I'm So Sick of Brain Fog

Last updated: October 2021

Do you know what brain fog is? Maybe you have it, you just don’t know the term. Brain fog is characterized by forgetfulness, confusion, and a general lack of mental focus. I’ve had it the whole time I’ve had AS, but at first, I didn’t know it actually had a name. I thought I was just going crazy!

Examples of brain fog

I mentioned I’ve had brain fog for a while (4 years), but it hasn’t always been as bad as it is now. It started out as forgetting what I’m saying, forgetting someone’s name, small things.

I very often will just stop a sentence halfway because I completely forgot what I was trying to say. Forgetfulness is probably the worst part of brain fog for me. Forgetting to take pills (or whether or not I took them) and what I’m doing can get very frustrating very quickly. When my symptoms first started I thought I was experiencing dementia. I felt completely lost, especially because I had such a great memory before I had AS.

As I’m typing this I’m experiencing brain fog. I’m typing words I’m not meaning to say, I’m mixing up spellings of words, I’m annoyed! I used to be a great speller, now I make mistakes constantly. I can imagine if I’d had AS and this amount of brain fog back in high school, I would have had breakdowns constantly.

Another big characteristic is a lack of focus. I can barely read an Instagram caption anymore, let alone a chapter of a book. I would love to read more, I really would! But I just can’t focus like I used to be able to. My mind wanders every which way and I lose focus constantly. Writing has even been hard for me. Between my brain fog and my fatigue, it’s almost impossible to do these days.

Because of the lack of focus, I get confused a lot as well. I can’t handle big topics as much, and when people are trying to explain something to me, it often takes me a while to get it. This makes others very frustrated with me, too.

How it affects others

Just as brain fog affects me, it affects the people around me as well. It’s frustrating I’m sure to be having a conversation with someone who often forgets what they’re saying, or mixes up words and makes no sense.

Being forgetful is frustrating too. Forgetting what people said, forgetting what I’ve said, and telling stories multiple times. I feel like people need to be patient when having conversations with me. I need extra time and compassion. It doesn’t quite help when others get mad at me for this, because trust me, I’m mad at myself.

Does anything help?

When my fatigue got worse last year, so did my brain fog. I haven’t really found anything that helps all that much, so I wanted to write about this topic not only to talk about it but to open up a conversation and see if anything helps you with brain fog. Please let me know!

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