Alcohol Brain Fog: How to Heal Your Brain | Wellness Retreat

Alcohol Brain Fog: How to Start Healing Your Brain

Americans are getting lost in the fog. 47% of COVID-19 patients who have prolonged symptoms experience brain fog. Applied to the general population, this is thousands of people. 

Yet COVID-19 brain fog is just one type of brain fog. Alcohol brain fog is just as common, and it can be devastating for the recovery process. 

What is alcohol brain fog, and what are its symptoms? What causes brain fog to occur? How can someone pursue treatment to eliminate their brain fog? 

Answer these questions and you can start your alcohol addiction recovery journey with a clear mind. Here is your quick guide.

The Essentials of Alcohol Brain Fog

Brain fog occurs when a medical condition impedes a person’s ability to think clearly. It is not a medical condition in and of itself, so a doctor cannot diagnose a patient with brain fog. 

Alcoholic brain fog occurs during or after someone develops an alcohol addiction. Someone may have brain fog from a previous ailment, or they may experience brain fog for the first time.

Alcoholic brain fog can lead to alcohol withdrawal brain fog. But a person who did not previously experience brain fog may experience it during or after withdrawal. Brain fog during withdrawal does not differ substantially from brain fog during addiction.

Brain Fog Symptoms 

There is no set of symptoms that all people with brain fog experience. In general, many people struggle to concentrate on tasks. They may find conversations hard to follow, or they may not be able to pay attention to presentations. 

Someone’s mind may begin to race. Many different thoughts may flood into their mind, and a person may not know where their thoughts are coming from. 

A person can encounter memory problems. They may not remember people’s names, even people who they know well. They may not be able to form short-term memories because they are confused or thinking about other things. 

Most people who have brain fog feel very tired. They may be sleeping fine, but they do not wake up refreshed. They may lose the energy they acquire from food or rest by thinking about a difficult subject. 

Brain fog can be disturbing or disorienting. A person may think they have damaged their brain or need alcohol in order to think, which can trigger a relapse. Yet symptoms of brain fog usually alleviate within a few days.

The Causes of Brain Fog

Brain fog can come from a few different places. Heavy alcohol consumption can damage the brain’s communication centers, making it hard for the brain to store memories or track conversations. Brain alterations often occur in people who start drinking when they are very young. 

When someone is drunk, they may have a blackout and lose their memories. Being drunk can also impair someone’s focus, making it hard to think clearly. 

A person’s brain chemistry can change dramatically through alcohol use. Once someone begins withdrawal, their brain has to readjust itself, resulting in brain fog. 

Alcohol can also make a pre-existing medical condition worse. Alcoholic drinks dehydrate the body, and dehydration can trigger confusion and disorientation.

Brain Fog Remedies

Brain fog can be scary. But someone can make a full recovery and start withdrawing from alcohol. The key is to practice a few different remedies and get help from licensed alcohol treatment counselors.

Healthy Withdrawal 

Quitting cold turkey can be dangerous. Once the brain adjusts to alcohol use, it requires alcohol in order to function properly. Someone who cuts themselves off from drinks may experience extreme pain or medical problems like delirium tremens. 

A person should check themselves into an alcohol detox program and receive medication to wean themselves off drinks. While they are in the program, they should drink plenty of water and eat nutritious food. 

Mental Health Care

Anxiety and depression can create brain fog or make it worse. If someone experiences brain fog in the weeks after their withdrawal, they may have a mental health problem. 

They should seek mental health services and pursue therapy that deals with all of their conditions at once. During cognitive-behavioral therapy, a person will work with their therapist to identify the thought patterns that trigger their anxiety and alcohol use. 

Over time, they break down why these thought patterns occur. They then develop healthy thought patterns that help them cope with stress and refuse alcohol.

Alcohol Addiction Treatment

Pursuing cognitive behavioral therapy is one part of alcohol addiction treatment. Many people find staying in an inpatient facility helpful because they can avoid the places they used to drink in. They can meet new people and learn stories about how to live a sober life. 

Alcohol addiction recovery does not end once a person’s brain fog fades. They should continue to seek counseling and move into a sober living facility. If they relapse, they can always return to inpatient care or try a new sobriety strategy out.

How to Recover From Alcohol Brain Fog

Alcohol brain fog is no light matter. It can occur during or after someone’s alcohol addiction, even in otherwise healthy people. Someone may lose control over their thoughts, struggling to work. 

Alcohol can damage the brain, but most cases of brain fog do not come from brain damage. The brain simply needs time to adjust to a life without alcohol. 

Going through a safe withdrawal should eliminate symptoms. Once a person recovers from their brain fog, they should continue their addiction treatment. 

You can get started here. Wellness Retreat Recovery Center serves San Jose residents. Contact us today.