22 People Explain What 'Migraine Brain Fog' Feels Like


The only thing that might be more than difficult than experiencing “brain fog” is trying to explain what that fog feels like — especially in the wake of a migraine. “Migraine brain fog” refers to the cognitive state those who have migraines often enter after their migraine has ended, and it can linger for even longer than the migraine that precedes it.

We paired up with The Daily Migraine to ask our readers on Facebook who have experienced migraines what it feels like to have migraine brain fog. Their responses brought a lot of clarity to a feeling that is anything but clear:

1. “I describe it as ‘please wait while we return to our regularly scheduled programming.’” — Ursula Anderson

2. “It’s like trying like trying to walk uphill through peanut butter… but thinking.” — Kirsten Fresh-Winchester

3. “I feel disconnected from my life. Like there’s a bubble around me and I can’t quite reach anything. Kind of like when your ears haven’t popped but for all my senses.” — Danna Johnson Taylor

4. “Like a messy closet and you can’t find anything.” — Pamela Moore

5. “Like trying to wade through mud. Everything, every action, every thought, seems to require so much more effort than normal and it’s exhausting.” — Vicky Haynes

6. “It feels much like you’ve napped too long and can’t shake the cobwebs.” — Cindy Harley Wynne

7. “Like trying to ace an AP Calculus test on which your entire future depends, after having endured several concussions that were used to keep you awake for the past four days, and you can’t even remember your name let alone how to read or understand mathematics.” — Jiriah Yossarian

8. “Just being woken up out of a deep sleep, and trying to get your bearings. Nothing is clear, nothing seems real. Or like driving on the road in the thick fog. The experience doesn’t seem real and you have to use more energy focusing on where the road is.” — Salem Reid

9. “Sometimes I think I am in a slow motion dream, forget words, forget what I am talking about in the middle of a sentence.” — Janet Reeves

10. “It’s like my brain has been replaced with cotton wool!” — Georgina Helm

11. “It feels like I’m in a room with an echo on TV with a time delay coupled with not being able to think of the words I’m trying to say quickly enough.” — Lisa DeVito Pastor

12. “Conversation is really hard. You accidentally zone out while listening to others, and sometimes accidentally think about something else entirely, even though you want to listen.” — Katie Payne

13. “It’s as if my head is a balloon attached to my neck by a thin string, severely delaying any sensory input. At the same time, that balloon is caught in the wind — as soon as I try to focus on something, a gust comes along to blow my attention away.” — Dev Anthony

14. “It feels like you just woke up from a deep sleep and are trying to function but it is difficult to coordinate cognitive and physical movements as you try to go about your routine.” — Mary Grams

15. “Head, neck and shoulders feel heavy, like a weight is sitting there. Eyes don’t focus well and it feels like you’re walking through jello.” — Heidi Hess

16. “You know what you want to say, but can’t think of the words. You might be trying to say pen but can only come up with crayon, signature, write, ink…but not pen.” — Alyssa Wolverton

17. “I feel like a ghost.” — Ely Mtz

18. “Like my mind went through a blender.” — Pamela Moore

19. “[I] feel sort of like I’m dreaming, like I’m watching the world from the outside looking in. I feel exhausted mentally. Even talking is exhausting. The world feels blurry.” — Julie Staley

20. “It’s like there is a cut wire in the system. Information gets in but is lost along the way. You can’t find the cut and you can’t fix it, and the more you try to fix it, the worse it gets.” — Kris Hemming

21. “You can see straight, but everything seems distant. Sort of like how you see things in a dream. The pain is gone but your brain functions don’t work the same. It’s hard to put sentences together or to think of certain words. It’s hard to do simple tasks because you sort of ‘forget’ how to do them. You’re either tired, but don’t want to sleep; or you want to sleep but you’re not tired.” — Brittany Blackwood

22. “Like being in a fog of color and unidentifiable shapes.” — Stephen G Bettinger

Do you experience brain fog? What do you wish others understood about your experience? Let us know in the comments below.

Editor’s note: Some responses have been edited for clarity and brevity.

Image via Thinkstock Images

22 People Describe What Brain Fog Feels Like

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