I used to be a top student, I am now, for 7 years, cannot pass my first year level at university!

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Hi everyone

I am 24 years old, since I enetered first grade till about high school, I was always in the first place of my class. I did that in three different school in the country. Just before high school, I started to get bullied every single day for more than two years, I became very anxious, very worried, one day at the summer in high school, I started to forget where I put my things, what I memorized, my brain is clouded, no energy, no confidence.

When reading the cognition thread here, I suffer the same as you guys here and I actually felt happier that I was suffering from something and not lazy or irresponsible student as my professors claimed. This issues makes me suffer so much, also speech issues etc, but I do not have any monents such I cannot calculate basic numbers or remember a few words, but now complicated mathematics at high school or uni or even before high school is beyond my ability. I remember I dedicated 1 month to study little material for macroeconomics, I really slept at my book for the whole month, and when I entered the exam I barely could remember few things, and the rest is gone.

Somehow, I managed to learn English, starting from scratch 4 years ago, and I am now very fluent to the point I have reanslated 4 books to my native language. I think there is still some linguistic ability not affected, I say some because I also stutter, and cannot see really what I am saying next.

I am not sure is it I havev CFS/ME or becsuae of my anxiety?

But thank you very much for conforming I am not stupid, or lazy, I am just sick.
 

Hajnalka

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Hi @MatDeris, didn't see your thread earlier. Welcome to Phoenix Rising (PR)! :) Please don't feel lazy or stupid, you're doing the best you can. Sorry, I have no idea what could be done about your cognitive issues (guess, you've already seen doctors).
 

Helen

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Hi @MatDeris ,

Welcome to the forum! Sorry for what you have been through at school. PEM is considered a symptom that is rather specific to ME. You´ll find a lot about that symptom in threads so you can compare with your situation. Most important is that you get examined by a good doctor. I would make sure, as far as it´s possible, that there is no B12 deficiency but there are many other possible, physical reasons to your fatigue and cognitive problems. Best of luck!
 
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Hi. You have an illness which is causing your problems with cognition. There are many different causes and to see whats going on you need to see a medical Doctor. You might have something very simple wrong with you that can be solved quickly.
 
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I hear you! I used to be sooooo smart to not being able to resolve a 2+2 is very frustrating. Good news is: is not permanent, as I recovered so did my brain fog and my smarts is coming back slowly.
I got so bad, one day I was at work and started crying becuase I couldn't even do something very simple ( It was when I ended up bed ridden for 3 months or so).

But I was treated for Orthostatic intolerance and my BF went away. Florinef + propanalol + midodrine.
I do struggle still if I stand too long. But I work with my Brain and can work again ( I would say I am at 70% mental capacity) but since I started so smart I am still above average ( not bragging! Just factual info to help you out!)

While sick I had to rehab ( literally teach myself how to think without PEM) I started with memory games, then first grade math and so on....

Not sure if the self rehab or the pills did it, but there is hope!
 

Gondwanaland

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At some point you might want to rule out spina bifida occulta. A genetic test +/+ for MTHFR could be indicative of that.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spina_bifida#Neurological_problems
Academic skills
Individuals with spina bifida may struggle academically, especially in the subjects of mathematics and reading. In one study, 60% of children with spina bifida were diagnosed with a learning disability.[45] In addition to brain abnormalities directly related to various academic skills, achievement is likely affected by impaired attentional control and executive functioning.[38] Children with spina bifida may perform well in elementary school, but begin to struggle as academic demands increase.

Children with spina bifida are more likely than their peers without spina bifida to be dyscalculic.[46] Individuals with spina bifida have demonstrated stable difficulties with arithmetic accuracy and speed, mathematical problem-solving, and general use and understanding of numbers in everyday life.[47] Mathematics difficulties may be directly related to the thinning of the parietal lobes(regions implicated in mathematical functioning) and indirectly associated with deformities of the cerebellum and midbrain that affect other functions involved in mathematical skills. Further, higher numbers of shunt revisions are associated with poorer mathematics abilities.[48] Working memory and inhibitory control deficiencies have been implicated for math difficulties,[49] although visual-spatial difficulties are not likely involved.[46] Early intervention to address mathematics difficulties and associated executive functions is crucial.[49]

Individuals with spina bifida tend to have better reading skills than mathematics skills.[48] Children and adults with spina bifida have stronger abilities in reading accuracy than in reading comprehension.[50]
 

Chocolove

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@MatDeris Welcome to our forum. I have memories of geometry class... I used to be a straight A student in all aspects. Yet somehow, 3/4 of the way through term, I found that I suddenly could not compute and flunked for several months until my capacity returned. I now think it was largely due to dietary deficiencies and restoration of the needed nutrients. I too was under severe stress which demands a lot of B complex vitamins. But I needed more things too especially the fat soluble vitamins A and D. At least you can get D from sun.

Liver is a good source of many nutrients so important that the body chooses to store them. After eating liver I often feel like a desperate man in the desert who has finally been given water. Another source of much needed, often deficient nutrients in - particular vitamin K2 - is fermented cheese like brie and gouda. Processed water and food is often deficient in minerals which our ancestors grew healthy on.

Anti-depressants made matters worse because they depleted further nutrients as many medications will do. You can check that by googling the name of the medicine and depletes. A good multivitamin/mineral is a start to replenishing nutrient deficits along with eating liver and fermented cheese.

Our modern world suffers from a lot of high calorie malnutrition...empty calories. Watch out for alcoholic beverages. A bottle of alcohol is just a bottle of trouble which will erase anything good in your life. The same goes for illegal drugs. It took a lot of trouble to make them illegal but our forefathers did so because they saw just how damaging they are.

Take heart. You are among many suffering from ailments, although you may not have one or another particular disorder, there is much you can do with nutrition to create your own health and repair deficits. The body is a pretty good healing machine when given what it needs.

Finding out what it wants and needs can get quite interesting. One thing that helped me was looking up what nutrient deficiencies were common in my country. Quite an eye opener that. :hug:
 

dadouv47

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@MatDeris Welcome to our forum. I have memories of geometry class... I used to be a straight A student in all aspects. Yet somehow, 3/4 of the way through term, I found that I suddenly could not compute and flunked for several months until my capacity returned. I now think it was largely due to dietary deficiencies and restoration of the needed nutrients. I too was under severe stress which demands a lot of B complex vitamins. But I needed more things too especially the fat soluble vitamins A and D. At least you can get D from sun.

Liver is a good source of many nutrients so important that the body chooses to store them. After eating liver I often feel like a desperate man in the desert who has finally been given water. Another source of much needed, often deficient nutrients in - particular vitamin K2 - is fermented cheese like brie and gouda. Processed water and food is often deficient in minerals which our ancestors grew healthy on.

Anti-depressants made matters worse because they depleted further nutrients as many medications will do. You can check that by googling the name of the medicine and depletes. A good multivitamin/mineral is a start to replenishing nutrient deficits along with eating liver and fermented cheese.

Our modern world suffers from a lot of high calorie malnutrition...empty calories. Watch out for alcoholic beverages. A bottle of alcohol is just a bottle of trouble which will erase anything good in your life. The same goes for illegal drugs. It took a lot of trouble to make them illegal but our forefathers did so because they saw just how damaging they are.

Take heart. You are among many suffering from ailments, although you may not have one or another particular disorder, there is much you can do with nutrition to create your own health and repair deficits. The body is a pretty good healing machine when given what it needs.

Finding out what it wants and needs can get quite interesting. One thing that helped me was looking up what nutrient deficiencies were common in my country. Quite an eye opener that. :hug:
What kind of diet are you following? (if you are following some specific diet). Also, which vitamins are you taking? Thanks :)
 

Chocolove

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@dadou47 I am following no particular diet. I look at what I eat and examine what I might be missing from what I don't eat. Wasn't eating much dairy or cheese and while looking up nutrients found and those and what nutrients the populace is generally deficient in, I found a match. I discovered quite a few things commonly missing.... magnesium, vitamin K2, true vitamin A, vitamin D,... I looked at what I was eating and not eating and started putting the pieces together.

I also discovered that some foods block absorption of certain nutrients, such as drink tea and coffee with meals is not good because it blocks absorption of some vital nutrients because of tannins. Phytates can also be a problem... which is why some foods are traditionally prepared in certain ways...to avoid these problems.

It helps when analyzing one's diet to keep a log and note reactions and body complaints. I've checked on various diets through google and saw what folks were looking for and then looked to find those who'd been on the diet for a while to see what their complaints were... for instance some Paleo folks had put themselves into thiamine deficiency.

It's not just about avoiding junk food with empty calories,... that puts a further metabolic load on the body... but also about restoring nutrient deficiencies.
 

notmyself

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Any response please.
from what you describe it can be many things..i would do an Mri scan of the brain in your place..the fact that you suffered from bullying can be of meaning aswell..you can have ptsd,anxiety disorder and others..but first you need to exclude physical ilnesses..if all thest come back normal, and you don t have PEM,muscle weakness,pain Orthostatic intolance etc..you can have a psychological problem..
 

dadouv47

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Don't mean he doesn't have ME. I used to be a top student and was a very anxious person (even if I didn't suffer bullying), as well as being almost hyperactive. The anxiety probably increased with the disease (maybe because of neurotoxins in my case), but mostly my reaction to stress is way more difficult to handle. It makes me literally sick and I lose my mind (I think the same apply to a lot of us). I used to be able to practice sports 5 times a week, which helped me to be able to focus while studying and to have good sleep. Now I can't and it's very difficult.

Probably some vitamins could help to improve some symptoms and deficiencies. Supplementation and better alimentation can help to relieve your symptoms. Anti depressants helped me a bit as well but...if you canfunction without them it's better I guess.
I don't know if you are mild, moderate or severe but if u can do some small exercice (yoga, meditation...) it could be very helpful.
Try to focus your attention at one thing at a time, and accepting the fact that our brain is not what he used to be is very important to be able to adapt and perform as well as possible.
I used to learn fast and was able to do 5 different things well at the same time, while now I really need to focus on what I want to do and learn, and my memory is way worse than it used to be. I'm hoping to get back to the university after several years and it won't be easy. Looks like we need to make some extra effort because of our bad memory/brain being slow (and it's VERY difficult to make an extra effort when it's already difficult to make a single effort)

It's difficult to reply to your main question ''Is it ME or anxiety?'' It's probably both. ME makes a cascade effect and increase/deteriorate your previous anxiety levels.
 
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notmyself

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Well ,from the post it doesen't look like ME..he didint mention anything about phisical symptoms so i assume he doesn't have any..wich more or less means he doesn't have ME..if he have an anxiety disorder he needs to look for help and don't be here..his anxiety will get much worse on this forum :)..is just a friendly advice..just with the symptoms he mention he doesn't have ME..it could be another neurological disease, or anxiety ,ptsd ..nonetheless still suferring and needing help/treatment ..
 

dadouv47

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Well ,from the post it doesen't look like ME..he didint mention anything about phisical symptoms so i assume he doesn't have any..wich more or less means he doesn't have ME..if he have an anxiety disorder he needs to look for help and don't be here..his anxiety will get much worse on this forum :)..is just a friendly advice..just with the symptoms he mention he doesn't have ME..it could be another neurological disease, or anxiety ,ptsd ..nonetheless still suferring and needing help/treatment ..
Agree that it's pretty unclear if he suffers from physical symptoms as well. His mental symptoms could be related to ME or many other diseases o_O
 
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I think in some ways it's harder for people who easily breezed through school in the past to come down with brain fog and cognitive issues. That's because people who struggled more in school before being sick have already developed strategies for studying and remembering things.

Like you, I was a talented student in high school. I had an excellent memory so I didn't really need to study all that much. But when I went back to graduate school with ME/CFS, I quickly realized that I was not the same student as before. I had to learn new ways to learn and retain information, many of which my classmates had already learned years before. For example, I never used to use flash cards to study. But I could not have passed my Hebrew classes without a stack of virtual flash cards that I looked at and played with each day. I still had trouble remembering the words, but I did a lot better than I would have had a tried to study the same way I did when I was in high school.

The way I see it is this: for whatever reason, you are having trouble learning and remembering. So instead of trying to learn the same way you used to learn, try to find new strategies that will help you learn and remember in a new way. And if nothing works (some days nothing does), just try to be kind to yourself. You're not bad, you're not stupid, and you're certainly not lazy. It sounds like you're actually working harder now that you're having problems.