I’m a 33-year old man living in Sydney, Australia. I am married with two young children. I have spent the past four years descending into and steadily climbing my way out of what I would best describe as brain fog to those who’ve experienced it, or a severe lack of concentration to those who haven’t.
I want to share my experience with people who are suffering from brain fog, or spaghetti head, as I’ve come to call it. I want to share my story because I think I might be able to help someone (like you) to overcome it. It has been a debilitating condition and the last chapter of my life has been a very difficult one for me and those closest to me.
What made the journey through my spaghetti head the hardest was that it was nearly impossible to find the help I needed. I consulted my life-long GP, family members, trusted friends, a psychologist and a councillor and not one could help me get onto the path back to health. This failure was through no lack of effort, care or love from all those wonderful people. The reason is simply that the condition is still a relatively unknown entity, it’s hard to put your finger on, not something you can hang your hat on, like you could a broken bone.
Let me take a shot at describing the sensation of brain fog. It felt like my brain was being pinched slightly, somewhere near the front. I experienced all thoughts and sensations through a hazy blanket or fuzzy cloud. It made it very difficult to think clearly, to take in information, to recall memories and most acutely, to organise my thoughts enough to plan ahead. The closest “normal” experience I can relate it to is the feeling you have in your head when you’re hung over. I could always manage the day-to-day tasks of life easily enough, preparing breakfast, cleaning my teeth, etc. The struggles began when I had to interact with people who weren’t privy to my foggy ways, particularly when I had to start a new job and learn lots of new things, meet lots of new people. It was extremely difficult to build relationships with people at work. People would tell me what they’d done on the weekend and I couldn’t take in the words. I knew nothing about the people I’d worked with for well over a year!
I could go on and on, and my intention is to share much more of my experience through the blog, but I understand that anyone reading this background information through that awful haze is looking for answers, and quickly. I discovered through an integrative medical specialist (who trained as a regular GP and then explored Eastern medicine, acupuncture and more) that I needed to change my diet. I removed all dairy foods from my diet and cut my meat intake by half. My fuzzy head improved dramatically within two days. It turns out that cognitive function is directly linked to the digestive system and that my digestion was terrible. Now my spaghetti head did not disappear straight away, it actually took almost two more years for a complete recovery. A friend of mine who has dealt with the crippling impacts of chronic fatigue told me that it often takes the same amount of time that you’ve been suffering from an ailment to work your way out of it. I found this to be the case for me.
I believe that getting quality sleep, exercising and managing stress levels also help to reduce the haze but a busy job and young family often limited my ability to achieve all of these. The change in diet was the foundation of my recovery.
Please use this site to share with others your experiences and to learn from others tools that may help you in your battle. Feel free to contact me by email if you don’t want to post publicly. My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.