Friday, September 23rd, 2011

Man Believes Momentary Neurological Event Somehow Reflects The Way We Think Now

So I was walking down the street last night when I was overcome by the most powerful wave of deja vu I have ever encountered in my life. Except it wasn't exactly deja vu, it was a weird aggregation of other vus, which started with the feeling that I had been in this exact situation before, with the same people on the street, walking in the same patterns, and the same random stranger approaching another random stranger, but then it became more intense and bizarre. It seemed like a combination of things I had dreamed recently were brought to the forefront of my consciousness as real events, and it also coincided with my imagining things I have planned for the future as having already happened. (I know, confusing. And also about as exciting as listening to someone describe their dream. I'll try to keep it short.)

I experienced symptoms that I most associate with descriptions of panic attacks: my breathing became labored and the corners of my vision became dark. I could only focus on a small circle in the center of my line of sight. However, I remained mobile. I did not lose the power of speech, as I distinctly recall saying, "What the fuck is happening?" aloud. My body continued to head downtown in the direction of the bar I was going to. So the rest of me was functioning fine, it was just a weird hiccup in my cranium. By the time I reached my destination I was a little sweaty and unstable (which is usually how you'll find me in a bar, so I can't make any assessments based on that) but pretty much recovered. There was still a deep feeling of unease, though, a kind of strange dread that I couldn't quite characterize until this morning, when I sent a reply-all e-mail that should only have been a reply-to e-mail. In the seconds after I realized the mistake and frantically clicked "undo," I felt that exact sensation of trepidation. My disquietude over my misfiring neurons took the shape of everyday Internet anxiety.

Anyway, my point: the eversion? It is absolutely happening. Everything is blending together. The distinctions between reality and the virtual are formless and void. Or maybe it's just me. I should probably see one of them fancy brain doctors.

Photo by Jenny Downing, via Flickr

21 Comments / Post A Comment

Matt (#26)

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Matt (#26)

Ew, who still goes to Destination in 2011?

jolie (#16)

The code is a nice touch, Old Man.

illcommunication (#13,090)

@jolie Yeah I'm upset that he took it out :)

jolie (#16)

@illcommunication :( <3 u Codie

johnpseudonym (#1,452)

Pot is a lot stronger these days.

How is this not a stroke?

blily (#1,411)

@NotAndersonCooper Actually, it's an almost textbook description of a temporal lobe epileptic seizure. Seriously, google it. Unfortunately, the drugs they prescribe for TLE can be worse than the actual seizures.

jolie (#16)

@blily OH MY GOD THAT IS TERRIFYING. (Is it as terrifying as it sounds?)


laurel (#4,035)

@blily: Eeesh. Well, good company, blah blah blah.

@jolie: The first step to a cure is a website.

Brunhilde (#1,225)

@blily Is this the type of epilepsy where people think that God is talking to them?

Maevemealone (#968)

@jolie The bears are

happy he's ok too.

caw_caw (#5,641)

That has definitely never happened to me hundreds of times.

karenjeannette (#2,499)

sounds like a migraine to me. kind a gnarly example of aura/prodrome, but well within the range of things that happen all the time.

and if you didn't get a proper headache later that doesn't mean it's not migraine. anyone can get them and they don't work the way everybody thinks they do.

I generally think of Alex existing in a sort of Pynchonian grippe espagnole, but this sort of experience is a bit more medical, I think.

Administer 45 mL of bourbon as needed. See reception to schedule a follow up appointment.

Aloysius (#1,808)

I kinda had a similar thing the other day, where I was so hungover I thought I was going to have a heart attack. Not like my heart was beating fast or anything, but I just thought I can't do this stuff to my body without my body wanting revenge. It's actually just my natural response to anxiety, where my brain flickers and the words "Heart attack" float in my vision in bold Verdana font. And the fact that anxiety itself may be a contributing factor to coronary events doesn't escape my notice, such that I frantically try to force myself to stop thinking about this thing I keep thinking about, which is cognitively pretty similar to Joseph Gordon-Levitt repeatedly screaming in your ear "Stop thinking about elephants."

SeanP (#4,058)

@Aloysius If you begin to see the words in Comic Sans, dial 911 immediately.

sox (#652)

This is mostly unrelated, but I recently was doing some needlework and effed up something in a bad way. As soon as I realized it, my brain was like "CTRL Z! CTRL Z! Oh shit, you can't you dumbass this is real life!"

But for serious, vertigo has begun to make common appearances, everywhere from sitting my car at a stop light, to walking from the water cooler back to my desk. Ugh. Age.

JPN (#108,732)

I delurked to say this happened to me regularly when I was taking antidepressants. (Any kind, for any length of time.) It was one of the reasons I decided to forego them altogether and force myself to get enough exercise that I could do without. My past, present, future, and dream state all ran together at the most inconvenient times, and it took months (and quitting the first antidepressant) to realize that it was a function of the drugs and not an additional problem to worry about.

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