Is your brain on Delay?

By David Joel Miller

Five possible reasons for Brain Delays.

No Brain

No Brain.
Photo courtesy of Flickr (Pierre-Olivier)

There are lots of ways to put your brain on delay. Once you do, it can be hard to get it working correctly again.

Your brain may be tired, worn out, beat up or just plain over-full. No matter the reasons, once your brain is in the delay mode you will not get the sort of use out of that organ that it is capable of.

Here are some things that may be slowing your brain down and putting it on delay and some thoughts on getting your brain back on-line.

Fear can hijack your brain.

When our minds are occupied with fear and anxiety we use up a lot of working memory. You can spend so much time brooding on your troubles that there is not much capacity left to think things through, plan for the future or even to enjoy the good things along the way.

Find ways to reduce the fear or anxiety. There are all sorts of methods, counseling, medication or facing this event with a supportive person. You will see a lot about that in other posts on this blog.

Some fears are really cowards in disguise if you face them down and walk towards them the thing that you are afraid of will run.

Depression or Dissociation uses up brain capacity.

One symptom of retardation is “psychomotor retardation.”  When you are very depressed any effort, even thought, becomes more than you can manage.

If you feel “out of it” or “spacey” look for an emotional cause.

There is also a condition called dissociation. A small dose of this may be a normal way your brain protects you from physical or emotional pain. If this keeps happening or interferes with your life consider getting some professional help. You can get better and no this is not, “just the way I am.”

Alcohol or other depressants make thinking fuzzy.

What depression can do to us, we can do to ourselves by drinking alcohol, taking depressant drugs or even by excessive use of sedating prescription drugs.

Despite all the myths out there, alcohol does not give you energy, it depresses the nervous system. Drink enough alcohol and just remembering who you are and where you are, become major tasks.

Don’t let alcohol slow your brain down.

Abuse of stimulant drugs can cloud things up.

Using stimulant drugs to accomplish more is a horrific delusion. In the early stages, stimulant drugs like cocaine and meth seem to offer the hope of lots of energy, a more productive life.

But with repeated use, we become the dog who chases his tail. You run faster and faster but get nowhere. People on stimulant drugs get “Stuck.” They repeat behaviors over and over until they finally crash.

Once they crash they stay down for at least as long as they were up. All that down time, their brain is set on fuzzy.

Stimulant use and abuse can get you both ways, when you are up you are stuck on things and when you are down you are off-line.

Physical health issues make thinking harder.

If you have not had health care or it has been a while since you saw a doctor, make sure you get yourself checked out by a doctor. If it has a medical cause then your problem is not an emotional one. Having a physical issue can make your emotions more difficult to cope with. Sometimes you may have both a physical and a mental health issue.

So if you find your brain on delay, think about what caused this condition. Rather than doing more of what isn’t working, try something new. Get help and get that brain back up and working the way it was designed to work.

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For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse and Co-occurring disorders see the about the author page. For information about my other writing work beyond this blog check out my Google+ page or the Facebook author’s page, up under David Joel Miller. Posts to the “books, trainings, and classes” category will tell you about those activities. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books

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