What Is Causing Brain Fog?

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Like 4 years ago i was a very intelligent woman. my vocabulary was on point, was widely knowledgeable on most topics. I was very confident, i could have readily given an impromptu speech to a whole nation. TODAY???? I am this dumb 30year old who can’t hold an interesting conversation with intellectuals. In fact i mostly feel intimidated in their midst. I am more at ease with people who have little or no education. I have lost most of my confidence too. I have been trying to reverse the process, by reading widely. Unfortunately, it seems there is a fog surrounding my brain. However less or much i concentrate, my brain can’t grasp and interpret a concept. Not even reading the newspaper interests me. Until one year ago, i went through a tough psychological period, (which happened in the previous 3 years). i got stressed, maybe depressed, consequently indulged in excessive alcohol consumption, heavy smoking(cigarettes), and some marijuana. I also locked out people and lived on my own watching tv, all day everyday in my bed…not unless i was out overindulging. Could these activities have killed my brain cells? Permanently? I am no longer stressed though

A: Please get yourself to a physician and have a thorough medical evaluation. I suppose excessive alcohol and marijuana use could damage some brain cells but I’ve seen people with far more serious and longer-standing addictions recover completely. I’m concerned there may be an undiagnosed medical issue that is affecting you.

If your doctor says you are medically okay, then seek out a mental health professional. You may still be more depressed than you realize. All things are relative. You may be feeling much better than you did a year ago but you may still be depressed. In that case, the treatment of choice would be a combination of medication and talk therapy to help you regain your prior health and abilities.

Please follow through. I’m sorry you went through such a hard time. I’m glad things feel much better. But there may be physical and psychological reverberations from that period that still need to be dealt with.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 2 Jan 2012

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2011). What Is Causing Brain Fog?. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 29, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2012/01/02/what-is-causing-brain-fog/

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