Mental Fog

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oatsandmilk
Posts: 23
Joined: Sun Nov 22, 2020 3:07 pm

Mental Fog

Post by oatsandmilk »

Have any of you experienced mental fog. Only those who have can understand exactly what the condition means. It's like being permanently on non-drowsy antihistamine such as Xyzal.

I guess it is partly due to Covid situation for past year. I eat reasonably healthy but am completely sedentary. Otherwise in good health.

Such as - I am reading a book (say Culadasa's Mind Illuminated .. a not really hard to read book). By the time I am at page 65 I have forgotten most of what I read in page 1 - 50.

Of course that cannot happen with fiction.

I am having trouble keeping information inside my head. Unable to focus on information. But I do information based job so having a below-par mind is annoying and requires me to put in 4X time.

It has never happened before.

Any tips?

:anjali:

oatsandmilk
“This doctrine is profound, hard to see, difficult to understand, calm, sublime, not within the sphere of logic, subtle, to be understood by the wise”. – Majjhima Nikāya
sphairos
Posts: 567
Joined: Mon Jun 21, 2010 4:37 am

Re: Mental Fog

Post by sphairos »

It's a very difficult condition, I had it for several years and only recently seem to have gotten back to normal. Very debilitating state that practically renders you disabled (for any serious work or other sustained effort).

In my case it was a combination of therapy, medications, exercise, yoga, meditation.

I don't think there is a straightforward way out of this state and it seems it is caused by different stimuli in different people.

Check this page :

https://patient.info/forums/discuss/bra ... ing-641793

Probably you'll recognize your symptoms and there are different suggestions as to how to treat it.

I can write you a PM regarding what in particular helped me.
How good and wonderful are your days,
How true are your ways?
dharmacorps
Posts: 1547
Joined: Thu Aug 06, 2015 7:33 pm

Re: Mental Fog

Post by dharmacorps »

You may want to talk to a doctor. There are several things this could be that are physical.
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Pondera
Posts: 2024
Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2011 10:02 pm

Re: Mental Fog

Post by Pondera »

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thīna
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Middha

As I see it, a lack of good rest and the inability to arouse energy account for sloth and torper.

For me, letting go of past memories at night helps me wake up refreshed. If I find my self getting sluggish throughout the day, I’ll release even more pressure from my memory banks.

At that point (after I’m rested) I’m ready to arouse energy. I do this by activating the part of my brain that processes the future.

The short version is -

1) release memories from the past and allow the root chakra to open. This amounts to “rest”.

2) release the activity that processes the future and allow my throat chakra to open. This amounts to “energy”.

If you don’t buy the first or the second point, here’s a scientific argument.

The throat chakra activates the thyroid gland. Thyroid hormone is particularly important for regulating metabolism.

That’s my current working routine in a nut shell.

🧐

Edit: get some natural fructose in the morning. Berries are good.

Eat a big breakfast. The earlier you eat, the more energized you’ll feel.

If you skip breakfast and eat just lunch, you’ll go strait into food coma.
“Monk, the property of light, the property of beauty, the property of the dimension of the infinitude of space, the property of the dimension of the infinitude of consciousness, the property of the dimension of nothingness: These properties are to be reached as perception attainments.[2] The property of the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception is to be reached as a remnant-of-fabrications attainment. The property of the cessation of feeling & perception is to be reached as a cessation attainment."[3]

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
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one_awakening
Posts: 247
Joined: Sun Aug 20, 2017 6:04 am

Re: Mental Fog

Post by one_awakening »

Sounds like depression
“You only lose what you cling to”
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oatsandmilk
Posts: 23
Joined: Sun Nov 22, 2020 3:07 pm

Re: Mental Fog

Post by oatsandmilk »

sphairos wrote: Thu May 06, 2021 4:02 pm It's a very difficult condition, I had it for several years and only recently seem to have gotten back to normal. Very debilitating state that practically renders you disabled (for any serious work or other sustained effort).

In my case it was a combination of therapy, medications, exercise, yoga, meditation.

I don't think there is a straightforward way out of this state and it seems it is caused by different stimuli in different people.

Check this page :

https://patient.info/forums/discuss/bra ... ing-641793

Probably you'll recognize your symptoms and there are different suggestions as to how to treat it.

I can write you a PM regarding what in particular helped me.
Sort of know these. But it is a needle in a haystack. Can you PM me about what helped you.
dharmacorps wrote: Thu May 06, 2021 6:48 pm You may want to talk to a doctor. There are several things this could be that are physical.
While there is competent medical opinion available .. it is not affordable (for this level of investigation). It would require specialists from 5-6 disciplines (endocrinology to neurology and psychiatry). Even if I spent a vast sum there is no guarantee they would be able to find anything.
Pondera wrote: Thu May 06, 2021 8:21 pm https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thīna
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Middha

As I see it, a lack of good rest and the inability to arouse energy account for sloth and torper.

For me, letting go of past memories at night helps me wake up refreshed. If I find my self getting sluggish throughout the day, I’ll release even more pressure from my memory banks.

At that point (after I’m rested) I’m ready to arouse energy. I do this by activating the part of my brain that processes the future.

The short version is -

1) release memories from the past and allow the root chakra to open. This amounts to “rest”.

2) release the activity that processes the future and allow my throat chakra to open. This amounts to “energy”.

If you don’t buy the first or the second point, here’s a scientific argument.

The throat chakra activates the thyroid gland. Thyroid hormone is particularly important for regulating metabolism.

That’s my current working routine in a nut shell.

🧐

Edit: get some natural fructose in the morning. Berries are good.

Eat a big breakfast. The earlier you eat, the more energized you’ll feel.

If you skip breakfast and eat just lunch, you’ll go strait into food coma.
Okay it makes more sense. I have to clear my chakras. I would look into it. Good articles on chakras from competent sources are not easily available. If you have any could you PM them to me?
one_awakening wrote: Fri May 07, 2021 2:51 am Sounds like depression
It's not depression. I do not lack optimism or appetite. In case of depression those disappear.

:anjali:

oatsandmilk
“This doctrine is profound, hard to see, difficult to understand, calm, sublime, not within the sphere of logic, subtle, to be understood by the wise”. – Majjhima Nikāya
dharmacorps
Posts: 1547
Joined: Thu Aug 06, 2015 7:33 pm

Re: Mental Fog

Post by dharmacorps »

dharmacorps wrote: Thu May 06, 2021 6:48 pm You may want to talk to a doctor. There are several things this could be that are physical.
While there is competent medical opinion available .. it is not affordable (for this level of investigation). It would require specialists from 5-6 disciplines (endocrinology to neurology and psychiatry). Even if I spent a vast sum there is no guarantee they would be able to find anything.

[/quote]

That is true of any medical concern. unless you have gone and spoken to some doctors you can't know for sure what potentially the work up would be. If you are seriously ill you may be missing your window to do something about it. It also may be something dhamma cannot help with.
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Aloka
Posts: 7440
Joined: Wed Jan 21, 2009 2:51 pm

Re: Mental Fog

Post by Aloka »

Maybe try doing some walking meditation every day in an oudoor area which is spacious.

There are a couple of pages "On Walking Meditation" at the end of Ajahn Amaro's little book "Finding the Missing Peace" which you might find useful.

https://cdn.amaravati.org/wp-content/up ... _Amaro.pdf

With metta,

Aloka :anjali:

.
SarathW
Posts: 16314
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2012 2:49 am

Re: Mental Fog

Post by SarathW »

I am not sure of your condition. If you perfectly know what is going around you why bother?
To me you are perfect as you are aware of what is happening to you. You know you forget so what?
Keep a diary and a check list for most important things.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”
simsapa
Posts: 305
Joined: Sat May 23, 2020 5:51 pm

Re: Mental Fog

Post by simsapa »

I'm not sure that deficient information recall and mental fog are equivalent. It might be possible to have one without the other. I'm not sure. As far as I know, there's no sutta that specifically deals with the ability to recall information that's in a "stored" format like a book. Of course, there is an instruction to bring to mind the teachings, to practice mindfulness, to apply energy to dhamma practice, etc. And it may be the case that practicing mindfulness informally (e.g. washing dishes mindfully, speaking mindfully, walking mindfully) might help with information retention.

If you do in fact have mental fog, there are traditional prescriptions for it. (It's called thina in this tradition.) You can use the perception of bright light. This might be a visualization, but you can also use something like the moon or the blue sky. (Just don't look directly at the sun or any dangerously bright artificial light source.) You can change your meditation subject or reflect on dhamma passages. Also, you can try a number of physical approaches: pulling on the ears, massaging the arms/legs, sprinkling water on the eyes. See "Excursions into the Thought-World of the Pali Discourses" for more information on the hindrances. Also, you can look for relevant passages in a text like the Visuddhimagga. (Just make sure you understand that the Vis. sometimes is more creative than commentarial in some of its content.)
on non-drowsy antihistamine such as Xyzal
You might want to look for an alternative to an antihistamine if you're taking this.
Mind Illuminated
Why read this when the teachings of the Buddha (and the experiences of the forest masters) are widely available?
But I do information based job so having a below-par mind is annoying and requires me to put in 4X time.
It could just be that you're tired. Just in case, have you requested a blood test? Assuming you're working with a good provider, this could be beneficial. I could go into more detail on this. As with all things in the medical arena, everyone has their own story to tell, and I have mine.
Okay it makes more sense. I have to clear my chakras. I would look into it. Good articles on chakras from competent sources are not easily available. If you have any could you PM them to me?
The word "chakra" is not in the Tipitaka. As far as I know, neither is the concept of it. Now, from the meditator's point of view, there is a flow of energy in the body, and this energy seems to get entangled around certain points. So, it's not incorrect to note this. But what can happen, ironically, is that you get so focused on these "chakras" that you end up forgetting your meditation object, and therefore lose the benefit of the calming effect that actually circulates the energy. These "chakras" are ultimately subject to anicca, and are insufficient as a refuge (therefore dukkha). So then the question is: What is sufficient as a refuge?

Best of luck to you.
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