The Mental Haze: Understanding Brain Fog After Narcissistic Abuse

The Mental Haze: Understanding Brain Fog After Narcissistic Abuse the mental haze: understanding brain fog after narcissistic abuse
Photo by Ricardo Gomez Angel on Unsplash

Have you ever felt like your mind just won’t cooperate or won’t follow with you after experiencing narcissistic abuse? Like there’s a thick, foggy haze clouding your thinking and concentration? You’re not alone — that’s a very common phenomena called “brain fog” or mental fog.

While there’s no clear definition of brain fog, it can be described as that spacey, detached feeling where your brain just doesn’t want to function properly. It can make simple tasks feel overwhelming and complicated. You may struggle with some of the following:

· Forgetting stuff constantly, even things you just learned or having difficulties remembering stuff

· Having a million scattered thoughts that make it hard to focus or concentrate

· Lack of clarity in thinking

· Feeling fatigued and weak, like you can’t stand for long

· Getting disoriented and struggling to process what you see/hear

Some people who experience brain fog have described it as feeling perpetually jet-lagged or drugged. Your mental clarity and memory just get all scrambled up. One person shared, “It’s like someone disconnected me from my own vision — I call it being blind with sight.” Their brain simply isn’t processing reality accurately. Another person explained, “I can’t follow conversations anymore. My brain is blank and I have no thoughts. It’s like living in slow motion in this foggy daze.”

So why does this happen after narcissistic abuse?

Well, the emotional stress of being with a narcissist takes a toll on your brain and nervous system. You’re overloaded with excessive worry, hypervigilance, and trying to dissect the narcissist’s every move to avoid facing their explosive rage or just to survive and maintain some sort of peace in that environment.

When you leave that relationship, you’re still carrying the emotional baggage with you in form of traumatic memories and you’re still operating present life as if you’re still with that narcissist.

So, your focus is mostly on the dangers in the environment, which can be explained by a phenomenon called the weapon focus effect.’ This effect can be explained as when you’re held at gunpoint, all your attention is focused on the weapon or the most dangerous item in the scene. It hijacks all your attentional resources onto that gun, leading to a failure to perceive the rest of the scene or to focus on the present moment.

So, you’re focusing more on not being triggered or the dangerous scenes, rather than the whole perspective. Unhealed trauma creates a mental strain that rewires your brain pathways to always operate on heightened fight and flight response, which then messes up with your cognitive abilities, memory, concentration, and more. This saps your mental energy, and things feel foggy or unclear.

Process Your Emotions to Clear the Fog

So, finding space to process your unhealed trauma or those unprocessed emotions is like resetting your mind to a state of seeing present danger as present danger and not as an aspect of past danger. It’s about getting your brain to function normally, which means you’re able to see clearly and not exhaust your strength with a hypervigilant state.

Without constant triggers, your mind will clearly see things as they are, and you can even see a clear way forward in those situations that felt impossible to overcome. You’re freeing your mind from the fears fabricated by your unhealed trauma and letting it have some rest so that it can feel refreshed and be ready for the next day.

Note from the Author

If you’re ready and you’d like my help with healing, finding peace in life and breaking free from these toxic patterns, then you can book a FREE BREAKTHROUGH CALL with me HERE. Happy healing 💙💙. Feel free to share and comment! Use this information with caution, it comes from my own thoughts & bias, experiences and research😊.






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Edwin Bii
Edwin Bii

I'm Edwin Bii, a trained advanced conversational hypnotherapist (ACH) and Mind Shifting Coach from Kenya offering mental health support, and life coaching to help you crush your goalsand overcome your problems. Together, we'll navigate challenges, build self-awareness, and create a happier, healthier you. Let's unlock your potential.

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