A simple dinner party can sweep you into auditory overload—sending you out of the room to deal with what can be an assault on the ears.
In a study published in The American Journal of Psychiatry, nearly one-third of people with bipolar affirmed changes in hearing during a hypomanic/manic episode. The majority of those reported that sounds became more amplified and clear, and that subthreshold sounds became more distinct. Though not as common, sound sensitivity was present during depressive episodes as well.
In fact, a significant number of people with bipolar experience an almost painful reaction to noise, particularly during mood episodes and generally during mania, according to the University of Michigan Depression Center.
“When did we collectively forget the exquisite, shivery joy of a whisper?” asks Terri Cheney, author of the memoir Manic: A Memoir and The Dark Side of Innocence: Growing Up Bipolar.
Noises are everywhere, and when there seems to be too many of them at once, it’s harder than usual to focus, and more important than ever to do what’s best for yourself in the moment. If that means leaving the scene, so be it. If that’s not an option, acknowledge your noise sensitivity for what it is—a symptom—and try redirecting your attention elsewhere.
While not always possible, creating a proactive plan for handling intruding sounds before they lead to overload is ideal.
bpHope blogger Kelly Staton more than once has bolted out of a situation to grab a moment of silence and regain her composure.
She attempts to cut herself a break when that happens: “When I do get overwhelmed I am trying more and more to be gentle with myself and afford myself the same mercy that I know I would extend to others.” Read more >>
July 28, 2019—Researchers have discovered that people can be taught coping strategies to avoid negative responses to boring situations. While being bored is a common human experience, how people cope with boredom is important for mental health.
The study, published in the journal Psychophysiology, found that those who experience boredom more often tend to have more anxiety and are more prone to depression.
“Everybody experiences boredom,” said Sammy Perone, Washington State University assistant professor in the Department of Human Development. “But some people experience it a lot, which is unhealthy. So, we wanted to look at how to deal with it effectively.”
Scientists initially speculated that people who react more negatively to boredom would have specific brain waves prior to being bored; but their study proved differently. It was only when participants were in a state of boredom that the differences surfaced, indicating that it’s the reaction to a boring situation and people can be taught coping mechanisms to avoid negative responses. Read more >>
When I gained my diagnosis, I lost friends. Today, I have new relationships and a new outlook––all because of one important question that helped me realize my value as a friend.
By Dave Mowry
When I was first diagnosed with bipolar disorder I had friends, relationships and business contacts. I thought, “These people know me. I can tell them that I have bipolar disorder and our relationships will continue. Boy was I wrong.
As I told people, one at a time they would start dropping out of my life. There were the unreturned phone calls. There were the invitations that stopped coming or weren’t followed up on. There were the no-shows.
Seeing someone on the street was awkward. I would greet them and they were always in a hurry to move along. Then there were the ones who saw me coming and ignored me all together. Read more >>
August 1, 2019 • Volume 12, Issue 31Subscribe to Hope & Harmony Headlines Tracking Symptoms to Prevent Episodes How are your sleuthing skills? If they’re rusty—or nonexistent—it’s time to get out the polish, because being your own detective when it comes to tracking mood swing symptoms can help manage, and perhaps prevent, an...
September 5, 2019 • Volume 12, Issue 36Subscribe to Hope & Harmony Headlines Planning For Your Next Bipolar Depression We like certain things in our lives to be reliable—like our cars, for instance. The depression that follows a manic episode? Absolutely, positively not. But there it is, showing up on cue, disappointingly dependable....
July 11, 2019 • Volume 12, Issue 28Subscribe to Hope & Harmony Headlines Pay Attention to Sleep Disruptions For three out of every four people with bipolar, it is said, sleep troubles are the most common warning sign that mania is on its way. We might not even miss the need for some...
August 22, 2019 • Volume 12, Issue 34Subscribe to Hope & Harmony Headlines Coming to Terms with Work Limitations In a survey by the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance, almost nine out of 10 people with bipolar said their bipolar had affected their job performance. More than half said they had to change...