(I typed this up and posted this on Twitter last night, but wanted to share here as well…)
Since I was a child, I’ve had to deal with a startle response disorder (Which is currently undiagnosed because I’m too FUCKING AFRAID to tell a doctor). Sudden/loud noises, and/or rapid movement of an object/person may cause me to have an exaggerated startle response. If I’m startled, my whole body literally tenses up or my legs jerk to the point where I can LITERALLY FALL DOWN and hurt myself (Which has happened).
As an example: I was out on my local Riverwalk with my parents and across the river is a Coast Guard station. As I was walking, a crew from the CG station was setting out on patrol in their boat. As they were leaving the dock, they blew the horn. I was startled so badly, my legs tensed up and gave way, causing me to fall down and hurt myself. My parents, who were ahead of me, didn’t notice since I was out of sight. As I sat on the ground after the fall, I could feel my breathing increase and my heart beat faster.
That’s one of the instances of how the startle response disorder affects me. Overtime, the disorder has steadily gotten worse. Now - many sights, sounds, and other things that I never would have thought could trigger a startle response, now startle me sometimes.
TBH, it’s gotten to a point where the disorder has become so debilitating that sometimes I have a hard time going out just for a walk because there are certain sounds that may trigger the disorder. It’s even gotten to the point where I’ve experienced suicidation in the past. It’s THAT BAD…
Now that July 4th is around the corner again, it’s becoming increasingly hard to NOT ignore when the neighbors set off fireworks. It’s a very difficult situation, but I know I’m not alone in my struggles.