Discussions By Condition: Medical Stories

I startle easily

Posted In: Medical Stories 10 Replies
  • Posted By: KenMasters
  • February 4, 2009
  • 02:58 AM

Hello, I am a 21 year old Male who has been dealing with a very frustrating problem for the last few years, I think I've had it even longer but It has just gotten worse and much more noticable.

I jump really easily, mainly to like a friendly pat on the back or something from a buddy that I am unaware of. I consider myself a very calm person, I don't worry or get stressed out, but when my body touches something or vice versa It usually causes me to jump. And this really bothers me, almost everyone after noticing it several times will comment on it, its not like "oh everyone is like that" its very over the top.

Loud unsuspecting noises will do it too, but I find that this is alot more normal than a simple tap on the shoulder. Its really frustrating when someone says "nice job" or something and slaps you on the back and you jump, I feel like an idiot for one, then they probably feel really awkward too.

My friends joke about it ever so often and I just go along with it and don't get mad, but it really does upset me that I'm like this. It's pretty much a guaranteed thing, if something touches me I am unaware of, I startle. I've accidently brushed into an object while getting up from picking something up, then jumped from being startled by that and hit another part of my body like my head from getting startled.

I eat very healthy and never drink coffee or other things that should make you jittery and whatnot, im not a shaky person, nor am I nervous.

Anyway thanks for taking the time to read this.

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10 Replies:

  • I've been suffering from this for a while. along with that i was getting dizziness, loss of balance and nausea. I'm only 21 years old and i used to get startled by the sound of the subway or a street car passing by although i anticipated some sounds they still startled me. i get this on and off and my left ear is bothering me 24/7 i dun have any hearing loss GP's found liquid in middle ear but tht wasn't always theree it used to come and go.Till now i feel miserable I've had an MRI, 2 catscans and LOTSS of blood work. everything came back normal, except for lower than normal platelet levels.Try seeing an ENT it could be some ear problem. some medication like ativan make it worse r u taking any of this ?
    rmk_1987 20 Replies
    • February 8, 2009
    • 11:59 AM
    • 0
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  • I also suffer from many and more than the symptoms you describe. Mine is due to serving in combat. My diagnoses: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. A very common misconception is that this is related to combat veterans only! Wrong! Combat is only one of a cacophony of prolonged elevated stress and/or acute severe experiences in ones life which cane bring about PTSD. It can run from being abused ( even if that abuse is repressed ) ; Being the victim of the school bully; Surviving a natural disaster.i.e. hurricane, tornado, earthquake; Personal trajedy like witnessing a loved one die or be killed;...So as you can see it may have nothing to do with your phsical health or your edrino/nuero interactions with external influences. You would be well served to seek assistance from a qualified psycho-therapist. Some syptoms do not manifest for years and the person suffering may not have a clue as to why and what causes this potentially serious condition. You may do your own research at any bookstore by looking up PTSD in the Diagnostic Systems Manual Version 4R and read up. You may realize that other little things that you have been blowing off as annoying actually tie in also. Like forgetfulness, memory loss etc....a reference to RMKs- post regarding ativan, this is a drug commonly prescribed by psychiatrist to alleviate anxiety and panic disorders. I was on ativan for a while and is can be addictive! A GP had prescribed it for panic attacks! My shrink took me off of it immediately and put me on Busiprone, which is non addictive but it requires time to build up in your system. GP's or Medical Specialist may prescribe them but I believe they should not be authorized ! For the most part MD's are great and their whole focus is to cure you and alleviate symtoms, yet would you go to a mechanic to get your computer fixed or a PC tech to fix your cars fuel pump? Think not! Well I sure hope you find the answer to your maladies...believe me, from personal experience, it can oft be a journey.John
    johngibb 2 Replies Flag this Response
  • Startling can be caused by diseases of the nervous system. Multiple Sclerosis, for example, can cause startling.According to WrongDiagnosis.com, "Multiple sclerosis is a nerve or spinal cord disease that causes random damage to parts of the nervous systemhttp://kona.kontera.com/javascript/lib/imgs/grey_loader.gif. The result is a diverse range of possible symptoms depending on which parts of the cord are damaged, and how often the inflammation reoccurs. Typical symptoms are any kind of tingling, numbness, burning sensations, "pins-and-needles" or other types of sensory changes in various parts of the body; also possible are vision changes (see a full list of symptoms)".Besides "startling", other symptoms of M.S., include:Sensation changesMovement symptomsVision problemsBlurred visionDouble visionRed-green color distortionBlindness in one eyeEye painRapid involuntary eye movementFlashing lightsPartial vision lossVision impairment in one eyeMuscle problemsMuscle weaknessCoordination difficultyClumsinessBalance difficultyUnsteady gaitLimb tremorArm tremorLeg tremorLimb stiffnessNerve problemsParesthesias (pins and needles)PainLoss of feelingNumbnessHand tinglingHand paresthesiasFoot tinglingFoot paresthesiasFacial paresthesiasFacial tinglingBabinski sign - a particular abnormal foot reflexAbnormal foot reflexesMental problemsCognitive impairmentsConcentration difficultiesAttention difficultiesMemory difficultiesJudgment difficultiesSpeech disordersSlurred speechIncontinenceBladder incontinenceBladder control problemsBowel incontinenceParalysisImpotenceBalance disordersEmotional symptomsThe above list is by no means, all-inclusive, but it should give you an idea of what M.S. is all about.I've had trouble with startling, since I was an infant. My triggers include:Loud noises (like train horns, buzzers, alarms and sirens)Someone walking into the roomSomeone tapping me on the backSomeone spritzing water in my faceSomeone touching my faceVisual Hallucinations (ex. if I see what looks like someone in the room with me)I had gotten to a point, in my life, where I began telling new friends, "If you ever scare me, I will beat your a**". Don't get me wrong, I'm not a violent person (in fact, I'm the exact opposite), but startling greatly affects me and I try to avoid it, at all cost. Lately, it has gotten worse - I've been jumping back, clutching my chest and inhaling loudly (imagine Fred Sanford times three). I often lose my balance and flail my arms about, searching for something to hold onto.The Doctor initially thought that my symptom was as a result of PTSD, but we now know that M.S. is causing it. In the past, startling was not considered a symptom of M.S., but they've recently learned that there are an alarming number of M.S. patients, who have the symptom. Last year the Multiple Sclerosis Association of America announced, "Thirty-seven patients self-reported "startle response" after an inquiry in MSAA's "Ask the Doctor" column in The Motivator". They added that, of the respondents, "Startle was usually precipitated by auditory (82 percent), visual (17 percent), tactile (six percent), or a combination of stimuli". The MSAA's study found that the average age of onset of MS symptoms was twenty-six (mine has been life-long, but the disease really kicked-in, in my mid-twenties).By the way, the medical term for "startling" is Hyperekplexia (a.k.a. Hyperexplexia).I hope that this information was helpful in your search for the cause of your problem. Once you get a diagnosis, please come back and share it.Have a great day. :-)Joe
    NoDrCanDiagnoseMe 20 Replies Flag this Response
  • OMG I"m exactly like that too, sometimes people accuse me for trying to be cute or something, some people feel offended because they only pat me or talk to me and I startle...its really really annoying, but I do not believe its abnormal? I mean it bothers me alot, but am I sick?
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • Startling is actually a sign that your nervous system is overstimulated. This can be for a number of reasons, but in my case, I've been told that my Autonomic Nervous System is out of control, due to a pinched nerve in my neck. There may be a tumor causing my pinched nerve, so an MRI will be done. If a tumor is present, I will opt for surgery. Cardiovascular problems have not been ruled out, so the Doctor has ordered a Doppler Scan of my legs (to test for vascular problem) and an Echocardiogram of my Heart (basically, an ultrasound - this is to test for heart abnormalities). I should know more, by mid-June. I'll be so glad to have all of my problems behind me (especially my pain, allergies and seizures, as these are my most troubling symptoms). If you have any other neurological problems, I would consult with a Neurologist. Oddly enough, though, it took a Cardiologist, in my case, to finally provide a diagnosis (after a lifetime of problems). Of course, the "proof is in the pudding" (whatever that means, exactly). Once I have surgery (or by whatever means), to correct my "pinched nerve", if my problems vanish, I'll know that his diagnosis was correct. Then again, my other tests may come back positive for a Cardiovascular problem. I certainly have major problems with my circulation, though the Doctor is fairly certain that the circulation problem is a result of the pinched nerve, rather than the cause of my neurological problems. I'll keep everyone posted. :-)OMG I"m exactly like that too, sometimes people accuse me for trying to be cute or something, some people feel offended because they only pat me or talk to me and I startle...its really really annoying, but I do not believe its abnormal? I mean it bothers me alot, but am I sick?
    NoDrCanDiagnoseMe 20 Replies Flag this Response
  • I am just comforted that I am not alone. Today, one of my coworkers tapped on my shoulder while I was reading an email at a computer. She did so because she knew I startle every time she calls my name. but the tapping caused me an even worse reaction. she frowned, and just went to the next person to ask if she could use her computer instead of mine (she came to me to ask if she could use mine). she was frowning and seemed really annoyed. I told her, "you know it wasn't intentional..." she said, "I know" not even looking at me.. People in the room got awkward and no one said anything for me. I really felt like crying. It happened this morning, but I am still feeling down.. Why couldn't she be more understanding, after all, it's me who suffers from me on a daily basis...
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • Startling can be caused by diseases of the nervous system. Multiple Sclerosis, for example, can cause startling.According to WrongDiagnosis.com, "Multiple sclerosis is a nerve or spinal cord disease that causes random damage to parts of the nervous systemhttp://kona.kontera.com/javascript/lib/imgs/grey_loader.gif. The result is a diverse range of possible symptoms depending on which parts of the cord are damaged, and how often the inflammation reoccurs. Typical symptoms are any kind of tingling, numbness, burning sensations, "pins-and-needles" or other types of sensory changes in various parts of the body; also possible are vision changes (see a full list of symptoms)".Besides "startling", other symptoms of M.S., include:Sensation changesMovement symptomsVision problemsBlurred visionDouble visionRed-green color distortionBlindness in one eyeEye painRapid involuntary eye movementFlashing lightsPartial vision lossVision impairment in one eyeMuscle problemsMuscle weaknessCoordination difficultyClumsinessBalance difficultyUnsteady gaitLimb tremorArm tremorLeg tremorLimb stiffnessNerve problemsParesthesias (pins and needles)PainLoss of feelingNumbnessHand tinglingHand paresthesiasFoot tinglingFoot paresthesiasFacial paresthesiasFacial tinglingBabinski sign - a particular abnormal foot reflexAbnormal foot reflexesMental problemsCognitive impairmentsConcentration difficultiesAttention difficultiesMemory difficultiesJudgment difficultiesSpeech disordersSlurred speechIncontinenceBladder incontinenceBladder control problemsBowel incontinenceParalysisImpotenceBalance disordersEmotional symptomsThe above list is by no means, all-inclusive, but it should give you an idea of what M.S. is all about.I've had trouble with startling, since I was an infant. My triggers include:Loud noises (like train horns, buzzers, alarms and sirens)Someone walking into the roomSomeone tapping me on the backSomeone spritzing water in my faceSomeone touching my faceVisual Hallucinations (ex. if I see what looks like someone in the room with me)I had gotten to a point, in my life, where I began telling new friends, "If you ever scare me, I will beat your a**". Don't get me wrong, I'm not a violent person (in fact, I'm the exact opposite), but startling greatly affects me and I try to avoid it, at all cost. Lately, it has gotten worse - I've been jumping back, clutching my chest and inhaling loudly (imagine Fred Sanford times three). I often lose my balance and flail my arms about, searching for something to hold onto.The Doctor initially thought that my symptom was as a result of PTSD, but we now know that M.S. is causing it. In the past, startling was not considered a symptom of M.S., but they've recently learned that there are an alarming number of M.S. patients, who have the symptom. Last year the Multiple Sclerosis Association of America announced, "Thirty-seven patients self-reported "startle response" after an inquiry in MSAA's "Ask the Doctor" column in The Motivator". They added that, of the respondents, "Startle was usually precipitated by auditory (82 percent), visual (17 percent), tactile (six percent), or a combination of stimuli". The MSAA's study found that the average age of onset of MS symptoms was twenty-six (mine has been life-long, but the disease really kicked-in, in my mid-twenties).By the way, the medical term for "startling" is Hyperekplexia (a.k.a. Hyperexplexia).I hope that this information was helpful in your search for the cause of your problem. Once you get a diagnosis, please come back and share it.Have a great day. :-)JoeToday I googled: "Do people with MS startle easily?" and this site was the first to come up so I read your answer. Boy, am I relieved to find that it is common in MS. I figured it had a lot to do with my MS sensory issues but now I'm sure. Just wanted to let you know you were the first to confirm what I had suspected! Thank you! I startle when my husband walks into the room while I'm on the computer (with my back turned towards him) but I don't hear him until he says something... then I jump 10 feet into the air (ok, not really 10 feet) and exclaim, and this reaction could be interpreted as me being overly dramatic. Then I get that residual feeling that feels like my whole body just went through a trauma of some sort as it takes a moment for it to settle down when I see that everything is really ok. Nice sharing this with someone who understands!
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • I am just comforted that I am not alone. Today, one of my coworkers tapped on my shoulder while I was reading an email at a computer. She did so because she knew I startle every time she calls my name. but the tapping caused me an even worse reaction. she frowned, and just went to the next person to ask if she could use her computer instead of mine (she came to me to ask if she could use mine). she was frowning and seemed really annoyed. I told her, "you know it wasn't intentional..." she said, "I know" not even looking at me.. People in the room got awkward and no one said anything for me. I really felt like crying. It happened this morning, but I am still feeling down.. Why couldn't she be more understanding, after all, it's me who suffers from me on a daily basis...I know exactly what you mean! It's terrible, about people's ignorance. Try not to let it bother you, because when you get a diagnosis, you can rub it in their faces! Lol. ;-)JoeP.S.> I finally got a real diagnosis, last month. It turns out, that I don't have M.S.. In fact, I have a severe B12 Deficiency! The symptoms are exactly the same. It can eventually lead to Pernicious Anemia, which eventually leads to death. My Mom died of it, in late 2009. My Sister also has it, and my Niece is being tested. It's amazing, how I slipped through the cracks, all these years (I'm 40yrs old and I've had it, since birth!!!)!Get tested, for low B12, right away. Please let me know how it turns out. Okay?Joe
    NoDrCanDiagnoseMe 20 Replies Flag this Response
  • Today I googled: "Do people with MS startle easily?" and this site was the first to come up so I read your answer. Boy, am I relieved to find that it is common in MS. I figured it had a lot to do with my MS sensory issues but now I'm sure. Just wanted to let you know you were the first to confirm what I had suspected! Thank you! I startle when my husband walks into the room while I'm on the computer (with my back turned towards him) but I don't hear him until he says something... then I jump 10 feet into the air (ok, not really 10 feet) and exclaim, and this reaction could be interpreted as me being overly dramatic. Then I get that residual feeling that feels like my whole body just went through a trauma of some sort as it takes a moment for it to settle down when I see that everything is really ok. Nice sharing this with someone who understands!I finally got a real diagnosis, last month. It turns out, that I don't have M.S.. In fact, I have a severe B12 Deficiency! The symptoms are exactly the same. It can eventually lead to Pernicious Anemia, which eventually leads to death. My Mom died of it, in late 2009. My Sister also has it, and my Niece is being tested. It's amazing, how I slipped through the cracks, all these years (I'm 40yrs old and I've had it, since birth!!!)!Get tested, for low B12, right away. Please let me know how it turns out. Okay?Joe
    NoDrCanDiagnoseMe 20 Replies Flag this Response
  • I finally got a real diagnosis, last month. It turns out, that I don't have M.S.. In fact, I have a severe B12 Deficiency! The symptoms are exactly the same. It can eventually lead to Pernicious Anemia, which eventually leads to death. My Mom died of it, in late 2009. My Sister also has it, and my Niece is being tested. It's amazing, how I slipped through the cracks, all these years (I'm 40yrs old and I've had it, since birth!!!)!Get tested, for low B12, right away. Please let me know how it turns out. Okay?Joe Hi Joe,Had some spare time at work and remembered about this forum, thought I'd come and check how you were doing after such a long time.You haven't replied but I really hope you are doing well. The last I heard from you, you said that you were going to have an MRI scan.Have they been able to confirm what the lump is? Hope your seizures have improved too, I know exactly how bad they can be; Not just for you but how it affects the people around you as well.I pray for your recovery mate and make sure you keep fighting! You yourself know exactly what it is that you are going through. Drop us a message whenever you get the chance, would like to know that you are doing well. :)Stay blessed,Foyaz.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • November 4, 2013
    • 10:49 AM
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