When the pain is at its worst, it feels like bipolar and hypersensitivity go hand in hand. It’s like when you get the flu and every little touch hurts. That’s physical hypersensitivity. And I don’t know why I get it but I assume it’s part of the neuropathic pain or exaggerated pain that some with bipolar experience. Long story short, it hurts to even wash my hands because of my bipolar-caused hypersensitivity.
Hypersensitivity and Bipolar Pain is Awful
It’s clear to me when I get like this. It’s like the pain lives on every inch of my skin just waiting to inject its claws into me. It’s just waiting for the slightest breeze, or touch, or bump so it can activate. And I’m not kidding when I say it hurts to wash my hands. When I have to, I look at the faucet and dread what’s coming. The water feels like it’s attacking my hands. It feels like acid. It feels like it’s making my skin slough off and my flesh raw. I know it’s not doing any of this, of course, but the hypersensitivity just makes the stimulation seem all-powerful (Why Don’t We Want to Shower When We’re Sick?).
What Brings About Hypersensitivity in Bipolar?
Of course, as I don’t truly understand bipolar hypersensitivity I can’t definitively say why it occurs but, for me, it seems to come about with a severe mixed mood or a severe depression. It doesn’t happen all the time, so I don’t know what triggers it specifically, but I know when things are particularly nasty, I can look forward to hypersensitivity making everything feel even more painful.
Fighting Bipolar Hypersensitivity
And this is a state that there’s no fighting. There is no technique I know of to stop physical pain from presenting itself. The only escape I know of complete stillness or sleep. So if you want to call those coping skills, and I suppose they are, those are the only ones I know of.
That said, this type of experience, if you have it, is worth talking to your doctor about. It might be something that can be addressed with a medication change (because some medications do address neuropathic pain).
But for me, this hideous bipolar hypersensitivity just comes when it comes and leaves when it leaves – luckily, typically the next day.
Check out Natasha Tracy’s book: Lost Marbles: Insights into My Life with Depression & Bipolar and connect with her on Facebook, Google+ or Twitter or at Bipolar Burble, her blog.