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Forums / Treatments, health professionals and therapies / Reduced cognitive function re depression

Topic: Reduced cognitive function re depression

16 posts, 0 answered
  1. pinktulip
    pinktulip avatar
    29 posts
    14 June 2020

    Hi there,

    I would like to know if anyone who has ever felt they had reduced cognitive function due to feeling depressed been told to go see a neuropsychologist. I kind of want to know because I think I was given a brush off previously by a Mental Health Unit and they just randomly suggested it... GP wasn't aware of it...

    Secondly, how are you meant to raise reduced cognitive function with a psychologist or psychiatrist? Because when I do, it's seen as perfectionism... Maybe that's because I'm still a student. If you are currently in the workforce, do you get taken more seriously re reduced cognitive function?

    Because I've been told I can't have antidepressants ever again due to antidepressant induced hypomania.... and I'm in the situation when if I've gone to a psychiatrist and they suggest medication of other class my mother flips out and says I have adverse reactions to everything... And it hasn't helped when no one is definite on diagnosis... Doctor says I'm working on the hypothesis you have bipolar II... Or another doctor: being told you're autistic and that you could try medication (but no mention of bipolar)

    1 person found this helpful
  2. Yana8216
    Yana8216 avatar
    49 posts
    15 June 2020 in reply to pinktulip

    Hi Pinktulip

    Yes, I have noticed significant reduction in my cognitive abilities as a result of depression. My memory, concentration/focus, ability to learn has been impacted. I also have less patience and get upset or frustrated easily. I feel fatigued more often and get mentally exhausted when there is a lot going on (my brain decides to take a holiday for minutes/hours. During that time my symptoms described above affect me more.)
    This affected my performance at work - I wasn't getting as much done as the boss wanted me to, and he wasn't very understanding. I quit that full time office/accounts job, and I am much happier now working part time at a supermarket.

    The only advice I can offer is know yourself and take a break when you need some time out, if you can.

    1 person found this helpful
  3. May Tee Tee
    May Tee Tee avatar
    42 posts
    15 June 2020 in reply to pinktulip
    Thankyou for sharing
    🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏

    I too thought that dementia or something terrible hard suddenly taken my multitasking fast thinking brain on long service leave for good at 47 years.

    But YES STRESS and not the correct vitamins and a HIGH CORTISOL can to do.

    It does take months to resolve, resilience and dedication to regular maintenance is the key.

    🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏
  4. May Tee Tee
    May Tee Tee avatar
    42 posts
    15 June 2020 in reply to Yana8216
    I too can to relate to your symptoms.
    Attention to better management of stress, anxiety and health.

    Including trading a HIGH profile corporate position 50 hours a week to a change in occupation.........cooking 15 hours a week certainly helped. Therapeutic 🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏
  5. rtfm
    rtfm avatar
    10 posts
    16 June 2020 in reply to pinktulip

    Hi there,

    Sorry for your troubles - I've experienced cognitive impairment as a symptom of depression, and it is one of those things which have made everything else more difficult. It's a tough one, but I'll share a little of my experience and what has been useful for me. I can't say that it will be the same for you, but perhaps it could help provide a bit of direction. Note: though I've had a significant level of personal experience in a variety of treatments, I'm not a doctor or psychologist, and you should take my advice with that in mind.

    - I've found that the best way to deal with the cognitive impairment I've experienced is to try to break things down into very discrete parts, once they're small and simple they're easier to manage.

    -I've experienced transient hypomania from a couple of different treatments. That is out of nearly twenty medications I've trialed and a handful of non-pharmaceutical treatments. Antidepressants are not all the same, and an adverse reaction to one medication or class of medications does not rule out others.

    -you have not said if your mother is a physician. If she is not, and even if she is, perhaps the problem is that she needs to get some information about how antidepressants are different? Feel free to show her this message.

    -when it comes to medication, particularly when managing side effects and neurological symptoms, I strongly recommend getting a really good Psychiatrist and seeing them regularly. They will be able to build up the best understanding of you and how illness effects you, and will know best the treatments that can help. It isn't the easiest thing to find a good Psychiatrist who you fit with, I can give a few more pointers if you want.

    -a good Psychiatrist will be able to understand, measure, and at least partially treat cognitive impairment.

    -I find that sound can make my confusion worse, earplugs or headphones can help.

    -short periods of work with regular breaks help me, if you look at 'pomodoro' time management I use a similar method.

    -I use lists and careful planning to reduce my cognitive load. If you have a notebook it can help to offload stuff into it rather than try to hold things in your head.

    1 person found this helpful
  6. rtfm
    rtfm avatar
    10 posts
    16 June 2020 in reply to pinktulip

    At the end of the day, remember this: the impairment I have experienced has been profoundly upsetting, because it's felt often that I'm just dissolving bit by bit. It's unlikely (particularly in a non-geriatric person) for it to be at all permanent. It's not your fault, and though it will definitely cause difficulties before you can find a good treatment and management strategy, it's not something which is going to permanently lessen your life.

    Take care and let me know if you have any other questions.
    t

    1 person found this helpful
  7. May Tee Tee
    May Tee Tee avatar
    42 posts
    16 June 2020 in reply to rtfm
    Just occurred to me that I have been a big list operator for years.
    So I managed things better to make lists
    Incorporate a diary
    and Zen things I use all the time storaged in the same spot.
    Regular mind challenging games.
    🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏
  8. pinktulip
    pinktulip avatar
    29 posts
    16 June 2020 in reply to rtfm

    I don't know how to find a good psychiatrist.

    The medical team who diagnosed me with hypomania in 2011 told me & my mother for me not to have antidepressants ever again. Unfortunately, at the time that didn't say what I was to do in terms of medication if I got depressed again. Said it would take 18 months for me to recover from that.

    After I got discharged to someone immediately after the antidepressant induced hypomania in 2011... After that I had someone give me allergy medication re that aftermath & said other people had it worst than me re life in general...

    I'm finding it hard to trust people re potentially going on medication.

    2018 because to a psychiatrist it seemed okay to attempt to charge for more time that didn't happen. Or immediately suggested to go on medication which clashed with a previous one. I said I was feeling drowsy re a medication & I didn't get asked if that drowsiness was affecting my studies.

    2019 - someone else saying it was autism (Looked up & I haven't had any diagnostic assessment that is normal to say that I actually have it) & them making statements re autism and smiling. Like blanket statements like autistic people naturally get depressed.

    I went to a mental health unit & someone said if you saw 10 psychiatrists you would get 10 different diagnoses.

    In regard to my mother; in 2018, I did try to go back to someone who had seen me in regard to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome in 2006 re ruling out depression prior to trigger of friend dying in 2009 but I waited 2 months & then I was in an appointment for less than 20 minutes for an 1 hour appointment when the doctor said something along the lines of I'm too busy & you are too complex because I thought that would allay her fears of people randomly putting me on medication just because you go and see them.

    In regards to breaking work up during COVID-19 the isolation really affected me because when I've had time off being ill I've been at home. So that trick can't be used in regards to repelling negative thoughts aspect of COVID-19.

    My mother wants me to see a neurologist because she read something about fMRIs showing changes in brain re depression. I told her that seems to be only at research stage re people comparing fMRIs for people with depression with well people - not used in mainstream psychiatry. If there were any fMRI studies that showed that correlated particular medication treatments with improved wellbeing.

  9. rtfm
    rtfm avatar
    10 posts
    16 June 2020 in reply to pinktulip

    Hi there, thanks for replying, and for sharing so much of your past struggles - it sounds like you've had a pretty rough history of interactions with medical staff, I'm really sorry for that... I'm also sorry if it seemed like I was saying that your situation is something which is your fault - I can't say strongly enough that that's the furthest from what I think. I'm really sorry if it came across like that, and I'd really appreciate it if you can tell me if it did.

    TThere's a lot of stuff in your reply, and I'd love to share my thoughts and what I've experienced, but I don't want to go rushing in and just talk at you - if you'd like me to tell what I know then just say the word.

    I hope you've had an ok day, and are feeling alright.

    t

  10. pinktulip
    pinktulip avatar
    29 posts
    16 June 2020 in reply to rtfm
    Um, rtfm... I'm just generally wound up in general recently... so don't take it personally...

    Just been feeling distressed by COVID-19 and been feeling depressed. Like sometimes doing a routine helps or sometimes it doesn't. Or doing exercise...

    It's just as a Uni student because if you think you're having concentration issues because you're learning new things, you can get parents at times saying things like is it too hard or its anxiety or perfectionism.. Or depressed... Or yourself says it at times... Makes you feel rubbish because it's not like there's a blood test for concentration...
    1 person found this helpful
  11. rtfm
    rtfm avatar
    10 posts
    17 June 2020 in reply to pinktulip

    Hey there,

    No worries - I didn't feel like you were yelling at me, just that I might have made you feel blamed or unheard - if I did, I'm always willing to hear it and hope you would feel safe to say so.

    I strongly identify with a lot of what you say - it's perhaps relevant to say that I'm not without experiences which have some similarities to yours. I'm thirty one, and have had severe treatment resistant depression etc for the last five years (to the point of not being able to work or study regularly or at all through that time, relationships both romantic and platonic breaking down because of my lack of function, many hospital admissions, lots of different kinds of treatment, etc etc). Through my life prior I've had chronic dysthymia with periods of acute illness. Nearly everything I say is from personal experience, and I really do feel for you. I'm not an expert or professional or authority on any of this, and the reason I'm saying what I have is so that if what I have experienced and learned can help you I'd feel like there was a little more value in what generally feels like a bad novel I'd not bother finishing.

    I hope that makes sense, and provides a bit of context for where I'm speaking from? I don't know you, and if what has helped me doesn't fit for you that's not just fine but to be at least in part expected.

    A few times you've said things that suggest you've felt (feel?) like people are telling you what you feel/think is wrong, such as you feeling like you're foggy and being told that you're actually just a perfectionist... You're obviously intelligent and I think probably have better ability to think and reason even foggy than most people, so I'm inclined to believe that your perception is true. I think you probably also know that poor concentration, perfectionism, adversity, depression etc are all different things (though they can have a causative interaction or commonality), so if you were to say something like 'I feel like I've been hit in the head with a hammer, what do you think?' and I said 'I think you're a perfectionist' it would be like asking 'is it cold outside?' and being told 'I like cardigans more than jumpers' - it's not really an answer to the question, and would be pretty confusing in itself.... What do you think? Does any of that ring true?

    t

  12. rtfm
    rtfm avatar
    10 posts
    17 June 2020 in reply to pinktulip

    Ps: no, there aren't blood tests for concentration, but there are a variety of assessment methods for concentration, arousal (as in how switched on one is both emotionally and neurologically) and similar parameters. They're not as clear cut as 'your iron is low so you are anaemic', but perhaps they would be useful to learn a little more about... I've found them mildly useful, more in terms of understanding the context than the tests themselves (some of which require some specialised equipment).

  13. rtfm
    rtfm avatar
    10 posts
    19 June 2020 in reply to pinktulip

    Hey there Pinktulip,

    Just checking in to see how you're doing?

    t

  14. ecomama
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    ecomama avatar
    1101 posts
    20 June 2020 in reply to pinktulip

    Dear pinktulip

    I think you're spot on about depression reducing cognitive ability! I will ask my psych friend today about that because she has mentioned it before and get back to you with a more defined explanation if I can. Hugs.

    Part of my own story sounds A LOT like yours. But as a child I lived in a very dysfunctional family. I was well below average student at school during those years. At 12yo my (awesome) teacher had an IQ test done on me and I hit the ceiling 130+ and it was THEN that action started to correct the crap that was going on ie teacher and school counsellor spoke with my mother a lot.

    It didn't change her behaviours. Nothing does lol! I'm no contact anyway now.

    I left home at 18yo. Barely made it through my first degree. But by the time I was 24yo I was offered Scholarships by my workplace a number of times. 1500 people applied for 10 positions and I got in. We needed a 90% pass rate - something I had NEVER achieved ever before - but I did.

    Depression sucks. Anxiety sucks, it all sucks lol.

    The people around you who care for you may not know how to answer so they just give respond with the first thing they can think of.

    Btw I have also been called a 'perfectionist' MANY times but not by anyone who knows me well. These people may only be comparing themselves to you and notice your DRIVE, persistence and perseverance - keep it up. It's these qualities that will stand you in good stead in dealing with anything life throws at you.

    Hope you can pop back in and let us all know what's going on.

    Love EM

  15. ecomama
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    ecomama avatar
    1101 posts
    21 June 2020 in reply to pinktulip

    Hi pinktulip

    I had a late night call with my psych friend so I hope I remember things correctly!

    You can Google your subject and there are Scientific papers on this. A Psychologist who excels in treating patients with trauma and who can tailor a specific set of treatments for you would be good for you, if you can see this person alone.

    PTSD can indeed reduce your cognitive abilities. It has to do with the amygdala (our reptilian part of the brain ie the fright, flight, freeze part) being activated and blood or nerve chains being activated and sent to THIS part of the brain in order to protect us. It therefore stops the flows of such to our pre frontal cortex which is our THINKING part of the brain AND our RATIONAL thinking part of the brain.

    I've read and responded to your other thread.

    I'll be frank:
    * I'm MOST concerned about your mother.
    * I'm concerned that she is controlling every aspect of your treatments, diagnoses and medications.
    * You are an ADULT and can see any therapists alone.
    * You need to see your therapists alone because I think when you peel back the layers, it's your mother interfering with every aspect of your life and inhibiting the MH professionals giving you their best treatments that is the problem.
    * There is a condition with some parents called Munchausen's by proxy syndrome and even though many don't agree with this as being 'a thing' - it's a thing all right. This could be happening in your life.

    You've mentioned a number of times that when you're at home, things get worse for you.
    This is a key thing to tell your MH professionals.

    I hope you can find a way to live elsewhere and see whom you need to see by yourself.

    Best wishes, we're always here to talk to.
    EM

  16. pinktulip
    pinktulip avatar
    29 posts
    21 June 2020 in reply to ecomama

    Well, I can't anyway... I moved all my money to my brother and then my dad put it somewhere... And then I donated the rest to my Uni re COVID-19 re for scholarships for students for something is held each year normally re the area I'm studying... I mean that will make people happy next year.

    If you are only talking to health professionals and they smile at things at a condescending manner or they tell you are too distressed for EMDR...

    And you feel like you make everyone miserable... what's the point..

    I mean in 2018 I had a psychiatrist tell me I was letting myself down re changing to a different dual degree ... You know the psychiatrist didn't know anything about the area I was studying in the first place... And I had gotten advice about it... And he seemed he didn't know how to deal with someone talking about lost friends re hypomania in the past... You would think at least other patients would have had this problem...

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