Why is it hard for my brain to connect thoughts into words or actions?

I was diagnosed with bipolar nearly six years ago. My recovery has been a long one but is still getting better. I still wonder if I am on the right medication because of how I feel. It’s almost like I have been on an upward hill of recovery but have kind of leveled out and still need to go higher ( if you can understand that). My question is that my brain seems to work very slow, I have a hard time connecting the dots up there. It is very hard for me to carry on a conversation with people because I can’t put into words the thoughts I want to convey. Some days are better than others but on my worst everything is so hazy up there. What is this? and what if anything can I do or is it permanent brain loss. Thank you.

I won’t say I totally understand where you are coming from because no two people are the same.  However I do think perhaps maybe we all feel this same thing on some level.  I see the struggle mostly in my daughter so I will use her for an example first.

My daughter is 9 years old. She was diagnosed with Bipolar when she was 7.  She has always been highly intelligent. When she was only 15 months old she was tested and passed with the abilities of a 4 year old.  Things have always come super easy to her. While watching her grow up and watching her learn things so fast, watching her connect the dots in just one fluid moment, seeing the moment of recognition when her eyes lit up … There was nothing like it.

When she started showing her symptoms of bipolar, in the 2nd grade, I knew what it was and I got her to the right doctors fast and we started treating her but she was already starting to struggle. Her grades started slipping but just ever so slightly.  She started throwing fits in class because “the work was too hard”…. That spark I had always seen in her eye came less and less often, replaced with stress and defeat.

She still struggles today, 2 yrs later.  She is very hard on herself.  She is more critical of herself than anyone else could ever be.  She is very discouraged very fast because I don’t think she understands why it is so hard now when it use to be so easy. Can you see her frustration?  Sometimes she even throws an outright fit and refuses to do her homework because she doesn’t think she is “capable” of doing it, and it may be just simple subtraction or addition that she has done 100 times before.  Some days are better than others.

Now as far as putting a thought together I can say, I do understand that to an extent. Sometimes I am in mid-sentence and the word that was just on the tip of my tongue completely leaves my brain and I am standing there dumb founded wondering what it is I was fixing to say. Or I will start on a subject and go sideways with it and completely forget what my original purpose was to begin with because I got sidetracked and I am once again dumb founded as to why I am even speaking.

I’m not sure if it’s the bipolar itself or the medication we take “numbing” our brains. I suspect it’s a little of both.  But I assure you, you are not the only one to feel these effects.

3 thoughts on “Why is it hard for my brain to connect thoughts into words or actions?

  1. It could be a med side effect, depending on what you are on, could be a change in your biorhythms, you could be cycling more frequently and are unable to focus as well. Could be you need an ADD drug added for focus. Less difficult alternative is to add more omegas to your diet like a vitamin E supplement.

    There are many natural alternatives in vitamins, exercise, stress control and diet that will help you maintain your disorder better along with the meds.

  2. About a year and a half ago, I was feeling very much the same thing on lithium, and it had been going on for quite a while. I spoke to my psychiatrist about it, and she suggested I change medication, this time to valproic acid. It has made a world of difference. My moods are at about the same level of stability as before, but my mind is much clearer, and I don’t feel like I’m in a fog. My memory is suffering a little, but I definitely prefer that to the fog.

    So, my suggestion is to bring this concern to your psychiatrist. There are lots of different medications available, and different ones affect different people differently. You can see if there is something that will help alleviate these symptoms. I’m very glad I spoke to mine about it.

  3. For me i think that i have this problem because of my adhd, i have a very short attention span, poor short term memory, i am easily distracted and can have very poor focus, and i can be very restless and hyper. So this, along with having bipolar II & generalized anxiety disorder have caused a significant amount of problems for me. When my brain is working well and running on all cylinders I do very well, this is when i am super focused and can write well, read fast, and comprehend things very quickly. However when i am not at my optimum level i struggle with getting my words out verbally and on paper as well. Its like my brain just stalls out or something. My pdoc tells me that my bipolar symptoms are under fairly good control now but he is now seeing adhd symptoms surfacing. So it is finally starting to make sense why i can become very hyper, unfocused, and easily distracted, along with having a short attention span, no damn wonder i have struggled all of my life! I have been prescribed concerta and am hoping that this med will help with the adhd symptoms. Only time will tell…….. Vicky

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