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What kind of cognitive changes have you had because of MS?

Cognitive problems are something I discuss often (when my brain allows it). I suffer from memory issues, trouble concentrating, word finding, difficulty reading, general fogginess, and a number of other cognitive-related problems. These issues had a lot to do with me leaving the workforce and have completely changed my life.

While reading through some comments here, I discovered some people having issues that I was unfamiliar with (example: not being able to think to themselves, essentially having to think out loud much of the time). That got me wondering what sort of other cognitive changes people have experienced. So, do you have any of these issues? Memory problems? Brain fog? Confusion? Word finding? Anything you think may fall under the umbrella of cognitive symptoms, I'd love to hear about your experiences!

  1. I totally went blank remembering one on the doctors name I worked for, “hi dr— nothing, I could think of his name.
    This has become so disturbing to me, I applaud myself on my my memory, but, now I can’t recall a lot of things.

    It’s like my mind is driving in the direction and it just stops at the four way intersection, not knowing which way to go even though the street name is clearly on the sign.

    1. That's a good analogy, . I hope people are forgiving when you forget. Thinking of you and sending lots of gentle hugs your way. - Lori (Team Member)

  2. Good Q,

    My wife and I were chatting about this on the weekend. She was curious about finding ways to relate to what was going on in my head. We landed on the adjective 'fuzzy'. Upon exploration I came up with "I used to experience life as a detailed photograph, now I experience it as a painting." While the contents of each reality are the same, the gestalt is different. I haven't finished exploring this concept entirely, but I know my perception of the world is changing.

    1. What a great way to put it, . I can feel what you are experiencing. I hope you do explore that concept more and that you share that with us as well. Best wishes. - Lori (Team Member)

    2. Thank you subnormal! Oh, I love that description! That does a great job of capturing it, in my opinion!

  3. I've been sat with my phone in my hands trying to figure out a reply to that for about 20 minutes, that could be one of my problems, but I'm not sure. I don't usually think I've got too much of a problem until I do or don't do something that usually gets me into trouble, then a feeling of shame comes over me and it leaves me doubting myself even more than before. I'm afraid to say it's definitely a case of "the lights are on but nobody's home" sometimes.

    1. I wish you could get past that shame, . Think about people you've know with cognitive issues. Do you think they should be ashamed? You did nothing to cause this or to deserve MS. It's just part or who you are and that's okay even though it's unsettling sometimes. I hope the people you care about most are patient and understanding. Thinking of you. - Lori (Team Member)

    2. Thank you

  4. I have cognitive issues also, I have trouble with memory, concentration and of late pausing when speaking. I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia a few years ago so I have been dealing with this for awhile now but now adding MS into the mix I find it a little worse at times

    1. , I am glad you took the time to join this conversation. I know cognitive changes can be one of the more challenging and poorly understood symptoms of MS. And I am sorry you are dealing with MS AND Fibromyalgia! Having two or more chronic conditions can definitely make it more difficult to figure out which condition is causing which symptom at any given time!

      Best, Erin, Team member.

    2. I have cognitive issues as well. I had to leave job because I couldn’t focus and concentrate like I use too. I was a Clinical Documentation Specialist and imagine going to a doctor to remind him of a query I sent to him to answer or clarification and when you get to floor you totally forget what you are there for or in the middle of asking for clarification your mind goes blank when you trying to respond or give him explanation why you wrote the query. Even now talking with family members on Thanksgiving I couldn’t remember some names and have know these folk awhile. What I do to help me is read, do puzzles and exercise. AARP website for members to sharpen their cognitive skills. It’s a challenge for all of us with MS. Me my family and friends chuckle and they say it’s cog-fog. Im not ashamed and family supportive.

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