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Brain Fog: Blank mind, comprehension, cognitive and memory problems

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Lakelander82

I used to have a memory the size of an elephant. I could have remembered a full A-level Chemistry or Biology syllabus virtually word for word when I was 18/19. My memory decreased drastically in the first two years of my Pharmacy degree at University - I put this all down to binge drinking, partying and generally acting the bollox as we say in Ireland. The SSRI usage has only added to my woes, my long term memory recall is decent (I still quiz well for instance) but my short term memory, concentration and fluid intelligence is poor. I tend to get stressed easily as well in certain situations which only adds to the cognition problems. Maybe things will improve, maybe they won’t. I think the worst thing we can do is sit around worrying about it. 

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Hellbutrin

I was wondering if anyone can give me some feedback on an issue that I've been having for the last week. I've had constant 24/7 brain fog since I first started into withdrawal, so bad to the point that I can't concentrate on anything, but the last week has been way worse than anything I've experienced thus far in withdrawal. I can't hold onto a thought for more than a couple of seconds before it's gone. Is this just part of withdrawal or should I be worried about this further cognitive decline this far into withdrawal?

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Dalalea
On 1/30/2018 at 4:26 PM, Hellbutrin said:

last week has been way worse than anything I've experienced thus far in withdrawal

I finished a Zoloft taper in July 2017 and started having withdrawal in Sept/Oct. I've had some brain fog since October but it increased along with anxiety.

Brain fog greatly increased the first part of January  when I had the flu and it hasn't let up since. Have you been sick lately? Twice this week I had a tiny reprieve from the fog but it came right back. It is magnified when I go somewhere like a store. Luckily, I'm retired and can be at home when it's really bad. I was a teacher and can't imagine doing this while teaching!

Your list of symptoms looks like my November/December list! You're in my thoughts!

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Hellbutrin
50 minutes ago, Dalalea said:

I finished a Zoloft taper in July 2017 and started having withdrawal in Sept/Oct. I've had some brain fog since October but it increased along with anxiety.

Brain fog greatly increased the first part of January  when I had the flu and it hasn't let up since. Have you been sick lately? Twice this week I had a tiny reprieve from the fog but it came right back. It is magnified when I go somewhere like a store. Luckily, I'm retired and can be at home when it's really bad. I was a teacher and can't imagine doing this while teaching!

Your list of symptoms looks like my November/December list! You're in my thoughts!

I've had the same symptoms for the entirety of the 6 months that I've been in withdrawal, and it is BRUTAL. Luckily I primarily work from home so I can get things done and take time off when the symptoms get really bad. My primary symptom that I struggle with is definitely the debilitating depression, I haven't seen any fluctuation in this since the beginning. I wish that someone could tell me that this gets better, but I'm starting to doubt that this will be the case. I hope that I'm not one of those people that gets stuck in this cycle for years. 

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Dalalea
2 minutes ago, Hellbutrin said:

My primary symptom that I struggle with is definitely the debilitating depression, I haven't seen any fluctuation in this since the beginning. I wish that someone could tell me that this gets better, but I'm starting to doubt that this will be the case. I hope that I'm not one of those people that gets stuck in this cycle for years.

I'm praying that you aren't one of those people! I don't think you will be. It could be that the CT is just making it feel worse for now. I tapered over two months but now knowing what I know from here, that was way too fast!

When I was going through the neuro-depression in Nov/Dec, I was totally unprepared for the intensity! I was put on Zoloft for MUCH less! I had no idea at the time that it was WD. I sure didn't do much research ahead of time. As my depression got worse, my appetite dwindled to nothing. The depression has lifted quite a bit but was replaced by neuro-anxiety. Now I have spurts of both once in a while. The brain fog keeps me from noticing it as much! Ha!

Keep taking care of yourself. We will heal!

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potions

Hi,

I'm wondering if anyone has experienced short term memory loss and/or a reduced ability to generate words while speaking? I know this is a fairly common ssri withdrawal symptom but I want to know when/if it goes away. Ever since coming off (and probably beginning) zoloft, I have found it significantly more difficult to speak fluently and generate words while speaking. I also have found myself forgetting things that happened minutes ago and forgetting thoughts I had seconds ago. Does this issue ever go away or is this permanent damage done by SSRIs? My dad took zoloft over 20 years ago and I don't know if this is related, but he now stutters and has trouble finding words while speaking. I hope this isn't another case of permanent ssri damage. Thanks.

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Yeroc9586

This is dead on exactly what I've been experiencing since adjusting/tapering Paxil.  You're not alone at all!  Before, it was almost like i had the right thing to say at all times.  It would be difficult for me not to be able to come up with words in any type of situation.  Now it seems like i can't even carry a conversation normally.  My memory has also been a very big issue.  Short term memory is very foggy and memories from a couple years ago feel very vague that were once so clear.  It almost feels like some never even happened but i know they did.  Hopefully we start to balace out and things start smoothing over.  I've been up and down for the last year and just been steady on my taper for the last few months.  Managed to get down to 5mg at the moment but what you've described couldn't have hit any closer to home.

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potions

How long has everyone here been suffering from cognitive/memory problems due to SSRI use? Have those symptoms improved at all in the time you've been off/over the years? I'm almost 18 months off sertraline and can't say I've seen much notable improvement in those aspects (if any).

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Lakelander82

I get a peculiar thing happen to me sometimes regarding speech/ Blank mind. Sometimes if I’m talking to a stranger or someone I dont know that well, and especially if l’m telling them a story or something reasonably long winded, I often get a short, sharp intense flash of self consciousness/embarrassment/ anxiety in the middle of it. It’s like a split second thought that says I’m talking gibberish and it’s  enough to throw me off my train of thought mid sentence. Anybody else experience this? 

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Meeto
On 2/20/2018 at 6:07 PM, Lakelander82 said:

I get a peculiar thing happen to me sometimes regarding speech/ Blank mind. Sometimes if I’m talking to a stranger or someone I dont know that well, and especially if l’m telling them a story or something reasonably long winded, I often get a short, sharp intense flash of self consciousness/embarrassment/ anxiety in the middle of it. It’s like a split second thought that says I’m talking gibberish and it’s  enough to throw me off my train of thought mid sentence. Anybody else experience this? 

I get this all day long.  Every conversation I'm hyper aware of all my actions.

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Hellbutrin

I’m almost at 9 months since my C/T and I’m getting really concerned about my memory. I can barely remember what I did yesterday and I’m doing terrible with memory recall, the past 9 months since my C/T withdrawal seem like a blur. Please someone reassure me that it goes away and we get our life back. I feel like a shell that’s just going through the motions. 

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Toulouse

I had some pretty bad memory issues for the first year after getting off of Paxil.  Forgetting where I was driving to, forgetting where I was, or what street I was on.  I felt like I had Alzheimers coming on and was really scared.  This got better after a few months and now that doesn't happen much anymore. Definitely not to the extent it did. 

 

But yes, I experienced memory and confusion and it got better with time.   

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Hellbutrin
On 4/9/2018 at 8:13 PM, Toulouse said:

I had some pretty bad memory issues for the first year after getting off of Paxil.  Forgetting where I was driving to, forgetting where I was, or what street I was on.  I felt like I had Alzheimers coming on and was really scared.  This got better after a few months and now that doesn't happen much anymore. Definitely not to the extent it did. 

 

But yes, I experienced memory and confusion and it got better with time.   

I've been totally off of Wellbutrin for 9 months now and I feel like my memory and ability to concentrate are getting worse

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Toulouse
On 4/13/2018 at 11:21 AM, Hellbutrin said:

I've been totally off of Wellbutrin for 9 months now and I feel like my memory and ability to concentrate are getting worse

 Yeah, my memory issues were still happening at about a year off. They got better.  Stay positive, your brain will heal. Mine has got much better over the past year. 

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Hellbutrin
On 4/18/2018 at 12:32 AM, Toulouse said:

 Yeah, my memory issues were still happening at about a year off. They got better.  Stay positive, your brain will heal. Mine has got much better over the past year. 

Yeah, I think that the main symptom that i would love to see go besides the memory issues is the debilitating depression. It sucks BIG time. It fuels my self doubt and makes me have intrusive thoughts that lead me to believe that I'll be stuck like this forever.

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JJ33

I went cold turkey off of Lexapro (stupid idea). It was a low dose but still not something I’d recommend.  I suddenly couldn’t remember the names of people or famous figures I’d known all my life.  Went back on the same dose and it all came back to me.

 

It’ll be interesting to see once I start slowly tapering if the same issues occur.

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Altostrata

merged similar topics

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lexauxa

Have you guys heard of any good supplements for helping speed up recovery of cognitive functions? 

 

I'm currently on:

- 1000 mg high quality fish oil (300 mg EPA & 200 mg DHA) (can't handle more without getting agitated/anxious) 

- 400 i.u of vitamin E (to help assist fish oil metabolism)

- 500 mg magnesium citrate

- 250 mg acetyl l-carnitine. 

 

I started each supplement with a one week window from each other to better gauge their effects. So far I'd argue that the magnesium is helpful at the very least. Not sure about the fish oil, I'm hesitant to increase the dosage as it took me some days to recover from the anxiety from what I assume was caused by an excessive dose (2000mg). Just started the acetyl l-carnitine at my shrinks recommendation two days ago, too early to tell. 

 

If anyone has any advice regarding my current regime or any other supplements, I'd be very grateful! Other than that any tips on how to kickstart the grey mess between my ears would be much appreciated as well. 

 

Thanks! Please see my signature for more details about my history if you're interested. 

 

/Lexauxa

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Uhu
On 2/20/2018 at 3:07 PM, Lakelander82 said:

I get a peculiar thing happen to me sometimes regarding speech/ Blank mind. Sometimes if I’m talking to a stranger or someone I dont know that well, and especially if l’m telling them a story or something reasonably long winded, I often get a short, sharp intense flash of self consciousness/embarrassment/ anxiety in the middle of it. It’s like a split second thought that says I’m talking gibberish and it’s  enough to throw me off my train of thought mid sentence. Anybody else experience this? 

Yes, frequently! And it's so hard to reconnect after that happens. I know exactly what you mean!

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TryingToHoldOn

I’m not sure this falls under brain fog, because it feels much more severe than that but I don’t know how to describe it.

I have severe cognitive dysfunction.  I am incapable of completing a simple task (loading the dishwasher), organizing (sorting laundry), or completing a simple task (writing a grocery list).  It is so profound and feels like i’ve had a lobotomy.  It physically makes my brain hurt (intense burning) to think.  Does anyone else relate?  I would lose my job if I had one and i’ve had to hire help to me take care of the kids.  

 

At 8 months off I thought my cognitive abilities were improving.  Now at 15 months off I feel like a bomb went off in my head and eradicated any improvement.  Is this typical?  

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mariposa84

Hi Everyone,

 I'm sure that this post could be merged with another one...but I'm not sure exactly where it would go. I've noticed that as I am in week 4 of my taper...I've seemed to not really get much done...I'm human and I have my own amount of laziness but the lack of focus seems unusual. Is this something others have experienced especially with an SSRI? Tips? 

 

 

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Songbird
On 8/10/2018 at 3:14 PM, mariposa84 said:

Hi Everyone,

 I'm sure that this post could be merged with another one...but I'm not sure exactly where it would go. I've noticed that as I am in week 4 of my taper...I've seemed to not really get much done...I'm human and I have my own amount of laziness but the lack of focus seems unusual. Is this something others have experienced especially with an SSRI? Tips? 

 

Hi Mariposa, I've merged your topic into an existing one.  As you can see from this topic, lack of focus and similar issues are very common in withdrawal.  As for "laziness", lack of motivation is also common in withdrawal - see these topics:

 

Anhedonia, apathy, demotivation, emotional numbness

 

Disconnect between interest and action/motivation

 

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