Withdrawal-induced confusion: quick tips

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  • Reassure yourself that cognitive difficulties happen to many people on the withdrawal journey. Practicing acceptance of their presence while you’re healing can make it easier to coexist with these symptoms until they subside.
  • Some people find it helpful to save tasks that require focus and intention for periods of clearer thinking, rather than try to do them when feeling especially overwhelmed by confusion.
  • Be gentle with yourself—people often find it beneficial to keep expectations of what they’re able to accomplish while they heal from drug-induced injury within reason, reminding themselves, as well, that every day people are reclaiming their lives and returning to their pre-withdrawal states of functioning.
  • If there are trustworthy family or friends in your life, it’s always a good option to reach out for help with tasks, errands, and anything else that might feel more difficult at times. Driving less and asking for rides more often may be especially helpful if your confusion makes it difficult to operate a car.
  • Make sure you give your body as much rest and sleep as it needs; many people feel that this is crucial to the process of helping the brain heal.
  • A lot of people who’ve healed from psychiatric drugs look back on how they got through the difficult cognitive symptoms and see that brain games and activities like Sudoku, crossword puzzles, jigsaw puzzles, word games, etc. played a big part in helping their brain function get progressively stronger.
  • Some people report that eating more meat—free of antibiotics, local, and organic whenever possible—helps their cognitive functioning.
  • Writing down important tasks, thoughts, or needs, setting reminders in your calendar, or emailing yourself important messages, can help you feel like you have a better sense of control over your daily circumstances.
  • Developing a daily mindfulness practice, even if it’s sitting for a few minutes and just being with yourself, may help you get better able to “be with” what it is that you’re going through.


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