INSIDER: 8 things that could be causing your brain fog.
Although it seems like a condition on its own, brain fog is actually a symptom of a variety of other medical conditions. It’s characterized by a series of issues including trouble concentrating, forgetfulness, lack of motivation, and confusion.https://www.thisisinsider.com/brain-fog-causes-2019-4
Here are some common things that could be causing your brain fog.
Although this list can be helpful to reference, if your brain fog is severe and is making it difficult for you to go about your daily life, you may want to talk to your doctor.
Although anxiety can have an easy-to-identify cause, it can also be chronic and seemingly caused by nothing, making it more difficult to recognize.
Because there are many medical conditions that can cause brain fog, it’s best to discuss this symptom with your doctor. If your doctor attributes your brain fog, foggy head to anxiety, you can feel assured that there isn’t a medical cause.https://www.anxietycentre.com/anxiety-symptoms/brain-fog.shtml
There are a number of reasons why brain fog and foggy head symptoms occur. Here are five:
1. An active stress response suppresses the rationalization areas of the brain (the cortex) and increases the areas of the brain reactive to danger (the amygdala and others). This change in brain functioning makes us more aware of danger and increases our reaction to it. While this change is beneficial when in real danger, it can become a problem when the stress response is activated too frequently and/or dramatically, such as when being overly anxious. This change in brain functioning can come across as ‘brain fog or foggy head.’
2. High levels of stress hormones (caused from worry, stress, fear, anger, frustration, and anxiety), because they are stimulants, cause an increase in the electrical activity in the brain.Increased electrical activity in the brain causes the brain to generate an increase in thought generation and at a faster rate. This change can cause our attention to be more easily sidetracked, which can cause split attention and focus making it seem like our thoughts are foggy.
3. Persistent anxiousness and its stress response consequences can cause persistent brain function changes. As we mentioned in point one, stress hormones suppress the rationalization areas of the brain (the cortex) and increase the activity in the fear center of the brain (the amygdala). This combination reduces the ability to logically rationalize and process information while at the same time increases the awareness of danger, fear, apprehension, gloom and doom – many describe anxiety as a sense of sudden or ongoing foreboding and doom. The more anxious we are, the more persistent these changes become. Persistent anxiousness can cause persistent brain fog and foggy head.
4. Stress responses also suppress the hippocampus – the learning and memory area of the brain.As the body’s stress elevates, the suppression it causes can make it more difficult for the brain to store and retrieve information.
5. Elevated stress taxes the body’s resources harder and faster than normal, causing it to become tired more quickly. When the body becomes tired, it has a harder time functioning normally, including processing, storing, and retrieving information.
As well, studies have shown that the brain tires more quickly than the rest of the body. An exhausted brain loses its ability to think, remember, and reason sooner than the body fatigues. That’s why when we’re tired, we don’t think as well as when we’re not tired.
These are just five of the many factors associated with stress (including the stress caused by being anxious) and how it can negatively affect our concentration and short-term memory.
Another consideration is that those who experience entrenched anxiety commonly develop a habit of being internally focused (ruminating about their health, how they feel, the implications of anxiety disorder and how that might affect their future, concerns about their recovery, questions about recovery, what others will think, how their struggle may affect their loved ones, and so on).
When they become internally focused, they are easily distracted by all of their “what if” thinking. It’s also common for them to become so obsessed with trying to figure out their condition that everything else takes a back seat, including their attention and focus on the external parts of their lives.
Internally focused and “what if” thinking can become so habituated and automatic that many sufferers aren’t even aware that they are doing it.
Unfortunately when short-term memory and concentration problems occur, many become frightened and think that they may be losing their mind, think that they may be on the verge of a complete mental breakdown, or think that their brain fog is an indication of a serious mental or biological illness. These anxieties can add even more stress to an already stress-response hyperstimulated body.