Beyond the Clouded Mind: Understanding and Overcoming Obnubilation

BY: Neighbors’ Consejo|

At the heart of the human experience lies the ability to perceive, think, and feel with clarity. However, for some, this fundamental aspect of existence is periodically shrouded in a fog of confusion known as “obnubilation”. This condition, characterized by a clouded consciousness and a bewildering loss of clarity, challenges not only those who experience it but also our collective understanding of mental wellbeing. By delving into the world of obnubilation, this article seeks to illuminate the struggles faced by affected individuals, fostering a deeper empathy and understanding within us all.

We have to be clear: “obnubilation is a state of consciousness in which the brain is befuddled, and thoughts are vague.” So, if we want to talk about obnubilation, we need to talk first of consciousness. What is it?

“Consciousness is everything you experience. It is the tune stuck in your head, the sweetness of chocolate mousse, the throbbing pain of a toothache, the fierce love for your child and the bitter knowledge that eventually all feelings will end. The origin and nature of these experiences, sometimes referred to as qualia, have been a mystery from the earliest days of antiquity right up to the present. Many modern analytic philosophers of mind, most prominently perhaps Daniel Dennet of Tufts University, find the existence of consciousness such an intolerable affront to what they believe should be a meaningless universe of matter and the void that they declare it to be an illusion.”

According to the Standford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, “the earlier twentieth century saw the eclipse of consciousness from scientific psychology, especially in the United States with the rise of behaviorism (Watson 1924, Skinner 1953) though movements such as Gestalt psychology kept it a matter of ongoing scientific concern in Europe. In the 1960s, the grip of behaviorism weakened with the rise of cognitive psychology and its emphasis on information processing and the modeling of internal mental processes. However, despite the renewed emphasis on explaining cognitive capacities such as memory, perception and language comprehension, consciousness remained a largely neglected topic for several further decades.”

How do our conscious experiences arise? “It’s a longstanding question, one that has perplexed scientists and philosophers for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. The orthodox scientific view today is that consciousness is a property of physical matter, an idea we might call physicalism or materialism. But this is by no means a universally held view, and even within physicalism there is little agreement about how conscious emerges from, or otherwise relates to, physical stuff.”

Healthline affirms, “the brain is ultimately responsible for maintaining consciousness. Your brain requires certain amounts of oxygen and glucose to function properly. Many substances you consume can affect your brain chemistry. These substances can help to maintain or decrease consciousness. For example, caffeine is a stimulant, which means that it raises your levels of brain activity.”

Briefly, “consciousness is not a process in the brain but a kind of behavior that, of course, is controlled by the brain like any other behavior: Human consciousness emerges on the interface between three components of animal behavior: communication, play, and the use of tools. These components interact based on anticipatory behavioral control, which is common for all complex forms of animal life.”

It’s important to mention the types of disorders of consciousness:

  1. Quantitative changes of consciousness mean reduces vigility (alertness):

* Somnolence

* Sopor                  

* Coma

2. Qualitive changes of consciousness mean disturbed perception, thinking, affectively, memory and consequent motor disorders:

* Delirium (confusional state) characterized by disorientation, distorted perception, enhanced suggestibility, misinterpretation and mood disorders.

* Obnubilation (twilight state): starts and ends abruptly, amnesia is complete, the patient is disordered, his acting is aimless, sometimes aggressive, hard to understand.

– stuporous

– vigilambulant

– delirious

– ganser In conclusion, obnubilation represents a critical area of mental health that demands our attention and understanding. Through this article, we have delved into its definitions, causes, and impacts, shedding light on a condition that affects both cognition and consciousness. The path forward requires not only continued research and education but also a commitment to developing more effective, compassionate approaches to care. Let us look to the future with a resolve to deepen our understanding and improve the lives of those touched by this enigmatic condition.

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