Was on the verge of panic today, from people talking.

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    • #110576

      As many of us know, we can NOT, NOT hear things.
      Meaning we can’t block out sound and only hear the one we want.
      Today at work, I wasn’t paying attention and got surrounded by people talking, for me this is not good! My brain couldn’t cope with all the input and started to go into panic mode.
      It’s as if my brain is being yanked around inside my skull.
      Since only one person I work with has any understanding of A.D.D. I had to try and exit the situation without drawing unwanted attention, most normals don’t understand and their eyes glaze over when I try to explain, so I don’t bother anymore.
      I try to avoid these situations, but sometimes it happens
      Does anyone have something similar happen?

    • #110578

      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.

      • #111984

        yes and often though nowadays i am able to monitor my environment well enough to make sure this pretty much doesn’t happen. My problem is that being the wife of a musician means that if i go to gigs i am often expected to be all super friendly with followers and i find this enormously difficult. \it took me about 2-3 years to get completely comfortable with the other wives and i can cope with the crowds by not being in them but sitting apart – there are venues to avoid completely though. Also people think because i am a friendly chatty person generally when 1-1 or 2-2 that i would be great to invite to parties or social occasions but i find them all deeply uncomfortable and am lucky that my DH feels the same way so we just make our excuses and leave people shocked when we explain why – they just cannot understand us and think we are weird.
        But at work it is harder – can you wear ear plugs and explain to people how much it all overloads your nervous system – i used to do that when i worked in a busy office – only way i could get any work done at all

    • #110642

      Very similar to both of your accounts, restaurants are a toughy for me, it’s hard for me to enjoy my time with the people I’m sitting with because I almost always can’t check out of other peoples conversations, I don’t even want to listen! It’s just overwhelming and I can’t drown them out. Which makes me very quiet and not fun to eat with.

      At work I have also had this occurrence, with sudden groups of people all chatting at once and this was usually my que to take a bathroom break, or go refill my coffee. Sometimes I’d just step away and sit in a quiet bathroom stall for a couple minutes, or take a quick lap around the office (this was common in my office, we enjoyed getting our “steps in” haha, but it had a duel purpose of helping me escape for a moment)

      • #110648

        My friends stopped asking if I wanted to go clubbing because I refused unless it was a quiet bar that only old alcoholics went.
        I never had a good time at clubs, with loud dance music and everyone having to yell so the person next to them could hear, I’d get so disoriented I’d get sick, my friends just thought I drank too much.

    • #111987

      I feel you. I’m fine with general “hubbub” and background noise, but if I’m in the middle of a group of people talking (and I can hear their words) then I can feel as if I’m being pulled apart, it’s horrible.

      Not long after I was first diagnosed, I attended a psychoeducational workshop for adults with ADHD. There were about 8 of us with 3 psychologists, with our chairs arranged around the outside of the room, facing inwards. I usually sat in a corner as it was easier for me attention wise, but one day after lunch someone else sat in my seat so I took a seat right in the middle along the back. I had to put my hand up after about 15 minutes to ask someone to swap, as I couldn’t cope with the conversation rapidly hopping from one side of the room to the other.

    • #111988

      I am a special education teacher and this happens to me all the time! Not with the kids; I only work with small groups in a separate room. It does happen in both casual and formal settings. When it’s just a group of people and too many people are talking I either wait it out or step back several feet (sometimes drawing 1 or 2 people with whom I am speaking) with me until things quiet down. When it happens in a more formal setting I tend to block one ear and look either straight ahead or down. For some reason, this helps me to deal with it until things quiet down.

      Like some of the others, I can’t go to clubs. However, I can go to Red Sox games! Perhaps that’s because almost all of the noise/talking is focused on the same thing? My friends are also helpful. For example, I like theater and they usually know if I will be able to tolerate certain shows. I’ve been warned that I won’t have fun at Blue Man Group (bummer!) or any of the Celtic dance shows (double bummer, I’m very Irish-American!!), and, for some things, I can enjoy myself if I wear earplugs. For example, I can’t tolerate all of the noise in the school gym, but I do okay if I wear earplugs.

      So, my takeaway, reduce the noise by positioning yourself or wearing earplugs. In professional settings when you can’t escape, block one ear and reduce visual input as well. And, let your relatives and friends “prescreen” situations for you and take their advice.

      I hope this helps.

    • #112025

      I would not see this as being primarily due to ADHD. The sensory overload is more about auditory processing issues, particularly difficulties with background noise. This often becomes increasingly apparent as we become older and our hearing deteriorates. I hate sitting in a noisy restaurant, especially where others are wanting to have a conversation! By contrast, my consulting room is a nice, quiet place, and conversations are easy.

      Those with ADHD are likely to experience this difficulty with more distress. We are talking about a lowered threshold for frustration here. It is the frustration that is ADHD-related, not the hearing/background noise difficulties.


      • #112066
        Garden Gnome

        I have auditory processing disorder, sensory processing disorder, and hyperacusis. I can’t understand the person next to me if there is a lot of background noise. Their voices just blend into the chaotic sound. Because of the hyperacusis, the noise is really loud. If the room is echoey, I feel it bouncing off of the walls and into my head. It creates a monstrous headache for me. If I am exposed to it for too long, I will actually lose all sense of where my body is in space. I will go into fight or flight mode and will need to cling to walls because I won’t understand the movement of other people. It is quite nightmarish. After I leave the place of chaos, I will still have the noise in my head, as well as the headache, for about three days. The last time that I experienced the full dramatic effect of this, I was at a church where the choir was upstairs. We were practicing and there were people downstairs, all talking and socializing. When the mass started, the priest talked into a microphone and his voice felt like jagged edges of broken glass. Afterwards, someone had to help me down the stairs because of decompensating. We went to another building for a choir rehearsal, and I couldn’t hear the choir as a group. I heard each individual voice and I had to work hard not to point at the people who were out of tune or to say exactly by how much they were out of tune. For several days after that, I felt pain. I don’t know if I have ADHD or not but one psychologist said yes, that I did.

      • #112058

        Hello Derek,
        I would have to disagree with you. As someone who has dealt with ADHD their whole life and has done countless hours of research and reading, I would have to say that the hearing background noise and not being able to tune out is totally an ADD/ADHD symptom. You do not get distracted when you are able to tune out sound, you get distracted because you cannot tune it out. Here are two small articles for you to read if you choose to about this hypersensitivity and ADHD: https://www.additudemag.com/slideshows/senses-hypersensitivity-and-adhd/, https://psychcentral.com/blog/adhd-and-women-when-your-senses-are-extra-sensitive/
        I hope you read it and see where we are coming from. Thank you for your response.

    • #112026

      I work in an office with an open concept. Coworkers are constantly speaking out loud . I can’t think clearly, or tune out their conversations. I bought a white noise machine and put it next to my desk. I also will put in an earbud and listen to calming country music to help me stay focused.

      • #112030

        I also work in an open concept office. Noise cancelling headphones have absolutely saved my life. I was going absolutely nuts with coworkers’ conversations, throat-clearing, coughing, etc. It was driving me completely insane. I asked for noise cancelling headphones for Christmas two years ago and my mom got me a really nice set of Bose noise cancelling headphones (Quiet Comfort). Game changer.

    • #112029

      I’m a ‘normal’ but my son is ADHD and my husband is ADD. This particular posting is relevant to me as I have an anxiety disorder (originally diagnosed as depression). I’m on new medication that is helping me tremendously with the panics when people are talking. My biggest item is interruptions from others. I go non-linear. It probably has more from the other not respecting me or just the way people in general talk when there’s more than 4 discussing something.

      Anyway, normal folks have similar problems and go into panic mode as well.

    • #112032

      Everyday, especially with my kids and husband! I can’t keep a task in my mind when they talk, to me or them selves. I explain it as my brain freezes like a computer, and it needs to reboot. I am an extrovert, but I still require a lot of alone time to recharge. Especially as I get older. I get drained and need to recharge.
      I started meditation, and I am finding that recharges my resources 10xs faster!

    • #112041

      Yes! This describes me at work in the staff room as well. Unfortunately, most of my work collegues think that I just don’t like them when I stay away from social situations, but if I ever told them that I have ADHD, they would never believe me, so it’s a catch 22.

    • #112044

      This is me all the time. If I can get away…I’ll bolt. If I can’t I’m filled with anxiety. Worst case: a room full of women all talking at the same time. I always say, it sounds like a bunch of chicken. As women, WHY do we do this. I know we want to be heard! Drives me crazy!!

    • #112050

      Yep. Same here. It is causing trouble for me in the preschool classroom where I work. I spend a lot of time trying to get the children to be
      quieter because I CAN’T THINK!!!

      Question on another subject. Is anyone else having trouble reading in this forum because of ads overlapping dialog?

    • #112052

      This happens to me all the time. I have 3 children and a husband who works from home. I cannot block out noise so when I am on the phone I have to go to an empty room to concentrate. When everyone starts talking at once I just tell them that my brain cannot handle everything at once and they need to slow down. In public situation I have a hard time because people think I am eavesdropping but I hear all the conversations around me and cannot tune them out. It is so frustrating and something I deal with daily. I wish there was a way to “fix” the information overload but I haven’t figured out how yet. I wish people knew how hard some things are for me, not because of what I am doing but because of how my brain processes information and time. Just know that you are not alone, many of us deal with this same situation day after day and although it does not get better at least you are not alone.

    • #112054

      Yes, I experience this professionally as well as in my family life. Attempting a discussion with my spouse, one kid pipes up, then the other kiddo… it’s total overload and short circuit. I try really hard to get through it but I often just cave and embrace the fact that I’m not going to get anything more out of it. The angst it creates makes it nearly impossible to redirect folks to what is important. Sitting through board meetings when this happens is torture.

    • #112055

      BIG HELP for me is those little squishy ear plugs that you can find at the pharmacy. They are foam and usually bright orange. I cut about half of the end of the plug off and use the shortened version to put in my ear. It works great. You have to get used to the stimulus of having something in your ear, but it deadens the sound by about half. After about 4 days, you love the feel of the earplugs because you associate it with decreased frustration 😀

      I can still hear what is going on and it’s not obvious or ugly like noise cancelling headphones would be. I find that I can focus enough with the added help of the softening of the voices.

      If people ask because they notice the little orange pieces in my ears, I just say that I concentrate better with less sound coming in. That seems to work for them.

      Good luck! So definitely understand where you are coming from!!!!

    • #112061

      I never understood this about myself. I always blamed being tired (from the extreme insomnia) for not really liking going out with friend groups. Then one day my Dad offered to take me (along with his second wife) to a popular restaurant I’d never been to. He was a cheapie, so his usual plan was to go to places during happy hour just for the free snacks. We opened the door to go in and the tidal wave of sound physically knocked me backwards. There was no way I could go in there as busy as it was! We had to drive around for 30 minutes waiting for the pizza place to open. Stepmom, who didn’t seem to like me much, really got upset with me and never was nice to me again. But how was I supposed to enjoy a treat in an atmosphere where my brain would explode?!

    • #112064

      I carry “BS filters” in my pocket at all times. (Ear plugs) When talkers get around my desk, I am either too tempted to join in the conversation or get frazzled like you’re talking about. So, instead of making a scene, I just pop in my foam earplugs and the distractions just fade away! Sure I can’t hear the phone ring, but I get anxious talking on the dreaded phone anyway!

    • #112065

      OMG yes, like my husband and daughter both talking at me. I just tell them, one at a time. I guess you could calmly tell them in an Obi-wan like manner to please speak one at a time. Not always easy when your over whelmed with the cacophony.

    • #112073
      Mister Big

      I wouldn’t say i have this all the time. Normally i thrive in large groups like 8-10, unless something upsets me. Then i need to leave or i get overwhelmed or pissed

      For example, yesterday i was doing perfectly fine i was happy and talking to everyone and hanging out in a big group in my apartment with like 6 dudes, 3 different convos at once. But me and my brother went to a skatepark we were hoping would be empty so we could practice. It was full and that kinda upset me. My mood flipped like a switch and we drove home. I’m the same living room, i could just hear everyone talking and it was hitting my brain like bullets. I just left and payed down in a dark room to collect my thoughts. Felt a lot better after that.

      It seems when i have a crazy amount going in my head, external noise just overflows my “bucket”

    • #112077

      Me2 such a timely post, as gr8 responses thanks ot poster and responders. “We Are Not Alone, mostly”
      As mentioned. you can politely don headphones or even ear plugs. You might also if possible request part of the week to work from home.
      I ended up having to politely talk to all or at least the worst offenders. Brace for relapses after a few days or overreaction and sometimes jokes at your expense.
      Also you can work on people who tend to talk “over” their office to a neighbour. Some offices have adopted the disastrous layout of low partitions unfortunately, for “syngery”.
      The word does get through eventually and anyway, there’s usually a minority of real offenders.
      what I also tried successfully, is just kinda jump up, cover mouthpiece or phone, and loudly whisper “Client on the line” or “critical call” and it works. Or say… hey I plan to call client.

    • #112087
      Tina DB

      I have so many similar experiences to so many of you fellow posters! I have ADD and introvert. I enjoy social occaisions but afterward don’t know what any conversations were about as they get all jumbled. I can’t really participate as I can barely finish a thought but if I am in a comfortable place I enjoy the swirl of talk and laughter.
      I think this inability to follow the words of one person is related to my inability to hear the words in songs. I tend to hear the music and can’t distinguish the words unless they are very distinct above the music.
      As well, I have never been able to sleep to a radio no matter how low as when the announcer or advertising would talk I would wake up immediately as I’m unable to ignore talking.

      • #112093

        I have the same experiences with gatherings and words to songs. I enjoy the liveliness of a group and can occasionally focus enough -with effort- to respond to an individual; usually i just switch gears to quiet following with more than 3 people talking together. And even then I forget much of what I heard because it was so rapid paced. As for lyrics to songs, I have always been almost completely unable to distinguish the words, unless there’s stark contrast between singer and background. I could never understand how others could hear words so easily and never linked it ADHD. But it makes sense. Thanks!

    • #112103

      I have had a problem with this my whole life but only recently diagnosed with ADHD. Sometimes sensory overload can get so bad it feels like breaking glass. Not just voices but bright lights, movement on a crowded street, a noisy auditorium all can be completely overwhelming at times. I wouldn’t consider myself introverted but can tend to be anti-social for reasons like boredom in casual conversation. I do get overwhelmed at parties sometimes and need to step out for air. I have been taking Adderall for nearly a year now and can say without a doubt this has helped. I used to have a tough time on airplanes because of all the background noise but have flown several time since with no issues. Also sitting in on my daughters indoor athletics would be intolerable but those times are gone. Working on meditation and mindfulness are a huge help for me. Especially when everything around becomes very frenetic I can focus on the moment to relieve anxiety. I also need music playing or background noise (fans, water fountains, etc.) to calm my mind. Good luck!

    • #112108

      So this is crazy cause I thought I was the only one. I taught college for 18 years then middle school for 3. I would yell on the top of my lungs, Hey! Everyone would get quiet. I’d say Dr Wilkinson is on audio overload. I have hearing problems & I am really sensitive. Please bring it down a few notches. Then I developed this thing where if it got loud, I would hold my nose and raise the other hand. Kids would try and do it as fast as they could and get really quiet. The last one still talking isn’t paying attention & everyone starts laughing at them. They start to pay attention more. We have to be adaptable & creative with our idiocincrocies

      • This reply was modified 2 years, 10 months ago by kdalpha.
    • #112114

      YES! Unfortunately, it happens frequently when shopping with my 10-yr-old twins if they aren aren’t medicated. We all have ADHD. Their excitement and talking makes it practically impossible for me to stay calm and complete the task. I finally told them that it overwhelms me when I need to concentrate and they are understanding.

    • #112123

      The people around you with no consideration for you are misguided, mean-spirited, critical devil 😈 rejects motivated by spite.

    • #112124

      If the chatter is work chatter I can tune it out. If it’s other than work chatter, a two minutes is fine. After a couple of minutes, oh and worse coworkers start gather around also start chatter near me. I’m beginning to boil.

      If it’s true, it’s true, but, it’s always women co-workers that are of midrange (specialist, and such) colleagues, and if the supervisor is a women, good luck trying to get her to do anything about it. Your female boss will even tell you to turn on and turn up some music. Egregious, hostile environment!

      I have had a female supervisor who did not tolerate cubicle visiting and chatter. Oh, it was nice to hear myself think.

      I decided to move on and get another job. A lawyer told me I should have contacted him before I quit. Too bad, because I had done an outstanding job of documenting everything over the time of the problem.

      —Disgruntled former employee of just the type of the environment you are in.

      • This reply was modified 2 years, 10 months ago by TrapperMA. Reason: missed a word
      • This reply was modified 2 years, 10 months ago by TrapperMA.
    • #112127

      I forgot to mention: Having to take an important! test and slowly going insane because I was the only one who could hear the wall clock tick-tick-ticking.

      • #112130

        Right, a student was sick with a cough, it was very difficult not to be distracted and a very important exam. I guess the student had to make it to the exam. I don’t blame the student, I get that. What can you do, earplugs! Have them with you in your wallet briefcase, whatever.

        Now try blocking out below:

        1. Back in junior college in a small close quarters classroom, I was taking a statistics exam and an international student literally was rapidly, strongly, poking me with his finger on my upper arm to get my attention and help him. Seriously!

        2. Again, back in college as a junior, in a marketing course exam, an international student kept trying to get my attention from the row in front of me asking for help on a midterm. Unbelievable!

        At the timed, coincidentally, I shared an apartment with the president of the International Student Association.

        International students must not get penalized for cheating.

        • This reply was modified 2 years, 10 months ago by TrapperMA. Reason: missed a word
        • This reply was modified 2 years, 10 months ago by TrapperMA. Reason: missed a word
        • This reply was modified 2 years, 10 months ago by TrapperMA. Reason: missed a word
        • This reply was modified 2 years, 10 months ago by TrapperMA. Reason: missed a word
        • This reply was modified 2 years, 10 months ago by TrapperMA. Reason: Attention Deficit Disorder
    • #112136

      Yes, surrounded and overwhelmed.
      At my last full time position, a thin, piece-together wall was placed behind my desk. It ran from wall to wall and divided the floor into two rooms.(5 to 6 ft high). This was eleven years before my diagnosis.
      My department had recently been merged with a larger one (downsizing), but my work was so far the same. By the time I demanded that wallet frustration was such that I could barely speak to anyone.
      Now I will have to try the foam plugs (why didn’t I think of it before?) to read and watch webinars at home.
      My brother is married to a singer. I think sometimes he has your problem. (Introverted with a a possible auditory processing condition). When she finishes a performance, he says goodbye to any one he hasn’t greeted before the performance, perhaps thanks them for coming. I hope that helps. I myself can’t do crowds and deafening noise!

      • #112139

        Be sure to bring your earplugs to sporting events, you don’t know if noise makers like clackers, those long things that clack together with both your hands, will be handed out or your seated near a yeller.

        I arrived at my seat for a New Year’s bowl game, omg, the clackers were placed at every seat in the stadium with Capital One’s name on each one. You can imagine my dismay. My wife could careless.

        • This reply was modified 2 years, 10 months ago by TrapperMA. Reason: spite
        • This reply was modified 2 years, 10 months ago by TrapperMA. Reason: nobody cares
    • #112155

      Yikes, I wasn’t expecting this many to have similar difficulties, earplugs at work are not an option unfortunately, but when working on side projects or around the house I use them, mostly for their intended purpose of hearing protection (tools and equipment can be extremely loud) but even when I’m not working with something noisy I still wear them, because sometimes just the wind blowing in my ears drives me up the wall,the silence is blissful and helps promote hyperfocus mode.
      I can relate to the sitting in the corner, it’s easier to cope with just ninety degrees from your perspective, one hundred eighty and above gets intolerable as in my OP , three hundred sixty degrees of what my brain perceived as random words coming in, my brain is trying to make sense of the random words and then throw in the rapid directional changes and voice pitch, it’s like a blender on puree.

    • #112158

      I see that TrapperMA took the liberty of editing my story before posting it.

      I conclude that I did not explain myself clearly enough. I will try to explain it again.

      I once held a job where my department was merged with a larger department. My department moved to the floor where the larger department was already located. My environment changed, but my work stayed the same.

      Once seated seated in my new place, I found that I was exposed to a significant increase in noise. My new environment was much more open, with 4 or 5 times the number of employees within it.

      I couldnt attend to my work with the increased noise and activity. I needed an enclosure. I wasnt allowed a “work station”, but my unit executive told me to request that a wall be placed behind my seat, which happened to be where file cabinets of the now extinct “larger department” were placed.

      The lightweight wall absorbed some of the noise, and marked the area where my particular sub-section could be found.

      • #112162

        What? Did what? Am I able to edit your story? Did I tap on a button or something?

        Update: I went back to see what happened. My reply posted to your comment not as a reply to the comment above your post, your post was relevant, just the same. You will benefit from my comments. Watch yourself.

        • This reply was modified 2 years, 10 months ago by TrapperMA.
        • This reply was modified 2 years, 10 months ago by TrapperMA. Reason: Perfect example of ADD, bro
    • #112166

      I am struggling with this myself. My husband is an accountant and I work with him. Our office is open concept and it is usually just he and I. During tax season we have a lady that helps put taxes together, makes copies, answers the phone, etc. Well she constantly asks me questions… all day, every day. It is like, she has been helping us for several years now. It is just not sinking in. We hired a college grad that my husband has known for her whole life. She has to work under a CPA in order to get her certification. So now, it’s me, the older lady, and the young girl… if she isn’t “screaming” (ok, maybe a tad of an exaggeration) on the phone, talking to her, asking me questions, helping someone at the window.. I can’t get anything done until everyone goes home. So now we are staying until 1 and 2 every night, and it is wearing me down. I know my husband is having the same problem. At least he can shut his office door. (He has ADHD as well) I’m at my breaking point, so I constantly pray that we survive this year. Maybe next year I can come up with a better plan!!!

      • #112174

        I feel for you and fully understand what is at stake, being and knowing ours in advance that later that you will still be at the while everyone is gone
        That’s awful.

        Your the owner, right? Think outside the box and fix this. Be strong, you got this.

        👊😀 You’re doing great❗
        🚶🏃🕺 Keep on
        🚶🏃💃 trucking❗

    • #112167

      This happens to me all the time! I am a school social worker and at times I have to take notes during team meetings to share with everyone later. It is almost impossible for me to get all the information down when others are talking around me. I’ve started to softly repeat out loud what I am typing so that I don’t miss any of the important aspects of the meeting. It has helped me a lot but also being honest with my team about my struggles has helped even more

    • #112168

      Wow, how timely is this post!! I had a 9 board meeting this morning and when it was over, I was had an anxiety attack! I couldn’t figure out why it happened. I’ve held the position of Secretary for the last two years for our HOA and this is the first time this has ever happened! I immediately took a small dose of Xanax to relieve my angst. There was no apparent reason for it, so I’m glad to see that I’m not alone. Guess I need to do a little more research.

    • #112169

      Wow, how timely is this post!! I had a board meeting this morning and when it was over, I was had an anxiety attack! I couldn’t figure out why it happened. I’ve held the position of Secretary for the last two years for our HOA and this is the first time this has ever happened! I immediately took a small dose of Xanax to relieve my angst. There was no apparent reason for it, so I’m glad to see that I’m not alone. Guess I need to do a little more research.

      • #112171

        Check out Passage Meditation. I learned about having a mantra. So, I always run it quietly in my mind before I walk in board meetings, to the point it’s in my subconscious now because I practiced when going for a walk. It was noticable how I had changed and the had no clue. I became the quiet one and spoke when it there wasa proper opening. The 8 steps of Passage Meditation rock.

        Of course, always being prepared comes first.

        👊😀 You’re doing great❗
        🚶🏃🕺 Keep on
        🚶🏃💃 trucking❗

        • This reply was modified 2 years, 10 months ago by TrapperMA. Reason: ADD
    • #112186

      I have the same problem. Difficult following a conversation when more than a few people talking. Cannot filter out speech from noise. Distracted by other peoples conversation.
      Summer evenings outdoors are ruined by neighbours chattering. Or even worst, anytime, and anywhere, having to listen to music when I have not chosen to. Cafes and restaurants are hell. Went to cinema first time for years recently and wanted to leave right away. Too loud. Overwhelmed.
      Shopping is terrible. Too bright, too many sounds, people popping up everywhere around me. Get distracted by lights, sound, movement. It is worst when medicine runs out. Earbuds does not help. Winter does because people keep indoors.

      • #112260

        You need a mantra.

        https://www.bmcm.org/learn/mantram/ You will love what is called Passage Meditaion. It will change your life and your friends and coworkers will not know what’s going with you, but, they will a change in you of stillness and meetings and pressurized situations.

        There is simple Eight-Point program to make it much more meaningful. It’s all free. Friends or associates I have told, love it.

        Good Luck!

        BTW, it doesn’t hurt to keep soft ear plugs on your person. That’s being smart.

    • #112215

      ME TOO!!! I thought I was the only one. Thank you for sharing. Goodness, this happens a lot to me, it’s like all my senses are on overdrive. I mean for me, I have to many conversations going on inside my head and add a bunch of people into the mix sends my anxiety into panic mood. It physically hurts my head. I wish I could just be by myself most days. It’s not only to many voices it’s the pitch and repetitive noises send me over the edge. It’s bad. Music helps a lot, writing to God about how I feel, and even coloring helps me (lol!). It’s nice to know I’m not alone and your not either 🙂

      • #112261

        Please see my reply above about passage meditation and a mantra. I’m telling y’all, it’s for us. You’ll see as you begin reading the web page. My favorite book there is Conquest of Mind. I read it in one day. Awesome.

    • #112216

      omg yes – my husband will have the car radio on, it’ll be louder than it needs to be, half static and have talk/music, and then instead of turning it down to talk he’ll just start talking over it, like one decibel above all the static/music/noise and it makes me CRAZY. I’ll go “it’s too much!” and turn off the radio (and by “turn off the radio I mean slap the button as soon as my brain starts shriek panicking in my skull) and he always looks at me like I’m nuts.

    • #112285

      I am no psychiatrist but I can see so much in common with what I have learned. I have only understood myself as ADHD for a little less than a year and since have been researching this condition relentlessly (hyper-focused). What I see is a condition that is hardly understood in adults; only in children and teens. We fell through the cracks. We grew up in a time when even the mention of this condition would be explained away as someone who is difficult, hyper-sensitive, or a daydreamer. These are convenient labels for a population that doesn’t understand what it is like to have a brain that functions so differently. Don’t be discouraged. We have a gift and should work to understand it and control it’s impulses. We’re in good company. Do the research. The most brilliant, artistic and influential people for generations are among us. Our challenge, as I see it, is to put this to good use and not succumb to the reality of living in a world not designed for us.

    • #112295

      When my 40’s hit…symtoms I would be able to control were harder.
      I noticed that I could not tolorate 3 students around me talking at the same time. I was mentally exausted when I got home.

      My son has ADHD. So, after reflecting…I noticed that I had alot of ADD traits appearing. Figured out that I must have compensated all those years, but now, couldn’t do it as well.

      My solution was medication. I Started with Concerta. It immediatly helped with the filtering out voices (sooooo great!), but I was too agressive and anxious on it.
      I’m now on Vyvanse. It’s great and filtering out the sounds I don’t want to focus on. When I don’t take it on the weekends, I can filter noises and voices for a certain amount of time…

      • This reply was modified 2 years, 10 months ago by shentallfournier.
      • This reply was modified 2 years, 10 months ago by shentallfournier. Reason: add tags and change 1 word
    • #112078

      I recommend these disposable earplugs—they come in colors which can be fun. https://hearos.com/collections/study

      Use them and your hearing stay in neutral and don’t get overloaded by nonsense but when you actually need to hear someone you can just take one of the earplugs out (you can do it secretly if you want) or just tell people that your cousin works for Apple and these are the latest Bluetooth earbuds but they can’t try them because they’re top secret.

    • #112382

      I had two issues, well actually 3. Crowds of people, noisy restaurants would be impossible, I couldnt separate voices, couldn’t hear what people were saying to me and I would feel overwhelmed and exhausted. I also have mild hearing loss to the point it was suggested by an audiologist that I needed a hearing Aid. I might be stating the obvious but an audiologist said to me that I need to focus on the person, focus on their lips talking.
      The problem is not necessarily one of hearing it’s your brain distinguishing one sound from another. Which with ADHD can be tough. But perhaps due to my hearing loss I had no choice. I have to conciously tell myself that I care what this person has to say, I need to look at them while they talk, i only look at them. The act of conciously looking has helped train my brain.
      I have to say it worked, I went from shopping for a hearing aid to thinking my hearing has greatly improved (it hasn’t) . I am still easily exhausted but I think less so because I only focus on one person instead of the whole room.

      I did just mention to my GF if she noticed my hearing was off, she said she noticed if I wasnt looking at her I often dont hear her.

      There are still noisy restaurants and off days when i cant concentrate that I am overwhelmed but they are few and far between.

      And no I dont read lips.

      • This reply was modified 2 years, 10 months ago by kc1328.
      • #112390

        Distinguishing words and voices with too much background noise is nearly impossible for me, and I think those situations are exhausting for most of us (A.D.D./A.D.H.D. people)
        I’ve had people actually ask me if I’m deaf, because I’m always lip reading, I should just say yes I am, then I wouldn’t get the WTF look when I explain why.

    • #112391

      Aww Ranma- You made me smile!

    • #112395

      What a great conversation! Thanks to all of you that have the courage to talk about this. I have been through years of therapy without even knowing ADHD was the root of the problem. My therapist was adamant, and rightly so, to make sure that we rooted out anything that is likely due to trauma. The trouble is the two are so connected but approaching this now with the bad stuff behind me seems like the right course. I believe that ADHD undiagnosed is a serious source of trauma for children and that we carry that with us always until we deal with it. To be sure, ADHD undiagnosed as a child can lead us to some very bad situations, especially if the parents are unaware. I have gotten so much out of the book by Gabor Mate, Scattered. Listen on Audible (so much more tolerable) and I think you will know what I mean. KC1328, can’t imagine how this effects us as our bodies grow older but I’m pushing 50 now. Can only relate that my father obviously has this condition but is not of the mind or generation to admit it. The result is he is so often ostracized from his family because most have a hard time tolerating the effects of an ADHD mind, me included. It breaks my heart that I can see he is hyper-emotional, like me, to the point that it is awkward and pushes people away. I am resolute not to become that person. I want to enjoy my family and live a normal life. Keep up the hard work and try to figure out what works for you. Have found out this is not a one size fits all solution by any means.

    • #112442

      I agree with the above.Would also add that electronic music is very difficult to listen to. Just like a color blind person can spot artificial hair ( true- check it out while watching b&w Western), our brains get confused with the overtones and undertones. In naturally produced music these added sounds blend in harmonically. Artificial music lacks this feature so sounds sound distorted even if they are more pure tone

    • #112596

      Yes it happens with me from time to time. Last when I was attending a family lunch. We were only 6 of us but apart from me and my toddler nephew everyone was talking sooooo loud and in the same time across the table I thought my head will explode. At one point I was plugging my ears with my fingers and shut my eyes tight.
      My mother says it is because I am not spending time around people since I dont work. But when I was working I had the sane problem at work as well:(

      • #112598

        I spend plenty of time around people, and NO! you don’t get used to it, I have learned how to avoid certain situations, so I don’t get overwhelmed.
        I hope one day someone makes an actual feature length film that shows NT’s what it’s like for us and how excruciating it is when sensory overload hits.

    • #112605

      For your own sanity’s sake, set limit for the people who work for you.
      But it should be all about doing a good job for the clients under no circumstances make it about you;
      Emphasize that in order to give your clients your full attention, you need to have a new rule. Remind them that millions of dollars are at stake and a single mistake by you or anyone in your office could land a client in prison—for years.

      Set up specific 15-minute question times during the day. One at the beginning, one just before lunch, and one at the close of the day. Unless the building is on fire, no other times.

      They’ll squawk and grumble, but they’ll get on board—especially if you keep it lighthearted.
      Or even give a $100 reward at the end of the week for the person who bugs you the least.
      Put up posters


    • #112853

      When I stopped for some karaage curry, the restaurant was busy but the noise was mostly tolerable, until an infant started screeching, it was if someone stabbed me in the left ear with a screwdriver, my left eyelid would start twitching every time the kid screamed, so thankful I always get my food to go.

    • #116471

      Definitely happens to me without Adderall. My brain wants to pay attention to everyone and gets overwhelmed. Here’s what helps me:

      I accepted that I’m understanding of others and their conditions.

      Others have to be understanding and accept my condition.

      So I just say, “I have to step away. Too much conversation.”

      I don’t violate HIPAA against myself by telling them my condition. It’s irrelevant. Bottom line is the conversations are causing me stress and I need to leave for a bit.

      Let them make of it what they will. We tend to make more out of it and feel as if we’ll be judged. So we need a handy, believable excuse.

      We don’t need an excuse! We aren’t defective.

      The Bible says to be plain spoken and stop trying to think what others will or will not make of the situation. When I do that I realize that my biggest enemy was me and not others.

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