Memory issues/Brain Fog: Evening ladies... - Action on Postpar...

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Memory issues/Brain Fog

KeiraMarie profile image

Evening ladies (& gentlemen)

Just a quick one really as I would like to know if any of you have felt or noticed this too…

Memory! Are any of you suffering with memory issues/brain fog!?

I know it’s common with servere anxiety/trauma & depression & also health related issues (I also have hypothyroidism) an underactive thyroid) & I’ve been on medication now for the last 3 years)

I wouldn’t say it’s constant & affecting my every day life but some weeks I find I’m much more ‘switched on’ than others..

more so it occurs during that time of the month.. as also that’s when my anxiety peaks..

I’ve done the old classic trick of resorting to good ol Dr Google & if I’m honest I’ve scared myself senseless as it’s giving me links to dementia & Alzheimer’s support forums!

I surely can’t possibly be suffering early age onset of dementia/Alzheimer’s!? I’m only 31!

Again I’m aware this is my anxiety probably speaking but I just wanted some positive reassurance please xx

7 Replies
EmiMum profile image
EmiMumVolunteer

Hi KeiraMarie,

How are you today? I am sorry to hear that you are having memory issues at the moment compounded with anxiety. And certainly sometimes googling is not the best as it just sometimes amplifies our fears rather than give us some impartial information.

I had pp in 2018 and was on antipsychotics for a year and a couple of months or so. I was also on antidepressants for a little while longer and eventually weaned off them as well. Certainly while I was still taking medication, I suffered from concentration and memory related problems, and the day to day of juggling family and work was certainly putting more things in my mind. With depression it is really common to suffer from concentration problems, when I had depression after pp and in 2 previous episodes in my life I would be completely scatter head, misplacing keys or bank cards, double book meetings, etc, which is not something I would normally do.

Last year I also noticed that my periods came with more intense mood swings than in previous years and it could be quite debilitating for a few days. Since getting pregnant I don't experience this anymore which is a further indication that it was related to hormones in my case. Perhaps it may be an idea to consult with your GP about this, specially since you are taking medication for your under active thyroid as well. I saw in another post that you are a year on from your pp episode and I am wondering if you are still under a community mental health team. If that is the case it may be good to make an appointment with them and talk about the effects you are experiencing.

I am so sorry that you are feeling like this at the moment, it must be quite exhausting. When I was suffering from memory issues I remember writing pretty much everything down, list of things that I needed to do in the day, important information and using reminders and alarms for appointments. That helped me feel more in control of the situation, and that I could still cope well.

All the best Keira Marie, take good care and go easy on yourself, it is a huge trauma that you have been through, let your mind and body recover slowly.

KeiraMarie profile image
KeiraMarie in reply to EmiMum

Hey, Thankyou so much for taking the time to reply to me, I do believe it is all stress/trauma related as I’ve just come on here now to check this post & to see if I had any replies so I clearly remembered 😂I think been a busy hands on mum 24/7 to my two children too is a factor as at the end of every day I’m absolutely shattered & in bed for 10pm & again up from 7am!

I will of course arrange an appointment to speak to my GP about how I’m feeling & hopefully she can shed some light on this for me & also may run some blood tests to check my thyroid levels & iron levels & maybe a full blood count to see if anything is underlying..

As for my antidepressants I haven’t been on them properly now since last December (2020) as I did the old classic trick of taking myself off them completely due to feeling better than I have done in years & felt I didn’t need to rely on medication anymore..

Fast forward to how & maybe how I’m feeling is a side effect of not been on any of my prescribed medication?

Possibly that’s the case

Xxx

EmiMum profile image
EmiMumVolunteer in reply to KeiraMarie

I am familiar with that too, I dropped my sertraline from a dose of 100 mg to nothing at some point, because I was feeling great. I had side effects from the withdrawal, but more of the physical kind first, heavy headed a bit nauseous, it is a bit difficult to describe but it was a very physical sensation. Anyway I ploughed and the side effects were gone after a month or so. However, 4 months down the line when the first wave struck and we went into lockdown I stopped sleeping and had to go back to the anti depressants, at a very small dose this time only 25 mg, but even such a small dose made a difference to me.Hope your GP is able to provide some guidance and that things start looking up, the sun is shining again in my neck of the woods, I hope that you are also getting a bit of summerish weather.

Take care

HelenMW profile image
HelenMWVolunteer

Hello Keira Marie

I just wanted to share some of my thoughts with you regarding memory loss and brain fog. I think looking at Google sometimes does tend to put fear into our hearts.

I am 62 and my episode of PP was in 1988. My memories of PP are crystal clear even now! After my recovery I was on Lithium and Amytripteline for a year and found I was not quite with it sometimes. Once I was off these two drugs I began to pick up again and feel like myself again.

Just last year I was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism and am on medication. I did dip into hypothyroidism with too much medication but I am hoping to reduce my meds at the next consultation. My main concern with this condition was the mood swing and feelings of anxiety and sadness. My consultant was extremely helpful and suggested some CBT which I managed to access via Italk. I have found this to be a great help.

Our hormones are so finely balanced and I think when they are out of balance ie in PP/pregnancy, PMS and Thyroid issues then several of our bodily functions can seem to be impaired.

What I have been learning of late is that my memory and brain fog are very much better when I have had a good 8 hours sleep. I do wear a Fitbit and I do track my sleep. When I have deep sleep I feel much better the next day, and much more refreshed. The deep sleep for me seems to occur before midnight so if I am feeling tired, exhausted and all those things, I do have what I call really early nights! My Gran and my Mum always used to say "its the hours before 12 that count" and I am beginning to think there is something in this! I find caffeine seems to play its part too and so now I don't have a coffee later than lunch time. I try to have a regular routine which includes a bath before bed. Of late I don't watch the news at bed time as I feel there is a lot of worry being shared, Covid stats, and even some scare mongering.

Also I find sometimes when there is just a little bit too much going on in my day I can feel a bit of overwhelm. My girls might say "I told you this and that", and I have forgotten. But its never anything major and I always can remember key things like blood tests, consultant check ups, collecting my grandson and such so I don't tend to worry. I find if I cant quite remember what I ate two days ago, I realise it really doesn't matter anyhow! I am trying to be disciplined with where I put my car keys so I don't have to keep looking for them!!

If I cant recall at name, an actor or a singer or whatever I just move on and once my mind relaxes I can remember. I think the moment we cant do instant recall we have this little niggle in the back of our mind but the brain is marvellous and sometimes just takes a little longer to retrieve things. I wonder sometimes if the brain just filters out some of the constant input for our benefit!!

I make lists when I need to and I tick things off when I have achieved them.

I find singing very helpful and I also like cross words and games like Words with Friends. If an old song comes on the radio and I realise I know ALL the lyrics I feel uplifted!

I am interested in Mindfulness and just generally taking a moment to stop and watch the birds in the garden!

I always used to have far too many things going on in my days and now I have cut down and just do what I feel is for me at the current time. I was always one for taking on too much. I know at 62, and not having to work, then some of these things are very easy to do.

I see this is a long post but do come back to me if you want any clarification. We are all on this journey together!!

I hope any, or some of this is helpful for you. Kind regards, Helen x

Rachel_at_APP profile image
Rachel_at_APPAdministrator

Hi KeiraMarie,

Hope you’re having a better day, since your post. I can completely relate to the brain fog you describe. I had PP in 2016, and whilst the psychosis itself was horrific, the anxiety, depression and debilitating “fog” was also extremely hard to handle some days. I’m sure others can relate too.

EmiMum, has written a very insightful reply which I can also relate to. For me, I would just have to take each day as it came in my recovery. As you’re experiencing, I found some days better than others – I’m not sure why that was. I just had to pace myself each day, write things down in a notebook, even little things like reminders to empty the bathroom bins – which would be a single task I could achieve that day.

I think you’re right, going through such a trauma does take its toll and being on medication too can certainly have side effects for some such as a foggy head.

I think we’ve all googled things before and then wish we hadn’t, I know I have! I am much much more cautious now with Dr Google. I wonder if, as EmiMum suggested, a trip to the GP might be helpful and would also give you some support and reassurance.

Take care and sending my best wishes to you,

Rachel x

Hey Ladies thanks so much for taking the time to comment & provide me with much reassurance & support I do very much appreciate it honestly. Over the last day or two I’ve been feeling much better memory wise & haven’t picked up on any little niggling issues to make me question how my memory is.. I’ve noticed a pattern & for me my anxiety always seems to spike just before my monthly period & during.. then towards the back end & weeks that follow I’m much more balanced so I believe it’s definitely a hormone factor & plus I do suffer with GED (generalised anxiety disorder) & have done since I was 14..

I agree with you ladies my memory during the weeks I was unwell I remember as if it was only yesterday not 16months ago.. which is crazy to know despite how unwell I was my memory still very much remembers everything in great detail.. so again I’m more leaning towards this been down to trauma & recovery plus bouts of anxiety & depression.

I’m looking in to finding a nice local private therapist for the short term just to get the ball rolling & for me to begin working on all I’ve been through as I believe CBT & talking/processing through all I’ve gone through will be much more better for me mentally physically & emotionally.

How are we all tonight? Hope everyone is well xx

Pikorua profile image
PikoruaVolunteer

Good Morning KeiraMarie,

I have read this thread with interest and nearly burned my toast, it was still "eatable" though :-) - cause the topic is about forgetfulness right?!

Sometimes I believe that life is kind of a juggle with all what is happening around us externally and then there can be the emotional turmoil deep inside, too, whether it is consciously and/or subconsciously. Managing and prioritising is important. One of the reasons why I have not been on this forum for a while as in my life chapter, self care and big and little man always "stands in the foreground of my picture", thus number one priority!

Since PPP I have been suffering with anxiety issues and it has been always rather debilitating. Only years later did I find out that it was part of a chronical illness, being diagnosed with BP1. We are all part of an orchestra, but very unique instruments, meaning we all suffered with our mental health, but our melodies all play different tunes. We are unique and so are our needs!!! Unfortunately in my case when going through this PPP trauma my dignity and needs were not respected, thus anxiety was magnified via PTS.

All I can say mindfulness and meditation, Yoga and Reiki and gardening are my ongoing healing tools and those individuals who are on a same wave lengths. My tidal waves are always hitting the rock, but I just stand still in the sand and nothing can blow me away anymore. You will find your path of recovery and just tune into your needs and what is important to you for self-healing.

Medication helped me to survive PPP, but I am pleased that I found different coping strategies in using natural remedies and alternative therapies.

Take good care and thank you for sharing. x

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