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Sensory overload?


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I need some help - I don’t know if this is sensory overload. I’ve had it from the beginning and I think it also might be tied into my 24/7 DRDP. What happens is things seem bright and the colours are almost too vibrant. Almost like High Definition photography. Suddenly I get this overwhelming wtf feeling in my brain like everything is visually just too much and it causes panic and anxiety. It’s like the wind becomes too sensitive on my skin, all the sounds become very noticeable (when they typically would just be background noise). It’s like my brain is freaking right out. Is this sensory overload? It seems connected to the DRDP. Anyone have this? I feel like I’m the only one. And it seems to come and go during my recovery. Like it might be ok last month but this month is bad.

 

Any thoughts?

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I had this exact sensory hypersensitivity for around 17 months before it slowly went away.  Some times it was worse than others.  Colors were too vibrant and even a soft sound was way too loud.  I resorted to wearing sunglasses and a ball cap indoors.  I could not even look outside for months at a time.  I kept the blinds in the windows closed.  I also wore noise cancelling ear muffs all day.  They helped with the noise.  The sensory hypersensitivity I experienced slowly went away over time.  I still get it on a rare occasion, but it is not as intense and does not last more than a day or two now.    Hang in there. 
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So this is sensory overload! Ok it’s really scary! I feel like I’m autistic and I just can’t handle anything in that moment. It comes out of nowhere for me. Like today, sitting at my brothers in the gazebo and suddenly everyone talking and the sun and the birds and the greenness of the trees plus the wind and then the screen started flapping and for 5 mins by brain was like HOLY SHIIIIIIIT!!!!! And then it calmed down a little bit. My stomach was in knots, my heart was racing. And it happens out of nowhere and 99% of the time when I’m outside. This is why I kind of attribute it to the DRDP because I really notice the DRDP when I’m outside. That’s weird too - I notice it more in stores and when I’m going for my daily forced walk around the neighbourhood (which is still unnerving and kind of a little agoraphobia ). It’s the absolute worst feeling and scares the crap out of me. I didn’t have it last month so much but it has been relentless and so scary since last Sunday. Almost back to acute levels!!
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Spend money on good really comfortable noise cancelling over ear headphones!!  Good polarized glasses are also worth their weight in gold. 

  It really amplified the agoraphobia for sure!  Alot of the time the massively amplified senses would get boosted to the peak and then incorporate mild hallucinations to boost even further.  I watched a lot of things with subtitles because I couldn't handle the noise and auditory hallucinations.

  The best thing though is it goes away! 

I still have a fair amount of sensory overstimulation but it is probably 20% of what it was and continues to lessen on what seems to be a weekly basis. 

 

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I had what you describe for about 4 or 5 months.

I used to be an ABA thearpist and ...yeah it makes you really understand how people on the autism spectrum feel with sensory stuff!!

 

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You'll get past this. It's a good sign that repair work is being done "behind the scenes" although it surely won't feel like it! I felt like I had autism too and I don't say it lightly; my brother has Asperger's Syndrome. The only effective strategy I could find was to limit my exposure to stimulation (including passive entertainment) and do deep breathing exercises. I don't know how much it helped but I would tell myself internally on the in breath that I was breathing in good stuff like love and compassion for myself and breathing out to release negative energy. I would never have imagined me going for this type of thing before but it does help. It works if you say it with conviction. It doesn't lead to miracles, just a tangible and welcome benefit.
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Avrge: Wow...thats intense. I ve had dp/dr and i know I get overstimulated by many things but the way you describe what yoke are going through....I only felt that intense in month one (please don't hate me...). I really hope I didn't just jinx myself...Anyway, I do still get overstimulated. I was foolish enough the other day to attempt going to a large mall with my teen girl (trying to be a good mom). I pushed through, but it was was too much. I quickly became symptomatic, and had a very good cry once I got home.  I guess the good news is that there was no way I could have attempted that months ago, so actually attempting it and pushing through shows some kind of healing. I say all this to give you hope:)

 

 

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I know I get really afraid because I was only on the meds for a short period of time. 2 months on the AD and about 15 times benzo. But, I had taken meds in the past so I’m sure this is kindling to which is making things worse and also the fact that I was a CT of both. I’m just struggling so deeply with this experience and feeling so broken and terrified of losing everyone and everything important to me. Even for an extremely short term user of these drugs...I know it happens. I just am having a very hard time accepting it and am scared I will never turn a corner :(
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I know I get really afraid because I was only on the meds for a short period of time. 2 months on the AD and about 15 times benzo. But, I had taken meds in the past so I’m sure this is kindling to which is making things worse and also the fact that I was a CT of both. I’m just struggling so deeply with this experience and feeling so broken and terrified of losing everyone and everything important to me. Even for an extremely short term user of these drugs...I know it happens. I just am having a very hard time accepting it and am scared I will never turn a corner :(

 

It doesn't seem fair does it? Short term use and you're suffering so much! This definitely has a way of making us feel broken.

but I want you to read my signature...I had an insane year last year, and I am starting to see improvements..if I can begin to heal from that - you will too. You just got hit hard...I'm finding changes sneak up on me..very subtle. Sometimes I see more of it when I look back at some of my older posts, or I look back and compare months ago to now.

How long have you been off of meds now? I don't think I see it in your signature?

 

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Ok I have to add bc I've been thinking since my last post....I had really bad sensory overload while in tolerance wd but didn't know what was wrong with me. So much seemed distorted and intrusive ...intense dp/dr. I was jumpy at the slightest thing. Overwhelmed by everything.

I had to think back and remember:)

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I was foolish enough the other day to attempt going to a large mall with my teen girl (trying to be a good mom).

Not foolish at all and I'm glad you felt up to trying this. I'm a big believer in reducing stress but every now and then we need to push ourselves a little to know where we're at. If it took you a week to get over the experience, then I might think you made an error of judgement. As it is, you know a little bit more about your limits. There will be a time when you try this again and it goes well, then you will know that you have progressed  :)

 

I had sensory overload. Two spells... one lasting more than a month and the other just a couple of weeks and not quite as bad as the other spell. The way I described it at the time was that it was like there was no background/foreground. Everything that should have been in the background was competing for front and centre in the foreground.

 

I have a slightly weird story that is related but might not seem it at first. Anyone who has thought about hypnosis might get some benefit from reading on:

 

There's an old man who lives down my street. He's a nice guy. He comes across as intelligent but over familiar but slightly aloof at the same time. I've never been quite sure what to make of him except that he's friendly and I kinda like weirdos, so I always found him alright to talk to. I walked past him in the street when I was in a bad way, not long before Christmas last year. I would normally say hello but I crossed to the other side of the road when I saw him, pretending that I hadn't, and just averting my gaze. It wasn't personal, I wasn't up for talking to anyone. A few days later I saw him again and he asked me if I was alright because he picked up that something was wrong (this is the over familiar thing, but here it worked well). I was feeling bad about having ignored him and for whatever reason felt minded to tell him what was going on, rather than give some vague description of not being well.

 

He told me he used to be a hypnoanalyst some years ago (I think he's nudging 90 years old!) and if I called round, he would help me. I figured what have I got to lose? I've known him for a long time and I admire that someone can get to 90 and still be in decent shape. Better than some random therapist, I thought. We talked for a short while and I could kinda tell he was using hypnotic techniques on me but I didn't mind that. It was sort of implied. He told me that he didn't think it was necessary to put me under hypnosis because while I was struggling, my mind seemed to be straight enough. I thought that was nice of him. I told him about my symptoms and also about the difficulties I was having with other people, who were making my life a living hell at the time. He taught me the swish technique, which was helpful. We talked a little bit about hypnotherapy and hypnoanalysis which I found fascinating. He shared some other stuff about astrology which interests me too but is more of a morbid fascination. I respectfully made it clear that it wasn't my thing. He said that he could have guessed, which I took as a compliment. Then we did some exercises that I can't really remember but he was overtly using hypnotic suggestion. He just didn't induct me into a hypnotic trance. Part of it addressed the sensory overload, which I told him was one of the most difficult things to deal with. I was coping but it was utterly brutal.

 

I was in his company for a good 2.5 hours, most of the time just talking. I left feeling a lot better. I had my symptoms but crucially I could put background noises into the background. I think whatever he did worked. It's too large an improvement not to be related. I don't know how you'd go about finding a hypnotherapist/hypnoanalyst who you can trust but it's something that some people might want to look into. Interestingly, he agreed with my assessment that unscrupulous people in all walks of life use covert hypnotic suggestion to influence people in a manner that most people would deem immoral. I kinda knew it must be true with the popularity of NLP being evidence for this. That the old man agrees has me convinced.

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