Poll: How much has this illness decreased your cognitive abilities?

Well I consider it a compliment coming from a squirrel but I was a lot smarter. There’s still a sense of loss and a feeling of helplessness when I try to think something through and there’s no connections there.


That used to be me! I just kept hammering away at it on a daily basis until I started reclaiming function. You can do it, but you have to be relentless and driven.


I know what you mean my mind doesn’t fire as fast as it used to. But then, I am much more wise and less reckless than I was so I think that makes up for the loss.


I’ve noticed about you that you have spirit in abundance. Something I seem to be lacking. You know I think once I’m done with this study I’ll be trying one of the brain training websites and see if I can get some of it back. I think I will focus on mathematics, that arena could certainly use a boost, I forgot the times table and it’s a little embarrassing to not be able to do math in my head anymore.


That’s a great point. I am more wise too, so that’s something.


Not when it comes to exercising… (Le sigh.) I just couldn’t stand being a wraith mentally and not a whole person, y’know? That’s what drove me the hardest and still does. I have a healthy fear that I’ll backslide to where I was if I stop pushing myself.

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That’s good you have fight, I need fight. I feel I’m getting some back but these last 5 years are just one big pile of “giving up” that I’ll never get back. But now I’m trying.

Exercise, blah, I did the recumbent bike the last 2 days, it was awful lol, but I’m trying really hard to make it be something I enjoy. There are all these healthy people who enjoy exercising and I figure they got there somehow so I’ll try.


If it helps, there are little things you can do to make your brain more active…

  1. Do a daily crossword or sudoko.
  2. Turn off Netflix and open a book instead.
  3. Make a point of following the news.
  4. Use some free brain training apps.
  5. Play chess online (good for learning to think ahead).
  6. Go for a walk! A bit of exercise provides a mental boost.
  7. Take up a slightly challenging hobby with a bit of a learning curve (photography).

Hope this gives you some ideas.


I’ve lost like 10 IQ points (untested) according to one doctor at one with one of my visits with her. She said when she first met me my IQ was 120 and now it was 110–she was just estimating.

It makes sense I guess. I think the average math major’s IQ is like 130 and I struggled–ended up dropping out. So if my IQ was 120 I think it makes sense. Losing 10 points to this illness sometimes feels like I lost 40 points or whatever. I have problems with my hearing, remembering, focusing, concentration, etc. while ignoring fatigue, depression, learned helplessness, etc.

I used to be really fast and efficient. I used to remember ‘ideas’ pretty well.

My worst subject was probability in college, I got a pass. My second worst was linear algebra/abstract algebra. I did horrible on tests. I would pound a couple energy drinks before a test because of test anxiety or something. I couldn’t focus myself/concentrate. This was 7 years ago. I would zone out during tests I think.

I wonder if it’s due to Aspergers (there are plenty of people with Aspergers that don’t need energy drinks)…or ADHD. I was tested as a kid and it came back fine–I think.

Moderately high intelligence might hide ADHD in my opinion. I can only study in a quiet environment.

I have had OCD too…

I used to be good with English, but I lost a lot of my vocabulary and stuff like who vs whom always gets me!

No stimulants for me!

I always had a slow brain so the energy drinks would speed me up/make my thoughts go faster.

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I used to be very smart IQ-wise. Now I’m just wise like the others above. Personally, I think that’s a good trade-off.

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I’m sorry to hear that. :frowning: Maybe they’ll eventually come up with meds that address negative symptoms.

I feel for you. :frowning: Part of my apparently reduced ability to think in short quick spurts has effected my conversational ability also, especially when speaking to someone who doesn’t give me time to think and respond somewhat intelligently.


I found myself groping for words much more often soon after the diagnosis, as I recall.

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I don’t know what my iq was. I know I was intelligent.

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I’m glad for you! :slight_smile:

Getting one’s cognition measured may be a great idea in some cases. This has me thinking about it too. It may help my confidence. Thanks for sharing this.

It is certainly a grossly oversimplified model, but it provides a means for some people to express their feelings about the complex thing that happened to them.

Overly simplistic models can be very useful. IQ is an overly simplistic model, and many argue that all of mathematics itself is an overly simplistic model:

“The reason, Abbott says, is that because when you recognize that math is just a mental construct—just an approximation of reality that has its frailties and limitations and that will break down at some point because perfect mathematical forms do not exist in the physical universe—then you can see how ineffective math is.”

I think so. A percentage is a grossly overly simplistic model, but I wanted to give you an opportunity to express your feelings.

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Thanks for appreciating the joke. :slight_smile:

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I’ve often wondered what your brain-training regimen was. Thanks for sharing this! :slight_smile:

I’m not saying numbers don’t make sense. I just don’t think your percentage scheme makes any sense. 30% of what? All possible cognitive abilities? Are we supposed to add together all the stuff we do and compare this to something? What would those things be? Would that something we compare this to be the dumbest person we know? Would it be a rock? Would it be a monkey? It just doesn’t make much sense the way you did it. I don’t understand what you’re asking me to rate or how I would go about rating it.

It would be much better to just ask people to rate their cognitive abilities as compared to other people on a scale from -3 to +3. Or 0 to 10. Or whatever. That’s the way these things are normally done. And IQ scales are an entirely different matter, and in no way comparable to this, as they are based on large cumulative standardized scores compared to a statistically representative norm.