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Fluctuating Intelligence/ Cognitive Impairment

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Fluctuating Intelligence/ Cognitive Impairment

Postby aameyer3 » Wed Mar 07, 2018 11:14 pm

Hi All,

This was a topic discussed in a 2014 post but I wanted to bring it up once more. Has anyone experienced cognitive impairment & the fluctuating decline/improvement in executive functioning that comes with having Bipolar? One day you can think clearly, remember, comprehend easily and speak coherently, but the next day you can't do any of these things. This is a bit more intense than simple brain fog that comes from lack of sleep, eating poorly/not at all, medication side-effects, or other lifestyle choices

As silly as it sounds, I've found that reading challenging books will prevent some or most of this cognitive impairment, but only temporarily- you have to do it every day. If I read Shakespeare or Plato for an hour before I fall asleep, I am able to think clearly the next day (memory, speech, comprehension all come back). If I don't read, the decline in my intelligence is obvious. I liken it to having a 125/75 IQ (125 IQ when I read/can think clearly vs. 75 IQ when I don't read/am unable to think). However I also learned having this bipolar symptom is like a credit/debit system. Reading every day won't continue to work over the long term without having those low (debit) days, even if I up the ante by reading longer or read more challenging books. It's balanced at about 50-50; one day on for one day off

I have had success with one medication that had the same positive effect as reading- Lamictal. However the cognitive improvement, which was substantial, no longer took effect after about 5 months. I don't know why it stopped working and I've been on a journey combing through medications that will do what Lamictal had once done. Wellbutrin, Abilify, Seroquel, Latuda did not give me success. I've recently begun taking Oxcarbezine, we'll see what happens.

Apologies for the long post, I wanted to give you a comprehensive description of my own experiences. If you have any questions or recommendations, I'm happy to hear them
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Re: Fluctuating Intelligence/ Cognitive Impairment

Postby z7z » Fri Mar 09, 2018 2:20 am

Definitely noticed this. Feel stupid sometimes and cloudy and sometimes feel like a genius and connect with people really well. I think normies have their phases too. Quality of sleep is big for me. Getting into nature, playing music, reading, exercising, eating healthy, goofing with friends is important to my mental health. If you're in a stupid mood don't let it bother you. Just laugh it off. Even Einstein had his goofy moments.

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Re: Fluctuating Intelligence/ Cognitive Impairment

Postby MysteryLady8 » Sun Mar 11, 2018 1:38 am

Ever since I got depressed and started taking Lithium my mind can't remember anything short term. I forget things within minutes, I can't concentrate enough to read a book and I have no interest to do this -- even though I enjoyed reading books before I got sick. I can read the newspaper and websites, but for a while when I first got depressed I couldn't even focus my mind enough to cook or clean the house. Has anyone had similar experiences?
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