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Old 03-22-2006, 06:16 AM   #1
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Startle Reflex...

OK, all people with CP have a startle reflex, right? Well mine is pretty bad, some days worse than others. When I was younger, it wasn't bad, just occasional, and I thought it was funny like everybody else. Then around 12 or 13 it got really bad out of nowhere (did this happen to anyone else??) and, well ya know, people thought it was hilarious. I think I would too if I didn't have CP and someone was jumping a mile at stupid stuff! (People making fun of me and making noises on purpose to see me jump didn't help either, but anyway...) So, I started to get really embarassed everytime it happened, and I still do.

Aside from announcing to my whole college class of people I don't know that I can't help it, I jump because of a reflex associated with CP...any advice on how to be less embarassed? I know I shouldn't be embarassed, I have no control over it, but I get embarassed anyway! Do you guys laugh it off, or feel the same way I do?

 
Old 03-22-2006, 02:16 PM   #2
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Re: Startle Reflex...

I'm with you on this one. I remember in college, someone had this nervous cough, and for 90 minutes, I must have jumpeed 20 times. And I was in the first row! How embarrassing!

I thought to tighten my body, but I think that does not help at all. I really don't think there is ANY way of controlling it. I'm being told constantly to relax, but nothing works for me, or has worked for me. I love to hear others' opinions.

But to have someone make noise the see if you "jump" is by all means disgusting. I am so sorry you have to deal with that.

Maybe stretching out more? I'm trying to remain committed to this exercise but its just so hard. Esp now, I am feeling so fatigued from anxiety, I just want to sleep all day.

Last edited by Hope25; 03-22-2006 at 02:17 PM.

 
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Old 03-22-2006, 03:19 PM   #3
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Re: Startle Reflex...

ok, it might sound stupid, but i will ask anyway...how would i know if my child has starle reflex? to scare him? what should i see happen? i think everyone would react to it...hmm

 
Old 03-22-2006, 03:42 PM   #4
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Re: Startle Reflex...

Quote:
Originally Posted by jandd
ok, it might sound stupid, but i will ask anyway...how would i know if my child has starle reflex? to scare him? what should i see happen? i think everyone would react to it...hmm
Well for me it was like loud noise as in thunder, phone ringing, music at concerts (esp musicals, my love! And I want to go to Opera but I'm too afraid of the constant jumping!!)

Maybe just pay attention to how he reacts to loud noise. Sometime, tv going static or losing signal would make me jump too!!

 
Old 03-22-2006, 06:18 PM   #5
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Re: Startle Reflex...

Mine is severe too.

One of my teachers yelled and SLAMMED his hand on my desk (at the same time!) just to see me jump. I fell out of my chair. He laughed. Needless to say, my mom spoke with him.

One of my other teachers is awesome about it! (Say the class is reviewing verbs and we're on number 3. He'll tell me I'm going to do number 5 ahead of time.) Luckily, I get him next year too, because I'm taking AP Spanish and he teaches it.

I can't stand people yelling my name or tapping my affected shoulder....that's usually what sets it off the most.
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Old 03-23-2006, 06:24 AM   #6
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Re: Startle Reflex...

Well at least I know other people do the same thing, so I'm not just a headcase, lol. What caused me to ask was, I am shadowing with a speech pathologist, and every time the phone rings in her office, I jump. Well, she knows about CP and startle reflex. but she STILL laughs like it's the funniest thing ever. SOO I just got to wishing I could do the same thing ...but it gets old pretty fast when you do it 20 times a day with people laughing at you the whole time.... ::sigh::

My neurologist prescribed baclofen and said it should help with the startle reflex (it really doesn't)...anyone else? Because the next time I went back, he asked me if it helped the startle reflex, I said "a little", and he kind of smiled...so I'm thinking he gave it to me more as a psychological thing, ya know what I mean?

To Jandd: how to tell if your son has it...look from him "jumping" at not nessecarily LOUD sounds, just sudden ones...things that don't normally startle people. (Sudden touch and movement can do it, too)

 
Old 10-06-2006, 04:49 PM   #7
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Re: Startle Reflex...

Oh god. My chorus teacher loves to BANG on the piano when he gets mad at us and I jump, like, a foot into the air and everybody looks at me. It's SO EMBARRASSING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 
Old 10-06-2006, 06:05 PM   #8
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Re: Startle Reflex...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spaz Girl
Oh god. My chorus teacher loves to BANG on the piano when he gets mad at us and I jump, like, a foot into the air and everybody looks at me. It's SO EMBARRASSING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Hmmm do you have my former choir teacher??? LOL Heh, sorry... I know how you feel mine used to bang on the top of the piano, and I was in the Women's Chorus... so you know 60 to 90 HS girls last hour of the day... we got yelled at a lot

 
Old 10-07-2006, 03:36 PM   #9
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Re: Startle Reflex...

I know how you feel...maybe, if you feel comfortable with your teacher, you could approach her after class and explain that you have a startle reflex, which means sudden noises make you jump? and ask if she'd find some other way to get the class' attention, or if she could warn you somehow before she does that.

I did this a few times in high school, but only with the really nice teachers

 
Old 10-10-2006, 08:13 AM   #10
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Re: Startle Reflex...

I have the startle reflex also> I'm 19 and in college and it seems to me that its getting more worse every year. Does anyone know if there is any medication you can take to ease it at all
thanks

 
Old 10-10-2006, 08:37 AM   #11
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Re: Startle Reflex...

I've been meaning to mention--Becky, you said your husband does not take and meds and he has a startle reflex. I take Baclofen, but I don't need it for spasms : my dr. prescribed it for the startle reflex. Something to think about?

It does not take it away by any means (I still have the opportunity to be embarassed anytime someone drops a book.....yaaay, lol), I kind of didn't even think it helped...until recently when I forgot to take some. I could DEFINATELY tell the difference. With the Baclofen some noises don't scare me, and even when I do jump it's not as...hmmm, violent? as without the medication. With it it's pretty much just my legs that jerk, that day without it it was my arms and legs and the movement was a lot more. I guess I just forgot (wanted to forget) how bad it used to be .

So maybe ask your doctor, Sasha. I got it from my neurologist.

Last edited by Steffers2318; 10-10-2006 at 08:39 AM.

 
Old 10-10-2006, 11:26 AM   #12
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Re: Startle Reflex...

My doctor prescribed me Baclofen for my muscle spasms a couple of years ago but my spasms sorta of stopped so I stopped taking it. But I never really noticed if it helped with the startle reflex. So my question is does it really work for the startle reflex in any way and is Baclofen the only medication you've heard to help with the startle reflex?

 
Old 10-10-2006, 11:45 AM   #13
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Re: Startle Reflex...

Thanks for the help...am in the process of getting a new neuro (previous one lacked a bedside manner to the point that she told me death was imminent and sent me into sobs - the CT results that prompted that were normal for me!), but will definitely ask!
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Old 10-10-2006, 01:12 PM   #14
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Re: Startle Reflex...

Hi everybody! What a lively conversation we have today.
I told Tygh what abotu this conversation, so now i'd like to share his take on it. He says that for him, he has always had a startle reflex (even when he was little). He thinks it might have gotten a little worse as he's gotten older, but i've known him ten years and don't think it's gotten worse. However, we both agree that somedays are worse than others, especially when he is tired, just like everything else that's CP related.
Yes, he does get embarrassed about it sometimes. Especially when it involves spilling a food or drink.
Also, his startle reflex isn't that much of a nuisance to him most of the time. Just once in a while.
I asked him about medication (i have wondered about that myself, because some of his spasms seem pretty rough). I know, though, that he extremely sensitive to anything that can cause drowsiness. and heaven only knows what other side effects he would have. So he doesn't think Baclofen would be good for him. Also, he takes a herb called Nutricalm that works pretty well for him. However, he hasn't been able to take it because he's been sick this last month.
Have a great day! becky

 
Old 11-11-2006, 01:43 PM   #15
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Re: Startle Reflex...

Statle reflex is what happens when there's a loud noise. It's always exaggerated with CP.

I believe when that same movement without an outside stimulus (noise or whatever) happens, it's considered myoclonus (good ole spastisity). Baclofen helps with that a TON.

 
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