Common Causes of Brain Fog in Narcissistic Abuse Recovery (and How to Improve Them)

Common Causes of Brain Fog in Narcissistic Abuse Recovery (and How to Improve Them)

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.

  •  Anxiety
  • Body aches
  • Confusion
  • Depression
  •  Emotional detachment
  •  Forgetfulness
  •  Headaches
  •  Inability to focus
  •  Insomnia
  •  Irritability
  •  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.

Takeaway

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. 

Start Getting Help with Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Today

Gaslighting and Revenge in Narcissistic Abuse

Gaslighting and Revenge in Narcissistic Abuse

You’ve probably wondered what a narcissist thinks about – and, if you’re anything like me, who told them they could TREAT PEOPLE THIS WAY! You might wonder if it hurts their feelings when someone corrects them or “bests” them.

(Do they even really have feelings?)

Or, what your ex was thinking when they started dating you? The fact is that narcissists are relentless liars. And they have no shame.

They will take extreme measures to tell you exactly what they want you to hear without any regard for the truth. Their main concern is only getting their desperate need for narcissistic supply met.

What is Narcissistic Abuse?

Narcissistic abuse is a way of relating to others involving the exploitation, blatant manipulation, and control of others in order to meet the abuser’s own needs. It can exist in a relationship between any two people, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, or type of relationship.

Narcissistic abusers are often difficult to spot and even harder to leave. Whether or not they have been diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder isn’t as important as whether or not they have narcissistic traits and behaviors.

For example, a narcissistic abuser can be charming, charismatic, and fun at times – and they can turn on a dime and become your worst nightmare. However, thanks to their powerful ability to project, deflect and play the victim, narcissists are rarely confronted about their behavior.

Of course, this is possibly due to the fact that they frequently surround themselves with enablers (AKA flying monkeys) who don’t want to believe that anything is wrong. 

The effects of narcissistic abuse can last for years after the relationship has ended and may lead the survivor to develop complex post-traumatic stress disorder (C-PTSD). C-PTSD from narcissistic abuse differs from PTSD caused by experiences such as car accidents or military combat in that it involves re-living or re-experiencing rather than avoidance or numbing of memories. 

Are You Being Gaslighted?

Gaslighting is a manipulative tactic narcissists use to control someone and make them feel crazy. It doesn’t matter how great a relationship you have with your partner or spouse; as long as there’s abuse and manipulation, your relationship isn’t healthy.

Gaslighting occurs when someone tells you that what you’re experiencing isn’t authentic or not genuine, in other words causing the victim to question their feelings, instincts, and sanity.

Does this mean that you’re in an emotionally abusive relationship? Not necessarily. You could have a great relationship, but both you and your partner could have issues like low self-esteem or depression that make emotional abuse more likely (and more difficult to spot). Read more in Toxic Narcissism in Relationships: Top 10 Warning Signs You’re Being Gaslighted

Are you worried you’re being gaslighted? Take the Gaslighting Self-Assessment right here and find out for sure. You’ll be directed to resources that will help you in your current situation.

Can’t Go No Contact?

First and foremost, you need to know that nothing you do will force the narcissist to change. They will only change if it benefits them.

You must understand that this person does not have the same morals, emotions, or feelings as ordinary people. These people cannot be around a good and decent person or have friends who care about them.

They are only after one thing in life, and that is control. They can never be satisfied with what they have accomplished because there will always be someone out there that they think has more than whatever they have at the moment.

One way or another, they will get it from you even if you give it to them willingly. Unless that is, you know these 10 Easy Steps to Torture a Narcissist Into Submission.

Do You Want Revenge on the Narcissist?

Listen, if you were ever to feel like you want revenge on the narcissist in your life, trust me when I tell you that you are FAR from alone. But is it worth the trouble?

The truth is that whether or not you’re a narcissist’s target, interacting with them can be exhausting (to put it mildly). That’s why it’s essential to keep the upper hand and ensure that they are the ones chasing you – not the other way around.

It doesn’t even have to be anything drastic – act interested in their lives, but not to the extent that they think they can manipulate you.

Narcissists may have many problems, but remembering how to handle them (and how NOT to manage them) can be extremely rewarding—for both parties involved. Read more in How to Play the Narcissist’s Game (And Beat Them At It).

Toxic relationships have a huge effect on survivors’ lives. They affect every aspect of the survivor’s life and can destroy the survivor’s self-esteem, sense of self-worth, confidence, and trust in their own judgment – as well as their ability to relate to other people.

Trust Your Gut

Trust your instincts, always. When it comes to the narcissist, you, unfortunately, need to be on guard at all times. If you have a gut feeling that something is wrong, it probably is.

Take action: confront the narcissist (if safe to do so), call the authorities, alert family members, tell other people about what’s going on – do whatever it takes to get out.

The quicker you can get away from the narcissist, the more easily you can recover from their atrocious abuse. Learn everything you need to know about going no contact at our No Contact Support Center and visit our PLAN (Planning to Leave a Narcissist) Resource Center here.

Want to better understand why narcissists are what they are and what you can expect from them? Learn more about the narcissist’s cycle of abuse.

Start Getting Help with Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Today

Online help is readily available for survivors of narcissistic abuse. Here are some options to begin healing from narcissistic abuse right away.

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