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Goldfish brain


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Hi all, currently in a mixed state. Been a while. Delusional and finally figured out what was going on when I started seeing shadow spiders. Yay! I thought I didnt need meds, like my last episode was gonna be it. Nope. Anyhow, it occurs to me that I've had a 2 second memory for some time now. Hense the name, goldfish brain. Just wondering if this is a normal part of bipolar for some people? Tdoc says it's probably just my concentration sucking, and I should be able to file things away in my brain as usual once I'm ok again. Thoughts?

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After I was very psychotic and mixed for a long time I felt my brain was damaged. I later found out this was actually a thing that happens, though the doc who told me about it said it was reversible. I think it reversed to some extent but not all the way. I am not the person I once was intelligence-wise. 

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I have a horrible memory and mind too. And I also saw these weird clear/white spiders at times coming down from the ceiling. I have SZA and I can't be sure but I believe that the illness and the meds have been destroying and rotting my brain. Nothing you can do about it though. I can't get rid of the illness and without meds I'm institutionalized long term. 

My grandma is 83 and does brain puzzles and knits and reads everyday. Her mind is sharper or at least as sharp as my 33 year old one. I feel pathetic. I don't exercise my brain really much at all. Maybe that would be helpful to us? I'm not sure but it couldn't hurt. 

Welcome to CB, btw. 

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I wish i could blame it on the meds.Goldfish brain has been going on longer than the meds though. Tdoc says it's concentration based and I'm not sure I believe that. I have trouble remembering what was for breakfast. I have to write everything down. 

I guess I'm just asking if this is normal for anyone while mixed. So far we have 1 "yes and it may be permanent." 

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"Goldfish brain".. Very accurate description. 

Everybody has their own unique path they wander in life. There have been a couple times in my own life where I have experienced "Goldfish brain".

I am intelligent to the point that it intimidates a lot of the same professionals who take on the responsibility of guiding my wayward mind back to whatever they perceive as stability. 

Outside influences of stress induce the chemicals in my brain to react in some really strange ways. And mentally, after the frenzy of thoughts and actions, I freeze up and withdraw from everything. My time is spent churning through all the variables trying to process every last detail of Everything. In my head, I am stuck. So many thoughts, feelings, and emotions.. but no way to express them. 

Even if I managed to find the words, it still wouldn't matter. Everything that is perfectly logical and rational in my mind is seen as deluded psychosis by everybody who is trying to force me to conform to whatever their idea of 'normal' is. The more pressure I feel to be crammed into that box, the more I rebel against it. The more I stand my ground and try to explain my logical reasoning, the more unstable everybody thinks I am becoming. 

I have been thrown in jail and lost parental rights to my children simply for questioning the selfish agendas and exposing the devious motivations of the court system. 

The next phase of that process is to completely shut down mentally. If I am not allowed to think freely, what is the point? Why think at all? Why care? Why have any emotion? Why react? Why even try?

If nobody has any interest in making a sincere effort to understand, why offer more to be further misunderstood by those who ignorantly judge? 

For me, goldfish brain is a couple different layers. The stress that overloads my brain, followed by frustration, followed by isolation. 

At the same time, my entire life is crumbling, everything that means everything is being taken from me, and I am painfully aware of how powerless I am to stop any of it.

Goldfish brain steals the ability to find or express the words needed to bridge the gap between what is deemed to be acceptable thought patterns or actions and what is not. 

The lesson i have learned is that some of us are labeled 'crazy' simply because that is more convenient than to harness that passion or energy and redirect it in a positive way. 

Goldfish brain was a very very very unacceptable side effect of medication for me. Even if the delusion is perceived by professionals as some kind of threat to myself or humanity.. I need it.

Nothing scared me more than feeling nothing at all. 

So, rather than find ways to cope with things as they come, I took the minimalistic approach and now work very hard to not encounter the stress that becomes the snowflake that starts the avalanche. That is the gift of having nothing left to lose.

Everybody is an individual that has their own path to learn how to navigate their own way. 

I try to find positive in the negative. Goldfish brain can be a good thing. Same effect as touching a hot stove. If we repeat painful experiences, we will eventually learn to find better ways to avoid them. 

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4 hours ago, Lms-Kaz said:

Goldfish brain can be a good thing. Same effect as touching a hot stove. If we repeat painful experiences, we will eventually learn to find better ways to avoid them. 

yes it seems like it could be a protection mechanism, the way the brain avoids further destruction? The stress of  psychosis and extreme states can be very damaging.

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It happens in nature all the time.. several species hibernate in the winter to avoid facing the elements. So, yeah. I suppose it could be a self-preservation response in times of overwhelming stress. Emotional rather than physical? Ignorance is bliss, right? 

There have been many, many times in my life when I knew I should be caring about something, or knew I should be saying something but I just couldn't get the thoughts into words or actions. 

Happens the other way, too. There have been many times I should have shoved a sock in my own mouth and handcuffed myself to something sturdy at home. So much regret and no prescription to induce selective amnesia!

In terms of goldfish brain being a reaction to stress? My stress induced psychosis has led to bouts of blacking out. I have woken up in a hospital twice with absolutely no memory of the hours of insanity that I put everybody through leading up to that. 

I did experience a lot of short term memory issues when I was starting medication. After my brain melted, I missed a month of work and had to teach myself how to think again. Mindless zombie. I would constantly be hiding things from myself and forgetting where I put everything. Had to attach my keys to a necklace. Attach my wallet on a chain to my belt. Forgetting conversations. Woke up to friends and strangers hanging out at my place and had no memory of inviting them over. Kept writing notes on the back of my hand. Lost phones and coffee cups, eventually found them. Missed several appointments. Set an alarm to remember something, then forgot to write down what I was setting an alarm to remember. That was beyond goldfish level. I was a human rock brain for a while. 

There is no way to know if the medication was the reason for it. I was not on any meds leading up to the worst of my episodes. The mind melts in some very wierd ways. It's been about 15 years since that experience. Made a lot of changes. Over a decade now without any meds, but.. if the psychosis ever returns, I won't hesitate to get back on them.

But, yes. Goldfish brain tends to slowly dissipate as the brain chemicals get realigned after stress or illness throws them out of balance. Try to maintain a routine. Eat well. Sleep well. Stay active. Exercize your brain with some simple word and number puzzle apps. I have Scrabble and Sudoku on my phone. Took a long time for my memory and intelligence to fully recover. The emotional part of my brain is still a mess. Sacrificing feelings and relationships to maintain sanity? Fair trade. I can live with that.

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I experience goldfish brain off and on. When I am in it, I lose all confidence in my ability to even do the most menial tasks... I become grateful that I have a job in which my forgetting every damn thing does not cost my employers much money or bodily harm. It makes me feel stupid, totally irresponsible, like my brain is broken. When people are too witty in conversation I'll miss the joke or be a half second behind and make an ass of myself.

Then I will be lightning quick sometimes. I'll get irritated that the entire world is too slow to keep up with me.

Leading up to my psychosis I did have more goldfish brain, then they put me on lithium which gave me a ridiculous amount of it, I gave that an 8-week trial and it never made me feel more stable and so I went off of it, but the goldfish brain symptoms lingered for a long time. I'd say til at least a month after going off it. I've heard people say it can take around 6 months after an episode to start feeling normalish. Hopefully that is right around the corner for you.

15 hours ago, Lms-Kaz said:

For me, goldfish brain is a couple different layers. The stress that overloads my brain, followed by frustration, followed by isolation. 

At the same time, my entire life is crumbling, everything that means everything is being taken from me, and I am painfully aware of how powerless I am to stop any of it.

Goldfish brain steals the ability to find or express the words needed to bridge the gap between what is deemed to be acceptable thought patterns or actions and what is not. 

The lesson i have learned is that some of us are labeled 'crazy' simply because that is more convenient than to harness that passion or energy and redirect it in a positive way. 

 This is very accurate to me. I need to learn how to 'harness that passion or energy and redirect it.'

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My brain is fried so I have to write everything down. I think it' s due to all the meds eating holes in my brain though. 

I saw a show that showed people with schizophrenia actually SHRINK in brain matter, by 25% after 5 years after showing first clinical symptoms. Yikes! I wonder if it's the same for bipolar?

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In December when I was off meds I had experienced a depressive episode (well hypomanic for months before)- very depressed, very agitated, it may have been a mixed state but I'm not sure exactly how to define it. Anyways I believe I experienced 'cognitive damage' in which I made my bipolar permanently worse- also the cognitive part I speak of- I lost motivation, energy, focus, ability to feel pleasure, memory, just everything, everything in my brain got fucked. It was like I could feel my brain being eaten alive by the bipolar episode- even objects visually look different- streets for example look off almost slightly distorted still and I attribute this all to that period of being off meds. Now 10 months later I still feel some of these things which I never have before.. now the only med I am on now (trileptal) also might cause some of these things but its not... its the bipolar causing this damage from episodes... 

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