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Lights dimming in my mind
rohvannyn posted:
A recent post prompted me to ask this question. I have times when my mind just doesn't work as well. These are often prompted by anxiety, or they onset of these times can cause anxiety because I'm worried about the continued bad effect. At these times I feel less emotionally available but at the same time I am consumed by worry and very hesitant to do anything. I also have more trouble communicating what I am thinking, trouble thinking rationally, feelings of depression, and I also have the perception that the lights in the room are dimmer. One thing that snaps me out of this is adrenaline, at which point my ligh perception returns to normal.

Does anyone have any experience with this, or any idea what this could indicate? Sometimes I can feel this coming on and think my way out of it, other times I feel powerless to stop it and it doesn't leave until after I have had a big fight with my spouse.
Reid Wilson, PhD responded:
Hey, rohvannyn -

First off, thanks so much for your many contributions to this community. I know people are helped by your empathy and suggestions.

Here's my advice: consider doing what you can to simply push on through even when you feel like you're having trouble with your mind not working well. Challenge your belief that you can't figure things out. When I do that, it frequently surprises me. But when I say, "I'm just too tired to try that", then I never find out the truth, and I live inside an abstract conceptualization of the truth. Maybe you are like me in that way.

If you are around people who will understand, feel free to make a comment like, "I'm feeling a little foggy this morning; I don't know why; but I'm just pushing through it. So here's what I think. Feel free to tell me if this sounds off-base..."

You are also saying that you are anxious and worried about your mind not working as well. Now there is a chunk of consciousness that you are using up that could be used to focus your attention on the task in front of you. It would be no surprise, therefore, that you are having trouble communicating what you are thinking. So work on reducing that worry (this advice goes with the first paragraph). Act as though your worry about this problem causes 50% of the foggy-ness. I have no idea if that's true, but it's a good attitude to hold.

Lastly, since you think adrenaline tends to be helpful, consider doing a little exercise to snap you out of your mental slump. Take a brisk walk around a few blocks, etc.
rohvannyn replied to Reid Wilson, PhD's response:
You are welcome! This community is awesome and I'm happy to help.

I will definitely give your suggestion a try. You are honestly the first person I have ever seen who made sense to me regarding anxiety. I really appreciate your response. And what you say makes a lot of sense. It's such a strange sensation though, to feel like the room is dark, and when I snap out of it everything is so much brighter looking.
whatsupbuttercup responded:
I have the same sensation! It's like everything gets fuzzy around the edge of my vision and the room is slightly darker. I have no idea what it could indicated, I usually chalk it up to my shifted perception on life for the moment. For example, when I'm having a depressed or anxious moment the world seems more hostile, less enjoyable, and darker.

I'm afraid I don't have much insight, but I find it cool that I've found someone else who shares a similar symptom. Thanks for sharing
rohvannyn replied to whatsupbuttercup's response:
Oh! I'm not alone! That's good to know and it makes me feel a little better. So far I've found a partial solution. If I (a) remember to breathe deeply, I get better oxygenation, and (b) get enough sesame seeds, garbanzo beans, and omega 3 fatty acids, the lights stay on a lot better. Not a total solution but it really helps. For me, it's probably folate and various trace nutrients that I need.
whatsupbuttercup replied to rohvannyn's response:
Interesting idea! I make homemade hummus with sesame seeds and garbanzo beans, so I think I've found a valid excuse to make more
rohvannyn replied to whatsupbuttercup's response:
Niiiice! Let me know if it helps you any. It could be just my specific brain chemistry, but it would be interesting to know if someone else reacts the same way. Homemade hummus is the best, and so good for you. Have you tried it with either crushed garlic or crushed black olives?

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