Insecurity Over Brain Fog
Not too long ago, I gave a presentation in my psychology class. I was supposed to teach the class about why a sense of humor is a good personality trait, and how I relate it to my own life.
While I was excited to share everything I learned, I was nervous. At the time, I was dealing with a lot of brain fog. And whenever I'm in a fog, my public speaking isn't at it's best.
The underrated symptom of psoriatic arthritis
When you think of psoriatic arthritis, joint pain is usually the first thing that comes to mind. But many people find that brain fog, also called cognitive dysfunction, can be just as debilitating.
But feeling like I was in a haze sometimes felt harder to deal with. Brain fog can make it hard to live a normal life- work, school, and home life suffer when you become forgetful or confused.
Aside from forgetting things or not being able to comprehend ideas, cognitive dysfunction regularly makes speaking difficult for me. I tend to mix up the order of words, botch pronunciations, and completely forget words. It can be really embarrassing.
Brain fog can easily make you feel self-conscious, especially when you have a type A personality like me. There are times where I feel like I am letting people down because I don't remember to do something or because I relay the wrong information.
It's frustrating when you can't communicate your ideas clearly.There are so many tricks people use to combat the fog. Phone reminders, checklists, calendars, and keeping a notebook are all great tools for helping to keep yourself accountable.
Employees and students find tools such as Grammarly to help with writing emails or essays. But I think the most important tip is to remember to give yourself a break.
Don't get frustrated
Everybody makes mistakes, and feeling bad about it won't make things better. When I feel frustrated because of all my mistakes, I try to take a deep breath and walk away from what I'm doing (if possible).
The break may not fix my fog, but it does help me calm down and remind myself to try my best. And it helps to keep in mind that you are smart.
You may deal with cognitive dysfunction, but that doesn't mean you're dull by any means. It just means your brain is processing a lot- pain, thoughts, emotions, ideas.
Learn to laugh
I won't be the first or the last to say it, but humor is an excellent way to cope with brain fog. And I thought it was an excellent way to relay humor back to my life.
My presentation was a hit! My classmates and professor were very empathetic when I explained how I deal with cognitive dysfunction and loved my point of view.
Maybe some mistakes weren't so funny at the time, but you have to admit- it is a little funny to look back on the time you referred to squares as "triangles" for the entire day.
Do you have a sleep disorder (eg. insomnia, sleep apnea, RLS) in addition to your PsA?