You’re feeling like it’s getting harder and harder to remember things. Maybe you have no idea where you put your keys, or if you already told your friend about a movie you watched.
As strange as memory loss sounds to people unfamiliar with brain fog, this is actually quite common among narcissist abuse victims.*
In fact, if you’ve ever experienced the ongoing abuse of a malignant narcissist in a toxic relationship, you’ve probably also experienced brain fog.
If you’re currently struggling with brain fog or any other symptom of C-PTSD, chances are that it’s at least in part due to the trauma the narcissistic abuser has caused you, and its symptoms are proof that you’re suffering from it.
What is “brain fog?”
Brain Fog is the feeling of dissociation or disconnectedness often experienced by victims of malignant narcissists during and after narcissistic abuse. Survivors describe it as feeling lost – like you’re not really there, or like you’re watching your life through a screen or a bubble.
The term is commonly used to describe short-term memory loss, forgetfulness, difficulty concentrating, confusion and difficulty thinking. Brain fog is a common symptom of C-PTSD, or complex post-traumatic stress disorder.
In other words, brain fog is exactly what it sounds like. A fog that clouds your thoughts, memory, comprehension, and judgment. See this video for more.
What happens to you when you have brain fog?
Brain fog can affect your sleep, professional life, and personal relationships, and lead to other health problems such as obesity. When you lack mental clarity, you make poor decisions and may take inappropriate actions.
If you suffer from brain fog, you are not alone. Brain fog affects roughly one out of every nine Americas during their lifetime. Some people also call brain fog mental fatigue.
How do you know if you’re dealing with brain fog?
If you aren’t sure whether you’ve felt brain fog, stick with me – it is a little confusing. For many people, it feels like you’re sort of “cloudy,” or like you’re not really participating in life.
You might feel like you’re sort of inside a bubble, or like there’s a thin barrier between you and everyone else.
Learning the symptoms of brain fog can also help you to understand if and when you’re having episodes.
What are the symptoms of brain fog?
Check out the symptoms of brain fog below. Keep in mind the symptoms will vary from person to person but usually includes one or more of the following symptoms.
- Body aches
- Emotional detachment
- Inability to focus
- Mood swings
- Lack of mental clarity
- Low energy
- Low motivation
- Poor concentration
Why do we experience brain fog in narcissistic abuse?
Before I get emails and texts from people telling me that brain fog is only about narcissistic abuse, I’ll remind you that I’m well aware that it can also manifest for countess other reasons. Learn more about brain fog in this video,
Common Causes of Brain Fog and What You Can Do to Alleviate Them
Brain fog can be part of many issues, conditions, and illnesses. Here are four of the common causes of brain fog and what you can do about them. Please note that each of these issues can be affected by or even caused by the effects of long-term and/or ongoing narcissistic abuse.
Inflammation and Hormone Imbalances
Poor diet and exercise routines can lead to poor nutrition and vitamin levels that cause inflammation. Inflammation is by far the number one culprit of many diseases and symptoms. It restricts oxygen and blood flow needed for your brain to function at its best.
Consult with your physician and request a complete blood count if you suffer from brain fog. In addition, low blood levels of vitamins such as D, B12, and iron can easily cause inflammation, lack of mental clarity, and difficulty focusing.
Stress and Anxiety
Oxidative stress or free radicals caused by environmental stressors such as pollution and heavy metals damage your cells and tissues.
These free radicals are responsible for many symptoms of stress and anxiety seen around the world.
Vitamin E, flavonoids, and polyphenols are great resources to use to combat these free radicals. Chili peppers, whole grains, red wine, and fruits and vegetables are a few examples.
Poor Sleeping Habits
If you aren’t sleeping soundly and wake up feeling tired, you may have one or more sleep habits that are inhibiting a good night’s rest. For instance, you may be a night owl, suffer from sleep apnea or insomnia, have a sleep pattern that varies, or have a poor sleep environment.
All of these can contribute to brain fog.
As an adult between 17 to 64 years old, your body needs seven to nine hours of sleep each night to give your body time to repair itself on a cellular level.
Sleep deprivation can cause mood swings, depression, and even permanent brain damage in advanced cases, due to constant overstimulation.
Electromagnetic Radiation and Overstimulation
Smartphones, personal computers, or any technology that requires radio waves, microwaves, infrared, optical, ultraviolet, x-rays, or gamma rays will cause problems when overused.
In other words, scrolling on social media or spending too much time in front of the television can cause strain on your eyes and affect your sleep patterns, ultimately leading to brain fog. Therefore, limiting time spent on or with technology is crucial.
Don’t let brain fog get in the way of living a successful, happy life. Many of the causes of brain fog can leave you with lifelong or permanent damage. Try these solutions with the consent of your own doctor.
Be sure to seek the help of a physician or other medical professional to find the underlying cause of brain fog if you have it.
*Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional. Nothing in this article or on this website should be taken as medical advice. Always check with your own doctor or medical professional before attempting to use any advice found here or anywhere on the internet.
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- Get private, one-on-one narcissistic abuse recovery coaching or counseling.
- Get a therapist who will work with you online. Check out our guide to finding a therapist or psychologist who understands narcissism and narcissistic abuse.