- Brain fog is a term people often use when they feel they are not thinking clearly.
- Stroke can trigger problems with memory, fatigue, communication and emotions that can make it hard to think clearly.
- There are many tips and tricks to help you with brain fog.
What is brain fog?
The term 'brain fog' can be used to describe a range of different symptoms that can make you feel like you're not thinking clearly.
This can mean experiencing:
- Poor concentration.
- Feeling confused.
- Thinking slowly.
- Fuzzy thoughts.
- Lost words.
- Mental fatigue.
- Feeling 'fuddled' or 'cloudy'.
Brain fog is a term that's widely used when describing issues that affect the way you think. Sometimes people affected by other medical conditions like Covid-19, multiple sclerosis, dementia, myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) and cancer treatments also describe brain fog. It can come and go, and you will have good days and bad days.
Why do I have brain fog?
If you're experiencing brain fog, seek help from your GP, stroke nurse or pharmacist. They may be able to find out what is causing your problem.
Stroke can trigger problems with memory, thinking, mental fatigue, communication and even emotional changes. These can all be factors in why you may experience what feels like a foggy brain. Medication side-effects could also be a reason for your brain fog.
Fatigue is very common after having a stroke. Fatigue can vary from person to person, but you may feel like you lack energy or strength, and are constantly tired, physically and mentally. It can be mild or more severe. For ways to manage your fatigue, including how to pace yourself and avoid going from boom to bust visit our fatigue and tiredness webpage.
Different parts of your brain control different activities. If one of the parts of your brain that controls cognition is damaged by a stroke, then this can affect your ability to do certain things.
There are several types of cognitive problems:
- Concentration problems.
- Memory problems.
- Difficulty with planning and problem-solving.
- Confusion and denial.
- Problems recognising things.
You can find out more about cognitive problems on our problems with memory and thinking webpage.
About one-third of stroke survivors have problems with speaking, reading, writing and understanding what other people say to them. Read more about this on our communication problems page.
Low mood and anxiety can be very common after stroke, which can make you feel like you can't take in everything that's going on. Take a look at our emotional changes webpage on how it can affect your mindset and thinking.
It can be difficult to know how to help someone with their emotions after a stroke. You can find a range of helpful tips for family and friends that might help.
Some medication can cause side effects like tiredness. The effect of each medication varies between individuals. Your GP or pharmacist can help you understand the pros and cons of any treatment you need, and may be able to help if your medication is causing your brain fog.
What can I do about brain fog?
There are many tips and tricks to help you with memory and thinking problems including writing things down, using prompts, using reminders, keeping things in the same place, recording messages for yourself on your phone and planning your day.
You can find out more on what you can do on our memory problems webpage.
For some simple steps you can take to help manage your fatigue, go to our managing post-stroke fatigue section.
Being more active is known to help with your emotional and physical wellbeing, including fatigue. For inspiration on how to do this go to our getting moving after a stroke webpage.
Take a look at our communication problems webpage to find out more about treatments and practical tips which can help.
If you want to read up on what you can do if you are feeling low visit our emotional changes webpage.
If you are interested in talking to other stroke survivors, or reading other stroke survivors' experience, visit our online forum. You can also visit our support in your area page to find any local and online support groups.