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Brain Fatigue

At some point, all of us suffer from brain fatigue. But, today, I am going to focus on the Deaf and how we are affected by brain fatigue. There are times when I am overcome with brain fatigue.

A coral pink background with a clenched fist of a frustrated and tired brain. Brain fatigue, written in a big, bold wonky font.
Brain Fatigue

Visualize me at a lecture, hooked on every word the lecturer says, always keeping up and participating in the class discussion despite brain fatigue. The day ends, I return to the hostel, slump down on the bed, noticing how tired I am. After a quick change of clothes, I have a nap.

In the middle of the slumber, I am jolted awake by reminders of assignments, homework, and research. But as the fatigue takes over, I decide that I would have a 15 minutes power nap, and get on with my duties. I have been too tired that day. The vibrating alarm clock does not wake me up. It leaves me with little time to prepare for the next day. All of us, hearing and the deaf, suffer from concentration fatigue during the day. However, when a deaf person goes through a moment of concentration fatigue, it impacts our day-to-day life both academically and socially.

Last month, I penned about Deaf anxiety. Throughout the blog post, I pointed out that we would have to remain on a high alert to let us know what takes place around us. I presented you with real-life examples of Deaf anxiety. Today, I will show you how deaf anxiety and concentration fatigue go hand in hand.

As we are on high alert throughout the day, overworking our brain and eyes since we spend most of our resources lipreading and listening to the point where we can no longer concentrate on our tasks. At one stage, everything becomes dazed. We know what is going on in our surroundings and what people are telling us. But we encounter difficulties in comprehending and analyzing the words spoken. At those times, I do not give a quick reply, or I keep asking the person to repeat until I understand.

During the bouts of brain fatigue, I feel like having a nap to recharge myself. But unfortunately, I can not just sleep whenever I like because I am either in a lecture or a social event. There were moments in the lectures where I needed to sleep so badly. My only distraction tactic is to keep drinking cold water.

As I try not to sleep in the middle of the lecture, I feel a headache coming on because I have not had a break. The brain has been working hard at interpreting the visual cues, lip movements, and surroundings. As I feel a headache coming, it is a reminder that I need a break for a day or two working on recharging myself.

People are quick enough to point out I have to do something about it. At these times, I feel zoned out. It is tiring to focus, so it is reasonable that I unintentionally do not listen to the person speaking because I am tired of concentrating. It gives the impression of me being rude or sometimes selfish. The combination of the above three can lead to crucial information missed. Well, you know what happens when vital information is missed. Yikes, you end up doing everything wrong. I make sure to stay on top of these necessary matters today.

Social events can even lead our brain fatigue to become even worse. Deaf anxiety kicks in, and you experience dinner table syndrome. In the end, the deaf person leaves early because he/she can not cope. It is not an enjoyable experience either, as it leaves us frustrated at the end.

Throughout my schooling days, I always thought it was wrong to be tired all the time, as I was judged to be not good enough. As a result, I threw myself to work and ignored all the warning signs. During those moments, I suffered academically and got bouts of frequent headaches, which escalated to migraines. It is not pleasant at all. Today, I have learned to keep myself in check, so I do not get migraines very often.

I also was under the impression that being tired at that age was not okay. All I wanted to do was snuggle in the bed and nap for a long time and not wake up at all. Today I have learned that it is okay to acknowledge that I am tired and to squeeze some free time out of the busy student life and dedicate it to napping.

As you read this, you would be wondering 'Heck, I even go through this every day'. Every one of us has these moments. To put yourself in our shoes, remember us when you are tired. Understand that our fatigue is double the amount of where you are right now. Remember that we work and engage with people when we are so tired and fatigued.


Comments (1)

Dec 30, 2022

I was born profoundly Deaf and use cochlear implants. I'll definitely share this with my family and friends before I go to a gathering.

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