I’ve talked about the panic threshold before. I am more susceptible to panic attacks than an average person. The distance between an average state of mind and sheer anxiety decreases the more caffeine I consume, the more my thoughts run rampant and the less I sleep. When this distance has decreased and I’m slightly hypomanic I can experience severe emotional outbursts, most often in the form of anger or rage.
I have physical manifestations of this gap shortening that creates a vicious circle. I can get sugar cravings, which leads to an upset stomach or heart palpitations, then muscle aches sometimes even a feeling of numbness in my arms, then I will experience a euphoric feeling that will drop down suddenly and revert back to sugar or caffeine cravings.
I usually try to avoid active triggers during this time. I have realized that is helpful to attempt to stay away from social media when I am experiencing this. The amount of confrontational posts on there are enough to make my head spin.
I try not to do things that can increase my adrenaline. Caffeine doesn’t help.
I usually seem more productive during this time but I am not. I am going from one task to another, head swimming full of thoughts. The other day I was thinking about duty station locations as I was cleaning. It will be 2 years before we PCS again. The panic of not knowing where we are going and possibly going back to an Infantry base just set my panic threshold through the roof. I am absolutely adamant about not going back to Ft. Campbell.
During these busy periods, I tend to have music playing. I was listening to heavy metal a couple days ago.
Sometimes changing my thought patterns to something else my mind can obsess over is helpful. We have been binge watching Star Trek Voyager. I am fascinated with Seven of Nine. So I busied myself with thoughts of the Borg, their endless need for perfection and the mannerisms of Seven of Nine. I wrote an FB post about Seven of Nine finding the Borg’s deity, Particle 010 (Omega), for 3.2 seconds.
Also during this period, I have no tolerance for disorder. As the Borg say, you must comply. Even though I am chaotic and my mind is fluttering with thoughts, I need to have specific tasks that I assign done when I want them done. It is essentially an eggshell effect.
A lot of these things are hard to admit. How does your brain become so chaotic that you have to look for and recognize signs of a fluctuating threshold?
In the future I hope we will have tricorder scanners that can tell me when my brain chemicals are off balance. It will save me a lot of work. I should, also, restart my Lithium.