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  • Cognitive Impairment A Symptom?



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    Old 08-01-2009, 11:19 PM   #1
    ITH3
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    Cognitive Impairment A Symptom?

    Hi All,



    Is cognitive impairment a major symptom of your anxiety? I've been experiencing cognitive impairment for a number of years now, and I've been diagnosed by a few doctors with general anxiety disorder. I'm not convinced, however, that the anxiety is the cause of the impairment, as opposed to its effect. So I was wondering: how many of you out there with general anxiety disorder experience cognitive decline as a major symptom of your anxiety?

    Thank you,

    27 year old, looking for answers

     
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    Old 08-02-2009, 08:07 AM   #2
    ItWontGiveUp
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    Re: Cognitive Impairment A Symptom?

    Could you be more specific when you say cognitive impairment? What exactly do you experience. My other thoughts include:

    a) Are you on *any* medications right now & if so, did you start taking them around the same time you noticed your cognitive impairments?

    b) Have you ever had any neuropsychological testing done? If not, would you consider going and getting a brief test battery done to see if there are any areas of impairment that can be documented through testing? This type of testing is often expensive (especially a full neuropsych battery) but there are cheaper alternatives. Local universities often have community counseling centers, you could call and ask what types of testing/assessment they offer. There is a college clinic at a local school here which uses the CNS-Vital Signs which is a computer-administered neuropsych test that focuses on cognitive functioning. It's a newer test but the research on it has been promising so far. I believe it was created to eliminate the need for the longer test batteries.

    Last edited by ms_mod; 08-02-2009 at 09:32 AM. Reason: Removed unnecessary quote. Ms_Mod

     
    Old 08-12-2009, 08:59 PM   #3
    ITH3
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    Re: Cognitive Impairment A Symptom?

    I'm currently on Propecia; however, I wasn't taking that drug at the onset of my symptoms.

    I took a nuero-psychological test before, when this all began, but the results didn't raise any red flags. It just showed that I was above average on some things, average on others, and below average on still others. It's an average-based test, so unless you're impairment causes you to be worse than the average person on a number of different factors, it doesn't pick up on there being a problem.

    I'll take a look into that CNS-Vital Sign exam you mentioned though. That sounds interesting.

    I was mainly interested in hearing whether other people who have been diagnosed with anxiety had a similar symptom as their chief complaint. That so many people on here viewed my post but didn't comment on it is a significant indication to me that perhaps I've been misdiagnosed.

    Last edited by ms_mod; 08-13-2009 at 05:02 AM. Reason: Removed unnecessary quote. Ms_Mod

     
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    Old 08-13-2009, 02:02 PM   #4
    4Panic
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    Re: Cognitive Impairment A Symptom?

    By cognitive impairment, do you mean feelings of depersonalization or derealization, inability to remember things short or long term, decrease in intelligence, harder to understand things that you used to?
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    Old 08-15-2009, 01:30 AM   #5
    ITH3
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    Re: Cognitive Impairment A Symptom?

    Yes, that's what I mean.

    Last edited by ms_mod; 08-15-2009 at 05:35 AM.

     
    Old 08-18-2009, 11:35 AM   #6
    4Panic
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    Re: Cognitive Impairment A Symptom?

    Those can certainly be symptoms of anxiety, but do you feel anxious and/or panicky?
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    Old 08-18-2009, 03:33 PM   #7
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    Re: Cognitive Impairment A Symptom?

    Depends. Right now, no, yet I still have the cognitive impairment. If I'm put in a situation where I have to use my brain (meaning something requiring much more thought process then writing this here post), I do get anxious. It therefore seems like the anxiety follows or is an effect of the impairment, not the other way around. That said, as I've indicated at the outset, doctors have still tried to tell me that I have anxiety and that IT is causing the cognition problems. I've had MRIs done but those didn't show signs of anything, and I've take anxiety meds, which reduced the anxiety but didn't help the cognition.

     
    Old 08-18-2009, 06:47 PM   #8
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    Re: Cognitive Impairment A Symptom?

    i think killpanic is taking you in the right direction- many people (including myself) who while suffering from an anxiety/panic attack do get a sense of "depersonalization" or seperation from one's self and their body (and brain) often if i am having a panic attack say in a store and i am trying to think about just normal shopping everything is confusing and even though i know milk is milk i'm like is it really milk? my brain literally shuts down as the anxiety/panic takes over- i suppose you could call that cognitive impairment- if i were you (and if you haven't already) i would write down my symptoms exactly as you feel them- focusing on the part of the attack that makes you feel you are impaired and take them to your physician and/or counselor- if they can see in written word what you are describing they can often link it to anxiety or panic as oppposed to something neurological- just a thought-

     
    Old 08-20-2009, 08:37 AM   #9
    4Panic
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    Re: Cognitive Impairment A Symptom?

    Thanks angst, I'm no professional or anything but I try my best to help others and myself because I've been through and am going through similar things, so I can relate. To this day I still wonder if it's the anxiety that causes the feelings of derealization/depersonalization or the derealization/depersonalization that causes the anxiety. What came first and why? We'll probably never know the answers to these questions and that can be frustrating. But more important than how it started and why we feel like this is how to fix it and get better. ITH3, your best bet is to see a psychiatrist, psychologist, or a Cognitive Behavioral Therapist. Often times regular doctors aren't knowledgable enough about anxiety/panic disorders.
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    Old 08-30-2009, 05:33 PM   #10
    ItWontGiveUp
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    Re: Cognitive Impairment A Symptom?

    KillPanic raises another point - what type of doctors have you seen?

    I'm wondering if a neurologist would be a better bet given their knowledge of normal brain functioning and cognition. A psychologist or psychiatrist, unless specially trained, would have a difficult time looking for neurologic impairment.

    Last edited by ItWontGiveUp; 08-30-2009 at 05:37 PM.

     
    Old 09-18-2009, 02:07 AM   #11
    ITH3
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    Re: Cognitive Impairment A Symptom?

    I've seen neurologists - a number of them actually - but since the only thing they're able to find in their tests is an abnormality in my brain that hasn't changed over a number of years since this all started (meaning it's not a tumor), they basically just refer me to a psychiatrist in the hopes that an anti-anxiety/depression approach to this is the solution.

    Before they've done so, they do a neuro-psych test evaluation on me. In the past, that's shown that my "intelligence" is basically average, with me scoring above, below and in the median range on the various types of intelligence scores that are tested.

    The problem is that the test is comparing me not against how I used to be, since I didn't take a test back then, but to the average American's intilligence. I don't mean to sound abnoxious but just saying that my intelligence is average now is indicative of there being a profound problem.

    I graduated validictorian of my major in an ivy league university, to say nothing of my other academic accomplishments.

    Bottom line is over 800 people on this board have looked at this post and very few of them have posted saying that they too have these types of problems. What I'm experiencing is not a panic attack, which I could understand getting in the way of your thinking. Unless I'm having a constant panic attack, for weeks on end, and at times not even feeling panicy, then that doesn't seem to fit the bill.

    HELP!!!!!!!!!!

     
    Old 10-08-2009, 11:06 AM   #12
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    Re: Cognitive Impairment A Symptom?

    Bingo! I am and have been having the same problem now for several years. I am 47 years old and about 4 years ago had what you might call a nervous breakdown. Since then I have been experincing profound cognitive impairment. People will be talking to me and it's like what they are saying is not registering with my brain. My brain can not keep up with the words being spoken by someone. My doctor upped my dose of Celexa to 80 mgs and it has helped alot, but still am having problems with it. My memory is really affected too.

     
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