Student at a desk with head in hands feeling frustrated

The Chronically Brain Fogged Law Student

I was a fourth year law student when I was diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis and fibromyalgia. Unfortunately, due to brain fog, fatigue, joint pains and other symptoms, these illnesses slowly robbed me of the life that I used to enjoy. Now, I fear that it might rob me of my dream of becoming a lawyer, too.

Hard work and the hustle

Since I was young, I've always thought of myself as an achiever. In college, I received academic awards and certificates even just by doing the bare minimum. I also participated in various extracurricular activities and school publications. I graduated as a Magna Cum Laude and went straight into law school.

Looking back, I can say that my study habits may be inconsistent but I enjoyed working hard. I loved the hustle, the adrenaline rush and caffeine running through my body. I enjoyed the lack of sleep, and basically everything that comes with the grind to achieve my dreams. See, when I fix my eyes to a particular goal, I would push myself to do whatever it takes to attain it.

I have always been ambitious and competitive. I try my best to excel and I put my heart in everything that I do. But after I got sick, even existing and doing the bare minimum requires so much work.

Brain fog, psoriatic arthritis, and the struggle

As a law student, I read hundreds of pages each day, memorize provisions of the law, make case briefs, and recite when the professor called my name. You can imagine my anxiety when I noticed how brain fog has affected my studies and how drastic the changes were in my cognition and thought process. It was like my brain was slowly shrinking, and I could not do anything to stop it.

Due to brain fog from psoriatic arthritis, I had difficulty concentrating and I could not comprehend what I was reading. I could not read at least 30 pages without getting a migraine, too. Even worse, it is hard for me to construct basic sentences, and I tend to commit more grammatical errors than I did in the past.

Furthermore, I forget the simplest words. I would lose my train of thought mid-sentence. There are days where I feel like my mind cannot seem to function at all. It was also a struggle for me to do the simplest chores and follow basic instructions.

Grit and willpower

Sometimes, I wonder if these illnesses are going to haunt me and chase me down forever.

Like a thief, it might have robbed me today of the things that I have been passionate about in just one swoop. It might take away so many traits that I used to possess as well. However, I refuse to let it rob me of my grit, my will-power and whatever it takes for me to become a lawyer.

Being a chronically brain fogged law student with psoriatic arthritis and fibromyalgia might slow me down, but it could not stop me from reaching my dreams--no matter how long it takes.

By providing your email address, you are agreeing to our privacy policy.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Join the conversation

or create an account to comment.

Community Poll

Others usually confuse my psoriatic arthritis with...