Here it goes, my first post.
Well I am at work now. I am dreading work because over the last six weeks I have got so far behind that I don't want to face up to it. Also I have some meetings and will have to see how I survive the fear. I just want to hide under my blanket.
Following is a general description about something that happens sometimes. It's not happening right now. But the problem is that when it does happen, my brain isn't working well and I don't ask for help. What can we do to prevent its happening?
Sometimes I can't handle noise and crowds well. I prefer to go to the
same stores, well prepared with a list of what to get, because I get overwhelmed trying to figure out where things are at stores, sometimes even ones I know well. It's like I get sensory overload where my mind stops processing. Lights get brighter and darker or sometimes, strobe-like. Sounds get louder and sometimes they don't track with what I'm seeing. I feel overwhelmed and slightly disoriented. If it gets wors, then sometimes I get a headache; People's mouths move and I hear the sound of their voice, but I can't make out what they're saying -it's all garbled; Everything sounds like its in a tunnel. On rare occasions it gets worse and everything begins to melt and then I start panicking and can't focus on anything. Then if I drove comes the fun part of trying drive home in this state, which I know is completely unsafe, but I am so anxious to get home as quickly as possible, I don't think clearly enough to stop and call for help. People who have seen me in this state say that I also slur my words when I talk. I wonder if it's some kind of seizure, or an atypical migraine (without pain). I'm pretty sure it's not a panic attack. This is why I don't like crowds.
The zyprexa does help this some. I don't get so disoriented that I lose my shopping cart. But the basic effects still exist and it is very disconcerting.
I get this also at work, to varying degrees. Often on days I can't work I suffer some mild form of this. On other days its not so mild -- and I lose track of what people are saying when they are talking to me. On particularly confusing days I might bump my car on the way home.
I think these effects are triggered by something but I don't know what. I know that if I am in a very safe, supportive, low stress environment I suffer less from this.
Reading about brain anatomy has helped me to understand things
better. I know my problem has something to do with the thalamus, which is the master control for sensory processing in the brain. Also, a brain needs a miminum number of neurotransmitters to function properly and I think we bipolars have such fluctuations that we don't always have enough on hand to process things correctly and then that triggers the amygdala,which is what controls the emotions. I don't think of bipolar as a emotional disorder, I see it is a sensory disorder crossing over into emotions. Is this correct?
What is the best way to deal with this at the office?
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