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Brain Fog Symptoms

When brain fog sets in, accomplishing even a small task such as writing a grocery list or writing a letter can seem insurmountable. Brain fog makes it difficult for us to think quickly, remember things, and in some cases even hold a conversation. Most people report feeling spaced out, mentally slow, and as if they are experiencing significant fatigue. It’s called brain “fog” because it literally feels like there is nothing but cloudiness when trying to think.

There are many brain fog causes such as: neurodegenerative diseases, mental illnesses, and various medications. Unfortunately in some cases such as when a person has Alzheimer’s or schizophrenia, the brain “fog” can be irreversible. In other cases such those resulting from lack of sleep or depression, correcting the problem will usually improve an individual’s cognition.  For further information on correcting cloudy thinking, be sure to read how to get rid of brain fog.

Brain Fog Symptoms

In many cases a variety of factors such as: daily habits (lifestyle), medications, and illnesses can all contribute to brain fog. Below is a list of symptoms that people commonly report during their experience of fogginess. Understand that you may not experience everything symptom listed below and that degree of impairment will be based on the individual.

Communication difficulties: It is commonly reported that people have difficulties expressing their thoughts both verbally and in writing during times of brain fog. Sure, most people will not lose their ability to communicate, but they may pause mid-conversation trying to think of a word or trying to “think” of what they were trying to say. It’s almost as if their brain isn’t primed enough to express its thoughts.

  • Speaking (Verbal): You may notice that holding a conversation doesn’t seem to come as naturally. Prior to your experience of brain fog, expressing yourself may have been natural and easy. Now it may be difficult to decide what word to use, what sounds good in a sentence, and/or you may be completely drawing a blank with what you’re trying to say. It can become very difficult to properly verbalize the thoughts or message the way you intended. Additionally, you may notice that you think of words, but then your brain spits out something completely different than you initially intended to say; this can be frustrating.
  • Writing: You may try to write something for school or work and realize that you can’t think of a damn thing. It’s almost like trying to pull words out of a hat that has no words. You are scrambling to think of something unique to say, but nothing is on your mind. The only thing your brain is filled with at this point is a thick cloud of fog. Many writer’s report experiencing “writer’s block” – this is very common when the cognition is “fogged.”

Concentration problems: A hallmark of brain fog is an inability to concentrate on cognitively demanding tasks. For example, if you are in school, it may be tougher than normal to focus on taking a test. You may see the questions, but may be thinking about a song you heard earlier in the day. No matter what you do or how hard you try to focus, it’s extremely difficult. Another example would be getting assigned a big project at work and not even knowing how to start.

Decreased productivity: Most people notice a pretty steep decline in productivity when brain fog sets in. This because our psychomotor activity slows, and in some cases, dopamine production can decline. This makes it tougher to think critically and perform tasks that require a significant degree of thought. This is commonly reported when people quit taking a psychostimulant medication and notice a “crash.” (Read: Adderall Crash for more information). In some cases, the productivity may cost a person their job or result in poor test-performance at school.

Decision-making: Without brain fog, it is easy for people to weigh the pros and cons of a situation and make an educated decision. When the fog sets in, it may be difficult to decide between getting a chicken sandwich or having a burger for dinner. Even seemingly simple decisions such as deciding what to eat become an extreme dilemma. Foggy thinking can result in slight impairment of decision-making.

Depression: Although brain fog can be a symptom of depression, vice-versa also applies. In other words, the brain fog can actually lead a person to become depressed. People that are unable to make sound decisions, think clearly, hold logical conversations, and aren’t productive, are likely going to feel pretty depressed as a result. No matter how hard a person tries, they may be noticeably “slower” than others when it comes to mental performance; this can lead to depression.

Disorganized thinking: In some cases, a person’s thinking becomes erratic and very disorganized. Thoughts may be sporadic as and a person may have difficulty staying on topic during a conversation. In other words, when talking about a baseball game, a person’s thinking may shift to something completely random – and they will not be able to stay on track. This is usually most prominently noted in cases of disorganized schizophrenia.

Distraction: While working on a task or doing anything, a person with brain fog can become easily distracted. For example, if you are writing a paper, you may write two sentences, then check Facebook, then start listening to music, then start dancing, then start dinner, and dread returning to the writing. It is thought to be even easier to become distracted during any cognitively demanding tasks such as solving math problems, puzzles, or writing.

Drowsiness: For some individuals, dealing with brain fog can result in drowsiness. Obviously there will be different causes of the fog, but for many individuals it can be normal to feel very drowsy when the fog is at its peak. In fact, you may just want to take a nap instead of even try to consciously think.

Errors: When performing certain tasks, you may notice that you make more mistakes than usual. This is especially common in technical work and/or any work requiring a high level of mental focus. If brain fog suddenly sets in and you are getting more questions incorrect on tests, are making mathematical errors, or grammatical errors, this could be a result of the fog.

Fatigue: Brain fog often goes hand in hand with feelings of fatigue. When you become fatigued, both physical and mental functions become increasingly difficult. Although brain fog doesn’t necessarily always cause a person to feel fatigued, they are often complementary sides of the same condition. Increased brain fog can lead to increased fatigue and vice versa.

Forgetfulness: You may notice that you forget things more often when you have brain fog. You may forget to show up for meetings or appointments. You may forget when it’s someone’s birthday or you may forget where you put your car keys that you recently had. Brain fog usually involves slower thinking, which can lead us to forget things we’d normally have an easier time remembering.

Impaired cognition: As a whole, your cognition is likely to become impaired during the fog.  The extent to which you experience impaired cognitive functions can range between minor impairment and severe impairment. Although you may still be able to read, write, perform math, and communicate, you may notice that your abilities have declined. During times of impaired cognition, it may be especially difficult to write a paper, organize thoughts for a speech, or start a project.

Inability to think critically: Critical thinking is important because it helps us make good decisions. As was already mentioned, your ability to make decisions often suffers as a result of brain fog. Another similar component to the decision making process that gets affected by brain fog is that of critical thinking. You may notice that you aren’t able to learn from experiences, share insights, or make critical points (especially during debates).

Inattentiveness: An obvious characteristic of brain fog is inattentiveness. This is a common indication of ADHD, but people can exhibit inattentiveness without a disorder. There are other types of ADHD in which inattentiveness is not as big of a problem. Usually when a person experiences brain fog, it can become extremely difficult to stay focused in school, pay attention during a conversation, and comprehend new information.

Learning difficulties: In some cases, brain fog becomes evident when a person has a tough time learning new things. Usually learning disabilities can cause brain fog, but the fog can also make it significantly tougher to learn new information. A person may notice that their intelligence declines until they address the fog.

Lethargy: Another commonly reported symptom of brain fog is that of lethargy. Every move you make, your body may feel heavy and tired.  The brain fog can make you think cloudy, and makes people tired and “slow.”  All of these feelings are associated with lethargy, which is why this is considered a common symptom.

Low energy: Most people notice that their energy experiences a major drop when brain fog becomes bad. You may lack the energy to go to the gym or even get simple things done around the house. When your energy takes a hit and you can’t think clearly, this can be detrimental to all areas of life.

Memory problems: The onset of brain fog may result in significant memory impairment and other problems. You may have a difficult time forming new memories, making it tougher to learn new things. It may also be difficult to recall long-term memories – you may feel as if you cannot remember anything.

  • Formation: Depending on what is causing your brain fog, you may have a tough time forming new memories. This can affect our ability to learn because we may hear or observe new information, but it doesn’t “sink in” to our memory. This is often called “encoding” or allowing new memories to be created.
  • Impairment: Some people describe their memory as being impaired by the fog. Once the fog goes away, the impairment generally improves. However if left unaddressed, the impairment may escalate and become even more difficult to deal with.
  • Long-term: It can be tougher to form and retrieve long-term memories when necessary. If you notice that your long term memory has taken a turn for the worse, it could be because of the fog you are experiencing.
  • Retrieval: When trying to retrieve a particular memory, you may have a tough time. For example, you may have been able to easily remember something in the past, and all of a sudden you have difficulty recalling those memories.
  • Short-term: Even your short-term memory can suffer during brain fog. If the fog is being caused by neurodegeneration or a neurological condition, short-term memory is likely to suffer.
  • Storage: The amount of memories we can store can become reduced. Although the fog may simply be affecting retrieval for certain people, among others it can affect the storage process. Therefore certain memories may not get stored or storage may become limited.

Performance decline: You may notice your performance in all aspects of life decline. School work may seem more difficult, your tests may seem tougher than they actually are, and your grades could suffer. At work you may have a tough time finishing your normal workload and may become increasingly stressed as a result of your inability to think quickly. Socially your ability to hold logical conversations can also suffer.

Poor rationalization: During conversations and/or while trying to prove a point, you may lack the ability to properly rationalize.  Your brain may feel so foggy, that you can’t even attempt to rationalize your decisions.  This is especially common while partaking in a debate – you may not be able to logically gather facts to “rationalize” your point or situation.

Procrastination: Since your brain isn’t working as quickly or efficiently as it used to, you may procrastinate work that is mentally draining. Instead of finishing something in “one take” such as writing a paper from start to finish, you may write one paragraph, take a long break, then write another. In other words, you are less productive, and you are putting off important tasks because it’s simply too difficult to think clearly.

Psychomotor slowing: Do you notice that it takes significantly longer for you to complete tasks? Do you feel as if your brain speed is stuck in the slowest possible gear? If so, you may experience what is known as psychomotor slowing. This involves slowed brain waves (i.e. lack of beta waves) and performing tasks at a lower rate than usual.

  • Moving: You may move extremely slowly and feel lethargic. Your movement may appear lifeless and lacking energy.
  • Talking: During conversations you may forget words, forget what you were going to say, and have a difficult time being spontaneous. You also may have a difficult time processing what another person is communicating.
  • Thinking: Mental acuity and thought speed usually takes a hit during brain fog. It may take you much longer to think of a solution or be mentally “primed” in certain situations.

Social decline: Some people notice that their social skills decline during times of brain fog. Sometimes the fog becomes so severe that you may have a difficult time thinking of the correct words to use while speaking. This can create a lot of social anxiety and ultimately result in withdrawal and/or isolation from social events.

Sleepiness: You may not only feel fatigued, but you may feel very sleepy all the time.  Excessive sleepiness is referred to as hypersomnia, and is associated with brain fog. Usually the amount of sleep you get will influence the severity of the fog you experience.  Getting sufficient sleep to restore the brain can be helpful, but excess sleep can actually make brain fog worse.

Slow-witted: Some people experience such slow thinking that they can barely think of a response to basic questions. People who are quick-witted usually have the exact opposite of brain fog; they essentially have clear skies with all sunshine. If you feel “slow-witted,” realize that this is what people with brain fog often experience because it takes them much longer to process information.

Spaced-out: You may notice that your mind randomly goes blank, even when you need it to be focused and primed for a task. For example, you may be explaining something to a friend and mid-sentence or mid-paragraph, you totally forget what you were going to say. In other cases, you may start working on something and turn away from your work in almost a “trance-like” daydream. Frequent daydreams and feeling “spaced out” are characteristics of psychomotor slowing and brain fog.

Tiredness: If you feel tired all the time, this can affect your energy levels and brain activity. When people are tired, their brain fog tends to be worse than when they feel awake and alert.  Feeling tired can be frustrating because not only will you have less physical energy, but the brain fog makes it difficult to get things done.  You may be so tired that you just sit around the house all day and accomplish nothing.

Managing symptoms of brain fog…

It is up to you to determine what works best to help you manage your symptoms of brain fog. If you know that the fog will only be temporary, such as in the case of sleep deprivation, then you don’t have to worry as much. But if you were diagnosed with a neurodegenerative disorder that is causing your brain fog to worsen over time, you may need to pursue some sort of pharmaceutical intervention.

Understand that dealing with brain fog can be extremely frustrating, but it’s something that many people experience. In most cases, the fog is not permanent, and most people eventually are able to find a solution. Whether the solution involves a pharmaceutical drug, supplements, exercise, meditation, or some sort of cognitive training, most people will end up clearing the fog that has temporarily invaded their brain.

Nearly everyone experiences an occasional “fog” that can cause temporary difficulties. It is when the fog becomes so severe that it affects a person’s work performance, school performance, communication skills, and/or overall wellbeing that it becomes a problem. Have you experienced any brain fog symptoms? If so, feel free to share your experience in the comments section below.

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{ 127 comments… add one }
  • Nic September 24, 2018, 4:25 am

    Hi everyone, This might sound stupidly simple, but try to stop eating anything with gluten in it for two weeks and let me know if your brain fog disappears. Don’t eat anything with wheat flour in it. Bread, pasta, pancakes, bagels anything. Let me know!

  • Y September 9, 2018, 8:36 pm

    Related to all symptoms of brain fog. Can’t seem to retain any information at all. Started a new job… maybe the worst thing I could do as I can’t seem to remember anything. Not sure how to clear the fog. Seems to be getting worse when I’m anxious.

    • Iain September 22, 2018, 2:21 pm

      How are you dealing with fog at work, any tips? Similar situation to you, new job etc.

  • Kat August 3, 2018, 2:58 am

    I have had “Brain fog” since 5th grade. I’m in 10th now and it’s much worse than it was back then. I remember a moment where I was trying to block out a memory that was causing sadness. But once it was out of my head I couldn’t get it back, and my mind went “blank” and I panicked because I felt like all the thoughts in my head were gone.

    This happened in 5th grade. And I’ve felt like that ever since. Every symptom described above. I have. And I can’t get it to go away. I’m not sure if what I’m writing even makes sense. The blanking out. The trance-like states, are awful. If anyone has any suggestions. PLEASE email me. I’ve had MRI’s and they said my brain was fine but I don’t believe them.

  • S June 22, 2018, 12:29 am

    I’m in 11th grade this year and have to take the HSC next year (The exam you take at the end of your senior high school years in NSW, Australia) and I’ve had this issue for anywhere between a year to 2 years. I’m really beginning to worry about my future because of it – I feel as though I have an inability for my brain to absorb information and my grades have been consistently dropping since year 10 (or earlier) because of it.

    I barely recall information that used to come to me so easily before. I was a high-achieving student in all aspects of my schooling and was looking forward to completing the HSC. I used to look forward to attending school every day, but now it feels like a drag and I don’t want to go most days.

    I often feign reasons to my parents just to avoid it, which is detrimental to my school record. I’ve seen somewhere that a healthy diet, exercise and meditation will help and I’ll attempt to try it if I can muster up the will. It’s also much more difficult for me because I find myself with an inability to complete tasks assigned to me at school.

    I’ll get an assignment and get distracted instantly, and end up leaving it until the last day or on the day to complete it or, occasionally, not complete it whatsoever (which obviously indicates I won’t be receiving a very high mark for that, another blow to my record given I’m in senior years now) and I find it difficult to string together paragraphs or sentences, unable to determine whether or not they even make sense.

    I apply grammar and vocabulary working entirely off of whether I recall a word fitting a sentence through muscle memory. I feel like I’m stuck in a ditch and am not able to get myself out, I’m not sure what to do and the stress from school and guilt about missing classes/lying to my parents accompanied with the idea that I’ll flunk my HSC because of this is killing me!

    I wish there was a simpler solution to this and I wish you all luck in getting yourselves out of this funk, though any assistance will be very VERY highly appreciated.

    • Ezra July 23, 2018, 2:36 am

      Do you have fear or discomfort of people around you?

      • Kat August 3, 2018, 3:00 am

        Almost all the time, because I feel as if I’m inferior to them because of the fog.

  • A April 24, 2018, 8:06 pm

    Since I started year 10 (I’m 15), I’ve noticed that my grades have slipped a lot. Just months earlier I’d been getting level 8s, when I’m predicted a level 9 for GCSE (which is honestly pretty good). But this year, the majority of my grades, save for English and History, my grades have slipped significantly, particularly in Maths.

    I am predicted a grade 9 and last year I was close to achieving this, but this year, I’ve gone down to a barely a grade 5. In class I understand what to do, however, when it comes to actually doing questions I immediately get distracted or forget how to do something. It’s like a mental block where I can’t get anything done.

    Even when I have conversations, I’ll sometimes find myself not making sense, when I’m usually known for being able to speak well publicly. I sometimes even trail off and get distracted when I’m mid-conversation. It’s so frustrating, especially when I’m doing homework or classwork and everyone is ahead, when I know what I’m doing but can’t seem to push past a certain level.

    For example, today I was doing my maths homework, and I’d usually find trigonometry easy, but today seconds after figuring out what to do next, I’d forget. In my lesson today, I took the entire forty minutes or so, to do one question, while others did around 8-12.

  • Jon April 22, 2018, 4:21 pm

    This is unreal. As terrible as it feels to go through this on the daily, reading everybody’s experience mirroring my own does tone down the terrible, a little. Thank you all for sharing your stories and struggles; even just by doing so, you are contributing to a community here that actively wants to heal and feel better which I believe is a large portion of this struggle when it all seems overwhelmingly unending.

    I wasn’t a straight-A student, but I was a top student for grades, effort, and involvement. Once I got out of my comfort zone as a teenager and tried harder, things seemed fantastic, even through a spot of depression resulting from childhood abuse. I had a job downtown before any of my friends and peers, was in a band, played and ref’d a couple different sports; an all-around decent balance of “all-the-things.”

    I took off for Australia for a year and had wonderful time down there, albeit that seems to be where the fogginess began (1999-2000). I met a lot of people down there, tried so many different jobs/tasks/trips etc., even though I can barely recall any of it today (2018). When I got back, things started to steeply decline; my relationships suffered because I became more reserved, I didn’t know if it was them or myself so I just distracted myself with work.

    I fell asleep driving and ended up going off a logging road and wrapping my car around a tree, only to be saved by a passing rafting crew en-route to put their boats in the water. I don’t even remember being in the hospital – the only memory I have is standing on the side of a main street later on (could have been days later for all I know) – I don’t even know how I made it to my parents’ house.

    Anyway, from there, the decline continued and developed into depression which I suffered for a couple more years and mainly kept to myself; a shadow of the outgoing, fun-loving guy that I had been only 4-5 years earlier. I ended up taking an opportunity to move to Northern Canada and learn some new skills as a carpenter, mechanic, and pipe-fitter, all of which cheered me up as I felt I was finally learning something new, challenging, and doing something that interested me.

    I ended up in another band with some awesome people, met some girls, one of whom I ended up with for 5 years. The fog would only come intermittently, and not be something that I worried about as it wasn’t all the time nor driven by depression nor would interfere with daily life. That was basically my late-twenties to first couple years of my thirties.

    Now, with another partner I’ve been with for 5 years, I’m a carpenter and a farmer. Although, most days, I don’t really know how I got here and sometimes whether or not I really want to be here. That fog has come back with a fury, and I feel numb. I’ll never feel suicidal, as having been there a couple times drove me to push through it and develop a good reflex for bouncing out of it.

    The problem is, the fog ruins everything. I can’t think “straight” – my thoughts dart from one thing to another, as does my vision. I have no idea what I like, what I don’t like, I’m so, so, so forgetful, and I always seem to do things the hard way because I can’t seem to think through something completely. There’s a constant lethargy hanging in the midst, a fear of nobody liking me because maybe I seem weird or quiet when all I’m doing is trying to focus.

    As one fella said in the comments above: “I’m THAT guy at work.” Totally. I’ve been building houses for almost a decade and sometimes I feel like I’m being treated like a labourer, even though I could build a house from start to finish. It would just take me a little longer LOL, but that’s also the perfectionist side of me.

    At 37 years old, I want to “grow-up” a little, stop worrying about it, focus on financial maturity, maybe have a child with my partner, and smile with life and go out and do some things that I like, or love to do. Problem is – that fog seems to interfere with any decision making, memory, or thought process that would help get there.

    It doesn’t seem like there’s a lot in terms of answers out there – I’ve seen doctors to only get the same reply (“it’s just stress), had all sorts of different diets from vegan, to paleo, to vegetarian, to local-vore currently with local meats a couple times a week (mainly veg). I don’t drink or smoke or interact with any drugs; only tylenol when I’m sick or sore.

    I exercise a few times a week, and am outside all day every day. It sucks. This, for all of us, sucks. Maybe it’s just sheer stubbornness that drives us to keep going every day, maybe it’s optimism. I don’t know, but I do know that having you all out there sure made my day today. If anything changes, I’ll be sure to share, as I hope you all will too – please, keep being brave and sharing and enduring; you’re helping us all through this!

  • Steven April 17, 2018, 2:42 am

    (Sorry if this is too long) It might sound silly to mention my age, but I’m 15 and this has honestly got to be the worst thing I’ve ever experienced. I used to live in United States, but certain situations caused my family to move over to another country where people only speak Spanish 3 years ago. The first year was tough, I had to get used to the culture and everything, but then I got sort of used to it after a while.

    Last year, I got transferred over to another school where nobody speaks English, and I only have about 2 friends who I really talk to. I suffered a lot last year because I was too quiet and people thought I had a problem. I thought about it constantly and it was very frustrating, but thinking about it now, I could live with that no problem compared to what’s happening to me now.

    I was relatively smart last year, and I passed 8th grade with very high grades. The school year ended in November, and in the December, problems began to arise. I had trouble understanding words. Of course, somebody would ask me something and I could respond, but if someone were to explain something to me, I would have trouble understanding what they told me.

    I thought it was only temporary. When I went back to school this February, I noticed that I could still learn things and I actually did very well on my first wave of exams, but around the 20th of March, it’s gotten WORSE. Pretty much the most intense it’s ever been. I’m beginning to talk even less, I can’t understand concepts and I can’t remember explanations I was given properly.

    I even feel like I’m forgetting English! It feels like I’m speaking Spanish better now which is horrible. I can’t remember things from my childhood that happened in the States, and I also occasionally get something that feels like a panic attack. Another thing is that I’ve lost most of, if not all of my creativity. I don’t want to tell my mom anything because she’s already stressed enough and I don’t want to worry her.

    It hasn’t started to affect my grades since all of this is very recent, but I’ve been assigned a lot of group projects and I have trouble contributing. I don’t know what’s gonna happen to me, it literally feels as if my entire past, morals, and wisdom gained has disappeared and I’m a newborn baby inside a teenager. I need help, I don’t know what to do. I just want to be normal again.

    • Hello9 June 28, 2018, 5:16 pm

      I spent my whole childhood with boredom and frustration. Had some friends. The thing is that I was really intelligent (although I then thought that everyone has the same kind of brain more or less). I went to some psychologists but it didn’t work out.

      Then I got my blood tested out and came to know that my vitamin D was critically low. I took vitamin D 60000 IU sachets weekly. The first time everything changed, for the better. The next morning I woke up with no frustration and boredom. After the 2nd time it felt lighter.

      3rd time it felt even lighter and then I stopped. I was supposed to take 6 of them but I only took 3. I started feeling dumb after some time. Started feeling like I am skipping info on everything. It’s been almost 2 months and it’s only gotten worse. I’m 17 and have done nothing of any importance.

      I might not even able to earn in the future. I’m panicking. Up until recently I tried to tell myself that it’s all in my head until it got worse and I came upon this forum realizing that this problem is legit. Seeing other people suffering definitely isn’t calming.

      It just broke my illusion that this might just be in my head. I only told my mother and she probably forgot it by now – thinking that this isn’t a big deal. I was really intelligent but now my mind is noticeably slower. I don’t know why I’m replying.

  • James April 15, 2018, 1:01 am

    Honestly, this has got to be one of the worst mental issues out there. The attention is gets is horrible to, probably because it’s such a rare illness. It’s literally impossible to live like this, not because we don’t want to, but because our brain won’t let us.

    This has killed my concentration, memory, and has turned me into a complete idiot social wise. Is there anything that can cure this? Because I’ve attempted literally all the solutions, yet this just keeps getting worse every day.

    I truly don’t think I’ve had a moment of happiness ever since this started developing 2.5 years ago.

  • Kayla Tippett April 11, 2018, 7:44 pm

    I’m not sure if this is brain fog or not, but I cannot think clearly anymore. It’s been like this for about two years. I just feel like I’ve gotten dumb, but I’m in school so I’ve actually learned more – I just can’t use it.

    I also cannot speak very well anymore. I used to never mess up my words or numbers, but I catch myself saying sentences backwards or switching numbers up daily. It’s getting really annoying, and I can’t figure out how to fix it. I also get headaches too more often now. Any advice?

    • James April 15, 2018, 12:53 am

      Exactly the same for me. Mine started around 2 years ago and it resulted in me failing many exams I should have passed. Recently I have been experiencing an awful case of jumbled up words and unclear speech.

      • Nic September 3, 2018, 1:05 am

        Guys, go and get yourself tested for heavy metals. You may have a build up of aluminum or other particles that affect the brain. If so there are plenty of ways to detoxify yourself. Starting with bentonite clay and silica based water. Let me know.

  • Miranda April 10, 2018, 3:58 pm

    I don’t know if this counts as brain fog, but I’m having a lot of trouble reading, and not just with registering the words. Not only do I find myself having trouble registering words, but it’s almost like I’m having an inverse blackout.

    (I’m looking at my screen or simply at words on a page and white blotches like temporarily cover up the word). Is this a symptom of this ‘mind fog’ or am I just tired? Is it something different altogether?

  • Cristelle February 23, 2018, 8:30 am

    For me as a student, I procrastinate a lot. Especially in the things I want to do like searching for a solution for depression, social anxiety, brain fog, procrastination and many many more… Those things make me feel very overwhelmed and clueless of what to do next. And in doing the things I want to do now but hesitant for it for I am afraid that somebody would judge every move I take since I’m just doing only “basic things” based on myself…

    I also think twice or sometimes thrice or maybe five times of what will i say next and check if my grammar is wrong because I’m a perfectionist. I’m a perfectionist since I was a child but I struggle mostly with indecisiveness like “should I say this?”, “should I say that?” Because I feel like maybe I’ll write corny sentences or words in this question/conversation. It ends up being bad, I feel shitty after I worry a lot about answering a question. So the best thing to do is do things continuously than stopping at points lmao.

    The things I most struggle with is forgetfulness, memorization, procrastination like I’ve said earlier and fidgeting in my phone and in the computer. Swiping my home-screen and highlighting the icons in the computer when I can’t think of things to do in my to do list and can’t do my hobbies anymore. Another thing is feeling stuck in this feeling forever. I feel hopeless and stuck since I can’t take action properly. My mind says yes but my body can’t move like it is glued to my sitting/standing place.

    Last but not the least, I just wanna say good luck, expect something great in the future and stay strong because there is literally hope for everything :)

    • Nick March 27, 2018, 7:48 am

      This is me 110%.

  • Grae March 23, 2017, 3:42 am

    Interaction and socializing with other people have always been a pain for me ever since as a child. From ordering at a fast-food and buying from a small store to applying for a job (interviews), I have always felt some sort of dread and sometimes being clueless. It takes me a lot of time to think for the word to use or how to express my thoughts. Sometimes, the thought has already been lost before I could express it.

    I space out a lot even during driving (miraculously, I arrive to my destination without any accidents). I forget things easily. Using sticky notes proved to help me remember for a while but sometimes I even forget that I have them in the first place. It’s like your brain is vacant and it couldn’t retain anything else. I’m restless all time. Restless and tired. If I can trade work for sleeping, I would.

    I try to sleep as much as I can (on my days off). It’s frustrating when you want to do a lot of things- to try new things, but your body and mind are just not up for it. Thinking up new ideas is hard too, which is ironic since my job as a research & development entails me to do so. My hobbies don’t interest me anymore. It’s like getting a piece of paper and you decided to write something.

    But, all you can do is stare at the blank page. No idea seems to come to you. And it’s all so frustrating. I procrastinate a lot that it can be so frustrating. My productivity level at work has reached rock bottom – together with my self-esteem and motivation. Every little thing distracts me – from my phone to the noise around me. I feel like everyone is progressing except for me. I don’t know what I want to do anymore. I don’t know what to do.

  • Cody March 20, 2017, 4:30 am

    I’ve had these symptoms for over a year now. It’s spot on to what is happening to me. I was quick with my words, was able to debate politics fluidly, and make quick decisions without “thinking”. Although all of these symptoms relate to what I’m feeling what really troubles me is how slow I’ve become. I can’t hold a conversation anymore, I’m literally what is written in this article.

    I take long pauses trying to find what word I want to use or I know what I want to say but I say something almost absurd instead. It’s embarrassing the hell out of me. I work as an EMT and I almost always make a mistake every shift. I’ve gotten good at managing these mistakes but the stress mounts. It’s simple things that I’m screwing up on. Like we responded to a care facility twice today and twice I almost turned the wrong way inside the building.

    I was like this before though but now since working as an EMT I’ve just gotten slower. I know I’m “that guy” at work because of it. I need to get back to where I was before. I love to read and write. Working out was a chore but it was good for me and I did it. I haven’t done much of either for three years now. I feel as if I make life changes this fog would go away.

  • Adeel March 19, 2017, 8:44 pm

    I’ve been suffering from this for the past 5 years. I’m frustrated & I’ve no idea how to cure it. I feel like mind is full & it can not accept any new information. Cognitive problems are there. Forgetting is damn common. Don’t remember names.

  • Anna March 19, 2017, 7:11 pm

    I have all of these symptoms and its destroying me socially, at work and school. I sit there like a vegetable, with a complete blank mind.. I’m just brain dead! I don’t know the first thing to do. Can someone please tell me where I need to go to get help? I don’t know if I am deficient of any vitamins or if is depression or something else, but I just need to get help. I know there are so many out there facing the same issues as I am. Has anybody found something that’s helped them? I wish everyone the best in finding help!

  • lawe March 14, 2017, 5:23 am

    We finally meet together, all of us fog headed creatures, whom we all thought we are aliens among “normal functioning humans”. I feel safe and understood here, and after I read every single post here, I feel it’s your turn to read mine. I myself don’t like to complain to others, as I feel I’m showing that I’m weak, but since we’re all here are connected by having this brain fog and had our share of suffer, it will be my pleasure to narrate my experience briefly.

    I’m currently 19, I started feeling this fog in late 2012 when I was 15, and since then… gradually it has gotten worse and worse over the years.
    It has changed my life completely, I’m not the same anymore, everything that I used to be, and known for, has vanished slowly before my eyes. I was fun, organized, capable, and looked up to as role model between my friends and family.

    Now I’m the opposite of all that, and my self-esteem is below the surface of the ground. I finished a year in college, which was the toughest experience I’ve had, and hated every second of being there. Dropped out, and my parents didn’t agree and kicked me out of the house, and to this day they didn’t ask nor tried to reach me. But luckily I have an older sister and I’m staying with her right at this moment.

    I don’t have anything going in my life right now, no job, no activity, no friends, just sitting in this apartment alone pathetic. It has been many months now living like this, and i’m slowly decaying in this place. If a normally functioning person will try and live like me, I’m sure he’ll eventually kill himself. Everyday I’m thinking about changing this, but I don’t know how.

    But now I’m learning not to be hard on myself, and accept my situation and try to fix it myself. I believe in order for me to get rid of this Brain Fog, is to recalculate everything in my life right now, and make critical decisions to achieve self satisfaction. I have all the sympathy for all of you individuals having this issue, and I wish I could hug and help each one of you beautiful people. Stay strong always.

    • Feras July 11, 2018, 1:03 am

      Yeah I feel you. I just turned 18 and I lost motivation for the things I loved such as building things, painting, singing, guitar, piano, cooking. This wasn’t just a small hobby thing! This was basically my life just creating anything and I was hella good at it, but now I sit here with 0 motivation for it all like a brain dead balloon.

    • BM July 16, 2018, 2:32 am

      Hey. I also have brain fog. Something about your comment resonated with me. I have no idea if you’ll see this, but may I ask how you’re doing now? I hope you’re doing well.

  • Garry February 6, 2017, 8:22 am

    This is exactly how I am. I am not interested in my hobbies – seems just to need too much concentration to be bothered. I have severe depression and I just survive day-to-day. Sometimes I cannot get my brain to understand the issues I face and make a decision.

    I sometimes make poor decisions and cannot see a way out of a problem. Some friends have promised me help but then have let me down. It is exactly like a stultifying fog which I usually attempt to shut out by sleep. I have lost faith in psychologists, medication and happiness in life.

    I often consider suicide. I have Crohn’s disease and treatments have been only partly helpful. I seriously think my situation is very probably incurable hopeless. Anyway that’s all, I am too tired.

  • Rishabh Bharti January 14, 2017, 5:27 pm

    This is just too much, I am experiencing this mental condition since last month and I’m getting sick of it. This post has so much of data, I can’t process it right now. My mind feels numb. Its not that I’m dumb, I have been a topper in everything I do, cleared the hardest exam of JEE in India. But now I’m unable to even read a single page. If someone comes up with a real solution, no stories, no crap ,just solution, exercise or something, please reply me. I’d appreciate that.

  • Linker January 4, 2017, 7:49 pm

    This is ME! Major brain fog since my teens. I have always struggled to verbalize my thoughts, stammering, lose my train of thought mid-sentence, and poor understanding/critical thinking. Socializing is difficult because I don’t want to embarrass myself or be judged. I’m a prisoner of my own mind.

  • Hauwa December 11, 2016, 7:17 pm

    I read but I don’t assimilate and I easily forget whatsoever it is I read. Even after memorizing my memory becomes blank. What do I do? I want to go to school again, but it seems impossible. I don’t know how to start a conversation and most times reply with a “yes” or “no” because I forget what to say. So I am extremely a quiet person.

  • C December 6, 2016, 8:03 am

    Reading these symptoms is like reading something I’ve written out myself. I have probably struggled with this for a year now, it could be longer however given that I barely can remember what I did yesterday, I am not sure the approximate time it all began. I can tell you that I’ve had bad anxiety since the beginning of middle school, which took the form of (undiagnosed but quite recognizable) OCD among other things.

    Oh boy, the many times this brain fog has screwed me over is tough to count. I’m 16 and got my first retail job (and first job in general) this summer at a high end clothing store downtown. Whenever there was a phone call, or a customer to help, I would get incredibly anxious and honestly avoid it all costs. Yes, I did do my job and worked hard on other projects but working one on one with the customer I COULD NOT do.

    This is because 1. I would always blank and forget how to answer the phone and 2. I didn’t and still don’t trust myself to make rational decisions for another person, even though I was extensively trained to do the job. School is fine, and I haven’t had as many problems with grades as others stated above have, however math is a big issue for me. The simplest problems make absolutely no sense to me, even after countless explanations from teachers. And I hate doing group projects, or even just working on homework with friends because then they are aware of how slow I am to figure out each problem.

    School is a distressing place for me, mostly because there are so many people that try to make conversation to me, but I have nothing interesting to add, nothing funny to say, no recollection of memories to share. It’s truly shattering to not be able to participate in even small things like that. I always look at other people who are all bubbly and spontaneous with each other and it saddens me to know that I have never been that way.

    Overall, I have to say the most devastating, depressing part of the brain fog is the loss of connection with those around me. I’ve lost connection with everyone I know, and although I have friends, they feel like distant strangers. I avoid dinner and events with my family because my parents are always curious about my day and what’s happening in my life, and I am at a loss of words to even answer a simple question such as that.

    I avoid going out with friends when it’s just one-on-one, because then that means that I would actually have to continuously talk and interact with that person, which is so difficult when there is simply nothing there. Like my head is just a hollow skull. I have become quite sad because of this. What is the meaning of life without human connection? What was it like to actually enjoy the presence of other people without feeling terribly anxious all the time?

    I want anyone reading this to know that we all put an extraneous amount of effort to try to cope with this. I really have tried to put myself out there and combat this, but the fact of the matter is that it’s a mental illness. Don’t diminish what you’re feeling just because it’s not a physical injury or disease. Don’t feel ashamed or angry at yourself. I hope anyone reading this is still hopeful and staying strong through this weird period of our life. Reach out and get help if you need it, please.

  • vaishnavi kapoor December 1, 2016, 6:37 pm

    After my dieting and weight loss, I have got most of these signs. I can’t think mostly, my thought process is blocked. I cannot analyze the pros and cons of a situation. Moreover I have become slow, tend to forget things easily, procrastinate things, sometimes even get depressed thinking how others are doing so well and I’m not. I have good sleep because I try to exhaust myself before sleeping. So, if it is a brain fog, do I need to see a doctor?

  • Bob November 22, 2016, 12:47 pm

    Exactly how I feel. I have Major Depression. I am back at work now on Zoloft, Wellbutrin and Biphentin (for ADHD). Those last 2 are supposed to stimulate my brain. I feel like they wake me up, but only enough to make my inner idiot more alert. I still can’t be rational, or think critically, make good decisions, or remember vital steps in my days to day work.

    I have made many major errors since returning to work after 8 months on leave, simple things that even the basic twit should get right that have huge impacts on my colleagues and other departments. Good thing there’s a union. I feel so stupid, it’s hard to shrug off the 8th blunder. People will say, it happens, don’t worry, it happens. Yeah well it’s true that it happens because it happened, and I don’t know if I can do this anymore.

    Even when my wife tries to start a conversation, I get anxious because it’s hard to follow what she is saying. You all know how it is when your spouse feels like you are not listening. She’s human, she understands the occasional, “blame it on brain fog,” excuse, but when it’s every day there not a spouse alive that wouldn’t lose patience, and even worse think it’s because I don’t care.

  • Aryan November 10, 2016, 5:45 am

    I can very much relate myself to this topic. I experience similar symptoms in my daily life and the doc told me that its a minor depression. I sometimes feel alright and sharp when it come to concentrating and conversations but at time I feel all blank. I feel lost in the middle of the conversation and not able to communicate effectively. I also fumble. Sometimes feel scared of the loud voices around (may be panic attacks). However, a good sleep sometimes overcomes this. I hope everyone stays healthy and find solutions to their problems at the earliest.

  • Kevin October 31, 2016, 9:29 pm

    I just turned 28 a few months back. For the past 3 years, I have felt a major decline in my cognitive ability. I use to be extremely motivated, hardworking, and excelled in anything I put my mind to. I use to be able to focus for hours and absorb information like a sponge. I live a very healthy life-style. I exercise, eat healthy, and I get a decent amount of sleep.

    I’m confused on this sudden, gradual loss of focus and motivation. This might sound crazy, but I almost think that the general population is being dumbed-down with various methods used by our our countries very own leaders. It seems like every one is getting more dumb every day; but so gradually, it isn’t noticeable.

    All I see is a bunch of emotionless robots wondering around when I visit the grocery store, or do any activity in public. Anyone feel the same?

    • Immanuel Hecbert January 13, 2017, 1:17 pm

      I feel for you. Have you tried cutting out processed food? It is known that many processed foods contain ingredients that actually help feed disease instead of combating it. Also, try avoiding fluoride as much as possible. Fluoride destroys the pineal gland and is very detrimental for various neurochemical processes in the long run.

      Try watching some Ralph Smart videos on youtube, this has some very inspiring points on view on life (even though I do not agree with everything he says, nevertheless). Being outdoors daily for at least 30 min. (preferably longer) should be at the top of your list, believe me on this one.

  • Jodes October 18, 2016, 7:32 am

    I have a number of diagnoses such as bipolar. Often I can be very productive with programming and electronics. But over the past month or two, I might think I have a path to pursue but when it comes to working out the details it feels like I mentally hit a brick wall, and thoughts feel like a stuck record. It’s like my brain resets each time I try to solve a specific problem, and I end up taking two steps back and starting again.

    My normal procedures for pushing through such problems such as diagrams end up either making no sense, or being near replicas of previous ones. I think what’s happening is I’m subconsciously avoiding tackling a specific hurdle due to exhaustion.

  • Laura Pennington October 6, 2016, 7:00 pm

    I used to experience this all the time when in high school, as in my mind would blank whenever faced with homework or an assignment, kept struggling to pay attention and always felt very down. When I left it died down a bit but was still there but now I’m back in college it has returned. I found that cutting out caffeine helps a bit but it just seems to be whenever I have to pay long attention to work, turning off music and getting rid of distractions doesn’t work either. It’s just like nothing is in my head and nothing will come out, also get really tired and all that. Just demotivates me. Such an annoying thing to have. :/

  • Adri September 29, 2016, 6:21 am

    Does anyone know how to treat this? What do I do? I’m so worried.

  • Trish Watts September 21, 2016, 9:55 pm

    I am experiencing brain fog right now – I can’t think straight and I am so fatigued. Awhile ago I prepaid for gas and when I left I couldn’t remember if I pumped the gas. I am a mess and I DON’T like this feeling at all!

  • Chantelle Nelson September 20, 2016, 5:28 am

    Hi. I’m Chan… I recently had turned 16 and have been suffering from this too. It totally describes it… all of it. I don’t know what to do.😭

  • Maverick September 18, 2016, 10:12 pm

    It started very slowly but now it’s starting to get out of control. I have “peaks” and “crashes”. During my peaks, which are short lived and it’s usually like a short burst of energy. During this, I can perform at an optimum (think rationally, have long conversations) but I also lose control? I act incredibly hyperactive (to a point where I exert myself) and my mind is working overtime and thoughts get fast, distracted and overcrowded.

    I find it difficult to sleep at night with my mind so “active”. When I crash, I just go into long fugue states of lethargy, daydreams, slight fatigue and I get REALLY lazy. I will procrastinate on ANYTHING or work really slowly and give up halfway. I just lose interest and daydream my time away. I get nothing done. I lose like half my vocabulary.

    I get serious brain fog, I realize it because my mom keeps complaining of this that I don’t do that I don’t remember she says? I also lose track of time, get irritable and overly emotional during this period. This is seriously worrying me, because I feel more anxious I can’t do anything, especially since I’m getting really close to my GCSEs. Plus, I’m changing to another more academically selective school (and I really don’t want to fall behind).

    My mom thinks I’m over exaggerating though. Looking back at what I’ve written, this is btw during my crash periods, not only my quality of writing is really poor and my thoughts are all over the place. It took me a long time to type up. It’s embarrassing…

    • Laura Pennington October 6, 2016, 7:10 pm

      I have them short bursts of motivation, energy and hyper-ness too, everyone always tells me to calm down and think more slow but you just cant! Then after that just crash really hard and not want to do anything. It’s so annoying to deal with! If you find it’s getting hard with your mom, try to sit her down and talk to her about it and suggest to see someone like a doctor (if you want to) then she might take it more seriously. Also consider talking to a teacher about it at school since it’s getting near your GCSEs, they can help you out.

  • Harley Quinn (nickname) September 13, 2016, 8:29 pm

    This is me. Every single day of my life!!!! I also think I have schizophrenia as well.

  • A user. August 19, 2016, 10:18 am

    I have choose to be anonymous in writing my comment. I have brain fog, and it’s due to depression and not sleeping. It’s been for me unable to find a job for a while now, And finally some company called me, I had a phone interview conversation, and it was very bad. The company was French and they requested me to reply in english, LITERALLY I screw it up… she LITERALLY told me you dunno how to speak english.

    And the job was about online communication. I am seeking help, kindly advise me. My brain is just BLOCKED. I am unable to think straight, take any major decision, I am even having problems now with saying “words” for an example… “LITERALLY” I think in it in my brain but I am unable to spell it from my mouth. I never had such an issue before.

    Later on when I calm I be able to talk smoothly again. Its like when I think in “WORDS” I’m unable to spell it. I have no idea what’s going on at all.

  • bill August 14, 2016, 1:40 pm

    Looking at these symptoms I pretty much have all of them. These feeling seem to get progressively worse and worse. Latest development is I have started to get a little bit dizzy from being tired. Typically work 15-16 hour days and have been the past 8 years. For the past 6 months I don’t think I have had a day where I could just stay at home. This could be causing stress to add to the underlining factors of this.

    Typically supplements don’t seem to improve my situation, but I haven’t tried the fatty acids or magnesium just the multivitamin. I don’t typically like doctors as I don’t really trust them, but I may schedule myself an appointment due to the how severe these symptoms have been getting over the past year.

  • Nirupama August 10, 2016, 2:26 pm

    I’ve had severe brain fog and a loss of cognitive skills. Hashimoto’s thyroiditis has been the root cause. I’ve gone as far as ECT. The functional medicine ‘experts’ I work with are not helpful. I’m trying to get on a Paleo diet, and being a vegetarian, it is a challenge. I’m just overwhelmed by all this information. I have read so many books. I just am heading in too many directions at once. Any suggestions from this author on where I should start – my foremost concerns are weight loss, fixing my brain and stopping the chronic fatigue.

  • D August 9, 2016, 8:34 am

    I have exactly the same problems as above, I struggle to concentrate at work. I feel tired most of the time, I find it difficult to hold a conversation & think of the words I need, it makes me feel stupid, what makes it worse is that my friends think its funny to mimic me and talk about me as if I do not understand, then tell me I’m being paranoid.

    I’m just too polite to say anything to them & would rather avoid the confrontation. This has totally ruined me and my personality, I lay awake worrying about it and I now feel I cannot trust anyone. I’ve told the Dr’s & they said I am fine, I just want to keep away from everyone & I don’t know where to go next with my life.

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