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I have some sort of fluctuating mental condition /chemical balance that drastically effects my ability to ‘be myself’ and communicate with others.
There are two elements to it:

§ Mentally: I feel trapped inside my own head – I feel mentally dulled/confused. I cant be ‘in the moment’.

§ Verbal communication: I cant project my voice at a normal conversation level. I have trouble enunciating/articulating clearly. I struggle to make myself heard with any background noise – such as in a restaurant or car. When its really bad I can hardly communicate at all – even in a completely silent room.

Its really difficult to describe – The strange thing is its exactly how smoking marijuana used to make me feel (I smoked for 2 years from 18 –20yrs old, I’m now 29) - I couldn’t talk clearly and felt very mentally dulled/garbled/anxious.

How long has it been going on?
For the last 3-4 years, but more frequently recently.

What Causes it?
I have no idea. I think its some internal mental/chemical state because it comes and goes with no link that I can see too external factors. I’ll be feeling fine and then out of nowhere I’ll feel it coming on – I‘ll wake up in the morning and feel I’m not right.

I’ve been watching very closely what I eat to see if there’s any link to my diet. 3 weeks ago I noticed after eating sushi for lunch I suddenly felt ‘the feeling’ come on and it stayed for about 4 days. I then didn’t eaten sushi since and for the last 2/3 weeks I’ve had one of the best most sustained runs of feeling fine that I’ve had a in a maybe few years. I was starting to get excited that I might have cracked it – that something in sushi was having a drastic effect on my mental state – but then last Saturday without warning I felt the feeling coming on again. And on that day I ate the same sort of stuff I’d been eating for the previous ‘good’ weeks (a failry healthy balanced diet).

It really feels like some fluctuating chemical balance in my brain/body. I’ll be feeling happy confident, sociable - and then I can feel it descend on me for no reason and all of a sudden its an effort to express myself and be around other people.

What have I done about it?
Besides keeping a loose record of my diet I’ve also spoken with three specialists.

§ I tried to fix the voice thing, I went to see a Laryngologist who confirmed that my vocal chords are fine.

§ I went to see a voice coach who gave me exrecises/techniques – but all the things she showed me I can do fine when I’m feeling fine. Its not a matter of technique – its something internally effecting my ability to communicate.

§ I went to see a councillor about the mental anxiety but she couldn’t help – I don’t have any of the symptoms of depression. If this problem was fixed everything else would be fine.

When I’m fine (about 20% of the time) – everything is fine – I’m confident, chatty, sociable. When its really bad (about 5% of the time) – I can barely communicate with anyone. For the rest of the time I’m fluctuating between these two states. Its effecting my life (social and professional) in a very negative way, it feels like a genuine handicap, that I’m living my life at half its potential, and has been making me depressed for a while now.
I don’t know if this is related but I”ve also had a very low libido for last 3/4 years.

Does any one else have a similar experience? Any ideas?
I'm going to see my GP about speaking with a psychiatrist soon,

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i think i am suffering a similar sort of thing. especially when im around people that im not completely comfortable talking to- my voice seems to shut down. i can talk, but its not very coherent and i seem to play the words out in my head before i say them. it feels extremely forced from my vocal words like somethings blocking them. i feel very self concious when speaking and i cant put the sentence together properly. but put me in a different sitution, even with the same person, and i can speak clearly and confidently without trouble. its strange, maybe it comes down to self confidence issues for me, as it sounds more like a chemical imbalance for you.

i havnt seen anyone about this problem but was just curious as to whether it may not just be self esteem....
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Warning.THis will be a mental rambling of thoughts.I suffer from a similar problem. I am a 25 year old male.A masters engineering student.I find myself living in my head for hours on end.Working out problems.It is becoming difficult for me to just have a conversation with someone.I cant seem to stay in the present moment.It takes energy to do so.When I have a conversation, it is as if I am super self conscious and barely listening to what the other person is saying.Even my responses have become robotic in nature.And im sure people notice it. I do however think that I have a very strong mental will power, and at regular intervals in my life, I have gotten it right to reprogram my own brain do help me with my academics. For instance, I can work out entire math problems in my head.And many other things you shouldn't be able to do just in your head. I have gotten it right to wake up in my own dreams (being conscious that I am dreaming), yet still dreaming.Physically walking around in my dream world, doing all sorts of things.I have watched tv,looked in a mirror at myself,flown,left messages,tried to email myself once.The list goes on.At first it was difficult to slow down my heart rate when I realise Im having a lucid dream, but after that it became pretty easy.My memmory is also starting to deteriorate.I think mostly beacause I over analyze everything.Meaning that if I have to remember something, I have to remember alll the analysis that comes with it.I also cant access my thoughts randomly anymore.Everything seems to have to be sequential.Meaning I have to start at a point, and go from there, to remember what I wanted to remember.I am also permanently exhausted and tired.Even though I get enough sleep, and have a healthy diet. I have also noticed that when I do live inside myself, I have vivid mental pictures of location.For example if I think of home,I have a vivid mental picture of the entrance to our home. I can even mentally walk through the scene.It is so vivid that I my mind removes any images coming in through my eyes.Its basically just the mental picture I see, with a sorth of black coming in through my eyes.This is so bad that I walk an entire kilometer, and cant remember anything or anybody I saw along the way.Just what I was thinking about.It is also so bad that when I drive, I have to concentrate extra hard, as I found myself driving in the oposite lane one day, into oncoming traffic.My farthers screams and the hooting of oncoming traffic saved me.I also feel that I am permanently in a hurry.And I dont know why?I cant slow down.I wanted to go back and reread what I wrote, to edit it,but I cant cos "im too bussy/in a hurry". Most of all, I find it VERY HARD to articulate what Im thinking.Sometimes I have the answers before I even know the question. If anyone out there is having similar problems.Please let me know.
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I have the same issue. It seems to be that the more I know about something the less I can explain. I'm not good with details and everytime I concentrate and try to describe to a person what I did, let's say at work or details in a project , I can no longer talk or make sense. I'm known to talk in riddles. Even though it makes completes sense in my head, others dont think the same way at all. I hope there could be help out there for this.
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I don't know if this is similar...

I seem to have a fluctuation in self confidence. One moment I feel like queen of the world and the next I feel like a useless bum that won't do anything with their life. I've been trying to figure out what it means, thats how i ran across this. i don't know if it relates though...
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"Average Joe"

Do you drink a lot of caffeine. THis can cause some of the symptoms you mentioned for caffeine sensitive people. If you are really sensitive, then even a small amount can do it.


Average Joe wrote:

Warning.THis will be a mental rambling of thoughts.I suffer from a similar problem. I am a 25 year old male.A masters engineering student.I find myself living in my head for hours on end]

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Read the book "Potatoes, not prozac," by Kathleen DesMaisons. The lady who wrote this book describes having an experience extremely similar to yours.
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My heart goes out to all of you who suffer with this issue because it seems to me that you're all suffering with a lot of issues. Hopefully, some or all of you have gotten some professional help. It is hard to tell what it is that you are suffering from because the symptoms are difficult to diagnose. Some of it sounds like anxiety, some like OCD, and some like dysphoria. In any case, I hope that some of you are doing better, if not all of you! Please keep us updated on your situations.
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Yeah i have the same thing. one day i'll be happy and confident, then the next i'll be unable 2 communicate with people. i can look them straight in the eyes when they talking but would have no idea what they talking about. id be really quiet,always thinking,unable 2 say whay im thinking and often not making sense when i do speak. i also feel very dumbed down,as if my IQ has been slashed in half. went 2 a phsyciatrist,whom diagnosed me with phsycosis,then bi polar. does anyone have a solution 4 this?
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Hi! I've come to tell you all that I've been experiencing these symptoms too! But I've gotten slightly better. It's like a habit, honestly. Whenever I spend time socializing with my family, I'm great and fine! I can be myself so easily! I stop trying to let them control my brain and I just be myself, regardless if they like it or not. But the real me still only comes out when I'm by myself, honestly. When I'm by myself, that's when I feel like I'm truly a party. You know? That person who everyone would more than likely love because they love to be themself? Probably just a fantasyy... Hmm.
I need to find friends like this also. They're hard to come by & quite often I find myself looking for a partner rather than a friend, because it's more like.. What's the point? I could be happy if my partner was my best friend.

However, with people I don't know, I'm very quiet. Timid to say the things on my mind, because what's a joke to me could be seriously offending to others.
Aka( I like to make racist jokes and be incredibly mean and sarcastic ALL the time. ) That's just who I am. I'm not racist or anything either though. To me, it's just fun and games.
So I'm afraid to be myself with some people obviously.

The thing I found interesting was that I related quite well with guys. The moments we're zoned out is a guy thing. It's like one of those moments where you're pretending to listen & not really and usually the guy is busy staring at a chicks chest? xD Yeah. It's like that moment, except we're busy peering into our brains.. because we find what we think more interesting than other peoples thoughts obviously. Perhaps we should learn otherwise.. or perhaps not. xD I've learned to just accept the fact that I accidentally ignored them, because obviously the things they were saying weren't something I cared too much about.. Otherwise, I would've listened! Of course the ending result is a failured conversation, haha... But I guess that just shows you're not destined to speak to everyone.


I've been told I think I'm better than a lot of people, but I don't think that's the case. I've never in my right mind assumed that and I'll always talk to anyone that I find to be nice and approachable or anyone that approaches me.
Personality quiz rated me as a Introverted---, it's one of those things. I'm not sure.


Over-all, the only cure I've found for this is to just learn to go with the flow. It's not your problem, it's everyone elses.

Comments are welcomed to this post. :-)
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I want to know what i need to do in order to speak cleary, consisely and intelligently. I've learned that most of the time, i'm at a loss for words, coversationally speaking, and may come across as unintelligent because my wording just isn't there. It's embarrasing. And it's caused me from being a social person. I also find myself sabotaging relationships with people because of this speaking problem I have. What am I lacking? I mean, I would talk to anyone. Im not that shy. I read alot. I've studied grammar privately. I've taken classes on public speaking, grammar and critical thinking. I use vocabulary books and dictionaries everytime I need them. I've also read books on comprehension, critical thinking, reasoning and listening effectively and I still dont think I speak effectively. I can enunciate a word well and can even imitate public speaking figures or TV/Movie personalities quite well. I'm not delusional because i've recorded myself and i notice that i fumble alot or stop to think for a sec about the next word or the idea as a whole i'm trying to convey. It's as if I cannot make my words flow. I've noticed how people can just flow with words as if were born to speak. Like news anchors speak marvelously, I think. I would love to speak as a news anchor does. How do they do it, I wonder. It's all i think about, speaking clearly. What's wrong?
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I have a very similar issue with speech much of the time. I'm currently on seroquel for schizo-affective disorder and acute insomnia. My speech used to be fairly good until my late teens when I developed my first episode and went crazy. I did lots of drugs (acid, XTC, METH, cocaine, canabis) during this time and I'm sure that just made it worse. I'm sober now for many years but I still struggle to express myself. It feels like a disconnect between my brain and my mouth. I stutter a little but not badly and I always have to search for words. I mostly think in visual terms and grope for the corresponding words. I forget peoples names I've known for years and have way too many senior moments for a man of only 31! At my worst speech is very fragmented and I can't articulate what I'm thinking or what steps I took to do certain things. At my best I just get stuck in mid sentence and stare at you speechless for a very long time looking like a total dimwit! When I write the symptoms don't translate. I'm able to articulate and effectively communicate through written means and I type fairly fast. It's funny because at my most nervous I'm at my most creative and compose music brilliantly if anyone is curious ***edited by moderator*** web addresses not allowed . During those times don't try and have much of a conversation with me you might have more success with my cats.
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I have the same problem. Sometimes I feel a rush of joy and I'm joking with my friends at work. I go with the flow and talk to them naturally. Then some days, I feel as if this energy just shut off from my body and I have a hard time communicating to others. I say things to my friends where they think I'm talking about something. Even though I tried to be as clear as possible, it comes out as a different thing. I am pretty sure that I'm bi-polar and this is what is causing me to mess up in communication. Sometimes I'm talking to people and I say things that may offend people or it has no particular meaning. This symptom is really hard to describe and I'm trying my best to explain it. An example that I can think of right is saying, "What did it?" instead of "What caused it?" To me, that seemed natural in the beginning but after I said it, I was like, "Oh man, didn't make sense and sounded like a retard." I might also have this problem because I'm an immigrant but I highly doubt it. I've been living in Canada for 10 years so it's no excuse. Although now that I think of it, I'll just say that English is my second language lol.
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Hi Everyone,

I also suffer from the same symptoms certain people have mentioned in the forum. I have been searching forever to find out what is wrong with me. I wanted to give it a name finally. Well, I think people who suffer from the symptoms mentioned have Avoidant Personality Disorder.

I found some information that might be helpful.

Avoidant personalities are often hypersensitive to rejection and are unwilling to become involved with others unless they are sure of being liked. Excessive social discomfort, timidity, fear of criticism, avoidance of social or work activities that involve interpersonal contact are characteristic of the avoidant personality. They are fearful of saying something considered foolish by others; worry they will blush or cry in front of others; and are very hurt by any disapproval by others. People with avoidant personality disorder may have no close relationships outside of their family circle, although they would like to, and are upset at their inability to relate well to others.

When in social situations, a person with avoidant personality disorder may be afraid to speak up for fear of saying the wrong thing, blushing, stammering, or otherwise getting embarrassed. You may also spend a great deal of time anxiously studying those around you for signs of approval or rejection.

There are many types of help available for the different personality disorders. Treatment may include individual, group, or family psychotherapy. Medications, prescribed by a patient’s physician, may also be helpful in relieving some of the symptoms of personality disorders, including problems with anxiety and perceptions.

Hope this helps people give what they are going through a name.
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Thanks, this is very helpful. I can't thank you enough for this.
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