Scripps Ranch and Bankers Hill Therapist Sara Cole.
You're crying, then laughing, then crying and then angry and then you forget why. You were in the middle of a task at work and you have no idea what it was. You forget how to get to work from your house even though you have done that drive no less than five hundred times.
It is very unlikely that you are truly losing your mind. You feel like your losing it and you may even be able to point out things that you could call evidence of a slow decline into oblivion. But if you are like most people, you are overwhelmed or dealing with big change or stretched way too thin.
This is how we try to cope when everything gets to be too much. I think of it kind of like if your brain was a box and it was full of brain power and once that brain power is used up there isn't any more until later. Sometime just trying to keep going takes more brain power and emotional power than when all is calm. That leaves less of it for other things like remembering an appointment or even emotional regulation. High stress consumes a huge amount of your ability to maintain. So maintain is the best you can do at that point.
Add in sleep loss, life changes, being stretch too far, depression or anxiety, then the shortages of "power" grow even faster. Sleep loss can make you so forgetful. It can make you feel disoriented, depressed and confused. That's a big part of what people call "mommy brain". Consistent sleep deprivation, major life changes, hormonal flip flopping and a new identity all contribute to the "mommy brain". The same is true for people who are dealing with other life situations as well.
So, no your not going crazy, you are actually functioning just like everyone else. This is one of the ways our amazing internal emotional, intellectual, spiritual and physical system works to keep you going. This is a way it gives you a sign that you need a little maintenance, like a car lights up when it needs an oil change. The system is starting to be taxed and you are seeing the results in your emotions, your physical health, your memory, etc.
How do you get back to "normal functioning"? Great question. Well you can ask for help. Help with a new baby, help moving, help getting caught up, help feeling supported, help buying groceries, anything. You know that thing called "help" in any form you need. You can also slow down and take a reality check. Are you doing the best you can, with what you have, right now? Well that's pretty good. Sleep. I will say that again SLEEP and get rest. Take a little break. Breath. I mean really breath those deep slow inhales through the nose and exhales through the mouth. Talk to someone neutral. It can be a therapist, priest, close friend. Talking and getting feedback helps. It helps in so many ways. Exercise, even if its some stretches and a walk around the block. Exercise activates good chemicals in the body and brain. It helps to clear your mind. Know that things will get easier, not so foggy and confusing. You will start to feel better soon. You will start to feel like yourself again. Just hang in there and do some of these small things to care for yourself and get through this rough patch!
Sara Cole MFT is a therapist in San DIego who specializes in helping people who find themselves in a "rough patch". To find out how she can help you, visit www.Saracolemft.com to schedule a free consultation and get more info.
Sara Cole has been providing mental health services in San Diego for 15 years. Sara specializes in working with women and teen girls to overcome trauma and major life changes, including postpartum depression and anxiety. She is also passionate about providing treatment to those whose lives are affected by the addiction of a loved one.