what is this thing my brain does and how do i stop it

Discussion in 'Braaaaiiiinnnns...' started by Hawkeguy, Oct 14, 2017.

  1. Hawkeguy

    Hawkeguy struggling to complete this thought

    not sure if i can translate this into words adequately or if it's the right thread but here goes.
    TW self harm for arm biting i guess
    whenever my brain's having a circus day, all thoughts get more incoherent and focus gets interrupted by every little noise. like crinkling chips bags or the noise of a shutting door. plus i get jumpy and aggressive at every single human moving in my vicinity, it feels like my brain is full of screaming frogs, and when i can type or talk it feels weird like on autopilot. half the time even talking is too much and i don't want to look at people because their movements and noises are horribly. anything additional like some specific cold sounding music genres and flickering light makes it worse.

    i think i had this all my life, it's happening most of the time when I don't have the time to think or complete an action, e.g. someone asks a question repeatedly and doesn't let me answer, or doesn't give a hint for a question I don't know the answer too. It also happens when people are being way too loud or behave in ways i find threatening (which can just be really small things like malicious jokes). sometimes it's happened just because.
    it's interrupted many a school class, and talking with classmates and fucked up my entire two years of school in thailand. it's happened in front of teachers, my parents, and friends.
    when it happened it wouldn't stop by itself (or only by escalating) so when I have the time and know there's an impending attack i just request a break and after twenty minutes of focusing on something enjoyable it's alright again, but in school or in travels where i can't get relative silence and empty rooms i just react by biting my arm.
    The thing is that biting is efficient at getting me functional but i recently started to resent that my arm has all the dark bite rings on it, and that it hurts (they aren't deep or very bloody though.) i just kinda want it to stop and find a method that isn't weird and embarassing and tbh it just makes me sad that i even do that.
    does anyone know what exactly it is that happens, and do you have suggestions how to get out of that screaming frogsbrain zone without having slobber and ouch on my arm?
  2. KingdomByTheSea

    KingdomByTheSea Well-Known Member

    That sounds kinda like my experience of sensory overload. My coping methods are a) leave the situation and go sit somewhere quiet if possible, and b) take my small-dose as-needed anxiety meds if not, so I'm not sure how helpful that will be to you :/ But googling sensory overload coping techniques might turn up someone more helpful than me
    • Agree x 3
  3. Verily

    Verily surprised Xue Yang peddler

    I’ve got sensory processing and focus issues and that sounds like it could be something similar?

    If I’m having a bad day or stressed or whatever, I lose more and more ability to focus. First I can’t concentrate, then I can barely think. Every little thing distracts me, and being interrupted is infuriating because it’s already so hard and I may not be able to gather my attention again when it’s lost.

    If it keeps getting worse, my ability to filter out sensory input starts failing. I can’t ignore anything anymore. I start feeling irritable then angry. Any repetitive annoyance goes from unpleasant to Must Destroy. People are the worst because they make all sorts of sensory information and it’s even harder to ignore than normal.

    A more distracting sensation sometimes works. Pain (such as a bite) is pretty effective, though not ideal. Personally, because I find people peak distracting, sometimes I use that to my advantage and engage in conversation with one person. My brain will often attach to that one interaction magnetically, even to the extent of ignoring painfully loud noise. It probably depends on what type of input or thoughts your brain finds relatively easy to process and sufficiently high priority.

    Anxiety meds and focus meds (ritalin in my case) help me get to the point where most of the time I’m not so overwhelmed I won’t be able to cope.

    I’m honestly still figuring this out though.
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