Cognitive impairment -- has anyone found help for that?

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Cognitive impairment -- has anyone found help for that?

Postby A_M » Tue Nov 13, 2018 11:05 am

I'm experiencing some major cognitive impairment. Despite my mood improving, the cognitive impairment remains. My working memory is severely limited, when I've read one paragraph I have forgotten what the last one was about. I do not remember things like dates and times, and sometimes I am so certain that it was X when in fact it was Y. I have difficulties listening and making sense of what people are saying, I have no focus and my mind is scattered. Even though I write myself notes to remember things, I don't seem to be able to use those notes, or I forget that I have them. When I try to concentrate on work, my mind starts thinking about other things, and suddenly I find myself doing something else than what I am supposed to be doing. I have difficulty seeing "the big picture", I can't put pieces together like I used to. I have no history of ADD and when I found a comparison between ADD and depression-induced cognitive dysfunction, it all pointed to the latter. I also easily "run out of brain capacity", it feels like my mind will just shut down on me.

Stimulants have been helpful a bit, but that is not a long-term solution. Everything I find that is dated recently (2016 onwards) basically say that researchers have just found out that there is a lasting cognitive impairment that lasts beyond the mood improving. And no one has any solution. Well, there's a clinical trial for something going on in Copenhagen I think. I'm on SSRI+NDRI and am switching to SNRI+NDRI, but I have reason to believe that it will not be enough.

What do I do? How can I get my mind back? Has anyone found something that helps?

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Joined: Thu Dec 27, 2018 3:39 pm

Re: Cognitive impairment -- has anyone found help for that?

Postby Bjorn » Thu Dec 27, 2018 4:00 pm

While I haven't experienced impairment quite as bad as you describe, it did have a negative impact on me aswell (still does).

I try to challenge and keep my brain active every day. If I'm unable to read due to terrible short term memory or attentionspan, I'll put the book down and do some wordpuzzles (like wordscapes). I found one of my old math textbooks and started working through the problems.

Sometimes I can only keep at it 5-15 minutes at a time before I become mentally exhausted. Take a powernap, make a cup of tea, distract yourself and then get back at it. The key is repetition and consistency, and always thinking "I'm tired, but I can do one more puzzle/problem". That being said it has taken me almost a year to get to a point where I get the occasional glimpses of someone I used to be.

Good luck! And happy holidays.

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Joined: Fri Nov 23, 2018 2:54 pm

Re: Cognitive impairment -- has anyone found help for that?

Postby FindingMyWay » Thu Dec 27, 2018 4:43 pm

My story is a bit different than you but there are some similarities. Much of my depression is the result of a car crash and a resultant brain injury. I found a non-profit organization that is helping me with a number of the issues you describe. They started with a neuro-psychological exam that helped identify specific deficits and proposed specific remedies. Such an exam may be helpful for you. My case worker has given me a number of techniques that are very helpful.
- Everything goes in my calendar with reminder alarms (often many reminders depending on the entry). For appointments, I put a 1-week alarm, a 3-day alarm, a 1-day alarm, a 12-hour alarm, and a 1-hour alarm. Now, I don't miss appointments. I turned off notifications on many of my apps like email. Instead, I have a reminder to "check email" that goes off twice a day.
-Meditation help
-Logic and math puzzles help

I have more tricks she's taught me. Let me know if you're interested in learning more of what she's suggested

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