Why Am I Still Jumpy in Recovery?

Let’s look into a number of reasons why you may be jumpy. Before we do, let’s acknowledge that it is no fun being jumpy or having an exaggerated startle response, (a formal term). When you have an exaggerated startle response you can feel a number of things. Your heart may race, you may sweat, breathe faster, your muscles may tense (to the point you might even jump), and you may feel a piercing fear.

Most everyone starts their day with a cup or two of coffee. You can become hyperexcitable from drinking too much coffee all the time, or drinking products with caffeine in them. The caffeine can cause you to jump at small noises and things like that, whereas people who drink less coffee aren’t affected, or are less affected by loud noises. Caffeine can also affect your sleep. Being sleep deprived causes the brain to become irritable, which in turn can cause sensitivity to loud noises and bright lights.

Another cause of exaggerated startle response has been offered by recent research. Data on women, in particular, who were extremely anxious and very stressed during their pregnancy, showed high serum cortisol levels. Cortisol is the element made when one is stressed. When there women’s babies were born, the babies had high levels of cortisol as a result of being in-utero. The data showed that after birth little noises made the babies jumpy. The researchers hypothesized that a mother can pass on the trait of arousability to her baby.

A common occurrence for jumpiness is associated with someone who has experienced trauma or long-term stressors in their life. These people are more likely to have an exaggerated startle response than those who haven’t experienced a traumatic event. If a person hasn’t fully processed the trauma, the mind and body are going to stay on alert. The brain’s constant look-out for danger causes jumpiness to play upon itself. The term for always being on alert is hypervigilance.

If you are worn down by hypervigilance, consider getting some therapeutic help. Discovering the origin of your hypervigilance is a step toward alleviating the symptoms. You may learn a lot about yourself, too. Self-knowledge can help you understand why your reactions to non life threatening situations, like a door slamming, or someone tapping you on the shoulder are extreme. Most important, you’ll begin to feel better and live in the here and now, rather than the future.

Here at Infinity Malibu we offer medically supervised comfortable detox, licensed case management, and 24/7 clinical support. Our goal is to make sure when you leave these beautiful facilities your recovery will be lasting. Call today and get the support you need. 888-266-9048

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