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Increased Sound Sensitivity During Hypomania and/or Mania?

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Old 08-02-2007, 12:08 PM   #1
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Increased Sound Sensitivity During Hypomania and/or Mania?

Do any of you experience increased sound sensitivity while hypomanic and/or manic? I'm currently in a hypomanic state and have noticed that ordinary environmental sounds seem louder and are more bothersome than usual. With this being my first hypomanic state I've discovered that I start off feeling extremely happy and then feel very irritable. When I'm irritable, I don't like to be in loud environments. Is this a false perception on my part or do some people with BP experience this?


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Old 08-02-2007, 02:14 PM   #2
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Re: Increased Sound Sensitivity During Hypomania and/or Mania?

I get this too, I also get sensory issue's with this.. I do not like to be touched and pretty much just want to be left alone...
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Old 08-02-2007, 03:32 PM   #3
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Re: Increased Sound Sensitivity During Hypomania and/or Mania?

Hi ND,

My son experienced that also. Going into a crowded restaurant where there was lots of ambient noise, everyone talking loudly to be heard over the music, etc. woud make him feel very antsy. I could tell from how distracted he got that we were not going to enjoy dinner, so we would walk out and go elsewhere.

Old 08-02-2007, 06:32 PM   #4
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Re: Increased Sound Sensitivity During Hypomania and/or Mania?

Oh, yes, I get this a lot. Today I was walking, and the sound of cars passing drove me mad. Sometimes the smallest noise will do it, something dropping on the floor. Also light becomes painful - I welcome darkness when it comes.
I'd say any form of stimulation becomes almost intolerable. Sometimes, I can't stand to hear people talking, either. I have to get very quiet.

I start out euphoric, too, full of energy. I speed around for a while, then get feeling nasty and irritable. Sometimes, I feel as if I just can't stand anything - people, noise, any more involvement in life.

Going out into my garden helps a lot, so does communing with my cats.

I've learned not to be around people much when I'm like this. I don't want to snap at anyone just because I am so angry and irritated.

Old 08-04-2007, 05:42 PM   #5
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I felt that in the beginning.

I'd be teaching a class and I was so distracted by the tiniest noises, slightest motion - I could hardly focus on the lesson.

That doesn't seem to bother me most of the time, but I often hear music that isn't there, and smell scents that other people can't smell.

Aint bipolar great?

Old 08-05-2007, 06:27 AM   #6
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Re: Increased Sound Sensitivity During Hypomania and/or Mania?

I have to sleep with earplugs at night during certain phases. Also when I'm experiencing increased sound sensitivity I'll often wear my i-pod when out running errands - at the market, the store.

Old 08-06-2007, 07:53 PM   #7
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Re: Increased Sound Sensitivity During Hypomania and/or Mania?

Hi everyone,

Thanks so much for your replies! I feel so much better knowing that this isn't something I was dreaming up inside my head.

Tsohl: What you describe of your son's behavior in a noisy restaurant was *exactly* how I felt last week while sitting in the waiting room at my pdoc. The noise was overwhelming and so bothersome I couldn't wait to get home to enjoy some peace and quiet.

Seaturtle: It sounds like you and I have similar symptoms of hypomania. I also start off feeling euphoric, but it isn't long before I feel angry and irritable -- much more than usual. Simple things set me off and that's not like me. I normally have a high level of tolerance, but for the past several weeks, I've felt like I'm about to explode emotionally at the smallest frustrations. I like your idea of deliberately staying away from people. That's something I'll have to do as well because the last thing I want to do is to hurt people unintentionally -- especially when it isn't their fault that I'm reacting the way I am.

lizajudy: I'm glad sound sensitivity is no longer a problem for you. It's ironic you should mention hearing music that isn't there. I've had that happen to me as well. Sometimes the music is so loud it keeps me awake at night.

Pieke: I like the idea of wearing an iPod while out running errands. I'll have to give that a try especially when the sound sensitivity is the most bothersome.

By the way, I saw my pdoc on Friday and wrote out a list of all my symptoms which included sound sensitivity. He said it sounded like I was/am manic, so that tells me sound sensitivity is indeed something that is experienced during hypomania and mania (something I didn't know before reading all of your comments).

Thanks again to all of you for your responses!


Old 08-08-2007, 01:29 AM   #8
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Lightbulb Re: Increased Sound Sensitivity During Hypomania and/or Mania?

I do experience extreme sound sensitivity also. I have always suffered from migraines, since I was six years old, so I just always put the sound sensitivities down to the migraines and not the bipolar.

It does make sense though, because my sensitivities don't always coincide with head pain.

I find that the noises that drive me crazy are the noises that nobody else seems to notice. For instance, we can have the tv on and the whole family in the house talking loudly yet I am driven crazy by the sound of the computer modem or the x-box modem. Those noises kill me yet nobody else can hear them. Also the sound of someone chewing can be so loud to me. I feel like screaming but at the same time I realize how irrational I am being.

I also get sensitive about light but I am not sure if this is from the migraines because light can be a trigger for me.

It is interesting when you realize that other people get the same strange symptoms.
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Old 08-08-2007, 09:14 PM   #9
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tsohl HB User
Re: Increased Sound Sensitivity During Hypomania and/or Mania?


My son is the same way; actually my daughter is too and she is not BP. They both will hear the smallest sound that no one else is noticing and it will really drive them crazy.

I think this is fairly common among the bipolar population.


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