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About 8 months ago, my stress level got quite high because of 'life' working rotating shifts (sometimes long hours) while also managing a family with five kids at home. The breaking point came with a profound period of cognitive confusion and what I have come to find out to be derealization. Anxiety got pretty bad shortly thereafter because I thought I was losing my mind, for example actually forgetting names of various inanimate objects and having a difficult time staying on task.
Fast forward a few months and I became somewhat capable in keeping the anxiety in check, as the brain fog went from a 8-10 to more 2-3 out of 10. Still, I was still struggling with coming up with the right word in a sentence, or being able to pick up the name of an obscure object right away w/o looking it up.
Even now, while I don't have the degree of DP and mental confusion as I did 8 months ago, I still find myself stuck in the mud mentally. Some days are worse than others, however even on a good day I'm still looking up a few things on line just to ensure I haven't lost my intelligence (a form of memory hoarding I suppose, except rather than hoard 'memories', I'm hoarding facts and vocabulary). And through it all, my memory recall is still sluggish. Not long term memory, and not even short term (i.e. I can tell you where I left the keys, what I ate for lunch yesterday, what I talked about at work yesterday, etc.). Just recall and following along with a conversation, book, TV plot, etc. I may not "feel" as anxious as I did last May, but I'm not naive enough to deny that anxiety is playing a role here.
I am happy to say that I'm finally starting CBT on Wed. That's step 1. What I've wanted to know for a while, and I can't seem to find out conclusively, is whether or not AA/AD meds such as SSRIs will help for those of us who not only suffer with anxiety and depression, yet do so with the primary (at times debilitating) symptom being the lack of mental clarity. It doesn't make me suicidal, yet I'm not necessarily looking forward to...well... much of anything when I feel like this. Hello depression!
I see a lot of posts online from people who say their lack mental acuity ("brain fog" gets worse while on medication, while fewer have admitted their fog was alleviated after taking medication. The last thing I need is to have this situation get worse with medication, which explains why I have apprehension and why I hadn't started with the meds yet. Well, I should say I did actually start (Lexapro) back in September; I just couldn't get past day 4 because of the increased anxiety and feeling of crawling out of your skin. I'm to the point, and I'll tell the therapist this is well, that it if it will help me, i.e. help with all the symptoms including the memory lapses, then I will most certainly push through during those difficult side effects early on. Otherwise, what's the point? What I'm looking for right now is some reassurance, someone with the same or similar conditions and have gotten better with therapy and/or medication.
Thank you in advance,
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