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Vanderbilt Autonomic Dysfunction Center

Brain Fog

Brain fog is an odd thing to experience and a difficult thing to explain. When trying to explain it to friends and family, I usually say that I feel like I am watching whatever I am doing on a TV instead of actually doing it myself. I am dissociated from my surroundings. It usually happens after I have been upright for a while and is not immediately relieved by sitting or lying down. Typically, it is a nuisance—if I have been walking around the mall for a while, I will find that I can’t remember what shirt I just tried on or how much the clothes cost.

 

 

While that is annoying, my biggest problem with brain fog occurs if I have it when I need to be able to concentrate. This doesn’t happen very frequently, but when it does, it can be a big pain. To avoid this, I try to schedule “thinking activities” before “standing activities.” For example when I would take two part exams in school with a standing part and a seated part, I would request that I always take the seated part first and the standing part second so as not to have the brain fog following the standing affect the seated portion. There is not much that I have found other than napping that makes brain fog better. Because of this, if I am trying to study and having a difficult time, I usually opt for a cat-nap before I continue to work.

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