Are you constantly feeling exhausted? Have you been noticing any mood changes? Do you struggle to focus on regular tasks? Brain fog, which often includes depression and fatigue, is a health issue that can have consequences on all facets of your life.
Why Depression Causes Fatigue
Depression is just one of the most frequent mental health issues in the United States. Some symptoms, which may stem from depression, are excessive feelings of guilt, hopelessness, insomnia, and fatigue as well as brain fog, among others.
Depression, brain fog, and fatigue, or chronic tiredness, can frequently go hand in hand. It is a vicious cycle: brain fog makes you spend energy for you to make it through the day, which in turn, makes you feel even more tired when you also have depression. Then when you’re feeling unproductive, it worsens your depression even more and it can affect your sleep.
The direction of causality has not been ascertained but researchers have found definite links between inflammation, brain fog, and depression. These links can go beyond just the cognitive and psychological aspects of depression and brain fog.
Other health issues that can involve autoimmune and/or inflammatory processes also correlate with brain fog, including chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, or rheumatoid arthritis. Therefore, several healthcare professionals and researchers now believe that inflammation may be a significant origin of depressive symptoms, although not the sole one.
Understanding Brain Fog
We hear the term brain fog a lot nowadays but what exactly is brain fog? Brain fog isn’t a health issue on its own but rather a symptom of several different health issues. It’s a collection of symptoms, such as lack of motivation, irritability, inability to focus, and memory problems. It may generally feel like you’re losing control of your brain or your overall health and wellness.
If you’ve ever experienced brain fog, you will know that its intensity may differ from day to day, even from one moment to the other. It may also ultimately feel almost as if the exterior world is moving too quickly for you to keep up with it.
It can also become extremely frustrating if you can’t recall an ideal word during a conversation or in the event that you forget if you’ve locked the door in the morning. You must understand that it’s brain fog and know that it’s not who you really are. However, with long-standing depression, it may also begin to feel as if you’ve just become lethargic and slow.
Health issues, such as brain fog, can be caused by several different physical and mental health issues. It can be difficult to explain to others that you’re feeling fatigued since it’s often simply mistaken for being tired after a long day of work.
But fatigue is much more than just being tired. People experiencing fatigue feel tired even after mild exertion. Getting through an average day appears to be a marathon. And waking up feeling unrefreshed is a major indicator that your feelings of fatigue can possibly be a much more intricate health issue associated with inflammation, brain fog and depression.
Why Depression Causes Brain Fog
Because brain fog can be an indication of many different health issues and not just depression, the relationship between both is not entirely clear. Depression disturbs the balance of the “feel good” chemicals in the brain, known as dopamine, which can also result in a chronic sense of sadness and lack of health and wellness. But that is not the whole story.
Your upbringing can also set you up with a lack of self-compassion, which the helplessness of brain fog amplifies. Research studies show that these states can relate to elevated inflammatory chemicals that make you feel much more brain fog. Another cause of brain fog includes depression medicines, like antidepressants. The purpose of these drugs and/or medications is to relieve depression symptoms and re-establish the balance of chemicals in the brain.
However, these medicines appear to contribute to brain fog as a side-effect due to the biochemical changes which they cause in the mind. If you feel that your antidepressants may be the actual culprit, it may be well worth monitoring when you experience a brain fog episode. Tracking your symptoms, in general, can help you figure out ways to counter brain fog.
Research shows that depression negatively affects the brain’s reward system by changing the amount of dopamine, a neurotransmitter involved in feelings of pleasure, reward, and motivation. A reward system that is disrupted can ultimately make it difficult to find the point in spending some energy to perform or participate in regular everyday activities.
Insomnia, which is distinguished by difficulty falling or staying asleep, is closely related to depression. This usually means that the probability of depression raises since it deprives us of the physical repairs of sleep and power. And having depression, in turn, makes it difficult to get a good night’s sleep because of the cycle of unwanted thoughts. The end-product is, as you may have guessed, unbeatable tiredness or fatigue. After all, brain fog, depression, and fatigue all seem to be connected.
Brain fog is closely associated with both depression and fatigue. Being open and honest about your symptoms can be a fundamental step in your recovery process. Although inflammation is the human body’s immune response to injury, infection, or illness, too much inflammation can actually cause a variety of health issues. Evidence from research studies has demonstrated that inflammation can ultimately be associated with brain fog, depression, and even fatigue symptoms. – Dr. Alex Jimenez D.C., C.C.S.T. Insight
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Are you constantly feeling exhausted? Have you been noticing any mood changes? Do you struggle to focus on regular tasks? Brain fog, which includes depression and fatigue, is a problem that can affect your overall health and wellness. The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal and nervous health issues as well as functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We use functional health protocols to treat injuries or chronic disorders of the musculoskeletal system. To further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900 .
Curated by Dr. Alex Jimenez
Additional Topic Discussion: Chronic Pain
Sudden pain is a natural response of the nervous system which helps to demonstrate possible injury. By way of instance, pain signals travel from an injured region through the nerves and spinal cord to the brain. Pain is generally less severe as the injury heals, however, chronic pain is different than the average type of pain. With chronic pain, the human body will continue sending pain signals to the brain, regardless if the injury has healed. Chronic pain can last for several weeks to even several years. Chronic pain can tremendously affect a patient’s mobility and it can reduce flexibility, strength, and endurance.
Neural Zoomer Plus for Neurological Disease
Dr. Alex Jimenez utilizes a series of tests to help evaluate neurological diseases. The Neural ZoomerTM Plus is an array of neurological autoantibodies which offers specific antibody-to-antigen recognition. The Vibrant Neural ZoomerTM Plus is designed to assess an individual’s reactivity to 48 neurological antigens with connections to a variety of neurologically related diseases. The Vibrant Neural ZoomerTM Plus aims to reduce neurological conditions by empowering patients and physicians with a vital resource for early risk detection and an enhanced focus on personalized primary prevention.
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The information herein on "Functional Neurology: Brain Fog, Depression, and Fatigue" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional, licensed physician, and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make your own health care decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified health care professional.
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