lemtrada-uk 27/02/17
Last reply 11 months ago
Unsociable and not chatty. Why?

This is a strange feeling. When socialising I struggle to follow the conversation. I am physically sitting in the group but mentally I am somewhere else. It becomes embarrassing when I’m asked a question then it dawns on me that I haven’t a clue what has been said.

Is this a common MS symptom? What can one do to help? It’s probably going to affect my confidence as I want to avoid causing embarrassment to myself. Sometimes I totally misunderstand what is being spoken about and speak gibberish which is totally unrelated. I feel mentally slow and un-intelligent.

I try keeping myself mentally active because I feel that when my ms was much worse I was too quick to succumb to the fatigue and rest/sleep as much as possible. I feel that earlier I was more of a fun person with more to speak about.

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mmhhpp
11 months ago

I feel exactly like that and unfortunately i have no solution…….take care xxx


stumbler
11 months ago

@lemtrada-uk , we need to be aware that when we are in our social circles, we can be affected by “sensory overload”, i.e. too much going on for our brains to manage.

Being aware of this cognitive weakness may allow us to focus on one thing, rather than be swamped………….


valentina_haritonova
11 months ago

Hi! I would suggest discussing some dietary supplements with your doctor. Particularly Vitamin B complex, Lecithin and Omega 3-6 fatty acids. When used correctly, vitamins provide great boost to energy levels and thinking capacity.


lemtrada-uk
11 months ago

Ah ok. Sensory overload makes sense.

I thought it may be because I avoid socialising in groups is why I am getting worse at it. If I embrace such situations should I become more comfortable in group situations? I feel anxious as I don’t know what the group are conversing about, let alone participating in the conversation. They could be talking about me for all I know lol


stumbler
11 months ago

@lemtrada-uk , in social situations, there is a lot of background chitter-chatter going on. We have to try and concentrate on the conversation at hand, whilst trying to block out/ignore any background activity………


Anonymous
11 months ago

@lemtrada-uk have you tried meditating to give your brain a ‘rest’? Headspace is a good place to start. If that’s not your thing then there are some great relaxation apps. Also what’s your sugar/processed food/caffeine intake like? All the best x


doubleo7hud
11 months ago

Look on the bright side at least you don’t have to listen to a load of boring farts waffle on about there cats eating habits or what colour curtains they want in there lavatory . Always a bonus embrace the fog everything can be used in a positive manor. I see myself as a superhero with powers to ignore the wife when she’s nagging etc…. jobs a good en


red-suzuki
11 months ago

well @lemtrada-uk…I know what you mean, before everything went over you head or around you & conversing was strait forward…..as stumbler says, when you are out the background noise is distracting, it just makes you nod your head around the people your with, those old hornts are not the same now…along with what vickivitoria & others say, perhaps you have more of a say in where you meet?….& with whom…..maybe you can control that sensory overload on your terms!


potter
11 months ago

Same here, I do a lot of head nodding and watching peoples mouths move. I even get lost when my husband starts talking on and on. Sometimes it will get a little tense because he has told me something and I don’t remember it at all. He won’t admit I have cognitive problems and thinks I am not paying attention to him. Someday a light bulb will turn on and he will realize what is happening. Potter


dreamcatcher
11 months ago

I know the exact feeling as I am in the same boat unfortunately I as well do not have a solution. Take care.


tracyd
11 months ago

@lemtrada-uk as has been said ‘cog-fog’ is a common thing with us MS’ers, I compare it to having soup sloshing round in my head, it’s all a little ‘soupy’ disjointed thoughts, memory definately ‘funky’ and then there is word splicing or just using the wrong word completely …
I’ve found Oxygen Therapy helped greatly with this I would walk in with a head full of soup and walk out feeling like me – it was a temporary fix but I could do a couple of sessions a week I could keep the clear head going and the soup at bay


lemtrada-uk
11 months ago

There’s an awful lot of head nodding and pretending to laugh at jokes. I wouldn’t want friends and family (who are dear to me) to think that I’ve become boring, or even I’m failing to cope (one has assumed that I’m suffering from depression due to new found quietness). I know I shouldn’t really care what people think but I’m content with life and don’t want anyone worrying and assuming.

I used to have oxygen therapy. I didn’t feel the benefits so I stopped. Mind you my ms wasnt as active in them days and cog fog wasn’t an issue for me. I’ll probably be starting again soon.

@vickivictoria what will be the impact of my sugar/ processed food /caffeine intake? How do I check? What level should it be?

@valentina_haritonova interesting suggestion about dietary / vitamin supplements. There must be things which can help. I’m not expecting a miracle though lol. I just want to be more like the ‘old’ me as possible. What do you all take?


imbarca
11 months ago

@lemtrada-uk it’s tricky isn’t it? Can you try a few experiments to try and find out what’s causing it. So, if you can follow a conversation with 1 or 2 people in a quiet room, then it’s probably a sensory processing thang like @stumbler suggested. But if it’s tricky for you to follow the thread of something on the radio then it’s more likely an auditory processing problem. And if TV plots are hard to follow too then it’s more generally speed of information processing. All of these are common in ms because the damage means that the signals take longer to get where they need to. Just like traveling through a city with lots of blocked roads.

Things to try:

Be well rested, sleep deprivation massively reduces everyone’s processing capacity
Give yourself a sensory break before you go out, lie somewhere dark/quiet and let your mind wander
As @vickivictoria says, try mindfulness apps. I like Buddhify. Stress really affects processing power and attention, being all Zen maximises what you’ve got.
I’m not sure what folks were going to say about caffeine, but I actually find it sharpens me if I’m feeling foggy. It can also turn me into a blathering buffoon though, so I have to dose it right!
If you are still struggling, try your MS nurses, I believe that some people do find medication helpful if nothing else works. Along the same lines as Ritalin for people with ADHD. As with all things, there’s side effects, but if it’s really affecting your life it might be worth a try.

Hope you get it sorted, at least you know your not alone!


nickydc
11 months ago

@lemtrada-uk I suffer with the exact same thing! Even before i knew i had MS my cognitive problems were already starting. I find when my fatigue is bad it gets worse and sometimes i get very frustrated with it.
My MS nurse sent me to a speach and language therapist who tested me on a few things to find out what i struggled with more cognitively and then helped me with ways to deal with them and also how to explain to others ( friends, family & work) why sometimes i get confused and how they can help me so i dont get so frustrated when i cant always keep up.
I also find that humour for me helps, so me and my partner have a good giggle sometimes when i call things different words to what they are. 🙂
I hope this helps you.


Anonymous
11 months ago

Hi @lemtrada-uk,
Here’s a link all about sugar by a chef who’s also nutritionally trained – https://www.getthegloss.com/article/10-bad-things-you-never-knew-sugar-was-doing-to-your-body. Personally I don’t eat refined sugar, I’m processed food free, I do drink coffee in moderation (4-5 cups a week) and like @imbarca suggests I need it as a boost sometimes.

Listen to your body you’ll know if you can handle 3 cups of coffee a day for example or is it actually making you feel worse? Do you have a massive sugar low after a biscuit? Do you crave sugar? When you eat white pasta or rice, or dairy products, how does your tummy feel? There’s loads of evidence now about the brain and gut connection and various diets to assist healing. I’m on the Best Bet Diet with supplements. Please feel free to join my fb group https://www.facebook.com/groups/Controlms/
And if you’re really interested we can pm if you like or just take from it what you need. It’s taken me a long time to get where I’m at – so be patient and positive and yes I still get foggy and tired, but I truly believe it would be worse were I not on my path/journey.

There’s loads of information I’d love to share, but it would make this a very long reply. I must relax now before I collect my son from school. 😉

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