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Undiagnosed Anxiety? Sleep Apnea? Hypoatremia?

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Hello and greetings. I hope somebody can demystify this for me, since I suspect I’m suffering from mild anxiety or something else, such as simple boredom. It feels like I have writer’s block on all the time, and part of my brain constantly feels unused, “inactive” and “asleep”, as if on constant autopilot for the whole day.

Will there be any sort of brain damage if this sort of condition continues?
I could still think logically and speak coherently (1+1=2) but I face difficulty thinking in an organized, systematic sequence. Ideas almost never flow freely. For example, whenever people mention more than 1 sentence, I quickly fail to keep track of the information (thought train) unless I actively force myself to think hard. Even then, I might still lose focus of what I’m thinking about compared to when my mind is functioning normally (ideas flow freely and without hesitation & I can hold up interesting conversations).

I also looked up the Wikipedia article on alogia and appear to possess all the mentioned characteristics. I also suffered from obsessive-compulsive disorder since 8 years ago.
Could this be a result of schooling? The way I study? My irregular sleep patterns?
Thanks

Undiagnosed Anxiety? Sleep Apnea? Hypoatremia?

Answered by on -

A.

It’s never good to rely on “Dr. Google.” “Dr. Google” is a reference to people who google their symptoms and diagnose themselves with what they learn. Part of the problem is that the information is too general and it can apply to almost anyone. It’s always best to consult a professional. They have the knowledge to both diagnose the problem and to provide the appropriate treatments.

Without being able to interview you in-person and at length, my ideas about what could be wrong are speculative. You mentioned having difficulty thinking in an “organized systematic sequence” and “ideas almost never flow freely.” It’s difficult to know what precisely you meant here. A follow-up question I would have for you is when and how often does this occur? Is it only some of the time or is it after you’ve worked all day? Are you tired when it happens? Are you getting enough sleep?

Sleep greatly impacts concentration. It would be difficult for anyone to focus without much sleep.

In your example, you say that you have difficulty keeping track of the information unless you force yourself to concentrate. It’s possible that when you are conversing with someone, you are not necessarily listening to what they’re saying but rather anticipating your response. That would simply be a matter of not listening.

You seem to be struggling with concentration. One explanation could be attention deficit problems. The formal diagnosis is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or ADHD. Individuals who struggle with ADHD show a persistent pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity/impulsivity that interferes with their functioning. Some of the symptoms including: failing to pay close attention to details, having trouble holding attention on tasks, does not seem to listen when spoken to directly, trouble organizing tasks and activities, dislikes or avoids the required mental effort to focus on something long-term, and is easily distracted and forgetful.

You also mentioned anxiety. Some of your symptoms are consistent with the possibility of anxiety. Medical problems should also be examined as they can affect one’s thinking and behavior. Brain injuries, sleep disorders, seizure disorders, can also affect one’s ability to concentrate.

Alcohol or illegal substances can also cause some of the symptoms you are describing, as can certain medications.

I would highly recommend consulting both a primary care physician to rule out medical problems and also a mental health professional for a clinical assessment. Once you meet with these professionals, you will have a better sense about what might be wrong but most importantly, how to treat your symptoms. Medication and/or psychotherapy may be recommended. Good luck with your efforts. Please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle

Undiagnosed Anxiety? Sleep Apnea? Hypoatremia?

Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW is a licensed psychotherapist and Assistant Professor of Social Work and Forensics with extensive experience in the field of mental health. She works in private practice with adults, adolescents and families. Kristina has worked in a large array of settings including community mental health, college counseling and university research centers.

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2019). Undiagnosed Anxiety? Sleep Apnea? Hypoatremia?. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 17, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2019/09/01/undiagnosed-anxiety-sleep-apnea-hypoatremia/
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 24 Aug 2019 (Originally: 1 Sep 2019)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 24 Aug 2019
Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.