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Brain fog: blank mind, comprehension, concentration cognitive and memory problems


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Does anyone else have no brain activity /slash/ blank mind?

 

Does anyone else have no brain activity /slash/ blank mind? I feel really alone in this particular symptom because i don't hear too many people discuss it. I'd really like to devote this thread for those of us who are experiencing this symptom, and to hear from those who have struggled with it in the past and experienced it dissipate or  lift entirely with time. For me, I have to work really hard to even have a thought. It's like i don't even know myself anymore because I have no thoughts on anything, really. 

 

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Off all meds since mid June 2020

November 2020 - feeling really sick, cognitive delays, memory issues, difficulty focusing, low mood, apathy, anxiety

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The improvement will come, Dennis. The thing is that you're very battle-fatigued. Plus, the waves are still rearing their ugly head. But it will be abating. All those symptoms you're mentioning are WD

Neuro, Thanks for moving this to the correct place. I will try to do an introduction soon.   Hi Stan, I'm sorry you are suffering new symptoms right now. I hope they are short lived. I had eye t

People often become hypersensitive to a lot of things, including supplements, in withdrawal. The supplements aren't interacting with the drug, they're interacting with your nervous system. Some of the

I have some aspects of this problem.  I can't think of anything I want to do, it is as if I never had any interests before.....all my body/brain wants to do is lie on the couch.  I don't know what to do with myself.  It is difficult for me to converse in the earlier part of the day; this gets better later on.  It also relates to food - no food sounds appealing anymore.  If someone asks me what I would like to eat, I can't think of anything. There are other examples where my mind feels blank but that gives you some idea.  I do have thoughts/opinions about things (like say politics or certain issues) so it isn't completely blank but I have described that I feel as if a part of my brain has been removed or has shut down and won't come back online.  It is an awful feeling and makes me feel like I am not myself at all, like I am not really here anymore.  

 

I do have awful intrusive thoughts so my brain is not blank in that way.

 

In your signature you describe "feeling really sick" - that is exactly how I describe how I am feeling too....it is vague but that is the only way I can describe it.

-1/06 - 3/07 Cymbalta. Fast taper; withdrawal symptoms after 4 mos (didn't realize was WD)

-10/07: 100 mg Zoloft; 1 mg Klonopin - tapered off Klonopin
-Tried several times to slowly taper Zoloft by 10%, then 5% every 4-6 weeks; could never get below approx. 40 mg - spring 2012 experienced major WD symptoms due to stress; tried to updose but no relief, back on Klonopin 1 mg.
-Switched over 5-6 mos from Zoloft to Citalopram. Finished Zoloft 1/13; Citalopram 35 mg and 1 mg Klonopin.
-8/13: 27 mg Citalopram; 1 mg Klonopin

-11/14: 12.6 Citalopram - began to have bad withdrawal symptoms; out of desperation increased to 1.25 mg Klonopin at the beginning of December.  12/13/14 16 mg Citalopram - going to stay here to try to stabilize; stabilized on 16 mg Citalopram after 4-5 months

-7/15 - 3/16: reduced to 15 mg; ~ 2 months later w/d hit hard (probably r/t stress); 6/16 updosed to 20 mg Citalopram and trying to stabilize. Updosed to 1.5 Klonopin as well. Stabilized on 20 mg Citalopram after 4-5 months

8/17-9/17: feeling withdrawal symptoms at 20 mg Citalopram (due to stress) - slowly increased to 25 mg. No change in symptoms after 6 months (? tolerance ?)  - decided to start citalopram taper February 2018 (still on Klonopin 1.5 mg).

Supplements: fish oil; magnesium; vitamin D3; curcumin

Citalopram taper:  2/2018 - 12/2019: 25 mg - 11.03 mg I 2020: 10.89 mg - 7.9 mg

2021: 1/3/21: 7.8 mg (1.27% drop); 1/24/21: 7.7 mg (1.29%); 1/31/21: 7.6 mg (1.17%); 2/7/21: 7.5 mg (1.19%); 2/14/21: 7.4 mg (1.34%); 2/28/21: 7.3 mg (1.25%); 3/7/21: 7.2 mg (1.25%); 3/21/21: 7.1 mg (1.25%); 3/28/21: 7.0 (1.25%); 4/25/21 - : generic clonazepam switch

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I have really fast negative thoughts all of the time about how stuck and anxious I feel but my ability to care about anything outside of potentially healing one day is shut down. I don't feel my caring about my family members in the way I used to (although deep down I know it is not true), I don't have anything I want to do, I don't feel happy at all, I can't concentrate on much, not even a TV show. I know it is the WD because TV shows I used to care about and get in to the story and characters I can hardly stay focused on. it is all dead for now. I also can barely listen to anyone. They are talking to me and I am offline. I am almost 3 months past my final dose. I'm still crying all the time. The good news is I have had a few fleeting moments of change. I started out with how am I going to get through this day and I have actually had a couple of moments of when I get better I will so and so.  

Paxil  2000 - 2002  Tried unsuccessfully to discontinue

2002 - 2010 A series of trial and error, Wellbutrin, Effexor and unsuccessful attempts to discontinue.  

2010 - 2017 Lexapro With several unsuccessful attempts to withdraw 

2012 - 2017 Lamictal Successfully withdrew Lamictal no problem

2017 - 2020 Switched to 40mg. Prozac to prepare try another Withdrawal. 

2020 - On 15mg Remeron for a few months during withdrawal

Completely off of Antidepressants since Sept. 2020

Klonipin as needed throughout the process. .25 mostly, some .5, some .125,  2 to 12 times per mo.

 

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Also, to respond to the sick part. I am still getting the flu symptoms. Today is a bad day as far as feeling sick and with Covid going on it is tricky when you constantly have these flu symptoms. I get swollen glands, heat, itching and sneezing. Totally related to the withdrawal. 

 

Paxil  2000 - 2002  Tried unsuccessfully to discontinue

2002 - 2010 A series of trial and error, Wellbutrin, Effexor and unsuccessful attempts to discontinue.  

2010 - 2017 Lexapro With several unsuccessful attempts to withdraw 

2012 - 2017 Lamictal Successfully withdrew Lamictal no problem

2017 - 2020 Switched to 40mg. Prozac to prepare try another Withdrawal. 

2020 - On 15mg Remeron for a few months during withdrawal

Completely off of Antidepressants since Sept. 2020

Klonipin as needed throughout the process. .25 mostly, some .5, some .125,  2 to 12 times per mo.

 

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Its so good to know I'm not alone, but also frustrating to see so few stories of recovery when it comes to brain fog....i've looked through this thread for them and really don't find any. DOES THIS GET BETTER? Is there evidence of that happening? I feel so hopeless.

Off all meds since mid June 2020

November 2020 - feeling really sick, cognitive delays, memory issues, difficulty focusing, low mood, apathy, anxiety

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Yes it does improve.  I posted this recently in my Intro:

 

On 11/23/2020 at 9:43 AM, ChessieCat said:

I noticed something this morning.  My memory is improving.  I've been listening to podcasts and audio books for quite a while now and I had been having a lot of difficulty remembering things.

 

Over the last couple of weeks I've been listening to two books at the same time, one during the day and the other at night in bed.  The first couple of books were a bit different.  However, the current ones have very similar voices and this morning I realised that I've been able to keep up with the different stories because I'm able to recall things.

 

 

 

NEW!!!     INTERVIEW with Altostrata, SA's founder    NEW!!! 

 

Plodding along inch by inch:  12" = 1',  3' =  36 " or 1 yard,  1760 yards  = 63,360" or 1 mile

Current from 17 Apr 2021:  Pristiq 0.2665mg  now holding each dose for 3 weeks

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering Oct 2015 

My tapering program   My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)  My website

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions.

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Just wanna reply to Gizmo and the others:

 

Cognitive difficulties were my main withdrawal symptom, coupled with a lack of empathy (as Rachie described) and a general feeling of detachment.

 

I wanna tell you that it does get better. It's been a painstakingly slow process but a process nonetheless. Today I am much more present and acute than I was a year ago. This is reflected in my ability to do maths, recall memories and express myself coherently. Basically my mind is not all white noise anymore, if you can relate to that feeling.

 

My advice for you is to not ruminate. I know it's extremely difficult to avoid this type of thinking, but you have to as it's harmful and will only make you feel depressed and anxious. That's enough to make even a healthy person feel and perform worse.

 

I've found that refocusing my efforts on wholesome activities - from breathing to exercising to working to the best of my abilities - is key. Do this and let those awful sensations wash over you without either suppressing or giving them credence. This will give you a much needed sense of control.

 

All the best, feel free to send me a message if you ever wanna talk

- Registered to the site at end of April, been a lurker since February. If I should correct my signature in some way please correct me! 

- Started Prozac (20mg all the way) in 2010 at the age of 17 for OCD/Anxiety

- Half-hearted attempts at quitting previously, psychiatrist response each time "return of original symptoms". 

- Kept on trucking on medication until beginning 2016 as my belief was that I need it (i.e. natural chemical imbalance)

- Started getting more anxious / experience a cognitive decline but refused to raise dosage

- Tried to quit but experienced a lot of stress from studies and work

- Tried to switch to Wellbutrin (150mg dose) in 2017 but experienced quite a lot of irritability, stopped the medication without problem. 

- Did independent research at end of 2017, became a "believer" in WD symptoms/other side effects outside official guidance

- Reinstated to 10 mg Prozac in December 2017, currently (December 2018) on 1.25 mg

- My main concern/problems are cognitive ones (word finding, short-term memory, mathematics, logic) and looking for guidance on these issues from anyone who is kind and resourceful enough to assist.

 

Thank you! 

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@lexauxa I really appreciate your reassurance. My work requires a tremendous amount of intellectual labor and I feel so frightened that I'm going to **** up. And then in my personal life, I don't feel like I can process or understand anything, really. It feels so scary. I sent you a DM - I'd love to talk to you more. The suggestion to not ruminate is so helpful. I'll try to distract myself. 

Off all meds since mid June 2020

November 2020 - feeling really sick, cognitive delays, memory issues, difficulty focusing, low mood, apathy, anxiety

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to Brain fog: blank mind, comprehension, concentration cognitive and memory problems

According to my and many others' experience, it gets better gradually but the extent and the rate of improvement depend heavily on the factors that are mostly out of a person's control.

 

It took me approximately 10 years (13.5 years in total) to finally feel like myself again. 

 

 

 

 

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  • 2 months later...

I have noticed a lot of improvements in my cognitive problems when I have tapered off most of the meds and there is only small dose of benzos left. When I was in worst situation I felt so cognitively impaired I have no words to describe it, blank mind or living in a fog (severe brain fog) could describe it pretty well. I had difficulties to write, read, plan, watch TV, remember  things like normally, even navigate outside, have a conversation or do any things I was used to able to do like study that would have felt like the most difficult task to do. I had a lot of memory issues too and I lived in a fog for years. Many basic tasks felt challenging.  I think withdrawal, withdrawal insomnia, polypharmacy, benzos and other sedative drugs caused these issues. They started during SSRI withdrawal (it felt like I had cognitive problems and brain fog). For a long time during withdrawal I felt like my brain got overwhelmed when there was even a bit too much stimulation going on and it caused so severe fatigue I had difficulties sometimes to even comprehend what is going on like my battery just run out too soon. I had weird headaches all the time  that started in the end of the day, almost every day. Someone described here derealization and I still feel like it everyday. Like living in a dream like state, maybe it is some type of cognitive dysfunction still, I dont know. Surviving from these drugs have felt like surviving from some type of brain damage.

 

I have also a bit of my imagination and creativity back I had that was gone for a long time. I have been able to read lately even though I am still quite slow and consentrating is still really challenging, and I have to push myself and reading takes a lot of energy. Its not easy. And I can do many things I was unable to do for a really long time. I still struggle with my memory when I try to study something. I feel like its important to train the brain and when there is long time of not doing something, it can take a lot more energy to start doing it than usually and brain to get used to it again. Everything feels more challenging after medication harm and withdrawal. I started from really easy tasks when things felt challenging. Cooking was my brain training. Walking outside feels like improves my cognitive function. 

 

I hope things will get even better when I stop benzos completely. I try to taper slowly. 

 

I am not who I was, but I have lived in this situation for so long I have started to accept it. 

2005-2009 Lexapro 10-20mg & Remeron 7,5mg: cold turkey

2010 tried Venlafaxine (month),

2011-2012 Seroquel 25mg (8 months) & 2011-2015 Lexapro 10-20mg (tapered off during 4 months) 

2014 6 days Cipro(antibiotics) adverse reaction

2015-2016 (all these drugs during 9 months,did not tolerate most of them ) : tried Remeron. Reinstatement of Lexapro 3 months after stopping it: fail. Akathisia, insomnia. Zyprexa10mg, Sodium Valproate, Temazepam(20mg), Oxazepam 30-45 mgs. switching meds: Seroquel 50-100mg, Oxazepam  30-45mg , Temazepam 20mg. Then back to Zyprexa 10mg, Temazepam20mg, doctor took me off Oxazepam fast. Then Zyprexa 20mg, Temazepam 20mg, melatonin10mg ( sometimes very rarely Valium 10 mg.) Zyprexa: cold turkey because Zyprexa made akathisia intolerable after every dose. After it insomnia, 24/7 akathisia. Bad reactions to supplements

2016 spring daily  Valium 15mg>0mg (used for 4,5 months and during that time slowly tapered off), Temazepam 40 mg > 25 mg (tapered in 3 months)

2016 summer Temazepam 25 mg > 20 mg, melatonin 2,5 mg

2016 november Melatonin 0,5 mg, Temazepam 20 mg.  Started tapering again.

2021 march (microtapering) Temazepam 4,0 mg Supplements: probiotics, magnesium oil occasionally, melatonin 0,5 mg

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  • 2 months later...

i really wish i knew this was going to go away. I feel like my mind has died and my physical form remains. I only took lexapro for 3 months on a low dose and this has happened i just cant believe it. How can one go through life completely devoid of thoughts, imagination, creativity, emotions, drive, passions. I feel entirely separated from my brain and i just cant access it at all. The only way i can really describe it, is an intense fog and blanket wrapped around it where i'm locked out of my own mind. Everything feels completely devoid of an emotional response from me. Nothing at all can make me anxious anymore either, have zero anxiety.

2014 Duloxetine, took for a couple of weeks and stopped was aged 17 at the time CT brain zaps etc. 

2017 Lexapro 5mg, hard to remember but i took this for a couple months ago for social anxiety. Stopped CT, brain zaps etc. 

 

2020  oct-dec, Escitalopram, 5mg took for a total of 2.7 months including taper, tapered for a couple weeks. 

still not right. Emotional blunting, brain fog, anhedonia, PSSD, blank mind, cognitive issues. 

 

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