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Hey, all.

My brain fog started in January of this year. It started off relatively small, I misspelled two words that I rarely ever misspell at all:

  • I spelled "professor" with two F's.
  • I spelled "psychology" without an H.

It triggered some anxiety in me and I started worrying that I had multi-sclerosis. I had some muscle pains that day so it fit perfectly into the thought of this disease, but I realized that it probably wasn't the case. A couple months went by without much issue, but then I started having hiccups at university. I misspelled "memory" into "memeroy" and it all went cascading down into severe anxiety and hypochondria. I was very fearful that I had a brain tumor or neurological degeneration. To boot, I had a couple other symptoms as well:

  • Reading was very difficult. I would frequently read the top and bottom sentence together and misplace myself in the book.
  • Short-term memory was shot. Remembering sequences of numbers, words, or phrases even fifteen seconds after hearing them was difficult.
  • Losing my train of thought very frequently, conversations would be a pain in the ass if I didn't diligently follow myself.
  • My vocabulary shortened. It was difficult to remember synonyms for words that I would consistently interchange.
  • Writing sucked because my thoughts never felt fluent on the paper when re-reading.

Anyway, I went to the neurologist and he immediately set me up on an EEG: this came back abnormal. I panicked, but went through with the MRI that was given afterwards: this came back normal.

Here I am today. Both psychologists that I go to will tell me consistently that this is just anxiety, but I fear that I still have a brain tumor every waking moment of my life. I still have a lot of the problems with brain fog today that I did back then, which is rather disconcerting. I'm not sure if my anxiety has lingered so much that I have some form of hormone imbalance causing me to have this brain fog. It's become incredibly difficult to deal with the thoughts of having a brain tumor and dying.

Anyone else deal with brain fog? I don't have much depersonalization anymore, so it isn't co-morbid with that. I feel like a massive idiot all the time because of my brain fog and I'm not sure what I can do to curb it. I'm curious about medication, but I'm afraid that it'll just make everything worse. What do you all think? I can't deal with this anymore. :(

(Addendum: how the hell can an EEG come back abnormal, but an MRI come back just fine? The abnormal EEG is what really frightens me!)
 

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My brain fog is really bad too, and has been for two years straight now. I comfort myself by knowing that if it was anything super serious (like dementia) I'd be running around naked in the street by now. So as hard as this is, you'll be okay.

Your EEG likely showed some unusual brain waves/activity, which can be related to thought processes and chemical imbalances, but it doesn't mean there's anything actually wrong with your brain per se. In fact, the MRI, which is geared towards locating structural abnormalities, ruled that out. That means there's no damage, no lesions, no plaque, and no decrease of brain matter. There is certainly no tumor either, you can rest assured that an MRI would've picked that up. So even though none of this feels right, the parts of your brain that really matter are all still there and there's no evidence to suggest that will change. You're just not firing on all cylinders. But do know that the brain can handle it, and can bounce back. I am convinced that a complete reversal of brain fog is possible, just difficult to achieve in practice. My own research has turned up a few things, like Dr. Dow's Brain Fog Fix, but I'm reluctant to spend money I don't have on more experimentation at the moment. That's not to say you can't give stuff like that a shot though. I think I would go the natural route first, and then ask your psych as to whether there's a medication that can help with it should that not yield any results.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
My brain fog is really bad too, and has been for two years straight now. I comfort myself by knowing that if it was anything super serious (like dementia) I'd be running around naked in the street by now. So as hard as this is, you'll be okay.

Your EEG likely showed some unusual brain waves/activity, which can be related to thought processes and chemical imbalances, but it doesn't mean there's anything actually wrong with your brain per se. In fact, the MRI, which is geared towards locating structural abnormalities, ruled that out. That means there's no damage, no lesions, no plaque, and no decrease of brain matter. There is certainly no tumor either, you can rest assured that an MRI would've picked that up. So even though none of this feels right, the parts of your brain that really matter are all still there and there's no evidence to suggest that will change. You're just not firing on all cylinders. But do know that the brain can handle it, and can bounce back. I am convinced that a complete reversal of brain fog is possible, just difficult to achieve in practice. My own research has turned up a few things, like Dr. Dow's Brain Fog Fix, but I'm reluctant to spend money I don't have on more experimentation at the moment. That's not to say you can't give stuff like that a shot though. I think I would go the natural route first, and then ask your psych as to whether there's a medication that can help with it should that not yield any results.
Thanks for the reply, this really comforted me.

I'm currently in the process of fixing my diet and getting my life back on track nutritionally. Other than that, I was considering medication for my clinical depression and anxiety, which may also perpetuate my brain fog consistently. In any case, I'll see what happens naturally before I jump to things like Dr. Dow's Brain Fog Fix. While I don't doubt it has good information, I'm always skeptical of paying for one-stop shop kind of deals. It reminds me of those depersonalization sites that say they'll cure your unreality for $70.

Anyway, I appreciate the reply. This brain fog has damn-near killed me lately, so it's nice to hear some good news. :)
 

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It can get really bad at times - I remember looking in the pantry for my shoes one time. And just not recalling where I put things, what I did earlier in the day, etc. I started noticing the same things you did with regards to writing. Specifically, I would write things like text messages and forget to put spaces between the words, and I would even leave off a letter of my name on forms, for instance. It can be pretty panic-inducing if you've never experienced it before, it certainly was for me.

They say people are more afraid of Alzheimer's than they are of cancer these days, so it's easy to see why Alzheimer-like symptoms generate so much anxiety in people. Having said that, your symptoms are my own, word for word - and I have been cleared of any type of degenerative brain disease. I will also say my anxiety seems to go hand in hand with brain fog - the fog is always there, but it waxes and wanes, and is definitely worse whenever I'm feeling panicky. So your psychologist probably isn't wrong in that regard. It's just that it's likely not the whole story.

Either way, I'm glad you are comforted. I'd be willing to bet the reasons I gave in my earlier post are the reasons why your docs probably aren't concerned from a medical standpoint. They can seem pretty callous as far as non-threatening conditions that still greatly impact your quality of life though. Granted that's sort of beyond the scope of what they do, but it's still hard to find support for these types of things.

I'm skeptical of brain fog cures too. I wasn't advocating the book per se, I just feel like I should try certain things at some point, and keep chipping away until something improves. I guess I don't have the belief that this will just lift of its own accord someday - I feel like I'll have to do something to make it happen. But chances are I'll waste a lot of time and money before that pans out.
 

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It can get really bad at times - I remember looking in the pantry for my shoes one time. And just not recalling where I put things, what I did earlier in the day, etc. I started noticing the same things you did with regards to writing. Specifically, I would write things like text messages and forget to put spaces between the words, and I would even leave off a letter of my name on forms, for instance. It can be pretty panic-inducing if you've never experienced it before, it certainly was for me.

They say people are more afraid of Alzheimer's than they are of cancer these days, so it's easy to see why Alzheimer-like symptoms generate so much anxiety in people. Having said that, your symptoms are my own, word for word - and I have been cleared of any type of degenerative brain disease. I will also say my anxiety seems to go hand in hand with brain fog - the fog is always there, but it waxes and wanes, and is definitely worse whenever I'm feeling panicky. So your psychologist probably isn't wrong in that regard. It's just that it's likely not the whole story.
Yeah, I've done some really asinine stuff before. Perhaps not to the extent of shoe-looking in odd places, but I've definitely had incredibly weird trains of thought!

Something that also comforts me is that my symptoms have been so sporadic. One in particular was my eyesight. Sparks in my vision as well as dots, freckles, and floaters every waking moment of my life. I was so anxious and my eyesight only continued to worsen. Went to the retina specialist and he said that my eyes were damn-near perfect. After that, I was no longer anxious about my eyes and (funnily enough), I no longer have the symptoms to this day. So, I definitely understand the correlation between the symptoms and anxiety. I can feel a noticeable difference in cognitive ability when I'm happy and when I'm freaking out.

I'm skeptical of brain fog cures too. I wasn't advocating the book per se, I just feel like I should try certain things at some point, and keep chipping away until something improves. I guess I don't have the belief that this will just lift of its own accord someday - I feel like I'll have to do something to make it happen. But chances are I'll waste a lot of time and money before that pans out.
You're definitely right.

At some point, you have to try everything, haha. Who knows! Maybe the book is actually a pretty good read.
 

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Does anyone feel like intricate and intelligent conversations go right over your head?

Not that I considered myself really all that smart, but I could at least keep up with other people when it came to in-depth discussions. Sometimes reading things on the internet can be difficult for my. For instance, I was recently having a debate about vaccines and was sent a link to explore. The sentence that I had to read at least ten times over is as follows:

"Systemic autoimmunity appears to be the inevitable consequence of over-stimulating the host's immune 'system' by repeated immunization with antigen, to the levels that surpass system's self-organized criticality."
Upon first glance, this was all gibberish.

I had to read this over - slowly - to get the entire picture. I had to piece this together step-by-step instead of reading it straight through like I had done before my intense brain fog. I know that my MRI had come back normal, but I sometimes fear that I am in the beginning stages of something serious. As if soon, I won't be able to understand a simple sentence. Hell, it takes me awhile to write things nowadays anyway because it sometimes comes out as a jumbled mess. Does anyone else experience this? Am I just anxious over this and perpetuating the symptoms, or should I get another MRI?

This is so frustrating.. I hate this and I hate this sludge that coats my mind.

Edit: Now that I've relaxed and come back to the link to read, everything appears to comprehend easier. Maybe it is just my anxiety.. I don't know.
 

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YES. So relatable. My cognitive functions are shot. I, too, rarely misspell words, but the other day I spelled "major" as "majar." ???? And this was on the chalkboard in front of all my students. In addition, I wrote "Miss [insert my last name here]" instead of "Ms. [insert my last name here]." I never write out "Miss." Brain fog has taken teaching from me, just like it's taken so much else.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
YES. So relatable. My cognitive functions are shot. I, too, rarely misspell words, but the other day I spelled "major" as "majar." ???? And this was on the chalkboard in front of all my students. In addition, I wrote "Miss [insert my last name here" instead of "Ms. [insert my last name here." I never write out "Miss." Brain fog has taken teaching from me, just like it's taken so much else.
Thank you for posting! It sucks that you have brain fog, but I'm glad that I'm not alone.

I've been typing things phonetically for quite some time now. Things like "know" turn into "no" very frequently.

It's absolute hell. :(
 

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What was the EEG reading? I had an EEG done back in 2012 that showed something slightly abnormal, but which could also be called a “normal variant”. Thats what they stuck with. My MRI came back normal as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
What was the EEG reading? I had an EEG done back in 2012 that showed something slightly abnormal, but which could also be called a "normal variant". Thats what they stuck with. My MRI came back normal as well.
My EEG came back abnormal, but my MRI came back normal. They said I had nothing to worry about, but they never clarified about my EEG.
 

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my EEG is not normal as well, how many channels you used? mine was 44. I need clarification, but doctors in my country are awfull professionals on EEG test clarification and proper treatment, maybe someone could help me here, just to clarify my dp is over, i just got visual snow problems.
 

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I know exactly how you feel! Please do message me if you're having any type of problems with anxiety and brain tumours, because I truly know how you feel, and even though I can't cure your anxiety, I can give you advice and support.
 
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