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The UKFibromyalgia Forums • View topic - What is the "fog" like for you? How do you experience it?



What is the "fog" like for you? How do you experience it?

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What is the "fog" like for you? How do you experience it?

Postby JustMe86 » Tue Jul 01, 2014 12:39 am

Hi there,

I'm new to these forums. I have a, "neuropathic pain syndrome not otherwise specified," that's probably fibromyalgia - although it may be chronic fatigue syndrome... I don't know. It's been called both. Regardless of what it is, it has the symptoms of fibro and I've been responding to the medications for fibro - Neurontin/gabapentin, specifically. Anyway... I don't know anyone else with fibro, and I was wondering what other peoples' experiences of, "fibro fog," are like.

For me, they are exactly like what a psychiatrist would call an episode of "derealization," So, I have the symptoms from this Wiki article's description... This is kind of long... But if anyone wants to read it, I'd be interested to know if this is the same type of "fibro fog," that other people with neuropathic pain experience...

"Derealization or derealisation (sometimes abbreviated as DR) is an alteration in the perception or experience of the external world so that it seems unreal. Other symptoms include feeling as though one's environment is lacking in spontaneity, emotional coloring and depth.[1] It is a dissociative symptom of many conditions, such as psychiatric and neurological disorders, and not a standalone disorder. Derealization is a subjective experience of unreality of the outside world, while depersonalization is unreality in one's sense of self. Although most authors currently regard derealization (surroundings) and depersonalization (self) as independent constructs, many do not want to separate derealization from depersonalization.[2] The main reason for this is nosological, because these symptoms often co-occur, but there is another, more philosophical reason: the idea that the phenomenological experience of self, others, and world is one continuous whole. Thus, feelings of unreality may blend in and the person may puzzle over deciding whether it is the self or the world that feels unreal to them."

"The detachment of derealization can be described as an immaterial substance that separates a person from the outside world, such as a sensory fog, pane of glass, or veil. Individuals may complain that what they see lacks vividness and emotional coloring. Emotional response to visual recognition of loved ones may be significantly reduced. Feelings of déjà vu or jamais vu are common. Familiar places may look alien, bizarre, and surreal. The world as perceived by the individual may feel like it is going through a dolly zoom effect. Such perceptual abnormalities may also extend to the senses of hearing, taste, and smell. The degree of familiarity one has with their surroundings is among one's sensory and psychological identity, memory foundation and history when experiencing a place. When a person is in a state of derealization, they block this identifying foundation from recall. This "blocking effect" creates a discrepancy of correlation between one's perception of one's surroundings during a derealization episode, and what that same individual would perceive in the absence of a derealization episode. Frequently, derealization occurs in the context of constant worrying or 'intrusive thoughts' that one finds hard to switch off. In such cases it can build unnoticed along with the underlying anxiety attached to these disturbing thoughts, and be recognized only in the aftermath of a realization of crisis, often a panic attack, subsequently seeming difficult or impossible to ignore. This type of anxiety can be crippling to the affected and may lead to avoidant behavior. Those who experience this phenomenon may feel concern over the cause of their derealization. It is often difficult to accept that such a disturbing symptom is simply a result of anxiety, and the individual may often think that the cause must be something more serious. This can, in turn, cause more anxiety and worsen the derealization. Derealization also affects the learning process. Because the individual almost sees the events as if in 3rd person, they cannot properly process information. People suffering from derealization have described feeling as if the world external to them were something in a TV show or movie, or as if they were viewing it through a TV screen. This, and other similar feelings attendant to derealization, can cause a sensation of alienation and distance between the person suffering from derealization and others around them."

Do other people also experience fibro fog in this same way? For me, the fog is episodic... It usually occurs when my pain gets really bad. The weird derealization/fog stuff will sometimes last for a few minutes or a few hours, or until I go to sleep and wake up in a new mind state the next day. I used to think this was connected to something entirely psychiatric or my migraine headaches alone, until I started finding posts on here about "fibro fog."

I appreciate anyone's feedback in advance... I've only been diagnosed and on treatment (Neurontin 600mg) for a month or so now, so I'm still trying to figure this all out... :?: :crazy:
"He who has a why to live can bear almost any how,"
--Friedrich Nietzsche
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Re: What is the "fog" like for you? How do you experience it

Postby Lindilou » Tue Jul 01, 2014 7:01 am

"Derealization". A good way to describe it. When I get it I know where I am etc but can't think or process anything, everything seems 'slower'.
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Re: What is the "fog" like for you? How do you experience it

Postby JustMe86 » Tue Jul 01, 2014 7:53 pm

"He who has a why to live can bear almost any how,"
--Friedrich Nietzsche
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Re: What is the "fog" like for you? How do you experience it

Postby Lindilou » Tue Jul 01, 2014 8:05 pm

All that makes it go away for me is rest and sleep
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Re: What is the "fog" like for you? How do you experience it

Postby mummatez » Tue Jul 08, 2014 9:37 pm

The only way I can explain the fog is its like thinking through cotton wool. I know where I am but everything is fuzzy, takes me ages to summons a word or an action. The only thing that helps is rest, rest and more rest or sleep. Xx
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Re: What is the "fog" like for you? How do you experience it

Postby ..:: lisa ::.. » Fri Jul 11, 2014 10:31 am

That description is a little similar to what I experience but because of the fog I can't take the info in properly haha!

I often feel like people are talking to me or I'm reading another language and even though I've read or heard the words the bit that gives things meaning isn't working properly so things are just that... words.

I have said that it's like I'm living in a bubble, watching what's going on but not really part of it.

For me it's like someone has messed up my brains filing system. I know information is there, I know that I know what's going on but the files needed to make sense of it all are not where they should be and I have no idea where to look for them.

I also have problems with my smell and taste. So I don't have access to memories that are activated by these senses.

I literally feel like I'm drifting through life with not a clue what's going on now.

I know some only have periods of fog, mine seems to be constantly running, it gets worse when I'm exhausted, but never goes away.
—(••÷[ I may ramble at times as my train of thought has crashed. Please be patient and bare with me ]÷••)—
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Re: What is the "fog" like for you? How do you experience it

Postby Helencat » Tue Jul 22, 2014 3:48 am

HI. I was diagnosed many years ago with an episode of "derealisation" and "depersonalisation". I now know that the causes of these feelings are extreme stress and anxiety often coupled with the lack of sleep that tends to come when you are too anxious to sleep... I've heard fibro fog as causing similar symptoms. For example, the not knowing where you are is quite common, and can last for varying periods of time. I'ts a little like being delirious. What I really find interesting in this description is this part...

"The degree of familiarity one has with their surroundings is among one's sensory and psychological identity, memory foundation and history when experiencing a place. When a person is in a state of derealization, they block this identifying foundation from recall. This "blocking effect" creates a discrepancy of correlation between one's perception of one's surroundings during a derealization episode, and what that same individual would perceive in the absence of a derealization episode."

I believe we block things from our memories due to trauma, and not wanting to revisit memories. I have whole periods of my life I have blocked out due to bad memories. Blocking things out in turn leads to this sense of not knowing your identity or recognising familiar surroundings. It's very interesting. I expect you do have fibromyalgia, it certainly sounds like you do. Anyway, best wishes to you.
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Re: What is the "fog" like for you? How do you experience it

Postby sue345 » Wed Jul 23, 2014 12:59 pm

I don't really know what mine are like because when I have had a 'fog' episide I have no recall of what happened. My recall starts again after I have slept.
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