Good Morrow Halloween fans and welcome to ‘How to Manage and Understand Bipolar Disorder: Irritation.’ The previous post focused on brain injury. This post examines the sensitivity and irritability of bipolar survivors.
How to Manage and Understand Bipolar Disorder: Irritation and Those Annoying Sounds
The clacking of heels, muttering whispers, banging cutlery on plates and snorting. These are just some of the sounds that drive the bipolar ear up the wall. From discussions in online forums I understand the same affects not only other mood disorders, but also people on the autistic spectrum. Is it any wonder, Halloween Fans, that irritability is a symptom in such a noisy world?
Most people do not realize how noisy our world is because they have been born into it. Subsequently people are desensitized by the constant influx of sound. I would envisage that if a medieval man traveled forward in time and found himself in any modern city the noise alone would send him into fits.
How to Manage and Understand Bipolar Disorder: Irritation and Shopping
So, there I was in Tescos today rummaging through the sausages when a family decided to stand right in my personal space. As large as the store was and as empty as the store was they had to stand on top of me. Personal space is a great healer, whereas over-crowding, especially when it is unnecessary and intrusive is quite the opposite. I remained where I was until the snorting, muttering, shuffling and clacking started. We had cheese rolls instead of sausage rolls this evening. Why though? Why do certain sounds agitate a sensitive mind? I think it is sounds that represent conformist behaviors, behaviors that are alien to the emotional brain. Repetitive ritual rather than genuine interaction.
How to Manage and Understand Bipolar Disorder: Irritation in the Restaurant
Last week Declan and I went to a restaurant, initially we were the only patrons which suited both of us fine. Then, a woman and three children come in and they were possibly one of the most miserable families that I have ever seen. The two lads were arguing, with the younger dictating to the older lad. The children asked for orange and got water for ‘Lent.’ They looked washed out and totally unhappy.
Subsequently the mother asked the ritual question ‘What did you do at school today?’ and the little girl answered only to be interrupted with ‘Mmm hmm that’s nice isn’t it?’ By this time I was irritable, if she didn’t want to know, then why ask? Conformist behavior. She could have just let her children speak, but she didn’t, they barely looked at each other whilst walloping cutlery on their plates and then were told that they couldn’t have dessert because again it was ‘Lent.’ Poor children. I understood that one thing was given up for Lent as a personal, spiritual decision. These children were forced into giving up pretty much everything to conform. Ridiculous.
How to Manage and Understand Bipolar Disorder: Aural Stimulus
Now, I don’t usually moan about other people as I believe in live and let live, but the sounds of conformity were irritating. They weren’t just irritating me, but the children in this family. You could plainly see it. Anyway, that is one take on why certain sounds are annoying. The other reason may be to do with too much stimulus, an overwhelming activation of the senses, which can be likened to overcrowding, being crushed by multitudes of people. The noise becomes unbearable and overwhelming resulting in irritability.
How to Manage and Understand Bipolar Disorder: Comparisons with the Autistic Spectrum
One of my children has Aspergers syndrome. I will not say which one as this is not my place. The child with Aspergers cannot stand loud noises, singing or repetition. S/he grabs his/her ears and repeatedly says it hurts. Again, I think that this is caused by over-stimulation of the senses. S/he simply cannot cope with the influx of stimulus. It is unbearable, and I can relate to that feeling as that is how I feel. However, some sounds are intensely pleasing; powerful and emotional music can be extremely soothing. This is especially true when the rest of the world is shut out. One of the ways that I deal with the irritability caused by over-stimulation is to remove all sensation. I run a hot bath and lay in the dark with my head under the water. This gives me time to relax, meditate and let go of thoughts and stressors. It is extremely rejuvenating and refreshing. I may follow up with a quiet read and add some aromatherapy oils to the water.
How to Manage and Understand Bipolar Disorder: A Tricky Subject
There isn’t a lot more that I can say on this subject. It is a tricky one, especially for me as I was born deaf. I did not have a good hearing ability until I was 8, so perhaps I am extra sensitive to sound. However, I certainly know that it is a trait or symptom shared across many disorders. I do believe the two grounds for agitation are; over stimulation and fake conformist behaviors. Now, I suggest that the reader runs a hot bath and lets-go of the world and all of its noise and nonsense.
Valkyrie Kerry Kelly