I’ve just woken up and my head is in a spin.
I’m about to do something, but I can’t quite remember what it was.
I’m talking to someone, but I struggle to follow the conversation.
Am I dotty? Drugged? In serious need of coffee? Nope, it’s the creeping muddle of brain fog.
This fuzzy-headed daze is not an official medical condition, but many of us will experience it at some point in our lives. There are numerous potential causes: illness, fatigue, deficiencies or hormonal imbalances (it’s a long list). For me, brain fog is a symptom of depression and anxiety and crikey, it can make life challenging.
What exactly is brain fog?
I’m not a medical expert, nor do I pretend to know how different people experience brain fog – that’s way too much pressure. So, with that disclaimer out the way, my understanding is that brain fog is the product of an over-stressed mind and body. It can manifest itself in several ways and it can vary in severity (am I sounding vague? it’s a fuzzy state, so of course it’s hard to define). Here’s how I experience it:
- Thoughts are confused poorly formed
- I’m forgetful, indecisive and sluggish
- I struggle to focus and get things done
- I feel detached and tired.
How brain fog links to depression and anxiety
When I’m feeling anxious
Anxiety is tiring. My head gets so crowded with thoughts that it’s hard to distinguish one from the other. I’m in a mental spin and everything feels like too much to process. Fuck, it’s overwhelming.
If I’ve been experiencing bad anxiety, brain fog is sure to make its murky appearance, rather like an emotional hangover. My mind is exhausted and it’s hard to think clearly.
When I’m feeling depressed
Depression sucks the colour out of life, leaving me with a grey haze of inertia. It’s joyless, lonely and difficult.
Brain fog is a large part of this fug. I’m slow to make decisions and it takes ages for the smallest tasks to get done. Even worse, I have no motivation to try harder, because it doesn’t seem worth it.
How I try to deal with it
There’s no magic bullet for clearing brain fog. You’ve got to address the underlying causes, which isn’t exactly a walk in the park when depression and anxiety are involved.
That said, here are some things which might help:
- Have some cold water/juice/hydration. This sometimes helps me to feel more awake.
- Get some fresh air. Go for a short walk or just go outside for a while.
- Take a few deep breaths.
- Write a to-do list.
- Have a shower.
- Take a nap. Or try to get a good night’s sleep (I sometimes need a sleeping tablet for this to happen).
Wishing you a crystal clear day xx