Sunday, 24 March 2013

Blip: What does Low Latent Inhibition feel like?

On a Low Latent Inhibition related note:

I have wanted for some time to write a post that captures exactly how it feels when I get overwhelmed. By which I mean when I can’t hold back the flood of thoughts and memories and everything pours in like a destructive torrent. I never knew quite how to start it or how to get it across correctly, accurately and, I suppose, evocatively.

The reason, or perhaps the solution, has just jumped up and slapped me. I needed to write, or attempt to write, during a period of overwhelmedness, which is what I’m doing now. At least, I’m writing after having come down from such a state. I still feel it now but I’m doing everything I can to stay calm, which helps to a certain extent. I don’t know where I’m going with this but maybe this will give anyone who’s interested a look into a self-destructing mind besieged by thoughts.

If you’re unfamiliar with LLI, then this concept will seem absurd, perhaps even laughable. Maybe not laughable but just fake and melodramatic. If you are familiar with it, you’ll know why those people are wrong.

I’ll try my best to work in a chronological order. Pop went out today to see her parents and I stayed back (as I usually go with her) to work on a few university essays. One in particular, anyway. All was fine, I took my time to get started, took a quick break for lunch (left-over pizza, if that’s at all relevant, which I suspect it’s not) and then steamed ahead. Music was on, something like the OST to Mystical Ninja Starring Goemon or some such piece of gaming music history. My work went fine, I didn’t finish it but I managed to get a more focused idea of what needs to be done and I managed to put a certain amount of it into words as well as edit the words I’d done on previous days.

At this point, for no reason I can discern, I started to come across difficulties. I couldn’t get my thoughts in order, I don’t feel a whole lot like I can now in fact, this is coming out rather Ulysses-stream-of-consciousness-style but I would imagine that’s the point. I can’t be certain. Anyway, the problems I found were mounting and I found myself re-reading random parts of the essay to try to get it back into my head. After a while of no success, I cleaned up a little, made things a little tidier as my environment can’t help but be a certain reflection of my mind. With that completed, I discovered no relief was to be had. My head ached, my stomach span and my mind flew. Eventually I realised it was silly to keep trying to work, I should be happy with what I’ve done and just try to fix the problem, so I tidied up again, I saved and closed my work, put some soft music on, played some of my instruments etc. all in an effort to quell my own mind working against me.

I feel a degree better now, naturally, as I’m writing this. But I feel I’m holding back a tidal wave. Let me explain: When I get overwhelmed like this, thoughts and connections to those thoughts come in torrents and waves, I trace every connection there could be to anything that occurs to me. Well, to be more accurate, I try to trace every connection. In truth such a thing would be impossible, it’s like trying to give birth to a Xenomorph the biologically regular way or trying to squeeze a wet rhino into a leather handbag in a rather disturbingly connected metaphor.

All that actually happens is something akin to hundreds of voices vying for your attention all at once, each speaking quickly and without pause and on different subjects, each modulating their subjects to no particular whim. Call me crazy if you like but that is just a good way of describing it. Not to say I actually hear voices; only that I have a multitudinous myriad of thoughts and idea and, worst of all, memories rushing through my mind like a crowded thoroughfare.

I say memories are the worst because they are. I don’t know why. Such analysis is above me at the moment but I can tell you how they are the worst. When something appears to me, such as a random thought, sound, colour, picture or just about anything else, and it triggers a memory, I feel a sudden pulse from my headache-turned-aneurysm and a horrible burst of panic and confusion followed by a wearying emptiness before the world appears again. This became a certain amount of photophobia, transforming my fleeting headache into a migraine of sorts.

At that point I’m just left with an uneasy frustration, somewhat similar to the common phrase ‘impotent rage’, though not as emotional as all that.

I take personal responsibility for myself, my actions, my thoughts etc. Unlike the endless religious folk out there desperate to externalise the blame, I own up to what is essentially my fault, or at least, what is caused by me. What I mean by this is, I’m not saying that I’m utterly unable to do anything; I’m not saying I’m a sad victim of LLI as it renders me helpless through no fault of my own. In fact, maintenance of my mind undertaken of my own volition and to my own design is the very thing that keeps me ‘sane’, if you will. Also, holes or oversights in this routine of maintenance are more than likely what causes these kinds of problems.

Writing this ending very much after the fact I can see things in my usual ordered way again, which allows me to make a final point. I’m not asking for sympathy, nor any special treatment. I’m not contradictorily demanding equal treatment with extra consideration like our good friends the nutbag feminists out there (I choose that adjective deliberately for its implications; offending feminists is one of my primary sources of mirth). But nonetheless, if certain organisations and societal narratives were to get their way, only official, registered and labelled ‘conditions’ would get the slightest thought and the general state of a person’s mind goes unnoticed. There is a feeling at the moment to this end that anyone whose ‘symptoms’ don’t fit a certain pre-defined norm, their problems aren’t worth considering.

Not to sound like a raving humanist but is that how a socially advanced society should treat its people? 



  1. :) enjoyed reading this, and you managed to get your sense of humor in it too. I too suffer your pain (pain is maybe not the right word, as i love and hate it), I have only just realized after 35 years that others don't feel like this. Don't get me wrong, I know I function differently, and when you sit and think you know it is blatantly obvious, still i digress (a lot sometimes).... You did a pretty good job at explaining LLI there, I would agree with most of it.


  2. It's so crazy to now finally be introduced to the fact that others are also "dealing" with this. I am just recently realizing, after much research, that what we experience is not "normal" per se and It helps me a lot to read others with LLI try to put into words what they are experiencing. I've never really thought to try and explain what I feel and experience because I had no idea that it was any different than others.

  3. I find this subject rather familiar, while reading this, to every explanation given by the author, I applied a situation from the past and the explanations are astonishingly accurate to my situations. People I meet always perceive me as "stupid" or "strange" and after trying to explain my situation to my mother I found that she does not want to believe me and says that it is all a coincidence. I do realize that this is the border between genius and insane and that it is all a matter of IQ but I am wondering that since I act out very angrily in many situation and take everything to heart I might be insane. Can somebody please tell me where the border is situated , it does not have to be accurate just an idea or opinion. Excuse my English, it is not my prime language. Oh and i forgot to mention maybe it all is just a coincidence as I am only 14 years old, maybe I am imagining things and changing my thoughts to fit the symptoms? Please give your opinion.

    1. Hi Marius, I'm sorry for the late reply, I've been thinking about how exactly to reply to this.

      I'm glad that something I've written resembles your experiences, especially in someone whose prime language isn't English.

      As for the 'border', I'm more inclined to think that the difference between freedom fighter and terrorist, or genius and insane is one of societal labels. People have been mistaken for one and then considered the other, depending on the results and the reception. But before I get too far into that, You're asking for advice, not another rambling anarchistic tract.

      IQ as a measuring system has been pretty heavily discredited and isn't used in most places anymore, It's a wonder that some people still use it actually. Having said that, I do think that there is a difference in how different people react to stress and to being 'different' (maybe that includes all of us? I'm not sure). Some people go on to do bad things, others isolate themselves and give up on integration and some are able to grow past their problems and find ways to cope with what is plaguing them.

      I don't think you're making things up (though I'm very glad to hear you compensate for hypochondria and confirmation bias!) and I think that what ever is bothering you, it's equally important that you find a way to deal with it. People's ability or tendency to go in different directions when coping with these problems seems to depend, at least partially on intelligence. Maybe intelligence isn't quite the right word but once you throw out 'IQ' it's a little difficult to quantify. There is a creativity with how some people's minds work, a natural problem-solving capacity that endlessly helps in this situation.

      For what little it may mean Marius, I don't think you're insane. You present yourself very well, you're coherent and sensitive in your comment and I take that as a good sign. 14 can be a crappy age, it was for me. Emotions, hormones, coming-of-age psychology, all the usual arguments are at play. So it's worth appreciating that certain parts of it will settle as time goes on, but that doesn't mean your problems aren't real. I encourage you to continue being as analytical as you have been so far, and to take your own feelings seriously.

      Everybody gets angry sometimes and some people are far more sensitive than others (taking so much to heart) but that needn't be a problem, it is just part of the make-up of who you are.

      If I were you, I would carry on finding ways to help yourself and not worry too much about labels. If you search around Q&A sites, forums etc. about Low Latent Inhibition, Depression, Schizophrenia and so on, and you get some help from the things that people say, then what's the harm? Any advice that helps you is good advice, regardless of anything else

      This especially applies to what dissenters say: don't let other people tell you who you are or how you feel. That includes me 100%. Please feel free to disregard any of my thoughts, opinions or analyses of what you've said. Blip and Pop are no authority, just two people on a tiny blog hidden away in a quiet corner of the internet, dispensing what meagre and humble insights on the world we have.

      I hope you got something from this Marius.



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