PTSD from being is an ongoing abusive relationship can cause problems with remembering things, paying attention and focusing. You feel like you are lost in a fog and that part of your brain is gone. It is hard to do normal tasks that are usually no problem at all.
This feeling of being in a fog is not uncommon with PTSD. You will be reading something and then end up having to re-read the same paragraph three times and still not know what you read. You might have trouble following simple verbal or written directions. You feel like you are coming down with Alzheimer’s disease.
Many people that experience this brain fog are afraid to say anything about it. You probably feel like no one would understand and it is also hard to describe.
Have you ever looked while you were driving and had no idea where you were? This happened to me several times during the first couple of months after my abusive relationship ended. It was scary and I felt like I was going crazy.
This brain fog is weird and scary. You wonder if it will go away and when it will stop. Are you stuck like this feeling stupid and unable to function forever?
Usually this is a temporary response to severe PTSD after an abusive relationship. It will probably go away. It does help to know that you are not the only one.
This brain fog is a result of the brain changes that occur when your brain is experiencing trauma. Certain parts of the brain are now on overload, like the amygdala which is in charge of the “fight or flight” mode. Your brain is on constant alert scanning the environment for threats and danger.
Our brains were not designed to be in a constant ongoing state of alert like this. The “fight or flight” mode is designed to be on for a few minutes in order to prepare you for dealing with a dangerous situation. It is not supposed to endure a situation like being in a constant state of threat by an abusive person.
The “Executive Function” is the part of the brain that controls functions that have to do with organizing, managing tasks, creating and following steps to get something done and focusing on what you are doing. People with a low executive function will have trouble paying attention and focusing.
When the amygdala is in a constant “On Mode” , other parts of the brain are affected and end up working at a less functional level. The executive function effectively “takes a hit for the team.”
With your executive function down you will have trouble with many things including concentrating, following directions and having a clear mind.