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  • Surroundings perceived as loud/fast/weird/intense. Neurological Disorder?

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    Old 06-29-2011, 08:30 AM   #1
    Join Date: Jun 2011
    Location: Cincinnati, OH
    Posts: 1
    WildFan16 HB User
    Question Surroundings perceived as loud/fast/weird/intense. Neurological Disorder?

    I get this weird sensation. When it happens, I perceive everything around me as being faster, louder and more intense. I even perceive myself as moving faster, breathing faster/louder and etc, but I know Iím not. Itís just in my brain. My husband has no idea what Iím talking about even when I try to explain it to him. When I was younger (middle school and even into my teens) I would get short bursts of this. Mostly when I was concentrating on something like writing. It would almost be like I was sucked into a ďsuper concentrationĒ mode, but it would disappear almost as fast as it would appear. I would never get it for more than a minute. As soon as I would acknowledge it was there almost, it would be gone. I couldnít keep it if I tried. Now snap forward a few years. I am now 25. I developed sudden onset chronic, debilitating migraines when I was 21 (which I think is a result of taking Accutane since Iíd never had one before taking the drug and all of a sudden I was getting them every time I took it towards the end of my treatmentÖ but thatís another story). So, my neurologist put me on Topamax. Ever since Iíve been on the Topamax Iíve experienced these ďepisodesĒ in more frequent spells and in longer duration. When I first started getting them and realizing that simply not concentrating on them would not make them go away, I found out that talking out loud to myself would sometimes snap me out of it. Now that wonít even do it. The only way to get out of this weird crazy world it puts me in now is to go somewhere completely quiet and void of any external stimulation (I will sometimes even put in earplugs) and just focus on being calm and still (sometimes I will try not to even breath for as long as possible to get the area as quite as I can). I find this sort of ďresetsĒ the cycle and the world feels ďnormalĒ again instead of all loud and fast and weird. I probably get them once every month or two and it usually happens at night right before Iím trying to go to sleep while lying in bed. Iím trying to switch over from Topamax to Enderol because I think the Topamax has definitely increased these and I donít like them. The last one I had made me sort of paranoidÖ and I am NOT a paranoid type of person at all. Of course I told myself I was being stupid and just calm down and go relax and I was fine, but they seem to be getting worse.

    Many places Iíve read think it may be ďsimple partial seizuresĒ: They could be (description sounds plausible), but since mine actually INCREASED while taking Topamax (a seizure medication that just happens to work on migraine patients too) I thinking that would not be the case. If they were seizures, they should have decreased or at least not gotten worse while taking the Topamax.

    I know others have this same/similar thing happen to them. Iíve done a lot of research, but have yet to figure out what it might be. My neurologist just sort of shrugs his shoulders. Any ideas?

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    Old 05-08-2012, 01:15 PM   #2
    Join Date: Mar 2012
    Location: Philadelphia
    Posts: 7
    lsto6 HB User
    Question Re: Surroundings perceived as loud / fast / weird / intense. Neurological Disorder?

    It sounds like something that I have experienced too! As weird as this sounds, it is somewhat of a relief to know I am not the only one with this problem. My "episodes" as I call them started several years ago (I am 27 now), but they were very infrequent, sometimes a year would go by without one. However, in the past year or so I have had 3 episodes.
    It is really difficult because they are very hard to explain without sounding completely crazy! Usually what happens with me is similar to how you said you feel like you are going into a super concentrated state. I focus completely on whatever I am doing (last time I was putting laundry away), sounds become very loud, and I feel like I am moving at light speed. Sometimes it's almost as if someone is screaming inside my head every thought I have, which is the weirdest part of this whole thing. For example, I thought to myself that I should hang up a shirt in my closet and it sounded like someone yelling every step of this in my head-reach my hand out, grab the hanger off the rod, put the shirt on..etc.
    Usually these episodes last for about 10-15 minutes, but similar to what you said, if I try to reduce the outside stimuli it helps to make it all stop. I had an episode once while I had music playing and I had to turn it off and sit in the quiet because it sounded like the music was blaring in my head.

    I too thought they are possibly some form of seizures, but I am not sure. Since they have been so infrequent and they are difficult to explain I haven't talked to a doctor about them.
    Also, I have suffered from headaches since I was about 12, and usually get an average of 2-3 headaches a week. Mostly tension type headaches, but every once in a while I get terrible migraines. I have gone to a neurologist for the headaches and had scans etc. done but they haven't found anything to explain why I get them or what to do for them. I would think they have to be connected to my episodes in some way.

    I know that your post was from a long time ago, but I wonder-what has happened with you since? Have you found anything out?
    Anyone else have this problem?!

    Old 05-08-2012, 10:01 PM   #3
    Join Date: Oct 2004
    Location: US
    Posts: 449
    Benit HB User
    Re: Surroundings perceived as loud / fast / weird / intense. Neurological Disorder?

    Topamax is an anticonvulsant drug. If you look carefully at the literature for some anticonvulsants (but not all), you will find the troubling information that "rarely, this drug may cause seizures" rather than prevent them.

    Some drugs, it seems, when they don't agree with you, may work in reverse. I have firsthand experience with this, as my brother had one major seizure, was put on an anticonvulsant named Keppra, had another, increased the dose, and then it almost become a weekly occurrence. As soon as it became clear that the increased dose was causing the increase in seizures, they took him off Keppra and he has been free of seizures ever since.

    This is not to say your episodes are actually seizures. But you should be aware that anticonvulsant drugs can do strange things, including worsening of whatever symptoms you have.

    Old 05-24-2012, 12:38 AM   #4
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    Join Date: May 2012
    Location: USA
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    calvin912 HB User
    Re: Surroundings perceived as loud / fast / weird / intense. Neurological Disorder?

    Have you guys ever had a EEG done>? this would show your brain waves and how they are functioning also would tell if these episodes are in fact seizures. I'm sure you neurologist has probably mentioned this or if not sent you in for one. When you go see a neurologist their main concern is to identify the cause of the head ace or problem with the brain. They administer test to rule out any serious problems such as bleeds or things of serious nature. If the test come out clean they will help you cope with your problems with med's considering the fact that nothing serious is wrong with your brain (i know this because my uncle is a neurologist.) The only other thing i would recommend is to see a ENT doctor, or a eye doctor. maybe the source of this problem is your ears or eyes causing your senses to function abnormally. I would also decrease the intake of the Topamax if it is causing this more frequently. Definitively mention to your neurologist that its making it worse so they can find a positive adverse solution to using the Topamax.

    Last edited by calvin912; 05-24-2012 at 12:46 AM.

    Old 11-04-2013, 08:36 PM   #5
    Join Date: Nov 2013
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    massmom HB User
    Re: Surroundings perceived as loud/fast/weird/intense. Neurological Disorder?

    I believe I have what you are describing. I am 44 and I have had it since I was about 8 years old. I never heard of anyone else experiencing anything like it until my 8 year old daughter started describing the same symptoms. This makes me think you can inherit it because I can't imagine the coincidence of a mother/daughter both having this bizarre condition. She describes her episodes that match mine to an uncanny level. I never pursued it medically until she became effected. We have been looking into it for a year and have various opinions, but nothing that I am convinced of yet and thus I have started trolling boards looking for people with similar conditions.

    Our symptoms - we can hear sounds in our head that we know no one else can hear and that they are only in our head. The sounds are usually very loud - amplified. They can be just noises, like "waaa waaa waaa" or they can be screaming sounds or they can be words that you hear or are thinking repeated over and over very loudly. We both also get a feeling of pressure in the brain, but not really a physical feeling -more mental. Sometimes the sounds feel like they are pulsating.

    Often the symptoms come on from seemingly nowhere - no particular trigger. IT can happen when we are very quiet - getting ready to go to sleep or laying watching tv or it can happen in places where it is very loud and noisy. More often, it is quiet though. Sometimes it is triggered by a single loud noise, or ominous music. We both feel it can be triggered by a disturbing image - we both don't like it when things seem too large, i.e., a sculpture of a humungous hand outside the Museum of Fine Art causes me problems. She had trouble with another child's handwriting being overly large. It can even be a small thing that is just way out of proportion. I also have problems with really gross images, like the orks in the Lord of the Rings movies.

    Often now, I don't even get the sounds in my brain as much as I get this feeling of a sound or of pulsing, but I know it is not a real pulse - just a loud feeling, if that makes any sense at all.

    The episodes used to last a long time when I was little because I didn't know how to turn them off. They just kind of took over my brain for 30 minutes or so - very frightening as a child. My daughters can last a couple of minutes or at bedtime for a half hour until I can distract her enough to fall asleep before the next wave comes. Mine now can come for brief periods, like seconds or less than a second. As soon as I feel them, I get frightened and mentally banish them. They can keep trying to make a comeback for 5 or 10 minutes, but I am decent at getting rid of them.

    Distraction is the best technique. If it is during the day, I start doing something active. If I am laying down, it is harder - sometimes I have to get up. Usually, I can just mentally tell my brain to "stop". I sometimes even give my head a little shake to shake it off.

    I think and have been told that since I have had it my whole life, that I can assume it is harmless. I recently had an CT scan for a concussion and they didn't see anything wrong with my brain, so we can rule out tumors or anything like that. also, since my daughter has it, I wouldn't think it would be anything like that.

    One child psychologist suggested it was probably an anxiety disorder. That when we are stressed, we transpose our stress feelings into another of our senses. some people get back aches, others get heart palpitations from stress, we get brain spasms, if you will. This is one opinion. I am a highly anxious person, so I could believe it, though my daughter is very carefree. He suggested it might be subconscious stress, which is possible - she is a middle child and she gets brutalized by her older sister (in the most loving way possible of course)

    My concussion doctor, who I spoke with about it because the concussion seemed to stir it up a bit - seems to think it could be migraines - mind you, I don't get headaches, but he said there is a broader family of migraines that come without the headache and he said it could be that - a migraine aura. I do get retinal migraines (light spots in my vision occasionaly) and he noted that was a possibility. NOt sure how I feel about this diagnosis - I am going to talk to him more next month about it.

    A third doctor suggested it might be blood sugar related. I do have hypoglycemia, but I didn't have those issues when I was little and I don't have low blood sugar when the symptoms come on. So I think no to this.

    And I just read something about "exploding brain syndrome" on ********* that has some similarities, but not all.

    so, I'm sorry, I don't have an answer. But it does feel good to know there are others out there with it. I did think I was going to go crazy when I was younger. It hasn't happened yet, though my husband would say, "don't sell yourself short:-)"

    If any of these things sound familiar to you or you find other commonalities between our experiences, I would love to hear them.

    Old 01-23-2014, 04:34 PM   #6
    Join Date: Jan 2014
    Posts: 1
    NaMo34 HB User
    Re: Surroundings perceived as loud/fast/weird/intense. Neurological Disorder?

    Oh my god that is exactly whats been happening to me. I can kind of tell when it's about to happen because everything feels sort of loud and pressurised in my head so i usually listen to music or distract myself somehow. God I'm just so happy it's not just some weird thing that only happens to me does anyone know what it actually is though?

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