#104: Making your way through “brain fog”Mar 25, 2021
FROM THIS SHOW…
When you first get medicated for bipolar disorder (usually right around the same time you get diagnosed), you are highly likely to encounter a strange phenomenon of mental sloggy-ness. In clinical terms, it’s known as “executive dysfunction”, which is why you have a hard time making decisions, thinking clearly, or thinking at all. In street terms, this is known as bipolar “brain fog”.
When brain fog hits during your initial treatment you really feel lost. This is why it’s hard to go right back to work or think about school. It’s something you feel at times as a symptom of bipolar. But you really notice it once you begin treatment. And it doesn’t just go away over time. As many as 60% of adults being treated medically for bipolar experience brain fog for the rest of their care.
And that’s a huge disability for anyone, especially those working in fields or raising kids where high functioning is absolutely necessary. Fortunately, there’s a workaround for bipolar brain fog, and on today’s episode of The Bipolar Now Podcast, Mike shares some powerful tips to try out. Being high functioning is something within everyone’s reach. It just takes practice.
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- If you experience brain fog as either a symptom of bipolar disorder, or as a side effect of your medications, it doesn’t mean that your any less capable or intelligent as a human being. Many people find ways to work around cognitive disability.
- If your problem with brain fog is debilitating, there’s more good news. Many treatment centers and hospitals offer “cognitive remediation” programs, which build your brain’s functional abilities back to healthy and reliable. It’s worth looking into.
- Brain fog is counteracted with focus. When you are under the blanket of empty thoughts and distractibility you can switch your concentration to focus on just one thing at a time, often hour by hour. Another trigger for brain fog is the presence of stress, anxiety, or worry. The sooner you address these things, the better your chances are of having the fog lift.
Lifer Discussion Guide
There is no Lifer guide for this episode, but you can use the organizational and focus techniques in this episode to open up a conversation this week. “Lifers” are special people who have the kind of faithfulness to you that assures you they’ll be there when called upon. If you haven’t nominated a Lifer as part of your non-medical support team, what are you waiting for? :-)
Join the Tribe!
Once you’ve had a chance to talk or journal about these things you might have a question from this episode. If so, make sure you head on over to The Bipolar Now Podcast Group on Facebook! There’s quite a few people over there who are also taking a new step in their mental health. And we’d love for you to share your story with us when you’re ready. So don’t miss out!