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Brain Fog: Blank mind, comprehension, cognitive and memory problems

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#181 Altostrata



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Posted 10 August 2016 - 05:30 PM

jevang, I moved your post to our existing "brain fog" topic. You can see that a lot of people have posted about it.


Yes, people recover, but like all iatrogenic problems from these drugs, improvement is very gradual, slow, and frustrating.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

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#182 TweetyRose



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Posted 22 November 2016 - 02:35 AM

lately I am having trouble with my short term memory. I had this in the beginning, but then it got better. As of late, it has worsened again. Has anyone experienced anything like this? This is really scaring me.
Took Prozac 10 mg for 5 months.First and only psych med. Stopped cold turkey. Been in protracted withdrawal for 6 months.

#183 scallywag


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Posted 22 November 2016 - 09:38 AM

Tweety-rose, I've moved your post from the topic about brain "remodeling" to this one. Please read it from the first page. You will find that many others have experienced the same symptoms you are.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.
1997-1999 Effexor; 2002-2005 Effexor XR 37.5 mg linear taper, dropping same #beads/week with bad results
Cymbalta (brand name), 60 mg 2012 - 2015; 20 mg to 7 mg in 2016, exact doses and dates in this post;
2017: 6.3 (58 beads) Feb. 1; 5.6 mg (52) Feb. 22; 5.4 mg (50) Mar. 15; 5.1 mg (47) Mar. 25; 4.9 mg (45) Apr. 5; 4.5 mg (42) Apr. 14;
Current dose: 3.5 mg (32) 2017-Apr-26
+ Supplements: fish oil (1500 mg EPA/500 mg DHA), Vitamins: D3, K2, C; Minerals: Mg, Se, Cr, I, V
scallywag's Introduction
Online spreadsheet for dose taper calculations and nz11's THE WORKS spreadsheet

#184 LexAnger


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Posted 22 November 2016 - 11:08 AM

Zero short term memory for a long time still ongoing, other symptoms are way too more severe and disabling so I never even counted this one in my list of symptoms.

I read it's one of the most common effect of these drug, either on them or getting off from them.
<p>2009 Mar.: lexapro 10mg for headache for 2 weeks.2009-2012: on and off 1/4 to 1/3 of 10mg2012 June--2013 Jan,: 1/4-1/3 of 10mg generic, bad jaw pain2013 Jan-Mar: 10 mg generic. severe jaw and head pain; Mar--Aug. started tapering (liquid ever since) from 10 to 5 (one step) then gradually down to 2.25 mg, first ever panic attack, severe head/jaw pain2013 Aug.: back to 2.75 mg; Nov: back to Brand Lex. 2.75mg -- 3mg, slight improvement with pain2014 June: stopped PPI, head pressure/numbness. up-dosed 4.5mg, severe reaction mental symptoms added on2014 Aug--2015 Aug: Micro taper down to 3.2mg, .025mg (<1%) cut holding 2-3 weeks.2015 Aug 15th, Accidental one dose of 4.2mg. worsening brain non-functional, swollen head, body, coma like, DR2016 Feb., started fast taper for the drug toxicity caused by the one dose of 4.2mg, dosing 10am through 11 pm everyday2/13--3.2mg, 3/15-- 2.9mg, 4/19-- 2.6mg, 6/26--2.2mg, 7/22 --1.9mg, 8/16--1.8mg,8/31--1.7m g, 9/13--1.6mg, 9/27--1.5mg, 10/8--1.4mg, 10/14--1.3mg, 11/1--1.2mg, 11/29--1.1mg, 12/12--1mg, 12/22--0.9mg2017: 1/7--0.8mg, 1/15--0.7mg, 1/17--0.6mg, 1/20--0.52, 1/21--0.4mg, 1/22--0.26, 1/23--0.2, sliding Down to 0.13mg by 2/13, then 0.07mg since 2/18, 0.06mg 2/20-3/17, 0.13mg 3/18

#185 Effeffexor



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Posted 27 November 2016 - 10:49 PM

Hi. I have been on high doses of antidepressants since 13 or 14 years of age. I am 39. My memory has been getting steadily worse. The last couple of years especially have been frightening for me. I know stress can cause memory loss but could this be a side effect? If so, will my memories come back? Daily it makes life frustrating but honestly the worst part is not being able to remember life at school, years of my marriage, etc. Tell me the memories are still there? If it does come back, how long does it take?

Beginning on 9/22/16 150mg EffexorXR --- side effects [memory probs, idiopathic hypersomnia, rage, irritability, confusion, numbness, nausea, nightsweats, panic attacks]. Current side effects are down to hypersomnia and memory probs. I'm finding life again after YEARS of meds that made me out of it and gaming addiction that took me from real life. I will be a member forever but slow and steady wins the race! 🏁 🐢......🐇
Current meds:
35 beads Effexor XR 75 mg
Concerta 18 mg
Levothyroxine 50 mcg
Estradiol 2 mg

#186 whitelily


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Posted 03 December 2016 - 08:27 PM

My concentration isn't great so I haven't read every post to check whether this has been mentioned already, but I have been to see a counselor who specializes in post-traumatic stress and was informed that regular breathing exercises improve short-term memory.  


Following their advice, I have begun 'square breathing' (which is imagine a square - breathe in through your nose for a count of four, hold for a count of four, and breathe out through your mouth for a count of eight - the last two sides of the square)  and also 7-11 breathing (breathe in for a count of 7 through your nose and out for a count of 11).


After seeing them, I discovered that some of the resources they used are available here:- 




(The above link is a page on breathing with a 7-11 download).


They were a human givens therapist and also had an interesting explanation of psychosis for those that have experienced this - linking it to REM sleep. 

History:- 1993: - prescribed Prozac - soon started having momentary episodes of psychosis - 1994: psychotic breakdown  - prescribed high doses of antipsychotics including Depixol, Chlorpromazine (with procyclidine to control pacing) and later prescribed olanzapine, haloperidol, risperidone with different antidepressants (relapsed or crashed each time I tried to reduce or withdraw from meds).  Can't recall all combinations of drugs have been on. 

2007: amisulpride 400mg & venlafaxine 75mg;  2009 - stopped venlafaxine (cold turkey, got brain zaps, didnt know about withdrawal)

2013: Got down to 150mg amisulpride, but hospitalised with v.bad psychosis after dropping to this dose and coerced into taking 600mg (always hit problems when dropping below 200mg)

March 2014:- 300mg, April 270mg, Aug 250mg, Sept 225mg, Oct 200mg, Nov 180mg - problematic symptoms of psychosis, mid-Dec - back up to 200mg, 5th Jan 2015 190mg, 9th Feb 2015 180.5mg crashed badly and hospitalised : prescribed 200mg amisulpride, 10 mg aripripazole, 50 mg sertraline.  Sept 2016: Reduced to 100mg amisulpride, 10mg abilify.  Oct 2016 75mg amisulpride, 10mg abilify.  23/11/16 67.5mg amisulpride, 10mg abilify.  28/12/16 60.75mg amisulpride, 10mg abilify.  shortly after 30/1/17 two days paranoia, held and stabilised.  15/4/67 58.66mg amisulpride, 10mg abilify.


Current Meds: 30 Jan 2017 58.66mg amisulpride, 10mg abilify (now trying to withdraw from amisulpride first as it has shorter half-life) plus 2000mg metformin for drug-induced type II diabetes


Current supplements: fish oil, high dose vitamin C


#187 Siskin



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Posted 18 December 2016 - 03:04 PM

Has anyone heard from Dennis who started this thread? Our son is 38 months out, and just like Dennis described, his inability to think seems to be getting worse. He has less time when he is able to think. I know this to be true because during his first year of withdrawal, he was able to take 2 college classes (with tremendous difficulty, and by taking an incomplete),  and now he can just barely think enough to take 1. Raven was medicated so young, and we're becoming discouraged that he'll ever be able to think again.


I just wondered if Dennis ever got his brains back.



Raven's med history:

2001-2006 Paxil 40g

5/06 - 7/06 off meds

7/06 - 10/13 Prozac

4/12 - 11/12 Abilify

11/12 - 12/12 Risperdal

12/12 - 3/13 Geodon

7/13 - 10/13 tapered off Prozac

10/13 - present: med free

#188 Webhead21



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Posted 25 January 2017 - 06:51 PM

I recently started have issue with my cognition as a result from all the symptom that im dealing, its overwhelming and constantly changing all the time. I'm isolated by these symptoms and its made my depression worse everythings at a stand still, was it has been for a long time. I looked up the symptoms ive experienced and it would be best described as a anxiety headache, like a pressure in my head when im in a state of extreme depression, mixed with anxiety and the isolation. This time that pressure turned into an injury, it feels like the start stages of the withdrawal where you feel completely hinder cognitively. Now, its more relate to one area of my brain, but it reminds me a lot of the start before just not a severe. I can feel a weakest in my head, and, also, maybe other parts of my brain could be reacting to the change. When I feel extremly depressed with anxiety, basically crush by my circumstances, I dont feel that pressure anymore, but again a weakest. I see for advice, someone to relate to, thoughts, and ideas. I need help and im going to start not before I regret not doing it sooner.

Here is the link that I found: http://www.anxietyce...s-anxiety.shtml

#189 inthewaitingroom


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Posted 17 February 2017 - 02:49 AM

The cognitive side effects are what irritate me the most. Irritate isn't a strong enough word perhaps. Before w/d I had a great memory and liked to think I was quite intelligent, but now I have such a hard time focusing on anything that I'm reading / listening to / physically doing. It's been 1.5 years now, and it feels like it will never get better. 

Age 14 started Prozac, continued on and off for 5 years, don't remember dose. Tapered no problems. 
Age 22 started Zoloft, took 100 mg from September 2013 - January 2015, did 25 mg taper every other month, stopped completely in July 2015

Now no medication, and feel like I'm living in hell. Waiting for it to get better. Waiting to start living again. 

#190 powerback


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Posted 17 February 2017 - 11:48 AM

The cognitive side effects are what irritate me the most. Irritate isn't a strong enough word perhaps. Before w/d I had a great memory and liked to think I was quite intelligent, but now I have such a hard time focusing on anything that I'm reading / listening to / physically doing. It's been 1.5 years now, and it feels like it will never get better. 


Hi I'm exactly the same, 1.5 years and counting ,the last few months have been the worst and that would correlate with been much more stressed because its affecting my work so I've developed bad depression ,but I'm doing everything possible to help myself because my spirit is  still there and I've learned so much .the last few weeks is extremely frightening how bad my cognitive functioning is.

I left the  gas flame on for 2 hours last week ,its getting ridiculous .

I always try switch off with comedy or a movie and just always hope and believe it will improve .

21​/06/2012 citrol10mg for stress, constant urination ,diazepam 2mg 26/07/2012 .12/07/2012 citroll 20mg,

​24/09/2013 Lexapro 20mg.didnt take them for a week during this year felt extremely strange ,had no idea down to drugs at the time .

​20/10/2014 venlafaxine xl 75mg.09/01/2015 venlafaxine xl 37.5. questioned doctor about drop in dose ,I was told no problem.

​13/04/2015 venlafaxine xl 150mg NEVER TOOK THEM getting wise?.20/04/2015 venlafaxine xl 75mg.19/08/2015 Xanax 250mcg [agitated]

​10/06/2015 venlafaxine 37.5mg.02/03/2016 five beads out for taper only lasted till 06/06/2016 extreme irritability and anxiety. 

​11/11/2016 Xanax 250mcg took them for few days ,fairly distressing time [working nearly impossible].11/11/2016 I was given a prescription for  Zyprexa 2.5mg AND DECIDED  NOT TO GET IT FROM CHEMIST.[my doctor gave them a great sales pitch ,talking about other patients that have benefited ,in witch it just annoyed me ]

#191 Why


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Posted 18 April 2017 - 01:21 PM

English is not my mother tongue, but even in my language i cant find better words to describe this feeling.
Is like my brain is very tiny and empty, and can't form complex thoughts.
I feel like i have the IQ of a bird, or homer Simpson in that popular image.

Anyone else has this feeling of "emptyness" of the head?

#192 chrona



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Posted 18 April 2017 - 01:58 PM


many years ago given sinequan for depression bad reaction so tiny dose of meleril to balance... quit after a year or so c/t

years pass no drugs

reg doc had me try all of the  a/d bc of upset due to divorce.  couldn't handle any.  took klonopin to sleep .5 mg  2003

taper klonopin

hooked on tramadol accidentally. 2006-2008 husband had migraines and took them like candy. so i became dependent too.  c/t  2008

diagnosis of porphyria after years of symptoms,  then toxic event made me really ill.


gabapentin 300mg every 3 hours , 6x day.

propranolol   180 mg  6x / day

since 2012

clonazepam prescribed as 1 mg / day  but beginning to take more to deal with withdrawals and sleeplessness


#193 Lyssa


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Posted 18 April 2017 - 02:54 PM

English is not my mother tongue, but even in my language i cant find better words to describe this feeling.
Is like my brain is very tiny and empty, and can't form complex thoughts.
I feel like i have the IQ of a bird, or homer Simpson in that popular image.
Anyone else has this feeling of "emptyness" of the head?

Yes, it definitely can feel like that. Some times it's a lot worse than at other times. I hope it gets better for you soon.
2001 (Age 13) - Prozac 10mg for situational anxiety. Taken over 6 months, never helped with anxiety and started feeling depressed. Tapered off over 2 weeks on advice from doctor. Started to feel much better after a few months of being off.
April 2014- Sertraline 25mg. Had a severe adverse reaction within 12 hours. Only took 1 dose.
October 2014- Mirtazapine 15mg
February 2015- Upped Mirtazapine to 30mg because I was feeling much worse than before I started taking it.
August 2015- Dropped Mirtazapine back to 15mg because 30mg was causing even more severe side effects.
October 2015- Mirtazapine 7.5mg. Desperate to get off and feeling awful.
December 2015- Drug free. 5 days after last Mirtazapine tablet hit by severe WD symptoms.
January 2016. Hospitalised because of WD symptoms. Given 2mg of Diazepam.
January 2016 - December 2016. 2mg Diazepam taken as needed. Didn't really help much and never took more than 5 tablets in a month.
Still suffering from numerous symptoms.

#194 Nelly



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Posted 23 April 2017 - 02:03 PM

I had taken antidepressants most of my life until Dec 2016. My memory is awful. People that I know would talk to me about something that happened involving myself in the past and I would have no memory of it. It never really dawned on me until recently why this may be. I also get brain fog a lot and cannot retain information very well, so at work I have to concentrate that but harder which can be exhausting.
Prescribed antidepressants most of my life; unable to recall when I wasn't taking them! Currently prescribed 20mg Prozac daily. Suffered with depression, periods of feeling unable to cope most of my life. Highs and extreme lows. Severe premenstral symptoms. Attempted suicide several times in the past. Started tapering and reduced gradually recently. Now taking 5 out of 7 days. Plan to reduce gradually to avoid too many withdrawal symptoms. Having head aches which I can tolerate, unsure weather other symptoms are just me and the affects of taking Prozac or as a result of reducing the dose. To be honest I think a lot of my symptoms are as a result of taking Prozac, as I felt like this for as long as I can remember; head foggy, tired, poor concentration, low, sometimes happy....... I have never been a big drinker but would suffer terribly after a few drinks for days; I have stopped drinking! I can't risk feeling that awful! Started taking efamol brain omega capsules on 26 May 2016. June 2016 increased my dose of Prozac and now taking daily, instead of missing 2 days per week, couldn't deal with the withdrawal symptoms! 03/09/2016 UPDATE
Started tapering Prozac July 2016. Off Prozac Dec 2016

#195 Farout


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Posted 24 April 2017 - 04:50 AM

I had this. My career (and sense of self) is founded in my ability to process and articulate information. Recovery from my reaction has been a nightmare on this front.

It has been a lot better this last year or so. It is still a nuisance in a wave although these are few and far between. What remains is the recovery from the trauma - trying not to ruminate those occasional moments where I do lose the word I'm looking for, as most people do from time to time.

March 2003 took two sartroline tablets after a traumatic incident and had a reaction so stopped.  I am not sure now whether what I had for the next 18 months was WD after the reaction or the emotional fallout from the traumatic event.  Some of it was very similar to WD in hindsight.  


February 2014 - Took five pristiq (50mg) tablets and three Ativan and had a severe reaction.
Extreme withdrawal symptoms for three weeks compounded by visit to naturopath -

One week later took 900mg St John's Wort x 3 daily for six weeks - more negative effects and suspected serotonin syndrome - before tapering over three weeks. Last tablet late May 2014.

Waves and windows cycle of recovery with longer windows and manageable waves.

May 2015 - already in a mild wave, following a usual pattern, I took clarithromicin and amoxicillin for two weeks for a sinus infection which I also seem to have had quite a reaction to.


February 2016 - Feeling much better.  I still have waves and windows but they are manageable.  I'm largely enjoying life again.