focus on things that bring me happiness and reinforce solidity. That's done jack shit for me, but I can see why she advises it, and I think it might help in different circumstances.

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  • 2 months later...

Thanks for all the info so far, folks. This is the first I have heard of derealization.my psych has never mentioned it. But, I have had brain fog for over ten years now and BARELY get by at work (I am a software developer). I also have these episodes where if I am asked a question, I can almost feel a mental block go up, even for easy questions. I don't have panic attacks, but certainly do have gad. Problem is, I also have physical symptoms, headache jaw pain and pounding pulse inside my ears. So I've been to every kind of doctor to no avail. not sure what my purpose for posting is other than to vent to people I know understand. I feel so worthless at work and can't really explain that I'm not stupid, but I feel like an idiot and it takes me so long to get anything done.I just want to know how to get out of this!!!

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