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symptom

Disorientation

Symptom

You know that feeling when you wake up at a friend’s house, and for just a moment, you’re confused about where you are? Imagine if that feeling didn’t pass after a few seconds. That’s pretty much what disorientation is like. It’s normal to experience this in certain situations, like when you’re watching an action sequence in a 3-D movie or feeling lost in a strange place. But when disorientation is accompanied by other symptoms, it shouldn’t be ignored. These include delirium (where you're super confused and distracted), agitation, aggressiveness, or even delusions or hallucinations, where you see or believe things that aren't real. If you develop this symptom after a fall or a bump on the head, it could be a sign of traumatic brain injury, which is always a medical emergency—especially if you also feel dizzy or nauseated or you black out. If you feel disoriented regularly or sometimes for no apparent reason (no falls, no bumps on the head), you might have an underlying medical condition that needs attention. Disorientation can be accompanied by disequilibrium, which means feeling unsteady or unbalanced. It’s sometimes related to a problem with your vestibular system, the areas of your body that regulate your balance. Disorientation can be a sign of many other health issues, including dementia, drug or alcohol use or withdrawal, partial seizures, carbon monoxide poisoning, or Alzheimer's disease. This symptom is usually part of the package if you have any condition that affects your brain, from multiple sclerosis (MS) to migraines, as well as brain fog, which is associated with so many invisible illnesses. So, disorientation is not only super annoying, it’s also challenging to figure out! That's why you should talk to your practitioner if this symptom keeps intruding on your life. They can help you figure out the mystery and then treat any underlying condition, or even simply advise you on lifestyle changes that can lead to relief.

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