Withdrawal-induced memory impairment: quick tips

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  • Though memory problems may be one of the more distressing symptoms of psychiatric drug withdrawal, reassure yourself that many have walked this path before you and experienced healing with time. Practice allowing these difficulties to be here and shifting your focus onto trusting in your body’s healing abilities. Though some take longer than others, people in the psychiatric drug withdrawal community heal from this drug-induced injury.
  • Eating a lot of healthy fats with a good balance of Omega-3 and Omega-6 such as avocado, coconut oil, or salmon has been reported by many in the withdrawal community to be beneficial to the process of healing the brain from drug-induced injury. Others report that focusing on healing the gut through use of grass-fed bone broth and gelatin has been helpful for cognition. Everyone is different, and what works for some doesn’t work for others, so if you consider trying out different foods, be sure to listen to your body to see which feel particularly healing for you.
  • Keeping a notebook, using sticky notes, setting reminders in your calendar, or all of the above may help you stay better on top of important things.
  • Keeping important items such as keys, glasses and your wallet in the same place (such as a basket by the door) may be helpful.
  • Some describe that a bit of dark humor regarding memory challenges in psychiatric drug withdrawal (such as making jokes, or simply laughing at the absurdity of it all) with trusted family or friends in the withdrawal community can help lighten the burden for a little while.
  • People report that “brain games” can be really helpful for stimulating the brain as it heals; options to consider trying include Sudoku, crossword puzzles, jigsaw puzzles, word games, or memory games.
  • Be patient with yourself whenever possible. If you find yourself getting frustrated with your difficulties, gently remind yourself that you’re in the midst of recovering from psychiatric drug withdrawal and that your brain and body are working as hard as they can to heal. 
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Photo courtesy of Javier Morales and Flickr Creative Commons