Sep 262008

It all started when I got pregnant. My IQ dropped by about 30 points at least, and my memory, once razor-sharp, resembled a sieve. I found this quite inconvenient and irritating but not as much as my husband. Well, once I figured out that it was because of hormones I thought I could deal with it, and surely it would all miraculously be reverted once I had the child, right? Um, not so much.

I had the child, and, as a lot of you know already, there still were hormones. breast-feeding hormones that make you not only a bit dumb, and forgetful, no, you also start to burst into tears for no apparent reason. (On the other hand I was like that when pregnant too.) Top that with serious sleep deprivation, and you end up with a woman quite different from the one I was before.

Still, a year later, breast-feeding was over, I was sleeping a bit more – not enough of course – and so I waited for myself to turn normal again. You know, with a functioning brain. One that didn’t forget everything. I felt foggy and mushy, as if I had to make do with a blunt mind. Since it clearly couldn’t be the hormones anymore, I blamed it on lack of sleep.

I already told you that I went to my doctor because I started to have my period about every three weeks which is a bit too often, and that I started to take medicine for it. Agnus castus to be precise with a helping of Vitamin B for additional help with PMS. Well, imagine my surprise when, after a while, my brain went out of its foggy, mushy state. For the first time since April 2002 I almost feel like myself again.

So it seems that indeed hormones had been making me dull, and forgetful, and put me in a low mood for six years.

It’s a bit embarrassing to be so driven by hormones. I feel that my body shouldn’t work like that. It should just function properly without me paying much attention. Please?

Notice, too, that I said “almost myself again”. I fear I will never regain all of my mind power back. And I’m a bit scared of menopause. The time when hormones will go wonky again. I feel that almost 30 years of PMS is enough.

I thought, I’d share though because there might be others out there blaming their foggy brains to lack of sleep when there might be other things responsible too.

  6 Responses to “No more mushy brain”

  1. Others have said the same thing about “being driven by hormones.” I have not felt embarrassed, but I have felt frustrated.

    Most months I just get very weepy and self-destructive, but, for no known reason, this month I have been very angry and decided (again) to try to do something about the problem.

    I don’t think we have agnus castus here, although I will check with my health shop. What I found to be recommended was 1200 mg. calcium and 100 mg B6. I started taking half of that in the mornings this past week and will take the full dose when I start taking the other half in the evening. I feel good, but of course, I just finished my period, so I would anyway. Also, I have been doing 30 minutes of aerobic exercise daily.

    I will go to the gynecologist next month for my annual check-up, and I will ask him about taking anti-depressants just on the very bad days. This is something common to treat PMDD, but it has never been offered to me. Each time, I have been prescribed a daily dose, but have not had success with that and have discontinued.

    It’s NOTHING to be embarrassed about, unless one is in the health care field and failing to treat it! The kind of mental anguish this brings about is not something that we women should suffer silently. And although only about 10% of women have symptoms as severe as mine, it’s real, and it’s not in our heads.

  2. I’m so glad that you’ve found something that makes you feel better. Nobody tells you that getting pregnant will make you stupid and I was pretty upset that I was reduced to an idiotic state during pregnancy and BF. It has gotten better for me, thankfully. I also noticed that I had the same side effect while on birth control pills. Again, that is NEVER listed as a side effect. I couldn’t deal with it, I hate feeling foggy so I feel for you that you endured it for so long!

  3. The fact that biology, chemistry, and genealogy plays such a great role in our lives is hard to come to term with. I sympathize greatly with your predicament and I’m glad to hear that you are finding a way back to balance.

  4. Menopause sucks. Sucks. Sucks.

    Because i like you, no details will be forthcoming.

    I am glad you are feeling better.

  5. I do not want to sharpen up. The confusion of hormones is a wonderful excuse for messing up.

  6. I’ve been feeling so frustrated, too, at my lack of control over my emotional state and my apparent lack of retention of information. It is infuriating to be controled by hormones in such a way as we see them as separate from our “true” selves.

    I’m glad that you are “almost” yourself again. And – as you said over my way – good on you for posting so maybe someone else will find a solution more quickly.

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