How can I tell if I'm brain-damaged?

<p>Classes have gotten a lot harder for me this year and I think there's something wrong with my brain. My sister and I were having a conversation on the way to Costco and I kept driving the wrong way because I was focusing on the conversation, but I couldn't hold the conversation properly either (it was about kind of a deep topic). On the way back, I tried to turn left out of a right-turn lane. Granted, it was raining, and I've always been a bad driver, but I still find my lack of awareness concerning.</p>

<p>Also, yesterday I looked up the definition of equivalent metric. It seemed pretty understandable. Fifteen minutes later I needed the definition, but I'd forgotten it, so I asked a friend. Fifteen minutes later I'd forgotten it again, and I think I looked it up, but I don't remember, and anyway I don't remember what it is now. Also, I was eating seaweed salad, and I jumped off my bed specifically to put it away, but then I ate some of it and forgot to put it away.</p>

<p>Also, my homework is becoming impossible and it's taking me days to do homework that should be easy. Before I thought it was because I was lazy, but now that I've tried working harder these past few days, I think I'm just stupid or brain-damaged or something. I've been on antipsychotics for a year and tried to strangle myself three years ago so maybe it has something to do with that. Or maybe I'm not getting enough nutrition because I'm a vegetarian. Or maybe I'm just dumb. What do you think?</p>

<p>Don't worry about brain damage. It could be a dozen smaller things. Start writing down these instances and then talk to your doctor about it. I'm sure he/she will have some suggestions.</p>

<p>How are you doing socially? Is there some emotional issue that is weighing on you? That can really mess up your concentration. When my D got lost on the beach and was missing for hours, oddly enough I had trouble answering the policeman's questions about what color her eyes were, etc. I'm her mom--of course I know what color her eyes are!</p>

<p>Many things can cause this type of foggy thinking. Stress, hormones, medications are among the most common. Definitely keep track of these occurences and talk to a doctor about them. Any chance you could be pregnant? Pregnant women have this happen.</p>

<p>How much sleep are you getting? Lack of sleep leads to a lot of cognitive issues.</p>

<p>When you're at the doc's office ask to get your thyroid checked. If the thyroid is sluggish, the thinking will be sluggish. Low thyroid also leads to depression. The phrase in the thyroid community for this is "fuzzy thinking" or "foggy brain."</p>

<p>Good luck and if you're a vegetarian you might need to add B vitamins.</p>

<p>If you tried to hurt yourself in the past I hope you are seeing a therapist.</p>

<p>Despite your current issues, I think you're a very good detective.</p>

<p>You have already identified two possible causes of your problem -- your medications and your diet. </p>

<p>Obviously, you need to visit your doctor to discuss your concerns, and you should definitely bring up these two possibilities. The doctor may want to run some tests for vitamin deficiencies (especially B12) and see whether an adjustment in your medication might be a good idea. And of course, you will need some tests for unrelated problems as well -- such as the thyroid problems that another poster mentioned.</p>

<p>Make sure to tell your doctor if you drink alcohol, smoke marijuana, or use any other recreational substances. They could play a role, too, especially in combination with prescription medication.</p>

<p>Also, think back and try to recall whether you've had any sort of head injury recently -- even a minor bang on the head that didn't seem to be worth seeing a doctor about. If you can't recall this, maybe your friends or family can. If something like that happened, you might have had a concussion without realizing it.</p>

<p>OP,
Check with doc. You are asking the wrong crowd. Even MD cannot diagonse without seeing you. The fact that you are asking us to do so is alarming, IMO. If you were my kid, I would urge you to see a doc.</p>

<p>You're obviously not dumb. Your OP is quite well-written.</p>

<p>You've gotten a lot of good advice to which I can't add a thing (other than to urge you to go to Student Health Services or your own doctor soon so you don't have to continue to worry about this.)</p>

<p>Perhaps you'll get a laugh about my "dumb" story from yesterday.</p>

<p>Me: I'm trying to think of the place in Pakistan where that really bad guy was killed. I can't remember his name, either, but he was really bad.
Son: Uh, Mom? Osama bin Laden?</p>

<p>I guess the good news is that his name won't live on in infamy after his death, at least not in my brain.</p>

<p>It's good that you are self-aware and know you are not operating at peak capacity.</p>

<p>So see your doctor with your symptoms--it could be your meds, your thyroid, or lack of nutrients from a less-than-optimum vegetarian diet.</p>

<p>Btw, I am incapable of driving and carrying on a conversation at the same time! Never could. :)</p>

<p>
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I am incapable of driving and carrying on a conversation at the same time!

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<p>I'm incapable of driving and listening to music with lyrics at the same time. I can only manage instrumental music, and in bad traffic, I even have to turn that off.</p>

<p>To the OP: The point here isn't what you can and can't do. Different people have different capabilities and limitations. What's important is that you've noticed a change. </p>

<p>Incidentally, if you're not embarrassed to do so, you might want to ask some friends and family members whether they have noticed a change in your behavior or thinking. If they haven't, it doesn't mean anything (you might notice things that they wouldn't). But if they have, that's an additional piece of useful information to share with your doctor.</p>

<p>Maybe get a Lyme disease test. Could be medications, could be related to the condition for which they were prescribed. Notice if these symptoms come and go, or if they are constant, and if they get better then worse, or keep getting worse. Lupus and fibromyalgia and other health conditions can also do this. Is it worse when you are in the sun or have been in the sun? Could also be hormonal, blood sugar, thyroid. Get a physical work-up.</p>

<p>Have you had a concussion or head trauma???</p>

<p>Hi, thank you very much for the responses! Honestly I think I was just feeling stupid yesterday, so there's probably nothing wrong with my brain...it happens :P I seem to be able to understand stuff a lot better today, I don't know what's different. Also, I guess my classes aren't really that much harder than they were before, I was just feeling dumb (well I failed a midterm, but then realized I got the class average, so now I don't feel as stupid).</p>

<p>I have gotten my thyroid checked, and I do have thyroid problems, but hopefully the medication is fixing it. I do need to get bloodwork done though, to check if the medication is still fixing it. Also I don't think I've hit my head anywhere but I'm always forgetful about these sorts of things.</p>

<p>Thanks again!</p>