Students and Brainfog

Students+and+Brainfog

Ian Johnson, Staff Writer

Imagine yourself opening a book and starting to read but then halfway through you realized you didn’t read anything. Your eyes were looking at the words but your brain did not comprehend anything you read on the page. This can be very common for students who experience brain fog. Brain fog describes symptoms that people with chronic illness and pain often experience. Brain fog itself isn’t a condition but rather symptoms of concentration, speech, and memory problems. Many students with chronic illness struggle with school because of cognitive impairments. According to Kris Verroulx, a doctor of psychology, “It makes people feel fuzzy or exhausted, and makes it almost impossible to complete normal tasks.” 

For many, school can be difficult. Scholars point out that “brain fog also makes it difficult to learn and retain new information, making school and studying a challenge” (University of the People), making school even more difficult for students with disabilities. Students who struggle with brain fog often want to excel and strive to overcome this barrier. However, when your head feels cloudy or like it’s not working the way it is supposed to, it is exhausting putting 100% effort into anything and everything. 

Some brave students have spoken up about their struggle: “It’s very frustrating for me because I can’t navigate through my own head and it’s even more frustrating that other people don’t understand why I’m getting frustrated” (Cloe Lord, freshman at Grand Canyon University). Along with personal struggles, brain fog is often misunderstood. Another college student shared, “When told important tasks it feels like my brain just completely blanks and I’ll need step by step instructions on how to do it or I’ll get confused even over simple things” (Kyler Romo, freshman at Paradise Valley Community College). Even little things can seem impossible. 

Although there is struggle, there are many ways to overcome symptoms of brain fog. According to Bangkokhospital.com, “Regular sleep and exercise can be used as effective treatments for brain fog. Using vitamin supplements and reducing stress are also common ways people combat Brain Fog Syndrome. Lastly, avoiding caffeine, alcohol, and smoking in the afternoon can help symptoms as well.”

Brain fog is more common than it may seem. Even people who have had a mild cold may have experienced it. For other students this struggle is all they’ve known. Cognitive impairments such as concentration and speech are important to recognize as they commonly go unnoticed. Keep and eye out on loved ones who may experience brain fog and remember to be patient and kind.