Psycho-Babble Medication Thread 289897

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Re: seeking insight with brain fog/depression/sleep...

Posted by Interject79 on December 16, 2003, at 14:37:07

In reply to seeking insight with brain fog/depression/sleep..., posted by SDA on December 15, 2003, at 0:49:40

Sounds very familiar. It really sounds like a dopamine-related issue. SSRI's likely won't help, but stimulants probably will. I lost a good deal of mental sharpness through college, only regaining it when I realized the simplistic but pervasive serotonin hypothesis is faulty--and sought treatment for ADD-related symptoms.

I didn't have a good experience with Strattera, and only a minimally good one with Wellbutrin. Irritation was my main complaint with both. But this is really an indication of my unique biochemistry and not a mark against either of these meds.

If you could get to a good and personable neurologist, that would be helpful I'm sure. Psychiatrists who are keen on neuroscience are also invaluable.

Best,
interject

 

Re: seeking insight with brain fog/depression/sleep... » Interject79

Posted by SDA on December 16, 2003, at 16:24:25

In reply to Re: seeking insight with brain fog/depression/sleep..., posted by Interject79 on December 16, 2003, at 14:37:07

> Sounds very familiar. It really sounds like a dopamine-related issue. SSRI's likely won't help, but stimulants probably will. I lost a good deal of mental sharpness through college, only regaining it when I realized the simplistic but pervasive serotonin hypothesis is faulty--and sought treatment for ADD-related symptoms.
>
> I didn't have a good experience with Strattera, and only a minimally good one with Wellbutrin. Irritation was my main complaint with both. But this is really an indication of my unique biochemistry and not a mark against either of these meds.
>
> If you could get to a good and personable neurologist, that would be helpful I'm sure. Psychiatrists who are keen on neuroscience are also invaluable.
>
> Best,
> interject
>
>

Its good to hear that some people with similar issues have had them resolved through medication. When you say that my case sounds "very familiar", are you saying that you also suffered from some degree of sleep deprivation during college? I think the quality and amount of sleep I get is definitely exacerbating everything. I had to stay up all night on Sunday trying to finish a project and study for exams. As a result, the "fuzzy headed" feeling came back with a vengeance. It has been much less severe lately, but I suspect that is because I've been trying to get more sleep. The mental impairment, however, does not go away.

 

Re: seeking insight with brain fog/depression/sleep...

Posted by Interject79 on December 16, 2003, at 17:35:24

In reply to Re: seeking insight with brain fog/depression/sleep... » Interject79, posted by SDA on December 16, 2003, at 16:24:25

If there are times I get less than 7.5 hours sleep, I'm mentally foggier, that's for sure. I require a lot of sleep, so sleep deprivation for me is horrible and occurs usually at 7 hours or so. I'm skeptical though that that by itself is 'the problem'.

I have trouble sitting down to read (and studying) due to extreme sensitivity to noises or smells or what have you, and to distractibility. So it takes (took) a long time to complete assignments. I also have some difficulty reading (my eyes don't move straight across a line; I often 'cross lines'). That said, I have some very nice advantages in verbal ability and mathematical ability. My IQ is high, and I learned chess in about 10 minutes. Plusses and minuses...

Some have referred to this as Asperger's, a form of autism, mixed with ADD. I don't really care for labels or DXs myself. But long story shortened: I do experience the brain fog you describe and sleep deprivation. Both became worse in college. Both were made better by meds, though this has been a tough road.

(Oh, this might not be familiar to you, but in the morning I often wash my hair several times because I forget; I've left shampoo in all day; and I have been known to wash my hair with body wash--good for laughs)


interject

 

Re: seeking insight with brain fog/depression/sleep...

Posted by Jota on December 17, 2003, at 20:31:58

In reply to Re: seeking insight with brain fog/depression/sleep..., posted by Interject79 on December 16, 2003, at 17:35:24

A few words of support: I suffered from my own brain fog during the second year of a Ph.D. program at a top university. While I was seeing an excellent psychiatrist, our initial attempts to bring it under control with medicine were not successful and I had to take a leave of absence. But we did eventually find a medicine combination that worked (Effexor plus Wellbutrin) and I returned to my program the following year and did very well thereafter.

Hang in there.

Jordan

 

Re: seeking insight with brain fog/depression/sleep...

Posted by SDA on December 17, 2003, at 20:52:09

In reply to Re: seeking insight with brain fog/depression/sleep..., posted by Interject79 on December 16, 2003, at 17:35:24

> If there are times I get less than 7.5 hours sleep, I'm mentally foggier, that's for sure. I require a lot of sleep, so sleep deprivation for me is horrible and occurs usually at 7 hours or so. I'm skeptical though that that by itself is 'the problem'.
>
> I have trouble sitting down to read (and studying) due to extreme sensitivity to noises or smells or what have you, and to distractibility. So it takes (took) a long time to complete assignments. I also have some difficulty reading (my eyes don't move straight across a line; I often 'cross lines'). That said, I have some very nice advantages in verbal ability and mathematical ability. My IQ is high, and I learned chess in about 10 minutes. Plusses and minuses...
>
> Some have referred to this as Asperger's, a form of autism, mixed with ADD. I don't really care for labels or DXs myself. But long story shortened: I do experience the brain fog you describe and sleep deprivation. Both became worse in college. Both were made better by meds, though this has been a tough road.
>
> (Oh, this might not be familiar to you, but in the morning I often wash my hair several times because I forget; I've left shampoo in all day; and I have been known to wash my hair with body wash--good for laughs)
>
>
> interject
>

I think I can relate to alot of that. Especially the feeling that you're smart enough to do assignments quickly, yet are impeeded by distractions (for me its kind of a cycle of obsessions and loosely associated thoughts that I've always attributed to OCD). I also think that I become sleep deprived at just under 8 hours too. Despite this, I've subjected myself to far worse than that and somehow managed to pull through and get good grades.

You mentioned that you didn't have very good experiences with Strattera and Wellbutrin. What did you find that works?

In other news, I've decided to end the agony that is my physics class, and have it wiped from my transcript. Unfortunately this wreaks havoc on my schedule for the rest of the year, and means that I'll probably have to spend an extra year in college. I'm not so worried about the time or money; its watching all of my friends graduate and leave me behind that's going to be the most painful part of it.

 

Re: seeking insight with brain fog/depression/sleep...

Posted by aegean on September 6, 2004, at 6:45:48

In reply to seeking insight with brain fog/depression/sleep..., posted by SDA on December 15, 2003, at 0:49:40

> Hi, this is going to be rather long, but PLEASE read:
>
> I'm currently a college student majoring in physics. I don't mean to sound cocky, but I consider myself to be a very smart person. I'm typically very intellectually sharp, have a great sense of humor, am well motivated toward my studies, and have good overall self esteem. About 7 weeks ago, though, I was struck down by what I can only call the infamous "brain fog" with accompanying severe depression. I will try to describe (as chronologically as I can) the factors that I believe lead to where I stand today:
>
> I have been diagnosed with OCD for most of my life. I have been on many different medications to treat this, but my longest stint was with Zoloft and Wellbutrin. I eventually stopped taking these medications after my senior year of high school since I felt that they were no longer helping me. Sure enough, I noticed no real increase in my OCD after stopping them.
>
> I remained off medication throughout my entire first year of college, which may have been a poor choice in hind sight. Midway through the academic year, symptoms of my OCD started to intrude on my day-to-day life. I found it very difficult to get into bed at a decent hour. I soon found myself stuck in a rut of sever sleep deprivation (around 3 hours of sleep on week nights, and sometimes none). My school operates on a quarterly basis, and this cycle of sleep deprivation occurred in the second and fourth quarters of my first year.
>
> I did my best to pay off my sleep debt over the summer, and started my second year with the goal of getting more sleep. Unfortunately, I failed miserably. While not as bad as my first year, as the first quarter was winding down, I started completely missing nights of sleep. What happened next is what I consider to be my "turning point".
>
> After getting a few hours of sleep and then going for almost 24 hours wide awake, something very odd happened. I was standing in front of a sink in the bathroom, when I completely lost my sense of balance. It felt as if my foot was going through the floor. This feeling lasted a couple minutes, and then went away on its own. This is when I believe my "brain fog? started.
>
> Ever since that day my world has been a living hell. My math skills have deteriorated, and I am no longer able to "visualize" concepts like I once could. I'd say that my abstract thinking in general has taken a dive. My mind feels foggy and my thinking is very clouded and slow. All of the courses I'm taking now should be very interesting and right up my ally, but for some reason I can barely pick up anything in the lectures and the course material is leaving me in the dust. In all of the group assignments that we do in physics, I feel absolutely brain dead and can't contribute anything at all. Off and on (but mostly "on" during the day), I also get a strange feeling inside my head that is difficult to describe. It?s a fuzzy feeling that's like having a giant cotton ball for a brain, and it persists for hours on end. I'm not sure if it is related, but I also sometimes get shooting pains near the top of my head.
>
> Outside of class work I also feel notably different. My social skills have gone down the tubes. I have a feeling that I've already lost many a friend to this ailment. I almost feel like a completely different person, or as if I've lost a part of myself that will never be found again.
>
> In a sort of effort to diagnose myself, I've been on the internet a lot lately looking at various online message boards and support groups (including this one) that have come up as the result of google searches for my symptoms. Some people on sleep disorder forums say that their long-term sleep deprivation has led to similar symptoms, and can indicated permanent brain damage. Before now, such consequences had never dawned on me and have sent me into a spiral of panic and depression.
>
> There is no question that I am severely depressed right now. I don't think I've ever felt as bad about myself as I do now. Most of the time I feel like I'd rather be dead, and the thought of ending it all crosses my mind many times each day.
>
> I tried starting back up on the Zoloft a couple weeks ago (at 100mg a day), but had agonizing side effects and had to stop. I have some Celexa now, and will start taking it soon. I've had blood tests for anemia, lymes disease, and thyroid levels done, but they've all come back normal.
>
> I've been hearing good things about Strattera for treating "brain fog", and might give that a go after I talk with my psychiatrist. What interests me about Strattera is its uses in treating attention disorders. The more I think about it, the more I feel I can relate to the feeling of being "on" all the time that people with ADHD sometimes describe. Perhaps that incidence of loss of balance marked the intersection of all of my problems, and I simply "burnt out".
>
> If anyone has been kind enough to read all of that, please offer any suggestions that you might have from person experience with such problems. I would be particularly interested in any responses from fellow scientists/students/engineers.
>
> THANK YOU for you time
>

I am a PhD.student focusing on computer engineering. I had a great deal of sleep deprevation like you and searching for help. I had two episodes of depression treatment, but none of them gave back my attention and cognitive performance back. I am so hopeless. I was searching on the Internet to find something helpful and saw your message. Could you please tell me what happened ever since you posted your message? Could you find a helpful treatment and diagnosis? Please send me an answer whoever my question may concern, I am looking forward to it.

 

Re: seeking insight with brain fog/depression/sleep... » SDA

Posted by terrics on September 8, 2004, at 18:49:16

In reply to seeking insight with brain fog/depression/sleep..., posted by SDA on December 15, 2003, at 0:49:40

It would be a VERY good idea to be thoroughly checked out physically; bloodwork and neuro. There is the ring of bipolar to your symptoms. This place you are in is bad and sad. It has happened to me also and has only worsened over time. I have been on ritalin and strattera and neither helped. Unfortunatly I have not been able to obtain even a masters. I think we have to work 3 times as hard as anyone else to reach our goals because we have to wind our way through the fog.

If anyone comes up with a solution PLEASE POST.

Did you say you were losing your balance? I am too. I actually fell 4 times last week so my pdoc is taking me off lithium. I hope it has been the cause of ALL these symptoms. Good luck in your search and also in school. terrics

 

Re: seeking insight with brain fog/depression/sleep...

Posted by mike lynch on September 9, 2004, at 0:13:50

In reply to Re: seeking insight with brain fog/depression/sleep... » SDA, posted by terrics on September 8, 2004, at 18:49:16

> Hi, this is going to be rather long, but PLEASE read:
>
> I'm currently a college student majoring in physics. I don't mean to sound cocky, but I consider myself to be a very smart person. I'm typically very intellectually sharp, have a great sense of humor, am well motivated toward my studies, and have good overall self esteem. About 7 weeks ago, though, I was struck down by what I can only call the infamous "brain fog" with accompanying severe depression. I will try to describe (as chronologically as I can) the factors that I believe lead to where I stand today:
>
> I have been diagnosed with OCD for most of my life. I have been on many different medications to treat this, but my longest stint was with Zoloft and Wellbutrin. I eventually stopped taking these medications after my senior year of high school since I felt that they were no longer helping me. Sure enough, I noticed no real increase in my OCD after stopping them.
>
> I remained off medication throughout my entire first year of college, which may have been a poor choice in hind sight. Midway through the academic year, symptoms of my OCD started to intrude on my day-to-day life. I found it very difficult to get into bed at a decent hour. I soon found myself stuck in a rut of sever sleep deprivation (around 3 hours of sleep on week nights, and sometimes none). My school operates on a quarterly basis, and this cycle of sleep deprivation occurred in the second and fourth quarters of my first year.
>
> I did my best to pay off my sleep debt over the summer, and started my second year with the goal of getting more sleep. Unfortunately, I failed miserably. While not as bad as my first year, as the first quarter was winding down, I started completely missing nights of sleep. What happened next is what I consider to be my "turning point".
>
> After getting a few hours of sleep and then going for almost 24 hours wide awake, something very odd happened. I was standing in front of a sink in the bathroom, when I completely lost my sense of balance. It felt as if my foot was going through the floor. This feeling lasted a couple minutes, and then went away on its own. This is when I believe my "brain fog? started.
>
> Ever since that day my world has been a living hell. My math skills have deteriorated, and I am no longer able to "visualize" concepts like I once could. I'd say that my abstract thinking in general has taken a dive. My mind feels foggy and my thinking is very clouded and slow. All of the courses I'm taking now should be very interesting and right up my ally, but for some reason I can barely pick up anything in the lectures and the course material is leaving me in the dust. In all of the group assignments that we do in physics, I feel absolutely brain dead and can't contribute anything at all. Off and on (but mostly "on" during the day), I also get a strange feeling inside my head that is difficult to describe. It?s a fuzzy feeling that's like having a giant cotton ball for a brain, and it persists for hours on end. I'm not sure if it is related, but I also sometimes get shooting pains near the top of my head.
>
> Outside of class work I also feel notably different. My social skills have gone down the tubes. I have a feeling that I've already lost many a friend to this ailment. I almost feel like a completely different person, or as if I've lost a part of myself that will never be found again.
>
> In a sort of effort to diagnose myself, I've been on the internet a lot lately looking at various online message boards and support groups (including this one) that have come up as the result of google searches for my symptoms. Some people on sleep disorder forums say that their long-term sleep deprivation has led to similar symptoms, and can indicated permanent brain damage. Before now, such consequences had never dawned on me and have sent me into a spiral of panic and depression.
>
> There is no question that I am severely depressed right now. I don't think I've ever felt as bad about myself as I do now. Most of the time I feel like I'd rather be dead, and the thought of ending it all crosses my mind many times each day.
>
> I tried starting back up on the Zoloft a couple weeks ago (at 100mg a day), but had agonizing side effects and had to stop. I have some Celexa now, and will start taking it soon. I've had blood tests for anemia, lymes disease, and thyroid levels done, but they've all come back normal.
>
> I've been hearing good things about Strattera for treating "brain fog", and might give that a go after I talk with my psychiatrist. What interests me about Strattera is its uses in treating attention disorders. The more I think about it, the more I feel I can relate to the feeling of being "on" all the time that people with ADHD sometimes describe. Perhaps that incidence of loss of balance marked the intersection of all of my problems, and I simply "burnt out".
>
> If anyone has been kind enough to read all of that, please offer any suggestions that you might have from person experience with such problems. I would be particularly interested in any responses from fellow scientists/students/engineers.
>
> THANK YOU for you time
>


WOW..those symptoms are so similar to mine..except I attribute it to something completely different..

Well I started paxil for depression and it worked great for about a year but I began have concentration problems, I eventually stopped it but after being off of it for a prolonged period of time and trying different medications I still suffer from the same symptoms..on or off meds These included....brain fog...I just couldn't think...my thinking was really slow, ...it seemed as though it took me much longer to do tasks that normally took me a reasonable amount of time...I especially noticed this with math...my abstracted thinking was like gone..it seemed like I could only look at things from one way...people would point out other ways out to me and i'd wonder why i didn't realize it..because it was just so obvious...I also have pretty bad memory problems..

.I feel like I have no personality..the friends I once had I seem unable to relate to anymore..My personality feels dead..and just disfigured..I feel lifeless..I don't feel myself at all....that is the most terrifying aspect in my opinion.. I just want my identity back..it seems to have been stolen from me.. I just don't know who I am anymore.. The paxil has definitely messed me up somehow..I just can't find any other plausible explanations.

 

Re: seeking insight with brain fog/depression/sleep... » mike lynch

Posted by SDA on September 9, 2004, at 15:32:51

In reply to Re: seeking insight with brain fog/depression/sleep..., posted by mike lynch on September 9, 2004, at 0:13:50

Whoa, blast from the past!

Unfortunately I haven't recovered much at all. In fact, I may be even worse now. Just like you, I've been treated depression and had the same symptoms persist. I've had an EEG done to rule out seizures, and some blood work for thyroid levels and lymes disease (all negative).

Here's a list of my current symptoms:

- Persistent head pressure/fuzziness. It feels like my brain is litterally becomming inflamed in areas. It changes depending on what angle I hold my head at (tilting backwards concentrates the sensations in the back of my head), and gets better when I lie down on my back with a pillow or squeeze the top-sides of my head with my hands.

- Poor short term memory. I have to struggle to recall the events of the last 5-10 minutes in chronological order. Sometimes I almost lose a whole day's worth.

- Impaired vision. My distance vision is rather blurry, and my left eye seems weak and blotchy. It almost feels like my left field of vision is constricting.

- Severe brain fog. My main problems are with math and abstract thinking. I can't even understand algebra 101 material. Sometimes I struggle with simple arithmatic. I subjects like calculus, I can almost "imagine" how it might feel for things to make sense but I just dont have the brain power to make it happen anymore.

- Sleep issues. I just can't seem to get a full night of solid sleep. It takes over an hour to fall asleep, after which I'm overloaded with dreams (which are sometimes disturbing in content). I also tend to wake up very frequently, especially when its light out.

- Feeling depressed (duh). I hate myself, I hate my parents, I hate my roommates, I hate my doctors, and I hate the drug industry. I'm wasting my money flunking out of college and ruining many meaningful relationships. There are still a few tests that I believe should be done, but I have very little hope at this point. I basically feel like I have no past, present, or future.


Do any of these things sound familliar to anyone?

mike lynch: Did you have any of your current symptoms before you were treated for depression?

 

Re: seeking insight with brain fog/depression/sleep...

Posted by mike lynch on September 9, 2004, at 17:09:49

In reply to Re: seeking insight with brain fog/depression/sleep... » mike lynch, posted by SDA on September 9, 2004, at 15:32:51

> Whoa, blast from the past!
>
> Unfortunately I haven't recovered much at all. In fact, I may be even worse now. Just like you, I've been treated depression and had the same symptoms persist. I've had an EEG done to rule out seizures, and some blood work for thyroid levels and lymes disease (all negative).
>
> Here's a list of my current symptoms:
>
> - Persistent head pressure/fuzziness. It feels like my brain is litterally becomming inflamed in areas. It changes depending on what angle I hold my head at (tilting backwards concentrates the sensations in the back of my head), and gets better when I lie down on my back with a pillow or squeeze the top-sides of my head with my hands.
>
> - Poor short term memory. I have to struggle to recall the events of the last 5-10 minutes in chronological order. Sometimes I almost lose a whole day's worth.
>
> - Impaired vision. My distance vision is rather blurry, and my left eye seems weak and blotchy. It almost feels like my left field of vision is constricting.
>
> - Severe brain fog. My main problems are with math and abstract thinking. I can't even understand algebra 101 material. Sometimes I struggle with simple arithmatic. I subjects like calculus, I can almost "imagine" how it might feel for things to make sense but I just dont have the brain power to make it happen anymore.
>
> - Sleep issues. I just can't seem to get a full night of solid sleep. It takes over an hour to fall asleep, after which I'm overloaded with dreams (which are sometimes disturbing in content). I also tend to wake up very frequently, especially when its light out.
>
> - Feeling depressed (duh). I hate myself, I hate my parents, I hate my roommates, I hate my doctors, and I hate the drug industry. I'm wasting my money flunking out of college and ruining many meaningful relationships. There are still a few tests that I believe should be done, but I have very little hope at this point. I basically feel like I have no past, present, or future.
>
>
> Do any of these things sound familliar to anyone?
>
> mike lynch: Did you have any of your current symptoms before you were treated for depression?

I never had symptoms that had even closely resembled what I am going through now before I was treated with depression..

THe only symptom I really had was low mood..and lack of interest in activities...and probbly avoidance..when I was dealing with depression without treatment

.I went to school and everything and when I got out I could work fine..I could socialize fine..there were really no problems until I started taking paxil..

I have been looking for answers and found many people experiencing strikingly similar symptoms to that of your's and mine..these people all have been on an ssri..it seems to run most commonly with paxil..

For example the vision..and problems solving are problems I have and many other people have upon using this drug ( actually a very select few)Here are accounts that are very similar to mine.. http://www.voy.com/134573/127.html

pay attention particulary to the first and third post...eye problems and problem solving difficulties all seem to be a commanality in peopel who have cognitive problems from paxil..The problem isn't that we experiencing while on it...it's the fact that we have been off it for months and the symptoms still remain..

 

Re: seeking insight with brain fog/depression/sleep... » mike lynch

Posted by SDA on September 9, 2004, at 21:18:58

In reply to Re: seeking insight with brain fog/depression/sleep..., posted by mike lynch on September 9, 2004, at 17:09:49

> I never had symptoms that had even closely resembled what I am going through now before I was treated with depression..
>
> THe only symptom I really had was low mood..and lack of interest in activities...and probbly avoidance..when I was dealing with depression without treatment
>
> .I went to school and everything and when I got out I could work fine..I could socialize fine..there were really no problems until I started taking paxil..
>
> I have been looking for answers and found many people experiencing strikingly similar symptoms to that of your's and mine..these people all have been on an ssri..it seems to run most commonly with paxil..
>
> For example the vision..and problems solving are problems I have and many other people have upon using this drug ( actually a very select few)Here are accounts that are very similar to mine.. http://www.voy.com/134573/127.html
>
> pay attention particulary to the first and third post...eye problems and problem solving difficulties all seem to be a commanality in peopel who have cognitive problems from paxil..The problem isn't that we experiencing while on it...it's the fact that we have been off it for months and the symptoms still remain..

Have you had a neurological workup (MRI, EEG ect.)? If so, seeing an endocrinologist and a sleep specialist might be a wise move. I'm considering doing that myself. Psychiatrists will most likely want to treat you with more medications, which seems to be pretty fruitless.

You haven't mentioned anything about head pressure or fuzziness. I consider this to be the most distinctive and persistant element of my illness. If you don't have anything like it, then its unlikely that we are suffering from the same fundamental problem. If you do, then please let me know.

 

Re: seeking insight with brain fog/depression/sleep...

Posted by mike lynch on September 9, 2004, at 21:57:24

In reply to Re: seeking insight with brain fog/depression/sleep... » mike lynch, posted by SDA on September 9, 2004, at 21:18:58

> > I never had symptoms that had even closely resembled what I am going through now before I was treated with depression..
> >
> > THe only symptom I really had was low mood..and lack of interest in activities...and probbly avoidance..when I was dealing with depression without treatment
> >
> > .I went to school and everything and when I got out I could work fine..I could socialize fine..there were really no problems until I started taking paxil..
> >
> > I have been looking for answers and found many people experiencing strikingly similar symptoms to that of your's and mine..these people all have been on an ssri..it seems to run most commonly with paxil..
> >
> > For example the vision..and problems solving are problems I have and many other people have upon using this drug ( actually a very select few)Here are accounts that are very similar to mine.. http://www.voy.com/134573/127.html
> >
> > pay attention particulary to the first and third post...eye problems and problem solving difficulties all seem to be a commanality in peopel who have cognitive problems from paxil..The problem isn't that we experiencing while on it...it's the fact that we have been off it for months and the symptoms still remain..
>
> Have you had a neurological workup (MRI, EEG ect.)? If so, seeing an endocrinologist and a sleep specialist might be a wise move. I'm considering doing that myself. Psychiatrists will most likely want to treat you with more medications, which seems to be pretty fruitless.
>
> You haven't mentioned anything about head pressure or fuzziness. I consider this to be the most distinctive and persistant element of my illness. If you don't have anything like it, then its unlikely that we are suffering from the same fundamental problem. If you do, then please let me know.
>
>

I've had an eeg...and it showed up nothing..I did have a feeling of pressure being applied to my brain but it seemed to occur when I came off ssri's..and it then seemed to subside..in a few weeks.. I have horrible brain fog..I can't seem to think..especially while writing and essay I just can't gather my thoughts..they just aren't there..it's like there locked up in a box and won't come out...That is all..you're symptoms you'd described just sounded really familiar.. Have you seen a specialist about this..i'm sure he could tell you the possible causes of this pressure you speak of.. did this happen after you came off ssri's?? Or durring ssri treatment??

 

Re: seeking insight with brain fog/depression/sleep... » mike lynch

Posted by SDA on September 10, 2004, at 0:17:07

In reply to Re: seeking insight with brain fog/depression/sleep..., posted by mike lynch on September 9, 2004, at 21:57:24

> I've had an eeg...and it showed up nothing..I did have a feeling of pressure being applied to my brain but it seemed to occur when I came off ssri's..and it then seemed to subside..in a few weeks.. I have horrible brain fog..I can't seem to think..especially while writing and essay I just can't gather my thoughts..they just aren't there..it's like there locked up in a box and won't come out...That is all..you're symptoms you'd described just sounded really familiar.. Have you seen a specialist about this..i'm sure he could tell you the possible causes of this pressure you speak of.. did this happen after you came off ssri's?? Or durring ssri treatment??
>
>

I was on 200mg of zoloft for at least a few years as a teenager, and went off cold turky before going to college. The worst withdrawals I got were irritability and anxeity. The head fuzziness and serious brain fog started around a year and a half later. Its been happening more or less every day for the last 10 months. I've seen a specialist, but all he's said is that he thinks its "physiological" and not a tumor.

Huzzah. What a breakthrough.

An important thing to keep in mind is that there are many, many things that can cause brain fog. I've read accounts that are very similar to mine, which range from sinus infections, to migraine disorders, to dietary defficiencies.

 

Re: seeking insight with brain fog/depression/sleep...

Posted by mike lynch on September 10, 2004, at 1:17:03

In reply to Re: seeking insight with brain fog/depression/sleep... » mike lynch, posted by SDA on September 10, 2004, at 0:17:07

> > I've had an eeg...and it showed up nothing..I did have a feeling of pressure being applied to my brain but it seemed to occur when I came off ssri's..and it then seemed to subside..in a few weeks.. I have horrible brain fog..I can't seem to think..especially while writing and essay I just can't gather my thoughts..they just aren't there..it's like there locked up in a box and won't come out...That is all..you're symptoms you'd described just sounded really familiar.. Have you seen a specialist about this..i'm sure he could tell you the possible causes of this pressure you speak of.. did this happen after you came off ssri's?? Or durring ssri treatment??
> >
> >
>
> I was on 200mg of zoloft for at least a few years as a teenager, and went off cold turky before going to college. The worst withdrawals I got were irritability and anxeity. The head fuzziness and serious brain fog started around a year and a half later. Its been happening more or less every day for the last 10 months. I've seen a specialist, but all he's said is that he thinks its "physiological" and not a tumor.
>
> Huzzah. What a breakthrough.
>
> An important thing to keep in mind is that there are many, many things that can cause brain fog. I've read accounts that are very similar to mine, which range from sinus infections, to migraine disorders, to dietary defficiencies.

Well with that..you're diagnosis probably is different then mine..it's very strange to all of a sudden become spontaneously stricken with brain fog , memory problems ,and general cognitive problems, in you're late teens.. The only variable that changed was that I was put on paxil..so I immediately attributed it to that...Maybe theres other things it could be.. but from teh research i've done though it makes the most sense it was from teh meds..

\How are you going about finding answers now..have you have an idea as to what it could be?? How are you coping with it?? Do you say the pressures constant..I dunno how i can handle that..i could barely handle the brain fog period..

(side note: i've also have been making these wierd typos upon noticing these problems..that never happened b4..I had to revise this post like 5 times to get it right as I wrote MEMORY as MONEY.... and MIND TO DIME...and I've been missing many words out like I write "i having problems" when of coures I forgot *AM* there much worse then this but i just can't remember all of them i made... very strange..I just wonder what the hell my brain was doing when i made those errors..it's like it just shuts off randomly)

 

Re: seeking insight with brain fog/depression/sleep... » mike lynch

Posted by SDA on September 10, 2004, at 13:49:05

In reply to Re: seeking insight with brain fog/depression/sleep..., posted by mike lynch on September 10, 2004, at 1:17:03

> Well with that..you're diagnosis probably is different then mine..it's very strange to all of a sudden become spontaneously stricken with brain fog , memory problems ,and general cognitive problems, in you're late teens.. The only variable that changed was that I was put on paxil..so I immediately attributed it to that...Maybe theres other things it could be.. but from teh research i've done though it makes the most sense it was from teh meds..
>
> \How are you going about finding answers now..have you have an idea as to what it could be?? How are you coping with it?? Do you say the pressures constant..I dunno how i can handle that..i could barely handle the brain fog period..
>
> (side note: i've also have been making these wierd typos upon noticing these problems..that never happened b4..I had to revise this post like 5 times to get it right as I wrote MEMORY as MONEY.... and MIND TO DIME...and I've been missing many words out like I write "i having problems" when of coures I forgot *AM* there much worse then this but i just can't remember all of them i made... very strange..I just wonder what the hell my brain was doing when i made those errors..it's like it just shuts off randomly)
>
>

The pressure subsides sometimes, but never completely. I can sort of tell that its still there by applying light pressure to my cheek bones or forehead. When I do this, I can feel the pressure flare up on the upper sides of my head. I'm not sure exactly what makes it better or worse. Exercising daily helped for a couple weeks, but then it started happening regardless.

I guess I'd like to investigate the possibility of migrains (a few people in my mother's family have them), and perhaps endocrin malfunction (my mother had an adrenal tumor, which screwed up her hormonal system). An MRI is probably worth while, given the persistant pressure. I sometimes suspect I have sleep apnea too, since I have bad chronic nasal congestion and tend to wake up frequently.

I have trouble spelling things sometimes, but I guess its forced me to be more cautious when I type.

 

Re: seeking insight with brain fog/depression/sleep...

Posted by mike lynch on September 10, 2004, at 14:52:49

In reply to Re: seeking insight with brain fog/depression/sleep... » mike lynch, posted by SDA on September 10, 2004, at 13:49:05

> > Well with that..you're diagnosis probably is different then mine..it's very strange to all of a sudden become spontaneously stricken with brain fog , memory problems ,and general cognitive problems, in you're late teens.. The only variable that changed was that I was put on paxil..so I immediately attributed it to that...Maybe theres other things it could be.. but from teh research i've done though it makes the most sense it was from teh meds..
> >
> > \How are you going about finding answers now..have you have an idea as to what it could be?? How are you coping with it?? Do you say the pressures constant..I dunno how i can handle that..i could barely handle the brain fog period..
> >
> > (side note: i've also have been making these wierd typos upon noticing these problems..that never happened b4..I had to revise this post like 5 times to get it right as I wrote MEMORY as MONEY.... and MIND TO DIME...and I've been missing many words out like I write "i having problems" when of coures I forgot *AM* there much worse then this but i just can't remember all of them i made... very strange..I just wonder what the hell my brain was doing when i made those errors..it's like it just shuts off randomly)
> >
> >
>
> The pressure subsides sometimes, but never completely. I can sort of tell that its still there by applying light pressure to my cheek bones or forehead. When I do this, I can feel the pressure flare up on the upper sides of my head. I'm not sure exactly what makes it better or worse. Exercising daily helped for a couple weeks, but then it started happening regardless.
>
> I guess I'd like to investigate the possibility of migrains (a few people in my mother's family have them), and perhaps endocrin malfunction (my mother had an adrenal tumor, which screwed up her hormonal system). An MRI is probably worth while, given the persistant pressure. I sometimes suspect I have sleep apnea too, since I have bad chronic nasal congestion and tend to wake up frequently.
>
> I have trouble spelling things sometimes, but I guess its forced me to be more cautious when I type.


Does concentrating hard exacerbate this problem?? It's wierd that this "pressure" problem came back the day after we were talking about..I think it had something to do with me forgetting to take sam-e..as it happened when I went off prozac...or maybe the only thing that alleviates this problem is being on a sertogonic med..it's possibly not the withdrawal that's causing it which was my first guess.. But it seems my brain is actually "hurting" and "pressurized" when I am concentrating on something like math..or trying to articulate events or facts in my head to put on paper.. That is when it's the most apparent.. But another idea that comes to my head is that ssri's have been used off label to treat migraines..and it may be lifting this *absent migraine* which is causing this pressure...I dunno i'm just speculating..

 

Re: seeking insight with brain fog/depression/sleep... » mike lynch

Posted by SDA on September 11, 2004, at 0:00:14

In reply to Re: seeking insight with brain fog/depression/sleep..., posted by mike lynch on September 10, 2004, at 14:52:49

> Does concentrating hard exacerbate this problem?? It's wierd that this "pressure" problem came back the day after we were talking about..I think it had something to do with me forgetting to take sam-e..as it happened when I went off prozac...or maybe the only thing that alleviates this problem is being on a sertogonic med..it's possibly not the withdrawal that's causing it which was my first guess.. But it seems my brain is actually "hurting" and "pressurized" when I am concentrating on something like math..or trying to articulate events or facts in my head to put on paper.. That is when it's the most apparent.. But another idea that comes to my head is that ssri's have been used off label to treat migraines..and it may be lifting this *absent migraine* which is causing this pressure...I dunno i'm just speculating..
>
>

Heh. That's weird. If I remember correctly, the first time I had the pressure was a day or two after I read about someone esles experience with it online. I guess there could be a psychological component that exacerbates things.

Its possible that concentrating makes things worse, but I do know that its gotten very bad while just sitting in front of my computer. Obsessing and certain social situations may also be a factor. I can remember one time recently that I had terrible head sensations while watching a play in a theater. As soon as I left the theater and started walking to the car, it dissapeared.

As for serotogenic drugs in general alleviating the problem... I find it unlikely (in my case at least). I continued to have suffer with it while taking Zoloft (up to 75mg) for a couple months.

 

Re: seeking insight with brain fog/depression/sleep...

Posted by crazychickuk on September 12, 2004, at 7:55:49

In reply to Re: seeking insight with brain fog/depression/sleep... » mike lynch, posted by SDA on September 11, 2004, at 0:00:14

MUST be somthing in the air... i am experiencing the exact same problem... mind you a mnth after stopped remeron and then itryed dothiapin for a week been just over a mnth without meds.. and i feel depressed fogged, brain hurts when i think, and i am sort of obsessing over seizures.. i have had about 2 eegs done over the year i have had an mri eck etc etc to rule out anything for my anxiety BUT these symptoms are new and persistant constantly now.. when you first wake upp in the morning you kind of stil asleep well thats how i can only describe it.. i just kind of feel tingly and i am unable to hold a confersation even with my mum.. this is horrible i just cant seem to snap out of it.. i went to my doctor and he said it could be the meds and to try and stay of them for as long as i can and just get therapy BUT i managed to get some effexor of him as it worked for depression in the past BUT obviousley i am put of taking it as i fear it could make me worse even brain dead.. i am fearing i am losing my mind at the moment this is awfull absoultely awfull and i just wanna get better wats the anser plse tell me...

 

Re: seeking insight with brain fog/depression/sleep...

Posted by 4WD on September 12, 2004, at 17:50:46

In reply to Re: seeking insight with brain fog/depression/sleep..., posted by mike lynch on September 10, 2004, at 14:52:49

> > > Well with that..you're diagnosis probably is different then mine..it's very strange to all of a sudden become spontaneously stricken with brain fog , memory problems ,and general cognitive problems, in you're late teens.. The only variable that changed was that I was put on paxil..so I immediately attributed it to that...Maybe theres other things it could be.. but from teh research i've done though it makes the most sense it was from teh meds..
> > >
> > > \How are you going about finding answers now..have you have an idea as to what it could be?? How are you coping with it?? Do you say the pressures constant..I dunno how i can handle that..i could barely handle the brain fog period..
> > >
> > > (side note: i've also have been making these wierd typos upon noticing these problems..that never happened b4..I had to revise this post like 5 times to get it right as I wrote MEMORY as MONEY.... and MIND TO DIME...and I've been missing many words out like I write "i having problems" when of coures I forgot *AM* there much worse then this but i just can't remember all of them i made... very strange..I just wonder what the hell my brain was doing when i made those errors..it's like it just shuts off randomly)
> > >
> > >
> >
> > The pressure subsides sometimes, but never completely. I can sort of tell that its still there by applying light pressure to my cheek bones or forehead. When I do this, I can feel the pressure flare up on the upper sides of my head. I'm not sure exactly what makes it better or worse. Exercising daily helped for a couple weeks, but then it started happening regardless.
> >
> > I guess I'd like to investigate the possibility of migrains (a few people in my mother's family have them), and perhaps endocrin malfunction (my mother had an adrenal tumor, which screwed up her hormonal system). An MRI is probably worth while, given the persistant pressure. I sometimes suspect I have sleep apnea too, since I have bad chronic nasal congestion and tend to wake up frequently.
> >
> > I have trouble spelling things sometimes, but I guess its forced me to be more cautious when I type.
>
>
> Does concentrating hard exacerbate this problem?? It's wierd that this "pressure" problem came back the day after we were talking about..I think it had something to do with me forgetting to take sam-e..as it happened when I went off prozac...or maybe the only thing that alleviates this problem is being on a sertogonic med..it's possibly not the withdrawal that's causing it which was my first guess.. But it seems my brain is actually "hurting" and "pressurized" when I am concentrating on something like math..or trying to articulate events or facts in my head to put on paper.. That is when it's the most apparent.. But another idea that comes to my head is that ssri's have been used off label to treat migraines..and it may be lifting this *absent migraine* which is causing this pressure...I dunno i'm just speculating..


I am also experiencing the brain pressure. I am in the process of weaning off Effexor and going on Cymbalta. The pressure started about five days into this process. My head/brain feel sore and too full. If I turn my head quickly from side to side, it feels like my swollen brain is banging against the inside of my skull. It turned into a bad headache last night. I normally don't have headaches.

I am having an MRI tomorrow. Maybe I will have something to report.

Marsha

 

Re: seeking insight with brain fog/depression/sleep...

Posted by KaraS on September 12, 2004, at 18:16:34

In reply to Re: seeking insight with brain fog/depression/sleep... » mike lynch, posted by SDA on September 9, 2004, at 15:32:51

Have either of you ever considered adrenal fatigue? I have similar symptoms as does another friend on the Alternative board and we think we have this along with depression. It is more of a holistic diagnosis but it said to result from severe stress and sleep deprivation. Mine did not come on so suddenly but has been building up whereas my friend's came on very suddenly.

 

Re: seeking insight with brain fog/depression/sleep... » KaraS

Posted by SDA on September 13, 2004, at 0:38:00

In reply to Re: seeking insight with brain fog/depression/sleep..., posted by KaraS on September 12, 2004, at 18:16:34

> Have either of you ever considered adrenal fatigue? I have similar symptoms as does another friend on the Alternative board and we think we have this along with depression. It is more of a holistic diagnosis but it said to result from severe stress and sleep deprivation. Mine did not come on so suddenly but has been building up whereas my friend's came on very suddenly.
>
>

Is there any sort of diagnostic test for adrenal fatigue? What about possible treatments (alternative included)?

I think "brain fog" is symptom, not a disease. As I've mentioned before, it can be caused by many different biological problems. In some cases it might be beyond the scope of modern medicine to treat (traumatic head injuries, ischemic damage ect.), but I'd wager that most sufferers could nail down the cause by simply examining their lives.

In my case, sleep deprivation and chronic stress are major factors. I've also learned that depression is not my only problem.

 

Re: seeking insight with brain fog/depression/sleep...

Posted by LeadingZero on September 13, 2004, at 15:53:59

In reply to Re: seeking insight with brain fog/depression/sleep... » mike lynch, posted by SDA on September 9, 2004, at 15:32:51

I've definitely felt the cottonhead experience and brain fog before. I'm also with you on the head/neck position thing.

You never quite know for sure what causes these things, but I suspect in my case it is migrane. On the third day of my sleep deficit binges, I'd get some really bad visual migranes to where I can't see-- not blackness but rather boiling static. Noise would really agitate me, and sometimes I would start vommiting. This would last a few hours.

People experience migrane differently, and for me it's different than it was 12 years ago when I first started 'seeing' things.

Now I get much less severe migranes that cause brain fog, small-regional pain that is agrivated by movement, and an irritable personality-- but they can last a few days.

Spending a lot of time on computers has also given my neck a strange natural position that I think reduces bloodflow. I tend to want to lean forward and tilt my head up to see the screen. I do this espeicially when I'm hyperfocsing. After a while, I get brainfy. My vision starts to flash.

Things that seem to help me when I get this way:
Ibuprofen. Getting oxygen-rich blood to my head, one way or another. Getting up and walking around a bit. Doing neck excersizes.

The migrane medications seem to make things worse for me-- they're ususually vesoconstrictors. I need more blood to my head, not less. I was glad to see that Doc Amen recommended ibuprofen-- because it's an anti-inflamitory and may reduce swelling in the brain-- now I have some explanation for why it always helped me.

I now also do the power yoga regimen, and it really helps out-- but the whole shmeer isn't necessary for me to get some relief. I've gotten some relief from being foggy by belly breathing while laying on my back, hugging my knees into my chest and tucking my chin in for about five minutes. Another thing is the breathing deeply while bending forward (like touching toes) and letting my head hang. Spending a couple of mintues in my cube doing the actual yoga postures is even more helpful, but I'm trying to be simple and helpful here.

On top of migranes, I have ADD, dysthymia, and some compulsive tendencies. I have been on stimulants a few years, Zoloft, Prozac and Straterra. Right now I'm not on anything, but that may change.

Best wishes,

-LeadingZero

 

Re: seeking insight with brain fog/depression/sleep...

Posted by LeadingZero on September 13, 2004, at 18:19:15

In reply to Re: seeking insight with brain fog/depression/sleep..., posted by LeadingZero on September 13, 2004, at 15:53:59

I just got finished reading everybody else’s posts and am going to second my vote for migraines. I also want to provide a few more of my experiences. I’m a 34 year old electrical engineer, and I’ve been whacking through these weeds for some time.

A segue, though-- I never knew that migraines were related to the endocrine system. I wonder if an elongated, craning neck position might somehow strain one's thyroid? Tucking my chin in and rolling it around on my thyroid always seemed to help, somehow.

I my first visual migraine was when I pulled an all-nighter for a high school computer fair. The following day, during the presentation, I was sensitive to noise and light, things seemed dreamy. I wanted to kill the guy in the booth next to me that yammered endlessly nearby. High contrast outlines would shimmer, kind of like when I look into the sun.

Through college, I was chronically sleep deprived. I was working a full time programming job along with a full load, and would sometimes binge all night playing Quake. Those would be the worst migraines. It would start sometimes suddenly—I would just suddenly notice that my vision was messed up. Other times, it was gradual-- by things beings being dreamy and otherworldly, then I would start to see sunspots around high contrast areas, then I would get the boiling blindness coming in from the bottom of my vision. The blindness would gradually clear up and in then the massive pressure would be on. Moving my head suddenly would be a big mistake. If it was really bad, that would be followed by vomiting and praying for the sweet release of death for about three hours. I would get these every few months, predictably following a bout of pathological stupidity.

Over the years, my migraines have become less severe, less visual— maybe because of aging, or perhaps due to being less stressed out and sleep deprived. But I still have migraines. They tend to last longer, sometimes days. I see only occasional, fleeting visual effects. I feel head pressure, and some portion of my head, like one side or the back, front or top, hurts. If I stand up suddenly or turn my head, it hurts. Any noise, like talking, is bothersome and painful. They come on a lot less predictably and more often than before. Sometimes, they are so subtle that I don’t realize I’m having one until I put all the pieces together.

Some of you said you experience trouble reading. When I read, my eyes jump around a lot and I frequently miss words, or accidentally pick up a word from the line above or below. I see patterns out of the white spacing between the words. I have to read very carefully to keep my accuracy up. Getting through school was a pain-- reading reams of conceptually dense material, and rereading it, and again. It's also hard to tolerate reading for more than 20 minutes without taking a break.

In my case, I have light sensitivity problems—not volume of light so much as contrast and flashing. It reduces my reading accuracy as well as causes the visual aspect of my migraines. I wear Irlen filters now-- custom made colored glasses that block frequencies of light that seem to most disrupt my nervous system. That has helped. It’s not a panacea, but it has helped my reading and I don’t have much in the way of visual migraines anymore. I also avoid reading in florescent lighting and over lit areas.

I hope I haven’t given anyone a visual migraine with all this text.

Best wishes,

-lz


 

Re: seeking insight with brain fog/depression/sleep... » LeadingZero

Posted by SDA on September 13, 2004, at 19:31:01

In reply to Re: seeking insight with brain fog/depression/sleep..., posted by LeadingZero on September 13, 2004, at 18:19:15

I've had some weird visual spots and the occasional "blip" in my peripheral vision, but its not very persistant. The constriction/weakness in my left eye is absolutely constant. I've had an eye exam, but there doesn't seem to be anything physically wrong with my eye.

I forgot to mention a couple symptoms earlier. I seem to get a great deal of muscle spasms, especially in my left eye lid. On a few occasions over the last several months I've gotten a burning pain in my neck (between the chin and the adam's apple) when yawning, which lingers for a few seconds. Could this have something to do with my thyroid? I had blood testiing for thyroid functioning done, but it came back "borderline normal" or something. I do remember feeling better than usual on the day I had my blood drawn, though.

 

Re: seeking insight with brain fog/depression/sleep...

Posted by LeadingZero on September 14, 2004, at 0:20:07

In reply to Re: seeking insight with brain fog/depression/sleep... » LeadingZero, posted by SDA on September 13, 2004, at 19:31:01

The way that a migraine manifests itself varies from person to person. I posted my experiences as a sample. I really don't know the full range of experiences. But it's all in the brain, not the eye. For me, it just hit the visual cortex hard for a few years.

The thyroid thing was just a stab in the dark. I think it's time to check the Merk manual...


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