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How long does Brain Fog last???


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I'm about six weeks in from a CT withdrawal.  I'm feeling pretty good physically, but my mental capacity isn't what it should be.  I have periods of Brain Fog every day.  Some days I feel mentally slower than I should, and other days my short term memory is a little sketchy.  Is this normal at the six week mark? How long do these kinds of symptoms last?

 

I have noticed that the Brain Fog has lifted somewhat as it used to be with me constantly, but it seems that my symptoms have changed in the past few weeks.  The brain fog is less troublesome, but the short term memory problem is becoming very troublesome (basically because I keep freaking out about it, and that I feel like I'll never be normal again)

 

Any light to look forward to at the end of the tunnel? Or do you think that my impaired mental capacity is permanent?

 

Thanks,

Nicole

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For me the fog started to lift a bit after about 3 months, but at 4 months it has returned.

 

It's a little different this time. I don't have as much of a problem putting sentences together or solving problems. This time I am getting confused when I am driving. I will be sitting at an intersection that I have passed through hundreds of times, and have to take a few seconds to figure out where I am at. Some things just don't seem familiar to me anymore.

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[65...]
did you have any trouble with short term memory?  Also, there are days when I feel like I just can't continue.  I sometimes feel like I'm not smart enough to do the simplest tasks.  It seems to get worst when I'm at work.  I am a librarian, and I sometimes start to freak out when someone asks me a question.  It's like I can't figure out the right words to use to answer them, or I forget what I was going to say to them.  Its so scary.  How can I live like this!
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It's a common symptom and it's not permanent, but it will take a while to get better, everyone is different re recovering and healing, in general I have seen the opinion that 6 months is roughly the time frame, but as I said everyone is different, some feeling better in weeks others having their symptoms last a year or longer, but it's not permanent

 

what did you cold turkey off, how long where you on it, what dosages etc, some back ground would help for us to be potentially be more specific

 

have you read the Ashton manual re withdrawal symptoms, if not use the search engine here in the top right and you will find links to it in this forum

 

check it out, I found it reassuring in a lot of respects

 

hang in there

 

LK

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[65...]

To answer your question will take a bit of time, so please bear with. 

 

Around six years ago, I had trouble sleeping.  I found a psych, and she prescribed ambien and Xanax )(can't remember the dose).  I was off and on with the Xan for a while, but after a time it stopped working.  She then (over the next few years) switched me cold turkey to Klonipin, then to Valium.  It was January 2010 when things really started to take a nasty turn.  I was up to 30 or 40 mgs of Valuim a night to sleep.  I would switch between this and ambien every night.  The doc then switched me to Ativan in Feb of 2010.  I took 3-4mgs at a time to sleep at first, then the dosage was increased over the next eight months.  By October of 2010 I was on 6-8mgs of Ativan at ONCE to sleep.  I approached the doc about possibly getting off the meds at this time as I was starting to feel so anxious all of the time that I could hardly function.  She immediately stopped the ativan (no taper or anything) and just gave me 20-30mgs of ambien to work with.  I took this for about a month.  I was pretty messed up as you can imagine.  I had the beginnings of brain fog right around this time.  I told the doc the ambien was making me loopy (not realizing the possibility of benzo w/d brain fog) so she switched me to Restoril 60mg in November of 2010.  This didn't do much to help me sleep, but I took it just for peace of mind.  The brain fog went away for a time while i was on the Restoril.  The day after Xmas I got fed up with myself and threw all of my pills in the toilet.  This was my first CT.  I went without a single pill until 1/17/11.  At this time the anxiety was so bad that I begged the doc for more restoril.  She gave me a 30 day supply.  She also gave me Lunesta 2mg, but told me to take two of them (4mg)  I took my last restoril on 2/28/11 and my last Lunesta on 3/24/11. 

 

My history with these poisons is long and complex.  It is also frightening.  It is a wonder that I am still alive at all.

 

So now that you have my history, do you think that what I am experiencing is somewhat to be expected?  Thanks!

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yeah a complicated history but not unheard of in these forums and yes I think what you are experiencing is a normal reaction and to be expected

 

here is the link (address) to the Ashton manual, read thru it and it should answer a lot of your questions, there is also a 2011 update that you can find on the net

 

http://www.benzo.org.uk/manual/

 

just hang in there, try not to make it worse by stressing over it or dwelling on it too much, realize this is normal and that it will all resolve in time, you will recover!

 

LK

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It wasn't so much memory, but concentration. The fog was quite a bit worse when I was experiencing the worst of my WD symptoms.

 

I have found that a lot of my symptoms go away but return at a later time. They are usually less severe when they come back and they take on a different form. The brain fog was bad a couple of months ago. I had a hard time speaking and it was nearly impossible to do math and perform other challenging tasks.

 

When my anxiety would subside it seemed like the fog would replace it. This made me believe the brain fog is a coping mechanism that keeps us from completely shutting down from anxiety and depression. It sort of numbs your brain so it doesn't have to face reality.

 

You will probably find that over time everything will get better. I am nowhere near healed but I wouldn't trade the symptoms I am having today for those that I had in the past, so I know that I am improving.

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Wow--I'm still experiencing the brain fog in the afternoon mostly and my mouth/tongue issues are so bad that I don't want to talk late in the day for fear of sounding crazy!  I am so ready for the fog to lift.  I am best in the morning but that is no surprise since I take my highest dose of phenobarb in the am.  I'm with you on the short term memory problem.  I have that too.  I keep reading on here that you do get back to normal....someday.  I am so ready for that.... don't know what "normal" is anymore.
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hi nicole,

 

i am 13 months from a short taper of less than 2 weeks (in detox).  i was on ativan and restoril.  i had taken the restoril for almost 3 years...between 15-30 mg.  (a couple times i accidently  took 60 mg like you were on).

 

at 13 months off i still have some brain fog.  it was the worst the first six months.  i remember having a phone interview for a job (at 4 months off) and i blanked out....literally i just could not answer the question so she went to the next question and i simply could not come up with an answer.  the crazy thing is, i did know the answer but at the time my mind just went completely blank. 

 

at 5 months off, i attempted to try to figure out my dog's new harness (slip loop A into slot B, etc.)  i became so overwhelmed by trying to understand the instruction that i ended up in a heap on the floor crying.

 

after 6 months, the fog lifted a little.  i began working and learning new information was difficult. 

 

at 10 months off i started reading books again. 

 

now at 13 months off, i know it's still there but it's more of an annoyance really.  there isn't anything i can't do at this point, but i'm still not as sharp as i used to be.  i've had to learn a lot of coping skills to get through life this past year as i believe i was truly learning disabled.

 

 

 

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