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This totally happens to me. I’m very prone to sensory overload and also an introvert, so getting trapped in that sort of situation can send me into panic mode. I’m not socially anxious and actually enjoy mingling/socializing, but being introverted, it’s exhausting and I need alone time to recharge, and if I can’t get away and drain my mental energy reserves, it becomes a lot harder to process things around me and it becomes Too Much.
One time, my husband and I were at a dinner with a large group of perfectly lovely people that we didn’t know very well. The seat I was at was boxed in by other tables, making getting in and out difficult. There was some miscommunication with the restaurant, so they weren’t quite prepared to handle such a group, which caused food service to be very slow. I was fine until I wasn’t. Started panicking, felt trapped, had to get out, but we needed to pay the tab and oh my god I just had to get out. Finally got out, went outside, and burst into tears, out of relief and mental exhaustion.
In general, crowded, flashy, manmade places overwhelm and exhaust me. Couldn’t stand NYC when we visited it, for example. But then another time when we went hiking in the woods and got lost, husband got antsy, but I was cool as a cucumber because we were in the woods without other people around.