Australian Jessica Anderson has been living with multiple sclerosis since she was 12 years old, and she says brain fog is the scariest symptom she experiences, especially not being able to gather and make sense of her own thoughts. During her worst moments, she can barely focus on a thought for more than 30 seconds. Listen to Jessica speak about her symptoms below.
You are now seeing brain fog
Photographed by Sara Orme
Inspired by Jessica Anderson’s invisible symptoms
Jessica and New Zealand photographer Sara Orme worked together to visualize Jessica’s brain fog, and her video and picture are part of the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Australia’s (MSA) Seeing [MS] campaign, which is all about recognizing the invisible symptoms of MS and raising awareness for the neurological condition. Check out the previous pictures and stay tuned for more Seeing [MS] posts.
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- Filed Under: Multiple Sclerosis, Patient Experiences
- Tags: Anderson, australia, Awareness, brain, brain fog, community, condition, fog, Jessica, MSA, multiple, multiple sclerosis, neurological, Orme, picture, Sara, sclerosis, seeing, Seeing MS, society, tired, visualize
You’ve all heard the phrase “use it or lose it” before. But should it be applied to patients with chronic, debilitating illnesses? That’s an ongoing debate in the PatientsLikeMe forums. Take for example this discussion of cognitive difficulties in our Multiple Sclerosis Forum.
On the one hand, there’s the argument that brain exercises such as word games can help you recover or improve cognitive skills. For people who like the idea of challenging themselves to stay as sharp as possible, the phrase can be a motivating call-to-action. Others, however, are bothered by the phrase as they feel it implies that cognitive decline is the patient’s fault. Or that it makes it seem like “using” can stop the “losing,” which could be misleading in many cases.
Overall, this controversy is one that can help can help friends, family and the public at large be more sensitive to those with cognitive challenges due to their health condition. “Brain fog” is a common symptom of numerous chronic diseases, including multiple sclerosis and fibromyalgia. While there’s a natural instinct to encourage loved ones, it’s important to remember that every patient’s journey is an individual one, and no amount of “using it” can necessarily prevent cognitive symptoms.
What everyone seems to agree on, however, it that brain games and memory exercises certainly can’t hurt. What do you think? Join the discussion in our forum or share your thoughts in the comments section.
- Filed Under: Fibromyalgia, Multiple Sclerosis
- Tags: brain fog, brain games, cognitive decline, cognitive difficulties, cognitive exercises, cognitive impairment, cognitive symptoms, fibro fog, memory exercises, MS fog, multiple sclerosis forum, word games