Brain fog and concentration

bernard

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I suffer from chronic post concussive syndrome though. It's like being permanently stressed out. Noise, sound etc, make me lose concentration very easily. I use noise cancelling now and it really helps, but the downside is that I get less tolerant of noise.
 
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I suffer from chronic post concussive syndrome though. It's like being permanently stressed out. Noise, sound etc, make me lose concentration very easily. I use noise cancelling now and it really helps, but the downside is that I get less tolerant of noise.
Doing a quick search, mTBI should be solved within a few months or a year after the injury. The last thing you should do is add drugs to stimulate the nervous system.

Using the stuff I know about psychology, some things could be going on.

First of all if you have a healthier lifestyle it will help big time, the typical stuff, eat well, do some exercise, if It's hard, go slow. Like if you eat a ton of bad stuff, cut it slowly until you get used to it, you don't have to remove junk food completely in the long term, but reduce it as much as you can. The same with the exercise. Start reeeeeeally slow, like snail slow. Because if not you will burnt out too fast, and return to your bad habits.
This will stabilize some natural levels of cortisol, stress, cholesterol and all that stuff. We tend to think that food is not that important, but It's literally what your body uses as fuel. Try to use diesel in a gasoline car, and you know the outcome.

Second, another kind of meditation will help big time removing stress. Because some kinds of stress can literally cause physical pain. Another thing is that you could literally be mentally remembering the pain, if you got scared or obsessed about it.

This is kind of a Mindfulness meditation is usefull to let go of intrusive feelings. I give you a small explanation on how to do it:

- First go to a calm relaxed place, but sit in a chair with your back straight, not in the bed or a couch.

- Close your eyes, try to breathe with your belly instead of your chest, and slowly take longer inspirations and expirations. You will breathe slower and get more relaxed.

- Now do the same as the traditional meditation. Empty your mind, if you can't, don't try to avoid the thoughts, just let those go away on their own.

- Now the important part, start trying to feel everything in your body. Sometimes we are a bit disconnected from it and we tend to mess things up and try to avoid feelings. Here we are doing the complete oposite. It's really important to let those feelings come up and let them follow their natural course. I could explain why more extensively, but it would take a way longer answer. In a brief explication with a example, if you develop a small fear about let's say crossing streets because a car almost hit you a few months ago, you may start getting scared shitless about doing it again. Most people get scared in the moment and the fear goes away on It's own, this is how is supposed to work. But if you obsess a bit about it, or try to avoid the feeling, it can became a trauma. And literally the only way of letting go of it, It's to face it.
While doing this meditation and letting those feelings come up, you might experience extreme sensations, I still have some stress related traumas that makes my entire body hurt, tense up and It's literally harder for me to breathe, keep going as long as you can, it will get better with time.
This is a mental exercise to let all of those fears that we subconsciously have, come up in a safe environment. It could be that you are afraid of the pain not going away, and you are mentally keeping it alive, (yes you can do that), think a lot about having an injury in one hand and it will hurt or at least feel weird. Or it could be any other thing, here a professional will help you a lot.

This can be really really hard and frustrating. Letting go of traumas and fears is extremely hard and sometimes can take up to months or even years. That's why It's important to have the help of a psychologist.

Third, it could be that some part of your injury didn't heal completely. I fucked up a tendon in my shoulder on the gym. It's been almost two years and I still have some discomfort, but thankfully is almost healed up. After meditating, if you don't have any mental trauma, this could be a reason, depending for how long this thing is been going, because It's supposed to heal up on a year, unless you have some other injury or something like that. In this case using psychology the only thing you can do is make that pain less annoying. Do the same meditation I explained above, and let that pain come up while controlling your breath, let it come up as hard as it has to come up, it should get better with time. I have a bit of tinnitus and I almost never notice it.
 

bernard

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That's very interesting @MrSanti.

I've already worked with some of what you're suggesting, like working on staying in feelings without acting and working with it. It is very enlightening. I really feel it has helped me and given me much more drive and confidence, because I was just able to let go of various "beliefs" I thought I had, which were really just auto-reactions from waaay back.

It would be great if I could train myself to be more focused despite mTBI/concussion, because I've had it for 5 years and it's not going away.

I will try to find the time to try what you suggest.
 
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What you guys are describing sounds extremely bad.

But to add my 2 cents, sometimes it's something really minor. There has been a period where I just couldn't concentrate for more than 5 minutes.

Once I started taking Vitamin D, this became much MUCH better. It took a few days, but all of a sudden I could focus again, and think through multiple trains of thought (kinda) at the same time.

I think it can't be understated how much time we spent indoors? I believe that might (at least partially) be correlated. I bet the pandemic ain't helping on that front.
 

bernard

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I take Vit-D daily, but unsure of exactly how high doses should be
 
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What you guys are describing sounds extremely bad.

But to add my 2 cents, sometimes it's something really minor. There has been a period where I just couldn't concentrate for more than 5 minutes.

Once I started taking Vitamin D, this became much MUCH better. It took a few days, but all of a sudden I could focus again, and think through multiple trains of thought (kinda) at the same time.

I think it can't be understated how much time we spent indoors? I believe that might (at least partially) be correlated. I bet the pandemic ain't helping on that front.
Ditto. I think, for me, it has to do with inadequate sleep, inadequate exercise, and a lack of green veggies in my diet. Sleep, exercise, and a healthy diet does wonders. No need to seek answers from mystics when your grandma could tell you that you need to eat your greens, get a good night's sleep, and go outside.
 

bernard

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I've been doing the Pomodoro method (25 min focused / 5 min break) for a while now and I find it really good if you struggle to keep focused like I do.
 

Ryuzaki

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If you guys recall, I noticed my brain fog got worse when it became overcast or rainy. I looked it up and they said the lower barometric pressure can make inflammation worse. These articles mentioned all the typical stuff like brain fog, arthritis, and joint pains that are affected by the weather.

This "inflammation" talk had me thinking. Fast forward some time and two teeth of mine became extremely cold sensitive for a couple of weeks so I finally made a dentist appointment again. The problem was that I had a back molar break a piece off, and a top back molar had a filling come out like 7 years ago and I stupidly never did anything about it.

Turns out that top one is infected.

Here's the magic. In the two weeks before I made an appointment, I noticed that those teeth too would flare up in pain when it was gearing up to rain or would rain. Inflammation!

So I start searching "toothache and rain" and whatnot. Something catches my eye in one of the articles, which was "toothache and brain fog". They said that tooth infections and any infections in the face or above the neck can easily make their way into the brain. I started getting hopeful here.

The first dentist referred me to an endodontist (general dentists don't do back molar root canals), but he did give me a prescription for 10 days worth of Amoxicillin, which is an antibiotic.

I read that you may notice improvements in 2-3 days and to make sure you do the full 10 day course. I'm at the start of day 3 and my brain fog is already so much better. I feel real, I feel like I'm embedded in reality without some invisible curtain separating me from it, etc. I'm not watching reality, I'm a part of it. The fuzzy vision, slow cognition, grogginess, all of that is lessening daily.

I'm not going to call it a victory yet. But this very well may have been what was causing my brain fog, and I can't believe it lasted all these years without me figuring it out. I thought it was bundled up with some derealization related to trauma in how I grew up and family problems that continued into adulthood.

If you have brain fog and have tried to fix your diet and exercise and all that, and nothing is working, try taking some ibuprofen (which acts on inflammation). If that helps, consider getting a dental check up and tell them you're worried about a potential infection because you're having brain fog. You may find your answer!
 

bernard

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Good to hear you fixed your brain fog @Ryuzaki.

Antibiotics can do a lot of good things, many are also anti-inflammatory.

The best cure I've found for brain fog is napping. It can be difficult to calm down enough if your body is stressed though. If I could find something to make me sleepy instantly, but which wouldn't linger, I would think I could remove brain fog almost entirely.

I've probably had the best effect with older anti-histamines. They have something in the UK called Actifed, a cold medicine, which contrary to the name is very sedating. Pop one of those and lean back and enjoy a nap.