Jumbled Words

I’m dealing with what I believe to be a strange side effect this morning.  Words are jumbling and not making sense. 

For example: I’m at the law firm this morning and when going over a task list with my mother (the attorney) there are a couple times I literally cannot understand what she is saying.  It’s like it’s gibberish.  And she isn’t saying any complicated law terms that I may have forgotten.  It’s like she’s just saying basic office language but my brain can’t seem to comprehend it.

It is extremely upsetting.

I can’t even get across how scary the feeling is.

I’m not sure how bad it even is.  Sometimes it seems like I have no trouble.  A couple minutes later everything seems Russian.

Have any of you heard of situation like this?  I double checked the side effects of all the meds I’m on and none of them list something like this.  I’m not sure how to handle it.

This brief post has taken me about 30 minutes with going over and changing words and making sure it makes sense.  Awful, right?  And I apologize if I missed anything that is still confusing.  I don’t seem to have as much trouble saying things as comprehending them, so I think it’s ok.

I’m really nervous but I don’t know if it’s just dumb Monday morning stuff or something to be legitimately concerned about.

Any ideas would be appreciated…


26 thoughts on “Jumbled Words

  1. Wanderer

    That does sound like it could be a side effect—but not one I’ve heard of. Sorry that you’re dealing with that, I can imagine it’s scary. Hope it gets sorted out soon and that your Monday only gets better! ❤

    1. Pen Post author

      Thank you. So far it’s been worse I think. But I also think it might be only auditory. I don’t seem to be having trouble comprehending written words. Maybe there’s some disconnect with hearing and processing? It may not be meds. Maybe it’s just my brain. It’s hard to know.
      Do I sound crazy yet?

      1. Wanderer

        I’m glad you’re not having trouble speaking or reading–that would be scary. But the auditory thing is still frustrating. Maybe a few wires got crossed–it is Monday after all!
        I’ll ask Dr. House what he thinks…

  2. NotAPunkRocker

    I would call your doctor or pharmacy to see if this is normal with the new combinations of meds you have been on recently. I have had this happen, but more with written words vs. speaking or hearing. I am going through different medication tweaks now to see if my concentration and such improve.

    1. Pen Post author

      Once I have a private office break, I’d love to. So far I’ve been buried in work and my desk is not private. I’m not super comfortable talking my doctor’s office about mental-health stuff around coworkers.
      I thought maybe someone might have experienced something similar. It seems to be mostly hearing/auditory. I’m not having that much trouble with written words.
      Maybe it is a concentration thing.

  3. Nataly

    I know I can get a bit funny with language when I get manic but it’s usually my thoughts racing ahead. I don’t know what it might be for you. Maybe your brain is trying to focus on too many things at once? Thinking of you and hoping you feel normal again soon. xo.

    1. Pen Post author

      Thank you. I’ve had the manic thing too. But that’s usually more like an avalanche of words racing around my head. This is more like sludgey molasses and the words are covered in them and I can’t process what they’re supposed to *be* and they just seem like “gablarghblargh” or something. I dunno. It’s my brain, I’m sure. Just not sure if it’s meds or just I’m sinking a bit this week for some other reason.

      Have we met before? I’m embarrassed I can’t remember. If so, lovely to see you again! If not; pleasure to meet you!

      1. Nataly

        I don’t think we have met yet….not officially. I’m not even sure who referred me to your blog a while back. But I’m glad they did. Lovely to meet you too! xo.

  4. Grainne

    When I’ve had a particularly bad dissociation I come away feeling a bit like you describe. I’ll be making a list of things to do and will forget items as they come to me. I get simple words mixed up (the other day I couldn’t stop calling a briefing note a ‘resume’. Did it three times in one meeting).

    That said, I wonder if it’s maybe an alter you’re coconscious with? (Sorry if that’s the wrong terminology) Maybe one of your alters has difficult understanding your professional environment. Just a thought. I hope it clears up soon for you no matter the cause. x

    1. Pen Post author

      Good point. I wondered that myself. Things have been split-y lately, so that’s assuredly possible.
      Thank you for the lovely thoughts. ❤

  5. lethalmeans

    besides calling your doctor I’d say to try to limit stimulation I’ve actually been through things similar to this, but for me I don’t think it has anything to do with medications. When I feel like this I have to focus on whats important (people talking is the worst) take everything as slowly as you can, when someone says something mentally repeating what they are saying helps me a lot. I’m sorry you are going through this! ❤

    1. Pen Post author

      Yeah, I’m a bit in a hard place when it comes to those options. I’m stuck at work in a non-private area so I don’t really have doctor-contact ability or the ability to not deal with people talking at me (I’d say “to”, but it feels more “at” when I can barely understand them).

      Yeah, I’m trying that repeating what they say thing, but it seems to turn into something else in this weird way.

      Like my coworker will say: “Check on the Smith file, pull the recorded mortgage and email me a copy.”

      And I’ll hear, “Check the Ssdljkerljf file, get that paper I want, and email me about an appointment tomorrow.”

      It’s all upside down and stuff I heard earlier or something. Like a delayed recording.

      I’m not sure if I’m explaining it right.

      1. lethalmeans

        I’m sorry to hear that! I hope things get easier throughout the day… if all else fades the only advice I can give is keep breathing! lots of love to you!

  6. Mental Mama

    Hasn’t happened to me in awhile, but it’s definitely happened – almost always with Josh. Very frustrating to say the least. I usually have to ask him to repeat himself 3 or 4 times, by which point he’s thoroughly pissed off, and then it’s fine. Not sure what the deal is.

    1. Pen Post author

      Yeah. I could tell Mom was trying really hard not to be frustrated. It’s a bit harder here at the other job. I don’t talk about my personal stuff here, so I really don’t want to explain my trouble. So mostly I’m trying to just do my own thing in the files and hope I’m not needed by anyone.

  7. kat

    mostly i have issues with being able to find the right words, or to get my words in the right order when i say them. but sometimes, it seems that words i hear are jumbled or foreign as well. i had just chalked this latter one up to being a bit older now and maybe having some hearing loss which was making the sounds not be as distinct, so i couldn’t make sense of them. but a fellow blogger (formerly known as soul survivor) had a post about having difficulty speaking (finding words, getting them in the right order) (sorry cant find it to link to it) where she finds out from her psychiatrist that this cognitive deficit is very similar to the cognitive deficits in those with alzheimers, and is common in those with the following mental illness: psychosis, depression, mania, bipolar, schizophrenia and maybe a couple more. it is a central area in the frontal lobe that is basically dead, and all the information has to find a different route to the destination, hence the issues with language, and as in alzheimers, it is progressive unless treated. also, according to what she was told, the same meds they use for alzheimers to slow the decline are also effective in those having decline due to a mental illness. i am going to look into this myself, hope the info helps!

    1. Pen Post author

      Oh wow. Your comment is so thought out and gives me a lot to think about.
      I remember my doctor asking if Alzheimers ran in my family. I forget why; but it had to do with my “brainitis” theory he’s going with.
      I appreciate you taking the time to say all of this. I really hope I’m not having complicated and hard-to-treat cognitive defects since my job requires a highly tuned brain. It would devastate me if I couldn’t do paralegal stuff.

      But perhaps it’s temporary, or can be helped with medication. Or the lack of medication, if it does happen to be something related to my current meds.

      ❤ ❤ ❤

  8. synapticsymphony

    So, tell me if what I’m describing sounds like what you’re experiencing or if it’s off in some way.

    You’re listening to someone talk. You can hear it clearly, and know it’s in a language you should understand. Despite that, the sounds that you hear just aren’t turning into words. It’s frustrating, and you ask the person to repeat themselves, and try to do this auditory equivalent of squinting. Possibly literally squinting in the process. They do repeat themselves, and it happens again. Sounds, yes. Sounds you should recognize, but still, no words.
    You ask again, possibly growing impatient in the process. The disconnect, or perhaps the process of trying to squint your ears and/or brain –whatever the hell either of those entail — feels like it’s dangerously close to causing a headache.
    You might, (though not always) in the process, discover you’re having difficulty explaining exactly what is happening. It’s not exactly like you’re missing vocabulary, but it just doesn’t quite want to string together into a sentence right, and it’s annoying because it’s right there, so obvious, so why do they seem nonplussed?
    Maybe the third or fourth time, it finally comes together, the sounds become words again, and any difficulty you had in articulation also seems somewhat cleared up. A bit like everything clicked back into place, but, for us at least, the experience leaves trust in it remaining that way kind of shaky for a while.

    1. Pen Post author

      Yesssss. You are darling. That is exactly how it sounds. The doctor rushed me in for an emergency appt because of a worry for stroke or seizure I think.
      Appt was pretty boring. He couldn’t find anything physically wrong with me and just sort of shrugged. Oh well.
      Hopefully it’s better tomorrow.

      1. synapticsymphony

        No problem, though I wish we could provide more useful information. If it’s any consolation, we feel you. On all of it: the frustration, confusion, and the desire to sort out what the hell is going on, and more importantly, how to keep it curbed, particularly in professional/academic environments.

  9. Ellen

    I’ve had this happen to me. It was a form of dissociation. Always when I was especially anxious, and for me, the person speaking was usually important to me. A very strange feeling – for me it seemed like the person was talking, but then the words were immediately erased, so I couldn’t catch the meaning. I wonder if meds could induce this in someone already prone to dissociate? I hope it recedes soon for you. For me, it always did.

    1. Pen Post author

      Hm. For me it wasn’t so much that they were erased, but that they didn’t match up in the right order? If that makes sense. I dunno. They were just…jumbled and didn’t seem to create a proper sentence or phrase.

      Today it seems to be gone, so perhaps you have something there. Hopefully it never comes back!

  10. vwoopvwoop

    ok so i’m reading these in backwards order. it for sure sounds like your meds are messing with you. and just because they don’t list specific side effects does NOT mean that your side effects aren’t caused by the meds. this happened a lot to me when my doctor was trying me on loads of different antidepressants — i would tell her i was having a side effect and she would say “nope that one isn’t listed so it has nothing to do with the medication” and yet, i would go online and search experiential side effects of the meds and SURE ENOUGH whatever new thing i was feeling, others had the same experience with it. so just don’t mistrust yourself simply because a side effect isn’t listed — it might well be a legitimate side effect.

    it sounds really stressful, what you’re going through. *hugs and love*

    1. Pen Post author

      Hah. I just was replying to your other comment about how the doc made this big deal about the jumbled words and not-my-face-feeling not being “standard side effects”. Funny.

      Maybe I should do some research and see if anyone else is having these sort of mental-weirdness side effects from BP meds.


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